Cliffbee.com: Transmetal 2 Iguanus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Iguanus
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Demolitions, Artillery Expert
Alternate Mode: Lizard



LIZARD MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 17.5cm Width: 11cm

   A blue lizard with some orange and silver highlights, Iguanus' base plastic is mostly a dark blue plastic, which is painted in varying shades of lighter blue, fading to the base plastic colours here and there. The blue paint used has a nice metallic sheen, which doesn't quite match the matte base plastic (the idea is nice, all the same). There are some orange plastic pieces, mainly on his legs. His frilled neck is painted chromed silver at the base, fading to a bright orange at the edge. His right eye is green (and organic) while his left eye is a mechanical, fluorescent orange, affair. I really don't see why this two needs orange - much less three distinct shades of orange. If the orange stuff was silver or white or something, the colour scheme would work - as it is there's far too much happening.

   As with all Transmetal 2s, there's a lot of moulded detail here. The legs, head, tail and frill are all quite detailed, although the bright orange on the frill does a great job of hiding the detail there. The level of detail is actually quite spectacular but the colours tend to drag your attention away. Close inspection will reveal the asymmetry the designers of this line love so much as well as some really nice detailing on his legs. It's just a shame Iguanus scored a G2 colour scheme.

   As with the original, this toy is a mixture of different lizards. The head is clearly an iguana head of some type, yet he has a frilled neck. Incidentally this frill is made up of five hinged leaves, and if you lift the central leaf, all five should fan out. It doesn't work as well as I suspect the designers hoped it would - the outer leaves don't fan much without some help and lifting the frill reveals the robot chest hiding underneath. There's no way of keeping it out anyway, other than holding it.

   As well as the dubious frill gimmick, Iguanus comes with a missile launcher, which sits inside his mouth. The lower jaw opens to reveal an orange launcher (actually, it's open by default really) and some silver teeth. The single orange missile is quite long and slides almost all the way in. it'll fire about half a metre when you pull back on a rather obscure orange trigger underneath the head. The launcher is effective but the location of the trigger bugs me - there's no easy way to stand him and fire the missile. The knees and ankles are all ball joints while there's some wiggle in his front hips. The tail is moulded into an S shape and can wiggle up and down a little. Other than the tail the poseability is all you could really ask of a lizard beast mode.

   I find it frustrating that so much effort went into this lizard mode and a few simple things ruin it all. The poseability, missile launcher and detail are great but the trigger, silly frill gimmick and colour scheme really drag the toy down. The trigger and colour could have easily been done so much better without much effort.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the missile if it's loaded. Pull the front legs out to the sides and rotate the head underneath the body of the iguana. Swing the hips down and clip them together, straighten out the forelimbs to form his robot legs. Split the hips covering his head and fold down the hindlegs to form his arms. Fold the tail back to form a long ponytail of sorts. Straighten the arms, swing down his thumbs and give him the missile as a club.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   The lighter blues are still prominent on his boots and to a less extent the hands, but most of the upper half is dark blue while the groin, forearms and thighs are orange. The chest is painted silver while his face is that awful fluorescent orange. Annoyingly they've only painted the right eye - the left is an unpainted patch. While it's complete with rivet holes, on dark blue it just looks like the eye is unpainted. The colour scheme here is thankfully lacking the profusion of fluorescent orange we were subjected to in beast mode, but with the contrasting blues and lots of orange it's still a pretty awful scheme.

   Iguanas again has a great level of detail, and the chest sculpt actually comes out thanks to the silver paint (which isn't chrome this time). His mouth has pointy teeth but this detail is drowned out by that damn orange paint. The limbs are of course intricately detail since they're the limbs of the beast. The left side of his chest sports a blue panel that swings out to the side to reveal a purple Predacon spark crystal. The frill forms a sort of armour skirt and the beast head is rather cleverly hidden inside the torso.

   The arms are a little longer than they should be, mainly since his hands are quite large. He's slightly squat compared to most deluxes too, which doesn't help. The proportions aren't perfect but they're close enough - and they're the least of his problems. There's a lot of mass on the back - the beast head sticks out the back to some extent, the tail hands off his head and the skirt of course hangs there. The heelspurs aren't as big as I'd like them but considering how much kibble Iguanus has he's surprisingly stable.

   The poseability is good, as you'd expect of a Transmetal 2. The shoulders rotate with hinges below them allowing the arms to lift to the sides. The elbows, hips, knees, wrists and ankles are all ball jointed while the opposable thumbs move. The head can rotate from side to side, although the tail hanging off restricts it somewhat. The missile launcher is unusable now - unusual for a Beast Wars firing mechanism. The missile cannot stow either, so it's a club or nothing it seems. I guess it's artillery in beast mode and destruction with the club as a robot.

   Again there are some nice features here, and some clever engineering goes into making sure this isn't a mess of kibble, but this robot mode is still underwhelming. The colours are again atrocious, the unusual missile launcher is disappointing and the detailing is largely lost on much of the toy thanks to bad colour choices. The best aspect here is the poseability, but there are much better poseable toys from the Beast era.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, but Reptilion of TFU is a repaint.

OVERALL

   There are some really nice features in the beast mode, such as the missile launcher and an amazing sculpt, but the colours and that stupid frill ruin all the effort put in. The robot mode is forgettable and again the colours work against him. Better colours could have made this toy worthwhile, and herpetologists will no doubt dislike the mixed anatomy of the beast mode. Not recommended unless you're really into Transmetal 2s - 4/10

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