Cliffbee.com: Noctorro Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Noctorro
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Airborne Warrior
Alternate Mode: Bull-Bat Fusion



FUZOR MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 8cm Width: 11.5cm

   When you think of bulls and bats, you think of midnight blue, right? No? Well for some reason Hasbro did, because Noctorro is about 90% blue. There's fairly extensive gold spay on his back and on the tops of his wings, while his open mouth has white jagged teeth (just what sort of bats inhabit Rhode Island anyway?) and he has green eyes. On the one hand, midnight blue and gold actually work very well together, and are combined well here. On the other hand, bulls are brown or black and bats are black.

   Apparently he's meant to be a Brahma Bull. A quick google reveals a white Brahma, a brown Brahma and lots of stuff about the Hindu god, but no blue bulls. This is a pretty uncomfortable mix of a bull's body and head with a bat's wings and somewhat generic legs that are quite obviously the robot legs. The tail is a bat's tail and the sculpt on most of the toy is mammalian hair while the wings have skin sculpting. The mouth is snarling, there are blue horns on his head and for some reason he has hands instead of fingertips at the front of the wings.

   Noctorro's gimmick is centred around a blue button on his back, which stands out more than I'd like since the rest of the back is gold. Pressing the button will in theory flap the arms wings, but the weight of the robot arms attached to the wing membranes and small springs inside the toy make this gimmick underwhelming if it works at all. The wings can flap manually, although the membranes and robot arms come apart awfully easily. The legs are quite poseable and curl forward in a sort of gerwalk formation. The hips, knees and ankles are all ball jointed - the knees are backwards, since the legs rotate for transformation. The most bat like aspect about Noctorro's beast mode is that the curling legs allow him to hang upside down from stuff (like your finger).

   The sculpt is pretty good and the colours work well together while the hanging ability brings some play value here, but the rest of the play value is pretty much caught up in the lame gimmick. The snarling mouth, pointed teeth, odd matching up colours to the base animals and the hands make me wonder what the designer was on when he thought this concept up. This is not a bad beast mode, but as a fusion it's just plain bizarre. If the play value was better, I'd be a lot keener but as it is I'm more or less neutral.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift up the tail, rotate his waist, straighten the legs and rotate the feet. Unclip the membranes and swing back, pull the shoulder joints out from inside the torso, straighten the arms. Fold down the bull head to form his chest and reveal his head, finally swing the head down into place.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 6cm

   Again mainly midnight blue with the gold spray on his hands and chest, Noctorro has a red lower jaw, red forehead and white mouth, which is open with pointy teeth. Again the colours work really well together, and this time there's no good reason why he shouldn't be blue. While it's a dark colour scheme and a very simple one, Noctorro's colour scheme works very well here. I'm struggling to think of a darker Maximal, and Scamper is the only Autobot who springs to mind.

   There are quite a few remnants of the beast mode here, but none of them really hurt the robot mode's form. The horns sit on either side of his head, the chest is the bull head and the hands are large, forward facing, clawlike affairs. The horns and unusual hands are quite distinctive and give Noctorro a rather menacing look. There's quite a bit of hair sculpting carried over from the beast mode, on his hands, chest and legs.

   The gimmick plays no part here, and as a result this robot mode has a _lot_ more play value than the beast mode. The head is on a ball joint, the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles are all ball jointed and the waist turns. This makes Noctorro one of the most poseable basics ever. The feet are quite big and the hands look powerful so there's a lot of potential for cool posing here. He lacks any sort of weapon, although his tech specs state he likes using his horns and claws.

   The colours aren't so silly anymore so the combination is allowed to realise it's potential. The poseability is fantastic and the toy looks good with detail and a nice menacing feel about it. This is Noctorro's better mode by a long way.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A tale of two modes. Noctorro's beast mode is a disaster - the fusion barely works, the colours make no sense, the gimmick fails and the legs are merely robot legs. Conversely the colours - which do combine well - coupled with some nice sculpting make for a nice robot mode, and the poseability and play value are fantastic. I personally love the robot mode and simply never transform the toy, but how much you like him will depend on how much you like the robot mode and whether or not you can accept a de-facto Actionmaster Fuzor - 6/10

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