Cliffbee.com: Geckobot Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Geckobot
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Aerial Combat Specialist
Alternate Mode: Kuehneosaurus

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Geckobot, making this review possible.



LIZARD MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 12cm

   A turquoise Kuehneosaurus (an extinct reptile) with transparent purple wings, Geckobot has red and gold on his back, tail, head and wings. His teeth are silver while his eyes are transparent green. Well, strictly speaking, Geckobot has holes, not eyes, but the green spark crystal located inside his head works as eyes. The colours here are nothing short of gaudy - the turquoise is understated but doesn't work with transparent purple and the red and gold clash with both of these colours. As was the case with a few Beast Machines Maximals, Geckobot completely ignores the rules of design aesthetics, so while the paint applications are actually quite well done, the end result is awful.

   Tim Bradley (the designer) has pointed out to me that Geckobot is actually a Kuehneosaurus - an extinct reptile; of course the name confuses things somewhat - he isn't a very accurate lizard. He's more beast than technorganic, with the odd robotic sculpt here and there. The tail ends in what looks like the tip of a manta ray's tail - and the tail itself isn't a lizard tail. The wings are of course completely foreign to a lizard's body, and really ruin any chance Geckobot has of working as a lizard - they're an approximation of the extended ribs of Kuehneosaurus. The legs are badly aligned, since the front legs don't push out to the sides as a reptile's legs should, even if the rear legs do. Silverdragon informs me that Geckobot's alt mode is close to the extant lizard Draco volans (and a Google Images search agrees with him).

   The poseability here is okay, but nothing really stands out relative to most Beast Machines Maximals. All four legs have ball joints at the hips, knees and ankles, but the mismatched hip joints mean that the real poseability in the legs is limited. The head turns from side to side while his tail lifts at the base. The top of his head lifts up to reveal the spark crystal. The wings are composed of three purple plates each, the gimmick here is that as you swing back the rear plates the front ones swing forward. This gimmick is not only unimpressive but pretty pointless. You know a design is struggling when a reptiles mode is given wings for some play value.

   It's not the worst beast mode Beast Machines gave us, but it's very close. This is a concept that shouldn't have gone past the concept stage - the wings just do not work on this beast and the reptile mode itself isn't that good anyway. The colours just make matters worse and the poseability is far from impressive.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the back, swing out to the sides to form arms, pivot the shoulders. The rear legs simply straighten to form robot legs while the head and tail fold up onto his back. Stand Geckobot up and try to position his arms in such a way that they don't look ridiculous.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 14.5cm (across the wings) 5.5cm (shoulders)

   A turquoise robot with big purple wings hanging off his arms and some gold paint wash on his face, Geckobot has black eyes and a dearth of paint overall - the torso and legs are entirely turquoise. The colours are even worse now since the main splashing of colour is on his very obtrusive kibble while the robot aspects are not at all accentuated. Geckobot is like a guide of how not to paint a robot mode. And the colours clash badly again.

   The arms are far too long, because the back halves - with wings - are jammed between the shoulders and what _should_ be his upper arms. So he has double shoulder joints and hands that reach the ground. The hands look like the lizard feet that they are, the head looks distinctly alien and reminds me of the aliens in the film Independence Day. His torso is narrow which contrasts with the giant wings, in a bad way. Okay, we get the option of folding the wings back rather than pushing then out to the sides, but they're still kibble that just gets in the way of his arms.

   The only upside here is the poseability. His neck, shoulders, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles are all ball jointed. It's not often you can list two sets of ball jointed shoulders, but this robot's arms are that warped. Anyway, the limbs joints are quite poseable, the neck is restricted and his waist is fixed. The heelspurs are quite useful, so while Geckobot can strike some dynamic poses. He lacks a weapon or gimmick in this mode, but the poseability does provide play value.

   A bad robot mode with very poorly laid out colours and terrible arms. Geckobot is dominated by the wings, which are nothing but kibble, and a lizard Transformer should never have wing kibble in robot mode. The spindly torso only makes things worse and while the poseability is good, it's nowhere near enough to save this awful robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A dreadful toy that never should have made it past the concept stage, Geckobot has a poor reptile mode that isn't properly identified & a name that makes it less obvious, a robot mode that really doesn't need the wings, poor shape in both modes and colours that could best be described as random. The robot mode poseability is good but the gimmick in beast mode is very underwhelming and there's no weapon. This is a toy I'd recommend avoiding - 2/10

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