Cliffbee.com: Poison Bite Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Poison Bite
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Mutant Beast
Function: Special Operations
Alternate Mode: Transforms from Barracuda to Scorpion; no robot mode



BARRACUDA MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 20.5cm Width: 12cm

   A red barracuda with some metallic blue highlights along with some very aposematic black and yellow striping on his body. The blue, which looks right for a sleek fish, is generally accompanied by smooth surfaces while the striped part of his body has a rough, arthropod like, skin texture. The colours aren't terribly fishlike overall, but the overall effect still works. Poison Bite has blue eyes, black brows above the eyes and white teeth in his open mouth.

   The blue tends to be on fish appendages - the dorsal fin, side fins and tailflares are all blue with moulded webbing. There is also a smaller second dorsal fin, although this one is unpainted. The area around his mouth is also painted blue, but lacks the webbing for obvious reasons. There's barely a smooth surface here, save for the head, around the jaws. Sure, some of the detailing is scorpion skin but it's nice that the sculpting is so thorough.

   There's some articulation here, although most of it is a by-product of the transformation. The pectoral fins rotate a little, the jaw opens and shuts and the tail can flap up and down. The effective poseability isn't much, but then fish aren't terribly articulated anyway.

   All in all this is a decent fish mode. Okay, so the colours are wildly inaccurate but they look decent anyway, and while the sculpt is half scorpion skin, the level of detail is great.

TRANSFORMATION TO SCORPION MODE

   More or less unfold everything. Lift the pectoral fins up over his eyes, pull the head forward and split to become the pincers. Lift out the scorpion face, rotate the forehead and push down the dorsal fin. Lift up the sides, split the tail and swing the halves forward. The tailflares become legs, as do the rear panels of the fish. Swing out the scorpion tail.

SCORPION MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 20cm Width: 14cm

   Again mainly red, with the black and yellow stripes on his back as well as the knob on his tail (although in a speckled pattern). The blue is pretty much gone, it's now inside the claws and on the insides of his legs. The sculpting is mainly arthropod shell, which of course makes sense now. The mouth has yellow fangs and his eyes are blue. Again it's a decent colour scheme and the colours make more sense now, too.

   While the body is flat and wide, with six legs that splay out to the sides. The tail curls up with a knob at the end with it's own stinger. The base of the tail is segmented which is a nice touch, even if it's just moulding rather than separate pieces. The only aspect here that is distinctly fishy is the teeth inside his claws - which are of course the fish head halves.

   Inside the right claw Poison Bite has a silver Mutant Beast insignia, which is one of the few hints to his robotic heritage. The other main one is the robot face - something all four Mutant Beasts have. If you push down on the stinger, the front of the knob rotates to reveal a black face with silver details such as eyes and a mouth, and retracts when you let go of the stinger. While it's not the most robotic face ever, it's clearly meant to be a robot's face.

   Poseability here is reasonable, without being spectacular. The tail has two hinges as well as the spring loaded "face" gimmick. The pincers are on short arms that have two ball joints and a hinge each, which is quite impressive, and the lower claws of the pincers are hinged. The legs don't really offer much more than wiggle, since you have to get their positioning right if you want Poison Bite to stand on all six legs.

   In some ways - colours and sculpt - this is his better mode. The lack of meaningful leg movement bugs me though, so I actually prefer the fish mode slightly. Considering how ambitious the Mutant Beast concept is - especially at the deluxe size - this is a pretty good weaker mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Both modes are quite good, the colours are a workable compromise between two modes that don't really share colours and work well on the toy. The Mutant Beast idea is quite an interesting idea that proved difficult in execution, but Poison Bite is the best example of the concept. While the lack of a robot mode might reduce his appeal, if you only get one Mutant Beast, this is the one to get - 6.5/10

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