Cliffbee.com: Cruellock Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cruellock
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tyrannosaurus rex



DINOSAUR MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 17cm Width: 6cm
exact dimensions depend on pose

   A mecha Tyrannosaurus rex, Cruellock is clearly meant to pay homage to Godzilla. Those in the know all seem to be saying he's modelled on the American animated Godzilla, so I'll go with that. He's largely dark blue with teal, dark grey, grey, transparent yellow as well as orange paint down his spine and on his head. The dark blue, teal and greys is a really good combination, and even the transparent yellow works with them, but most of the potential this has is ruined by the orange paint - I'd have preferred teal.

   His body is mainly dark blue, with the end of his tail transparent yellow, while his limbs are teal with dark grey upper halves, grey shoulders and yellow claws. He's got spines down his back, almost plates - but in a mecha way rather than a Stegosaurus way. His lower jaw opens and he has some teeth on his jaws and crimson painted eyes. His chest is grey with some teal and crimson highlights, as well as the obligatory spark crystal, which isn't really visible because in most poses it's angled down.

   It's a fairly poseable T-Rex, with the opening jaw as mentioned, ball jointed shoulders, hips and elbows, hinged knees and ankles. Curiously there are ball joints on his hindclaws, but there's no movement - they're probably only so the claws pop rather than snap off. The tail is heavy and tends to weight him down, so some care is needed when posing him if you don't want him tipping backwards. You have the option of posing him in typical Godzilla pose (think Grimlock and his dragging tail) or in the correct T-Rex stance, with the tail as a counterbalance. I prefer the former, partly because it's more natural, partly because the toy seems designed to stand this way, and (mainly) because he looks more dynamic when he's not resting on his tail.

   In many ways this design is atypical of Transformers beast modes, which isn't surprising since it's inspired by something else. There's a very "mecha" feel to his aesthetic, including segmentation of his body, lots of angles, joints and connections and the giant blade that is his tailtip. If not for the spark crystal, he'd almost qualify as a Zoid.

   There are three main drawbacks to this mode, the first I've already mentioned - the bad use of orange paint. The other two both relate to his transformation mechanism. There's a big gap at his waist where his hips close onto one another for the robot mode. If this was poseable - or if he actually _was_ a Zoid, I'd be willing to accept it, but as it is it's a rather needless gap. Finally, Cruellock is a little flimsy in this mode, his neck tends to wiggle around and his hips and shoulders tend to partly transform when you don't want them to.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the tail and remove both the blade and the pistol stowed inside. Pushing the hips together theoretically completes most of the transform, but it's tricky to actually clip them together properly. Once you manage to do so, a series of internal gears and springs will push out his shoulders and flip his head back. All you're left to do is straighten his limbs, rotate his head and give him back his weaponry.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 5.5cm

   A much better colour scheme, thanks to the fact the orange (and dark blue) is almost exclusively on his back. The head is teal with a crimson brow, yellow eyes and orange mouthcover, his torso is largely grey, with some teal, dark grey and crimson highlights, as well as the spark crystal, placed smack in the middle of his chest. His shoulderpads are grey with teal decos, the forearms and shins are teal, his upper arms, ankles and thighs are dark grey while his hands and feet are yellow claws. It's a pretty good colour scheme, with only the orange mouthcover out of place - but this is minor enough that it fails to matter much.

   He has pseudo hands inside his hooked claws, in which you can place his piston or blade. The pistol kicks ass and takes names, the blade is the one getting kicked and it's name is on that list. The pistol is a cool sawn-off shotgun type of firearm, a big fat cylinder that looks like it packs a wallop. Meanwhile the blade is a giant machete that looks big and unwieldy. They combine to form a machete for bigger Energon toys, see, and so the blade isn't really scaled for poor little Cruellock. Still, on the whole I don't mind since the pistol is enough for me and he can still wield the machete if you want him to.

   The articulation is pretty good here. His head and shoulders rotate, on top of his shoulders having ball joints - impressive. The elbows and hips are also ball joints, while his knees and ankles are hinged. The heelspurs and ankles conspire to make him nice and stable in a _lot_ of poses - he's able to hold his giant blade, too, which is good engineering.

   Cruellock definitely looks more like a Transformer in this mode, since most of the Zoid-esque stuff is now on his back. He reminds me of a G1 Furman-era comic character, since a lot of those characters used greys, teals and blues.

   This is by far Cruellock's better mode. Aside from the clearly visible T-Rex head sitting behind his head, I can't fault it. The tail halves sit on his rump but don't get in the way over overbalance him. Yes, they're kibble, but not kibble that has any adverse effects. Good colours and good play value make this a good mode.

VARIATIONS

   Recoloured in Japan as "Dinobot Magma Type" (Dinobot is his japanese name), with his grey core becoming very dark brown (almost black) and his shell and outer limbs red, while the transparent elements are a lemon yellow. Doomlock is a repaint of Cruellock.

OVERALL

   The beast mode is designed to be a Godzilla homage, which brings some unusual design elements with it. The transformation is a little too cute for its own good, since it introduces some problems, but it does result in a fun robot mode that's difficult to really fault. He's not a toy I'd recommend driving cross country for, there's a charm to a Godzilla Transformer, and the robot mode is a lot of fun, recommended if you like your Transformers poseable - 7/10

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