Cliffbee.com: Tigerhawk Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Tigerhawk
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Vok Emissary
Alternate Mode: Flying Tiger



TIGER MODE
Height: 26cm Length: 19cm Width: 17.5cm
Or 31cm wide and 16 tall if the wings are down

   A white cybernetic tiger with blue chrome on his upper legs and wings, Tigerhawk has some olive green here and there along with black tiger stripes on his face. The claws are black and the nose orange. while his eyes are yellow and his teeth gunmetal blue. Tigerhawk is meant to be a fusion of Tigatron and Airazor, and as such lacks the asymmetry of other Transmetal IIs. The colour scheme is essentially from Tigatron rather than Airazor, which I can deal with since this beast is more Siberian Tiger than bird. The white dominates while blue and green give Tigerhawk some colour without overwhelming the senses.

   In many ways this beast is a Fuzor - while the basic bodyshape is feline, the hind feet are bird's talons, the tail is a bird's tail and the wings which attach above the shoulders are course bird features. The extremities are generally organic in sculpt with the body, inner wings and upper legs robotic. While there is some asymmetry here, it's relatively minor - the design doesn't focus on that aspect at all. Tigerhawk is a cyborg fusion rather than a proper Transmetal. The detail on this toy is excellent, with moulded feather strands on the tail and wing feathers, fur on the limbs and head, well defined claws and a whole bunch of tech detailing.

   As you might expect of an ultra, there's a lot of play value here. There's a chrome blue battle helmet which normally sits above and behind the head which can cover the top of the head, making Tigerhawk look suspiciously like Battlecat while there's a green button on his back which will release the wings, causing them to swing down from the default 45 angle to horizontal. As the wings swing down missile launchers will swing forward from underneath the wings. There are triggers on the wings themselves which release the wingtips, allowing them to angle forward, revealing a second set of missile launchers on the wingtips themselves. Both sets of missiles are green, with the wingtip launchers actually firing a pair of feathers. The launchers are quite powerful, and both sets look menacing.

   The head can lift up and down while the lower jaw opens to reveal a (non chrome) blue tongue - which also moves up and down. All four legs have swinging hips and bendable knees while the talons on his back legs can actually spring shut, grasping stuff (although the toy is too heavy for them to support his weight). The wings hinges hinges midway allowing them to partially stow (or for a downstroke position).

   The weight of his wings makes keeping them up a little tricky, but that's the only real flaw here. The main body is slightly disjointed but this actually fits in with the tech sculpt of the toy, so I can't hold that against Tigerhawk. The missile launchers are good, the poseability good while the movable tongue and battle helmet are really cool. A great beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a lot of contortion in the torso so I'll summarise. The forelegs become robot legs, with the claws folding away and feet being revealed. The right arm his hidden underneath while the left is on his back, with the beast head forming a left side shoulderpad. The hindlegs become part of the chest, the tail becomes a groinplate and the wings become... wings. The transformation is clever and involved without really being difficult.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 31cm
Assuming the missile launchers are deployed and the wings flat.

   Tigerhawk is again based on white although there's a lot more blue here. The head, groinplate and the central stripe of his chest are (non-chrome) blue while the visible parts of his wings are mainly chrome blue. The olive green isn't as prevalent - it's mainly the missiles now. The face is white with a transparent yellow eyevisor and there's a gold Maximal symbol on his chest. The right shoulder has a transparent yellow dome with a seat inside which stays level no matter how you tip Tigerhawk (the same feature is also on TMII Megatron. While the beast is essentially white this robot mode is really blue and white. This colour scheme doesn't really match either Tigatron or Airazor, although the wing configuration reminds of airrazor.

   While the beast mode is very symmetrical, this robot mode is far less balanced. The crown of the head, shoulderpads and forearms are all distinctly asymmetrical. The right forearm ends in a claw with twin cannons moulded onto the outside of the hand while the left ends in a clenched fist. Only the left hand has a weapon hole, which is a shame since both of the flip-out launchers detach, but he can only hold one at a time. The good news is that the level of detail is excellent, as you'd expect of a Transmetal II (especially a flagship toy like this). There are pistons on his ankles, a detailed sculpt on his forearms, detail on the visible underside of his wings and a complex chest sculpt.

   The play value is in many ways the same as the beast mode - the flip out launchers and wingtips can both be deployed, although now they point rather than forward - as I've mentioned one of the flip out launchers can be held in his left hand. The head can turn and lift back, both shoulders swing and lift out to the sides - with the beast head able to move out of the way of the poseability which is good. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators above them. The feet can tilt down (with the pistons extending as you tilt them down - a really nice touch), and while the heelspurs are fixed, they allow for stable posing.

   A solid robot mode without any real flaws. The wings form a nice cape and along with the missile launchers make Tigerhawk look powerful and regal. The detail is great, the poseability is fantastic considering there are no ball joints here. The beast mode elements are still prevalent which enhances the look of a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. There was an awful Transformers:Universe repaint named Razorclaw. There seems to be an abandoned vehicle mode here - there are wheels on his back (and a whole bunch of fan modes!).

OVERALL

   A great robot mode, a very good beast mode and good play value in both modes make Tigerhawk a winner. Conceptually he's a little different from most Transmetal IIs, but he works well. The colours are nice and the beast elements visible in robot mode make for an attractive toy. Sadly, this figure got about 33 seconds of airtime since Hasbro decided to can the BW cartoon not long after the third series started, but even then this is a worthwhile figure for BW fans. I strongly recommend Tigerhawk over the grape coloured repaint, even at twice the price - 9.5/10

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