Cliffbee.com: Gigastorm Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Gigastorm
Series: Beast Wars II
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Grand Duke of Destruction
Alternate Mode: Tyrannosaurus rex/City/Battle Station

Thanks to liegeprime for loaning me Gigastorm for this review.



DINOSAUR MODE
Height: 29cm Length: 38cm (horn to tail) Width: 15cm

   A large grey tail-dragging T-Rex, Gigastorm is a repaint of Trypticon with some minor mould changes. He lacks most of Trypticon's accessories, although he does come with Gigascouter, a repaint of Full Tilt.

   He's mainly dark grey, with a transparent orange horn on his head flanked by black paint and gold eyes. The horn doesn't retract this time - it's significantly larger and is remoulded. There are some bright purple aspects such as the hands, some silver here and there and some teal painted "scales" on his back, head and shoulders. His hips are transparent orange. The colours used are very similar to those of Trypticon, although a very different layout. The light grey of Trypticon is not present here, replaced by silver plastic. The purple is brighter and yet darker while there's a lot more paint and a more complex paint mask.

   There's a fair bit of play value in this mode. He can walk - it's slow, loud and lumbering, but he's still able to walk. At the base of his back is a battery compartment into which you can fit two "C" size batteries, flick a switch next to this and he'll start whirring and walking. The inside of battery compartment remains bright orange - showing that the designer has started with Trypticon's colours rather than start fresh here. The walking mechanism limits the posing of his legs, and there are struts which link the legs and arms (so that the arms move up and down as he walks), which limits the posing of the arms, also. His claws can open and close, so he'll grab stuff like pencils or Minicars. The twin silver blocks on his back flip out to form cannons on either side of his neck. The gun inside Trypticon's mouth is absent here. The head moves up and down and the lower jaw opens and shuts. The horn on his head is now fixed, and between this and the loss of the mouth gun, Gigastorm's play value isn't as good as Trypticon's, but the display value is slightly better to compensate.

   A pretty similar look to Trypticon overall, and while the horn is a nice addition, the loss of two guns (the horn resculpt takes one away) does limit him a little. The added paint is nice, but this remains a relatively minor repaint. The mould was dated by 1998, so the most impressive aspect of Gigastorm - aside from the Trypticon nostalgia - is his size.

TRANSFORMATION TO CITY MODE

   Remove Gigascouter from his chest, lift up the cannons on his back, rotate the head & neck 180. Lie him on his back, fold out his sides. Lift up each side and split the legs, there's little switches on his hips that allow them to pop open. Fold the outer parts of the legs out to form extensions of the city. Whilst you can do this before laying him out, it's easier once he's laid down.

   Next, fold down the ramp at the front of the city, lift the twin cannons to vertical to form towers. Extend Full Tilt's mount to form a third tower. On the side platforms there are two purple panels, flip these out to form the helipads.



CITY MODE
Height: 28cm Width: 58cm Depth: 44cm

   A rather spacious and spread out city. There's no teal or orange here - it's just grey and purple with a smattering of silver, most notable in a giant Predacon logo on the ramp (and some silver arrows below it). He's got a large purple central ramp and two grey side panels, with purple helipads and big long grey extensions coming out of them. He has two silver towers at the back and a big purple tower in front of and between them. The tower count is a lot lower than that of Trypticon, since Brunt breaks apart to form a bunch of towers on the G1 toy. The "main" tower is also absent here.

   There's some play value left here, even if some is lost with the accessories. There are quite a few places to stick smaller vehicles. The top of the ramp, which can launch vehicles down the ramp and onto the floor, the side helipads, as well as the side platforms next to those. While he's spacious, alongside Trypticon he's not that impressive since most of the accessories which form towers have been left out.

   It's still a decent city mode since it's spread out and looks impressive. Gigastorm looks more like a large battle station than a city, mind you. There's play value here, too, although for something this size it's fairly minimal. The loss of the main tower piece hurts.

TRANSFORMATION TO BATTLE STATION MODE

   Fold up the grey ramp at the very front, lift out the guns on this ramp. Push in the purple tower, fold the silver towers forward and pull out the purple cannons. Fold the extensions (ie fold the legs back up). Flip the helipads back over. Lastly flip down the purple twin cannons on the now shortened extensions.

BATTLE STATION MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 52cm Depth: 39cm

   Essentially an add-on mode, this is pretty similar to the city mode. It's got a total of eight barrels, so it's fairly well armed, and only loses one of Trypticon's barrels. The barrels at the front - under the ramp - are transparent orange, which works very well. In fact this mode is relatively stronger than the city mode since it's not stripped down nearly as much.

   The play value of this mode basically consists of the ability to roll along. It has six wheels along it's central axis - one pair obvious on the front and two sets concealed underneath. It lacks the ball bearings under the extensions (ie the sides of the dinosaur shins), so I'd recommend against running the motor on anything like concrete. It rolls okay, although there's a lot of mass to push along. With the rolling action, this mode reminds me more of a giant anti-aircraft battery (since all the guns point up) than a battle station.

   While it's clearly a third mode, this mode is more satisfying than the city mode, simply because it's more complete. The loss of the ball bearings limits it a little, but the simple colours work quite well.

GIGASCOUTER

   Basically a small bright purple car with black wheels but no gun (unlike Full Tilt). He turns into a purple robot. The eyes are painted and there are no stickers - the tyres are all that stop him from looking like a grape. He's got a pretty poor robot mode, with the lower legs being one piece and no real thighs. His shoulders do rotate though. I say leave him in car mode, so he can sit on Gigastorm's chest and whiz down the ramp.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He was remoulded & recoloured in Beast Wars Second as Gigastorm.

OVERALL

   A decent mould for 1986, but one that's quite dated by 1998, but it's the lack of accessories which hurts more. He's massive, and this is an asset. The paint job is well done and while the colours are similar to Trypticon, they tweak that toy's colours and the paint job is more complex. Most of the remoulds are money-savers, which is annoying, but the cutting back on accessories really hurts the city mode. All three modes are okay, but he's not that compelling - Trypticon just did it better - so I'd only recommend this guy is Trypticon will never be in your budget or if you're a fan of BWII - 6/10

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