Cliffbee.com: Magnaboss Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Magnaboss
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Combat Leader
Components: Prowl, Silverbolt & Ironhide

Name: Prowl
Alternate Mode: Lion



LION MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 4.5cm

   A gold lion with a brown mane and some metallic blue robotic stuff on the back, Prowl is essentially a realistic lion in colour terms. His nose is black while there are moulded teeth protruding from his mouth which are painted white. His eyes are painted red which isn't too realistic - and I'm not sure why they didn't go with blue, since there's blue paint on the face of Magnaboss, which is hidden inside this figure.

   There's fur sculpted all over this figure, which is naturally puffier around the mane itself, and while this should make for a realistic lion, Prowl is covered in joints, sockets and the like, breaking up a good sculpt. The hindlegs are the lower legs of the robot mode and the robot thighs are both visible and lose, making this lion slightly unstable.

   The front half of this lion is a statue, the hindlegs are quite well jointed, but with the robot hips able to move around, the most stable pose is standing flat. The tail lifts up but on the whole Prowl is very static. He stands well once the hindlegs are posed correctly, which is a plus.

   While this isn't a great lion it's by no means a bad lion. Considering that there's a large head concealed in this basic sized toy, that the lion is well sculpted with a fairly good body shape is a credit to the designer. The biggest shortcoming here is the number of joints and connectors visible on Prowl.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   This transformation is surprisingly complex and a little fiddly in places. The tail and rump detaches to become his weapon while the rear half rotates and straightens out to form his legs. The mane splits to form a cape while the head and chest are buried underneath the mane halves. The front legs become his arms, and are released when the mane is opened.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 11.5cm

   A mainly gold robot with metallic blue on his chest, thighs and mouthplate. His eyes are red white the collar area is brown along with the rest of the mane, which is now spread out on his back as a cape. Other than the red eyes this is a good colour scheme. The cape isn't much more than somewhere to put the mane panels but still works quite well. On the whole this is an attractive robot mode. The head is sculpted to resemble a Prime toy, although the paint job doesn't at all reflect this.

   There are gun-like brown spines sitting on his shoulders which can swing forward as shoulder cannons while the rump opens out to form a large Y shaped melee weapon, held by a post on the tail. The shoulder cannons look much better than this odd club like contraption, which has to double as the hilt of Magnaboss's sword.

   Prowl is well articulated, with a ball jointed head, ball joints on the shoulders, elbows and hips along with a rotating waist. The knees have hinges and rotators while the feet and heelspurs are hinged. Unfortunately the heelspurs, which are the lion paws, aren't flat, which limits their usefulness. The cape on his back is fairly heavy so he has limited leg poses. The arms are quite versatile although the front paws of the lion hang on the sides of his forearms and fall off ridiculously easily, making them easy to lose.

   On balance this is a decent robot mode, and is Prowl's better mode. I can deal with the weak weapon since it's got a lot to achieve, but the front paws of the lion bug me, and I'd love him to be a little more stable. The colours are good and the cape is better than it probably should be, giving Prowl an attractive robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   Recoloured in Japan as Lio Junior, who was sold separately. Lio Junior has a blue head, meaning the head sculpt pays homage to Lio Convoy.

PROWL OVERALL

   On his own Prowl would be a decent basic, with good colours, a decent robot mode and reasonable beast mode. A better handheld weapon would have helped, the lion mode is a statue but is well shaped and sculpted, while the transformation is interesting. 6/10
Name: Silverbolt
Alternate Mode: Bald Eagle



EAGLE MODE
Height: 9.5cm Length: 26cm Width: 12cm

   A brown eagle with white head, tail, wingtips and legs, Silverbolt has black eyes, a yellow beak and yellow on his feet. The brown plastic has a noticeable sheen without being metallic, while the underbelly is a slightly darker, matte brown, although his feet are the brighter brown plastic. While it's not quite accurate, this colour scheme is damn close, and for a basic sized toy I'm very happy with the realism here. There's less breaking up this bird than on Prowl, although there are some connections on top of his wings.

   At 26cm, Silverbolt has a very impressive wingspan - and the entire top surface of the toy is sculpted in feathers, with finer sculpting around the head and tailfeathers where appropriate. Considering that this toy is a sideshow to the main event of Magnaboss himself, this sculpt is fantastic. The wings are stuck in the soaring pose, but it looks great and makes Silverbolt a large basic.

   There's not much play value here - there's some wiggle in the legs but the weight of the toy means he has one stable leg position. The wings can lift up for a swooping pose, which looks good. The wingtips can fold down to reveal his missile launchers, although the missiles can only shoot to the sides. The mouth opens slightly, revealing unpainted white plastic.

   While this is a fairly static bald eagle, the wingspan along makes Silverbolt look impressive. The detail on top is great while the colours are quite realistic, making this a good beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty simple really. The torso and arms swing out from within the body of the bird while the legs become robot legs. The head folds down to sit over the robot head while the rear edges of the wings detach to become handheld weapons.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 26cm

   A matte brown robot with white forearms, shins and head, Silverbolt has black eyes, lighter brown feet and a bald eagle on his back. The wings stick out either side, from behind the arms, while the tail sits behind the legs and the head forms a crown. There's a distinct Native American theme to the way he wears the beast mode. The robot only parts are quite bare - even the rounded head with simple black eyes and an unpainted mouthgrille. While the robot only parts look unfinished, there's enough happening around the robot proper to make this a visually interesting figure.

   Silverbolt is about as poseable as we could hope for. The head turns while the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips are all ball jointed and the ankles are hinged. The legs are limited by the weight distribution - those wings aren't light. He's not hard to stand, but action poses will rely on the arms. The white wing edges are serrated, making for worthwhile swords. The wings can swing forward allowing the missiles to fire, so long as you're careful with the leg positioning to keep his centre of gravity right. The yellow buttons for the launchers are underneath the wins, making firing the missiles forward a little tricky if you've got large fingers.

   Despite the rather obvious limitations this is a decent robot mode. The theme is well executed while the play value is as good as we're going to get with such a large backpack. His weapons are stronger than either Prowl's or Ironhide's and he has the launchers to boot. A little more colour on the robot parts would have been good, but that's my only real complaint.

VARIATIONS

   Repainted as Skywarp in Japan, and like Lio Junior, Skywarp was sold separately. Skywarp's head is painted silver.

SILVERBOLT OVERALL

   A large basic - especially in beast mode where his wingspan would be impressive on a deluxe. Considering that the wings are large, rigid things, Silverbolt's done well to have two good modes. The play value is a little limited which is to be expected, but overall I'm impressed with this toy - who is individually the best of the set - 8/10
Name: Ironhide
Alternate Mode: Elephant



ELEPHANT MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 18cm Width: 8cm

   A grey African Elephant with white tusks and white painted nails, Ironhide has green eyes. That's really it for the colour scheme, ignoring the red pieces visible at the back (including Magnaboss's fists on the back of the hindlegs). The sculpt is good with wrinkles all over, and while there are a few hinges and seams, this elephant isn't as disjointed as Prowl's lion mode. While grey and white isn't exactly exciting, the colour scheme and sculpt are great for an African Elephant - and this is the only time we've seen an elephant Transformer (although there has been a Woolly Mammoth mould).

   Ironhide's weapons, which are little more than spiked poles, sit behind the ears and can swing up to form attacking weapons, although the tusks make far better weapons (nature had already given the elephant useful weaponry, I guess). The tusks can move around a little - which they're not really meant to do - while the tail can lift up and down. The legs can wiggle but that's really all we have here in the way of poseability, although the ears can swing out to swat cyber-flies. I really would have liked to see at least one hinge in the trunk, which wouldn't have been impossible to do.

   A good elephant mode, which is quite realistic and well sculpted. The play value is for the most what you'd expect - but I really wish the trunk had some articulation. This is easily Ironhide's better mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There are a _lot_ of panels involved - basically you unfold most of them, allowing the hindlegs to become the robot legs and the front legs to become the arms. The head splits into two panels which hang off the robot shoulders (complete with ears) while the tusks come down over the robot shoulders.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 20cm

   While grey is still the most common colour here, the shoulders, thighs and head are red while the eyes are green. The mouth has pointed moulded teeth but has been left unpainted, meaning that is distinct face doesn't come out properly. The boots are simply the hindlegs of the elephant which looks poor while there's more kibble here than Ironhide knows what to do with. Panel city overshadows a fairly good combination of colours.

   The dimensions hint that something is here. The toy is squat with very wide shoulders, long arms and a hunchback. Ironhide lacks hands, instead having the undersides of the forelegs at the ends of his arms. The panelling hanging everywhere looks crap, especially the hollow elephant halves which float off the shoulders. The only visual aspect which is a positive is the tusks on his chest - and even then they're only there to keep out of the way. This guy is a mess.

   There's quite a bit of poseability here but Ironhide looks stupid no matter what pose you put him in. The weapons don't really add anything since they look incomplete (understandable - they're just the shaft of the combined sword). The limbs are articulated but the legs lack heelspurs which limits what you can do in terms of poses.

   Easily the worst mode among the three Magnaboss components, and probably the worst robot mode in Beast Wars, outside of some of the Transmetal IIs. Ironhide's robot mode is really an afterthought - the left overs from Magnaboss. Most of his engineering is geared towards making Magnaboss work, since he forms the lower half _and_ the arms of the combined robot. That's not really an excuse though - there are many other core gestalt components that are better than this.

VARIATIONS

   Released separately as Santon in Japan. Santon has a lot more paint in the robot mode - and while it's not enough to save that mode it does make a difference (especially the facial colours).

IRONHIDE OVERALL

   A wild contrast between a good elephant mode and a robot mode that's so bad it hurts. The elephant really impresses with it's realism, and if you display the set as individuals, that's they way to display Ironhide. His robot mode is little more than a mess of panels and misplaced Magnaboss limbs with a head slapped in front. The robot mode is so poor I can only give 3/10.

Magnaboss Combined



Height: 22cm Width: 15cm

   Fold prowl up into a ball with the large face sticking out of his mane, wrap Silverbolt around this ball with the bird head as a crest and the launchers to the front. Unravel Ironhide with the hindlegs as arms and front legs as legs. Plug the ball into the gap between the shoulders and fold the elephant backplate up to form the chestplate, with the tusks as antennae of sorts. About 80% of what is visible is Ironhide, 15% Silverbolt and 5% Prowl - who's only visual contribution is the face.

   With the bird's head crest, wingtips on his chest and those tusks on his head, Magnaboss inherits that Native American theme Silverbolt had. His colours are dominated by grey and red, while there's white and brown on his chest and head while the face is yellow with blue eyes and white teeth. The colours work well enough even if they're slightly disjointed. Of course disjointed colours are nothing new to gestalts, so this colour scheme works fine in that context.

   The weaponry combines to form a sword, with Prowl's rump forming the hilt, Ironhide's clubs forming the shaft and Silverbolt's swords forming the blade. It's a very good sword, which makes sense since two of the three toys have crap weapons that are really just waiting to form this thing. The launchers in Silverbolt's wings are now on the chest, with two brown missiles pointing forward and the yellow buttons accessible at the back.

   This is a very poseable robot, with ball jointed hips and two sets of rotators and two joints per knee, hinged ankles, three joints per shoulder and hinged elbows, giving full arm motion. The head, waist and wrists are fixed, and to be honest I don't see how these joints could have been given motion. The ridiculous jointing in his knees does make Magnaboss a little tricky to stand, but once you find the right stance he's very stable.

   There's quite a big of elephant kibble hanging off here, including the head halves on his knees, rump plates behind the shoulders and the sides as hipplates. Tucked away at the back of the torso we have Prowl and Silverbolt's legs, with their arms hidden inside the torso. None of this kibble is really in the way, and the stuff hanging off the bottom actually helps fill out the legs.

   While it's not perfect, this is a great combined mode on the whole. Granted, an awful lot of Ironhide goes into making this work, but that doesn't change the fact that the set comes together well. The theme works, the sword is a success and the poseability is a cut above that of the gestalts that preceded Magnaboss.


SET OVERALL

   Two decent basics - one a large basic at that - and a rather mediocre deluxe make up this set. Prowl and Silverbolt are worthwhile toys on their own, with Silverbolt the best of the three components. Ironhide's beast mode is good but his robot mode is pretty much a waste of time. The combined form is of course the main show, and is very strong. If you're a fan of combiners I'd definately recommend this set, which (along with Tripredacus) takes the concept further than it's been before - 7.5/10

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