Cliffbee.com: Frostbite Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Frostbite
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Hyena

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Frostbite for the purpose of this review.



HYENA MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 21cm Width: 8cm

   A light grey and lilac hyena with midnight blue on his shoulders, upper forelegs, along the ridge of his back and the ridge of the head. Frostbite's back and nose sports a wash of purple paint, rounding out a fairly subdued pastel colour scheme. While grey and navy are muted, the lilac and purple are a little awkward on the same toy. The overall combination is passable but by no means a success. His foreclaws are painted white while the hindclaws are unpainted (grey). The eyes are mid blue and the teeth in his mouth are unpainted grey. The colour scheme is much lighter than the original version of this mould, Jawbreaker, and lacks the chrome of that toy. Frostbite's colours aren't as busy but he has to deal with the purple and lilac together - neither colour scheme really works well.

   As with all Transmetal II moulds, Frostbite has a high level of sculpted detailing. There's sculpted fur, lots of blades on his tail and legs, jagged edges here and there and even a couple of hoses. For the most part this works, but the huge blades on his legs get in the way of his poseability, so I would have preferred them to be a little less prominent. The sculpt is highly asymmetrical, which is to be expected of a Transmetal II mould, and while you tend to notice all the blades and jagged edges, if you take a close look, there's considerable effort in ensuring asymmetry here.

   The poseability is quite limited, mainly because of those blades, but also because he fits together awkwardly. The neck is ball jointed while his shoulders rotate and both the elbows and wrists are hinged - the effective poseability of the front legs is hampered by blade/claws both on front and behind the wrists. The hips are ball jointed while the knees and ankles are ball jointed. The hindlegs aren't as restricted, but with the front legs unable to get into walking poses, the hindlegs aren't that much use. The mouth and tail are fixed in place.

   The bodyshape here is awkward because everything fits together quite loosely. There are gaps on the body visible from most angles, and the various pieces that for the body don't really line up to one another. He has a hunchback, which doesn't help. You can see the design evolution of Beast Machines here - in a bad way. The forelegs are the arms and the hindlegs legs of the robot mode. While he's not on the "stand up and reveal head" level of say, BM Snarl, there's a distinct lack of creativity evident.

   Frostbite does have an action gimmick here which is at once impressive and misplaced. There's a plunger on his back, pushing it forward causes the midnight blue ridge on his back to spin backwards. It's basically a circular saw, complete with a serrated edge. It works well, but why does he need it on his back?

   A detailed but ultimately unfocused beast mode. There's a clear emphasis on sculpt here, which is fine, but then there's a lack of focus on the basics. The gappy body and well sculpted blades hindering the poseability hold him back. The gimmick is nice, but it just doesn't work in this context. The hyena mode displays well, but doesn't play or pose so well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove and set aside his tail. Swing back the foreclaws. Lift up the rump panel, unclip the left shoulder and split the body, swinging out to the sides. Swing up the robot chest and flip out the head. Straighten the legs, swing up his beast forelimbs and rotate the arms into place. Attach the tail in his left hand as a sword, of sorts.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 10cm

   Frostbite's robot mode centres on grey - the midnight blue and purple are relegated to his (considerable) kibble. The lilac is on his ankles and there's some purple on his chest and head, while there asymmetrical gold patches on his thighs and gold eyes, which are surrounded by a turquoise mask for some reason. The grey is a good base colour, but even then there are too many distinct colours around it - I don't like this colour scheme much at all, especially on a toy which needs a good colour scheme to help downplay the kibble.

   This robot mode reads like a textbook on how to not use beast kibble. The entire back and head of the beast forms his right forearm, and while the open jaws could make a decent hand, the fact that you're staring at the undecorated underside of the back as a forearm makes the entire section look bad. The forearm is _much_ longer than the left side, and a lot wider. Kibble with a head trying to be a hand, rather than clever use of the head as a hand. The forelimbs on his shoulders really do not stow - they float there, and they don't blend into the background - since the midnight blue is a stronger colour than the grey. The chest itself is well sculpted, and of course asymmetrical, along with most of this robot mode, but the kibble dominates, visually. The head is a well sculpted dog-like affair with a cyborg half, the feet are the (huge) hindclaws.

   The gimmick is now on his right forearm, but it's _underneath_ so again it's not all that much use. Okay it would be pretty handy in close combat, but doesn't display well when the arm has so much non-arm crap on it to begin with. The sword is a more effective display weapon, since his tail has three blades on it.

   The poseability is better than the hyena mode, and the kibble largely manages to stay out of the way. The shoulders, left elbow and hips are ball jointed. The head and waist turn while his right elbows, knees and ankles are ball jointed. The right elbow is useless since there's so much non-arm around it, and his ankles are no use thanks to the blades behind them. Those blades are heelspurs and with the large feet, he has no trouble standing despite the weight of his right arm.

   This robot mode is a victim of a poor transformation, more than anything else. The right arm really hurts, and the legs to legs isn't too impressive. The colour scheme is not well thought out, with too many distinctive colours that don't balance with one another. The sculpt is excellent, but Frostbite still looks awkward.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware, although he is a repaint of Jawbreaker, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   An over complicated mould that failed the first time, and it fails again on this random repaint which overdoes the colours. At least he gets a unique name, I suppose. The sculpt is awesome and the circular saw is a great idea but the transformation is terrible in execution since it gives us a gappy beast mode and a robot mode with all the wrong kibble. The poseability is bad in both modes, largely because the blades which are a theme of this figure are poorly placed. His main asset is the sculpt - but there are lots of other Transmetal IIs which can offer that, and in better colours - 3/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.