Cliffbee.com: Thrustol Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Thrustol
Series: Beast Wars Second
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Shock Troop Commander
Alternate Mode: Cyborg Velociraptor



VELOCIRAPTOR MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 22cm Width: 8cm

   A tan raptor with brown on his head, legs and back, forming a solid line down his spine but in stripes elsewhere. The colour scheme - and striped pattern - is quite similar to Dinobot, the original version of this mould, but Thrustol represents a different character, namely BWII Thrust. Despite the colours, Thrustol doesn't look too much like Dinobot, thanks to extensive silver and grey cybernetic elements and some red painted details linking into the Cyborg theme. These grey and silver details are highly asymmetrical but are numerous, so he looks quite unified. They're more dominant on the left side, which features a red robotic eye and largely robotic hindleg - the right side has a white beast eye and a robotic forelimb. His teeth are also white.

   Thrustol shares the underside kibble found on other versions of this mould - in fact since the robot legs under there are heavily cybernetic, the kibble is actually worse. Still, this isn't a bad raptor despite the robot feet getting in the way of his lower jaw. That random post on the back is still there, despite the extensive retooling - which annoys me. The end of his tail is a mechanical clawed affair and there's a sabre-shaped silver mohawk on his head. I really like the way they've put together this mode - it really does look like he's an enhanced raptor.

   As with most of the original Beast Wars toys, the mould comes with a good sculpt. He has wrinkled skin and his left foreleg is webbed. The inside toes of his legs are hooked as velociraptors' were - this was for ripping through flesh. The odd-plastic panel on the back of his neck is unpainted, but is done in the same brown as the paint surrounding it.

   Poseability is reasonably good. His forelimbs are on ball joints, and while they're restricted to some extent, they move in pretty much any direction you'd expect a bipedal predator's to anyway. His lower jaw opens and shuts, it's painted red inside which is a nice touch. Lastly, the hip are swivels with hinges that swing outwards, the knees bend and the front and rear toes on the feet are hinged.

   A very executed cyborg theme make this a nice retooling, and the colour scheme helps in this regard, since the beast's tan and brown remind us of the original Dinobot, with the silver and grey cybernetic elements providing a distinct contrast. For reference, BWII Thrust was yellow - I guess they figure tan is a more natural version of yellow for a dinosaur. Which I can accept. The cybernetic elements are extensive and the sabre over his head is a highlight. While this toy has to carry some of the original flaws inherent in the mould - such as the feet in the way of the jaw and that superfluous post - this is a nice update to that mould.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail and set aside. Fold the tail's base over onto his back, fold the robot legs out from his belly, rotate them and fold down the feet. Flip out the heelspurs, rotate the side panels 180. Flip the beast head down over his robot head and onto his chest. Fold the front claws up onto his back, rotate the arms down to his side and fold down the claws on his hands. Open the two halves of his tail, detach the sword inside if you like, arm him. Lastly, there's a sword attached to the outside of his left boot, which you can detach (or leave stowed - it won't get in the way) and place in his hand. There is no mutant head here, thankfully.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 7cm

   Thrustol is again based on tan and brown, augmented with a lot of grey and silver. Much of his head is cybernetic, and the red eyes mimic those of the beast mode - the right is robotic and the left organic. Much of the left arm and the left side of the beast head on his chest are cybernetic along with a significant portion of both boots. The heelspurs are also cybernetic, as are both weapons (which I'll come back to).

   The inherent problems in this mould are for the most part, carried over into this robot mode. His shoulders are higher than they should be - on either side of his head. The head itself is kind of surrounded by torso - there's a ridge behind it and the side panels on either side with the shoulders attached. His forearms are formed from the raptor legs, but rotated. They went for the cheap option of putting holes on one side of these limbs, and so his right forearms has holes on the side. He doesn't have actual hands, rather he has opposable claws, which can wrap around his weapons, so they end up working reasonably well. The loss of the mutant head - and the hinges it attaches to - makes the torso elements surrounding the head far less of an issue than it was on Dinobot.

   There's a fair slice of poseability in robot mode. His shoulders are swivels, but have hinges so he can lift his arms to the sides. His elbows are also dual joints, and his opposable claws open and shut. His head is on a ball joint, although the effective range is that of a swivel. The hips and knees are also ball joints, and these are far less restricted. Add the hinges on both his feet and heelspurs and you've got a very poseable robot mode.

   The sword plugs into his hand at the end of the hilt - similar to Dinobot's (although it's an entirely new accessory). So it's a slashing weapon rather than a poking weapon. While Dinobot's sword looked like it was designed for poking, this one is a slasher, so it's a clear improvement. The spinning tail gimmick is intact, although the sides are slightly retooled to accommodate the missile launcher. It's a wonderful missile launcher, too. There's a false circular saw blade on the top and bottom, painted silver, while the missile has serrated clamps on the top and bottom. This thing looks great as both a launcher and a melee weapon! The trigger is behind the top saw piece and it fires maybe half a metre.

   The spinning blade, combined with the heavy launcher, does make him a little lop-sided, so you may want to deploy them in either hand rather than combined in one hand. While he can stand holding the combined weapon, the range of poses is very limited. The sword can stow on his leg to accommodate this. The third option - and my preferred solution - is to simply set aside the spinner so he has a sword in one hand and the missile launcher in the other. Two new, kickass weapons!

   With great new weapons and nice cybernetic upgrades, this is a really nice robot mode. Thrustol still carries the flaws of Dinobot, but in the context of this retooling, I can accept that. Even counting the inherited flaws, this is a really nice robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. The mould has been revisited many times - Dinobot, BW Grimlock & TFU Grimlock amongst others. Hardhead from Beast Wars Neo is a retooling, and Dinotron is a repaint of Hardhead. Thrustol from Beast Wars Second is a major retooling of this mould.

OVERALL

   Perhaps the best Cyborg amongst the BWII Cyborg beasts in terms of execution, Thrustol has also started out with the weakest base. So on the one hand we have a few flaws present in the original concept - and few have been fixed here. On the other hand, the weaponry is new and much cooler, offering something new and removing at least one flaw. The colours provide a really interesting contrast between the beast and robotic elements, which I really like. Thematically the strongest of the Cyborg beasts, so despite being based on the weakest toy, I'd really recommend Thrustol if the chance to grab him arises - 9/10

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