Cliffbee.com: Terranotron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Terranotron
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Aerial Combat Specialist
Alternate Mode: Pterodactyl / Jet

Thanks to Tiby for lending me Terranotron for this review.



PTERODACTYL MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 15cm Width: 26cm

   Exact dimensions will depend on how you pose him, but Terranotron has a pretty impressive wingspan for a deluxe. He's a grey, brown, gold and chrome red pterodactyl. It's meant to look robotic, but there's a fair bit of organic stuff showing, particularly the claws on his feet and wings. Incidentally, Pterodactyls don't have hands on their wings - the wings _are_ the hands, with really long fingers and webbing between the those fingers. So he's somewhat inaccurate.

   There's a lot of chrome here, with chrome red on his back, tail, crest and the inside portions of his wings. There's a fade to gold at the tip of the tail and the back edges of the wings, matching the gold claws on his feel. The brown is limited to the back of his shoulders and legs. He has yellow eyes, which match the shades of gold well.

   Terranotron's legs are rather big, being the lower legs of his robot mode. The front and rear claws are poseable, but are fairly loose so they don't really give him the ability to hold onto things. His wings are on ball joints on his shoulders, and they're more poseable than they would be in reality. The mouth opens, there's ridges on the insides of his beak, like a set of pliers. His head can move up and down, but it doesn't move at the top of the neck but at the base of the neck - this joint exists for the transformation.

   It's a mode that has it's problems, although the colours are good the legs aren't. It looks largely robotic and has a pretty big wingspan for the pricepoint. But the overall look still fails to inspire me. Perhaps the most impressive aspect here is how different to Transmetal Terrorsaur he looks in this light colour scheme, despite using the same mould and chrome in the same places.

TRANSFORMATION TO JET MODE

   Rotate the legs sideways and peg them under the body. Swing the feet foward. Open the tail to reveal the engines. Lift up and fold forward the purple panels on the wings to reveal the VTOL fans. Fold down the crest.

JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 15cm Width: 25cm

   Weak. It's basically a bird with no legs and a couple of plane bits added. The fact that the nosecone is the head of the bird makes this mode ridiculous. It turns from a flying reptile into a plane that looks like a flying reptile, and makes you wonder why they bothered. Most Transmetal vehicle modes have some practicality, this one doesn't.

   The engines and VTOL fans are cool, but ultimately can't save a bad mode that simply looks like an afterthought.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
(from Pteranodon mode)

   Fold the legs and hips back, from underneath the body to sticking out the back of the toy. Lift the chrome panel behind his head and fold the entire beak under the head. Fold the grey section of the body down whilst lifting out the robot head and folding the animal head in. There's a notch on the bottom of this section that clicks into the groin (and it's easier than on Terrorsaur). Fold the arms down, swing up the rear panels on the wings, stand him up. Detach the wing extensions and place in his hands as weapons.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 9cm

   Terranotron has a lot more brown in this mode, with chrome red at the centre of his chest and on his triceps. The lower arms are grey with red claws. There's some gold on his hips, knees and feet. His head is brown with a red face, white teeth and yellow eyes. He looks suitably organic, especially with those teeth. His legs have a reptilian skin look and his claws all look organic.

   There's a couple of features that really stand out in this mode. Firstly he's really lanky, and secondly his arms are really long. We're talking down to his ankles. He doesn't have hands as such, instead having big three digit claws.

   There's a lot in the way of poseability in this mode, but a lot of it is hampered by design flaws. The elbows are hinged, the shoulders ball joints. The head can turn 360 and can look down but not up. The hips are ball joints, and just below these are swivel joints. There are two sets of hinges in the knees, essentially giving him independent kneecaps. The feet have front claws and rear heelspurs. Despite all this, he's got badly designed _round_ feet with loose hinges on the claws and heelspurs, meaning he pretty much has to stand upright or he'll fall over. While the shoulders are very poseable, the hinged elbows with no wrists hurt when he has such huge weapons.

   The weapons, formed from large panel sections of the wings, fail to impress me. I think they're meant to be sickles or machetes or something, but they look like giant sails. They're really nothing more than a way to remove all that wingspan for robot mode. And they _suck_ as weapons. I think he almost looks better with them hanging off the back of his forearms, despite the fact his arms are too long already. He looks more intimidating without them in his hands.

   Like the jet mode, there's elements that smack of a rushed design job. The sides of the chest are on unused swivel joints, which were probably originally intended for the jet mode, but may have been for this mode. The weapons are a waste of time. Okay, a lot of Transmetals have weapons which are essentially hiding kibble, these things don't look like weapons at all. The arms to me look like they never bothered making them look like arms. But the worst facet is the feet design. Why give him all that leg poseability if he has feet that can't support many poses?

   Not a great mode, and while it's one of the weaker Transmetal robot modes, the lankiness fits into the Beast Machines. The colours are decent enough and the organic look works, but the weird arms and useless weapons hold him back, visually. The round feet, while intended for the jet mode, really kill the poseability here.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Transmetal Terrorsaur.

OVERALL

   The beast mode is fairly good, although has problems. The jet is a waste of time and robot mode looks like a rushed job. There's some good features in here, and some good ideas that are ruined by other, badly designed, features. A nice colour scheme, but he's armed with _sails_. The repaint itself is nice - if anything it's a better colour scheme than the Beast Wars toy (and it's closer to the original Terrorsaur's colours!). I'm not sure why they chose a relatively weak mould to repaint and left alone stronger Transmetal moulds. While I'd recommend him over Transmetal Terrorsaur, it's just not a mould I can endorse - 3/10

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