Cliffbee.com: Manterror Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Manterror
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Quick Attack Specialist
Alternate Mode: Praying Mantis



PRAYING MANTIS MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 20cm Width: 5cm

   A bright green mantis with transparent purple wings, legs and antennae, transparent green "hands" and red painted highlights, most notably the eyes. Both transparent plastics are quite cloudy, which adds some realism - light gets through but you can't see through the plastic itself. There are black pupils on his eyes, rounding out a fairly simple colour scheme. The colours are bright, but since bright green is a perfectly normal (and common) colour for a mantis, I have no problem with the colours. The red on his "hands" is striped, which is believable as camouflage while the purple is dull enough to keep things realistic.

   Manterror is long and lanky, as you'd expect, with two pairs of short purple legs underneath and two long front legs with the hands I've described, while the purple wings sit over the top of his abdomen, which has red striped details hidden under those wings. Manterror is capable of the distinctive praying stance, making this a surprisingly dynamic mantis mode, considering how little kibble there is here. The only kibble to speak of is in the form of robot legs visible as the underside of the abdomen. The sculpting is simple, which is allows the more important aspects such as the pose and front legs to stand out. Having said that, it's not lazy - there is simple moulding on the arms and the wings are veined.

   The poseability is good, and naturally centres on the front legs, which have two ball joints per shoulder, ball jointed elbows and hinged wrists which allow the hands to fold right back. The mouth opens a little, and both the head and antennae can rock back and forth while the legs underneath are on ball joints, although these legs can't move too much. The limited leg movement is a good thing mind you, since it allows Manterror to stand on his own without buckling under his weight. The wings are also on ball joints and can swing out to the sides, rounding out poseability that's really as good as you could expect.

   Manterror carries purple discs inside the hands, which stick out the bottom. If you lift up the hands and press on the top, the discs fly out with respectable force. While it's a simple gimmick it's well executed, and the discs stay in pace quite firmly - they wont simply fall out.

   This is a good mantis mode that's been well thought out. The articulation is great, the colours sensible and the firing discs are effective and unobtrusive. The aspect I'm happiest with is his ability to stand - there's quite a bit of weight in this toy and the centre of gravity is quite high, yet Manterror is able to stand in a praying pose.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unfold the robot legs from underneath the abdomen, fold the beast legs out to the sides. Fold the groin down and fold front of the beast down to form the chest, which will reveal the robot head. Fold the beast legs down onto the chest, rotate the arms backwards to lock the chest together. Open the feet, position the beast legs on his chest and fold the beast head up as a groinplate.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 8cm

   Again based on green, although Manterror's robot mode relies more on the purple, which forms the top of his face along with most of his chest. His eyes are red along with the insect eyes on his groin and the red banding on his hands. He has a rather sinister white smile and moulded teeth, the transparent green plastic on his hands is joined by transparent green shins and head. There's a rubsign on top of his head. The colour scheme is again very strong, and gives this robot a distinct mantid feel. The colours are well laid out, with the red not as obvious, which really makes the colours work here.

   While he's not quite as spindly now, he's still quite lanky. Manterror has very long arms which look awful down by his sides but good hunched up, ready to strike. The beast legs and antennae form a nice feature on his chest, which is something different as well as a great way of keeping this mode kibble free. The wings hang off his back but if you like you can swing them up and out as wings or a cape. Thematically the unusual arms work well - the face is buglike, the wings on his back and appendages on his chest mean this is very much a humanoid mantis rather than just a robot with awkward arms.

   The poseability is great, with the arms a carry over from the mantis mode with double balls at the shoulders, ball jointed elbows and hinged wrists. The wings on his back and neck are also ball joints, although the latter is a little restricted. The hips and knees are ball jointed while the feet and heelspurs can fold down to help anchor Manterror in poses. The long arms and big hands are an asset here - since you can always use one or both hands as counterweights for more dynamic poses.

   There are no new gimmicks or weapons here, but the shooting discs are still available, which fits into the theme of this robot mode. Again he can pray and has a very long reach - Manterror looks like he can handle himself in a fight despite his lankiness. While some sort of handheld weapon is always a good thing, I'm perfectly happy with effective weapons integrated into his hands. If you're going to have odd arms, this is how it should be done - just compare Manterror to Transmetal II Spittor with his stupid weapon.

   While it's not a perfect robot mode it's a very good one with great engineering, surprisingly little kibble (again), good colours and fantastic poseability. The gimmick again works, and while a handheld weapon would have been nice, the disc launchers mean Manterror is well armed. The theme is interesting and has been carried successfully, rounding off this mode nicely.

VARIATIONS

   None as such although he was recoloured slightly in Japan as Mantis, part of the BWII line.

OVERALL

   Both modes are strong, the transformation is clever with no real kibble in either mode while the poseability and stability in both modes is better that it deserves to be. The colours are bright but still realistic while the simple gimmick works without getting in the way of Manterror as a Transformer. Definitely recommended for Beast Wars fans - 8.5/10

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