Cliffbee.com: Fox Kids! Dinobot Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Dinobot
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Frontline Combat
Alternate Mode: Velociraptor



VELOCIRAPTOR MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 18cm Width: 7cm

   A gold raptor with red on his head, legs and back, forming a solid line down his spine but in stripes elsewhere. He has grass green eyes and silver painted teeth. He sports a metallic brown belly, which is actually the robot shins, and you can clearly see the gold robot feet on his throat. The gold here isn't that dissimilar to the brown of the regular Dinobot toy, which helps if you're using this one as a substitute. Having said that, red really does provide this toy with a different look. The solid plastic on his belly looks much better than the weird transparent orange of the original - although that was thankfully replaced with a brown similar to this one on the 10th Anniversary version. I don't mind this repaint, but as a repaint it's not that compelling - transparent orange aside.

   Aside from the kibble on his underside, this isn't a bad raptor, although the feet do get in the way of his lower jaw. He also has a random post sticking out of his back for no good reason. It looks like it might be there so he can stow his weapon on his back in robot mode, since there's a similar sized hole on his weapon, but it's not actually the same size. I don't think Kenner ever actually gave an explanation for this mystery post. It's a minor thing, but it's worth mentioning since it has absolutely no reason for being there.

   As with most of the original Beast Wars toys, Dinobot has a pretty good sculpt. He has wrinkled skin and his forelimbs are webbed. The inside toes of his legs are hooked as velociraptors' were - this was for ripping through flesh. There's a few unpainted spots that really hurt the overall effect, though. As mentioned, the spine is painted red, but just behind his hips is a double hinge that's an unpainted metallic brown, and there's a panel on the back of his neck that's also unpainted - features which persist on this mould.

   Poseability is reasonably good. His forelimbs are on ball joints, and while they're restricted to some extent, they move in pretty much any direction you'd expect a bipedal predator's to anyway. His lower jaw opens and shuts, it's painted black inside which is annoying baffling - the original was painted red and there's already red paint here. At worst a pink or dark red, surely. Lastly, the hip are swivels with hinges that swing outwards, the knees bend and the front and rear toes on the feet are hinged.

   It's a decent mould, albeit with some problems. The poseability is pretty good for the era and the sculpt is impressive. The unpainted areas on the back hurt - as always - and the belly carries a little too much kibble. The repaint is a passable substitute for the original, managing to be Dinobot a whole lot better than some of Fox Kids! repaints, but isn't really any better, nor terribly exciting in itself.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail and set aside. Fold the tail's base over onto his back, fold the robot legs out from his belly, rotate them and fold down the feet. Flip out the heelspurs, rotate the side panels 180. Flip the beast head down over his robot head and onto his chest. Fold the front claws up onto his back, rotate the arms down to his side and fold down the claws on his hands. Open the two halves of his tail, detach the sword inside if you like, arm him. Lastly, you have the option of leaving his mutant head closed or opening it to reveal the robot head. I suggest taking the two halves off, placing them in storage and never retrieving them.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 7cm

   Again largely gold, Dinobot has a fair spattering of red paint on his chest. His shins are metallic brown while the shoulders and thighs are a similar, brown - but not a metallic plastic. The mutant head is metallic brown - and forgettable. The robot head is black with a red face and grass green eyes. The colour scheme feels a lot less like Dinobot this time around, thanks to the reduced role gold plays. The head colours are very much Not Dinobot also. It's a nice colour scheme, however.

   Dinobot's robot head is the one featured in the cartoon, and it's easy to see why - the mutant head is a weird bubble-shaped mask. The chest is his beast head - the red crest is the front of his chest, and it works well with the red on his face. Sure, the colour of his head doesn't quite line up to the cartoon, but the face is still that of Dinobot as seen on TV.

   Dinobot has some problems in this mode, perhaps more than most Beast Wars toys. His shoulders are higher than they should be - on either side of his head. The head itself is kind of surrounded by torso - there's a ridge behind it and the side panels on either side with the shoulders attached. His forearms are formed from the raptor legs, but rotated. They went for the cheap option of putting holes on one side of these limbs, and so his forearms have big holes on the sides, which looks pretty bad, and was easily avoidable. He doesn't have actual hands, rather he has opposable claws, which can wrap around his weapons, so they end up working reasonably well.

   Dinobot has a fair bit of poseability in robot mode. His shoulders are swivels, but have hinges so he can lift his arms to the sides. His elbows are also dual joints, and his opposable claws open and shut. His head is on a ball joint, but it's got a lot of plastic around it so it's effectively a swivel. The hips and knees are also ball joints, and these are far less restricted. Add the hinges on both his feet and heelspurs and you've got a very poseable robot mode.

   The sword sticks into a hole between his claws and follows the line of his arm - he holds it as a stabbing weapon, not a slashing weapon. The other weapon is a spinning blade affair, and the two halves of the tail fold out to form a large blade. What's really cool about this is that pushing the button on the base of this weapon in causes the blade to spin quite rapidly for about 3 seconds. It doesn't go on and on like the show, but it's certainly an effective close quarter weapon, that would beat up any opponent in reach. The inside of the blades is silver, which looks really good, and the brown sword works well with the gold, silver and red spinning weapon.

   A decent mould again with some problems - the play value is great which help distract from some proportion problems. The mutant head is typically forgettable, but the repaint really works here. While this mode diverges from Dinobot as seen in the show, it does make this particular figure more interesting alongside the original - and without that weird orange I'd say this robot mode looks better than original, if not as show accurate. It's not a shade on the 10th Anniversary version, but still represents a nice colour scheme.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, this is a repaint of the original Dinobot toy. The mould itself has been used and retooled a few times, but there are no variations of Fox Kids! Dinobot that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good mould - both modes have some great elements, but both have problems that drag them down. The annoying thing is that most of the flaws he has are things that could easily have been avoided. The repaint is close enough to still represent Dinobot, and while I'm not sure that I'd substitute it for the original or reissue if given the choice, this is a nice repaint in its own right - 7.5/10

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