Cliffbee.com: Horri-Bull Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Horri-Bull
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Ground Trooper
Alternate Mode: Bull Monster



BULL MONSTER MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 17cm Width: 8.5cm

   A grey and navy blue bull-inspired monster, Horri-Bull's head is blue with pink horns and red eyes along with a fairly random pink panel on top of his head. The pink is also present on his front claws. The three colours here combine fairly well - the simple navy blue and grey provide a dull backdrop for the hot pink, so that colour manages to work well enough. There's a Decepticon logo sticker on top - for some reason mine has the sticker on backwards, but it is meant to face forward.

   Horri-Bull's horns are sufficiently bullish, and obviously the name suggests that he's a bull, but the shape is more like a hyena, with a hunched back, larger front legs and a stance which suggests he's ready to pounce. The claws on the front legs also suggest a predator. His mouth is open with rounded teeth visible, along with a pink tongue. The tail is a blue dual-barrelled gun, and it looks like a gun - but still manages to work as a tail, for a monster at least. I'm not a huge fan of the idea, but the execution of this monster is okay. The tail should really have been a single barrelled gun, at least.

   There's not a lot of play value here, even in relative terms. The forelegs can swing at the shoulders and there's the obligatory cockpit for his "pilot". The lid for this cockpit is a grey piece on his back, which hinges at the front. It only lifts up to about 50, making it difficult to actually get Kreb in and out, and the shape of the cavity prevents Kreb from actually sitting as a pilot would. It's a storage place only, and not a very good one.

   Very static, with a disappointing cockpit, Horri-Bull looks okay but doesn't really have the same coolness factor as Fangry's werewolf theme or Squeezeplay's walking cobra. They've done a good job of making a bull look like a predatory creature, but the tail should have been done better and the cockpit is just awful.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the tail, remove Kreb from the cockpit if he's in there, fold him up. Fold the back out to form robot boots, flip up the head, stand him up. Swing down the forelegs to form arms and swing out his hands. Plug Kreb into the neck and place the guns in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   Again mainly grey and navy blue. While Horri-Bull's two colours were quite mixed in monster mode, the grey now dominates with blue at the extremities - head, forearms and boots. The pink is limited to the claws hanging awkwardly off his wrists, his face is gold. There are quite a few silver-based stickers here - the generic sort common in G1. There is no Decepticon logo. The colours are okay, other than the pink - which doesn't work because it's only visible on the claws, which don't work visually.

   There's a tech spec meter on the chest, which is a grey plate with purple indicators, telling us that Horri-Bull has a speed of 5, strength of 8 and intelligence of 6. There's a multi-coloured sticker defining the categories above the meter itself, this sticker blends in fairly well.

   The beast head sits awkwardly behind the robot head - it uses the same hinge that the cockpit cover does. This single hinge idea can work, provided it does a decent job in both modes, but it's a problem in both modes. Either there needed to be some grooves or depressions allowing a wider range of motion, or a second hinge. The claws are just as a annoying, especially since they sit on hinges which allow them to fold forward - utterly useless since this just covers his hands - the same hinges don't allow the claws to swing back out of the way. The double barrelled blue gun needs a post at the back to plug in as his tail, the claws needlessly get in the way of this post, so you need to partially swing his hand down (ie begin to transform it) in order for Horri-Bull to hold this gun. Another annoying flaw that should have been fixed in development.

   Horri-Bull carries a single barrelled grey gun as well as the blue one - this one cannot be stowed in beast mode. I like the fact that the beast mode "extra" piece is a gun rather than a shield (as on Fangry and Squeezeplay), but this is hampered by the fact that he can't hold both guns properly. Poseability is typical of the era - the shoulders swing and that's it.

   A mediocre robot robot, Horri-Bull's colours and detail are okay but the beast head and claws are annoying shortcomings which should have been dealt with better. He displays okay still, but this is the weakest small Headmaster robot mode.

Kreb
   Kreb has a grey body, blue legs and a giant black and gold upside face on his back. He has a purple face and no poseability. As with all of the small Headmaster figures, there's really very little to this figure, which is in truth nothing more than an accessory.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. His name in Japan is Bullhorn.

OVERALL

   The weakest small Headmaster, Horri-Bull is a frustrating toy because his flaws were quite avoidable. One poorly designed hinge on his back and lazy claw design really hurt this toy. I would have preferred the tail gun being single-barrelled, as well, but at least that one still works as you'd hope. The colours are good and the beast mode looks nice enough, so he's not a total loss, but Horri-Bull is weaker than his buddies. I'd still recommend him to fans of Headmasters (and Masterforce), but this is the last Headmaster I got, and would be the last I recommend - 5/10

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