Cliffbee.com: Universe Slapper Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Slapper
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Ankylosaur

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Slapper for this review.



ANKYLOSAUR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   An grey ankylosaur with red legs and an extensive pattern of red spines on his back and sides. Slapper has a bronze bony club on his tail, which was common to many ankylosaur species. The grey and red looks nice - these colours usually work well together. The red is actually more of a vermillion that a straight red, but it still works well. In fact it's probably the best colour scheme of this series of repaints (mind you, some of them are pretty bad). Rounding out a good colour scheme, Slapper has small green eyes.

   The ankylosaurs were a group of dinosaurs with armour plates on their backs, I guess filling a similar ecological niche to the modern armadillos, and Slapper's body is a well sculpted series of grey plates with lines of red spines down the back. The sculpt is to BW Neo's usual standard, although he lacks the finer sprayed detailing some of the toys (usually larger than basic sized) have.

   Slapper is fixed into a walking pose, with his body arcing around to the left. His left legs are together and the right legs apart, which is fairly natural for most quadrupeds as they walk (cats are one exception). He's pretty much unposeable, stuck in this walking to the left pose. While it's not a bad pose, it does mean that Slapper only displays well from the front or the left. The pose is nice, really, but I would have preferred poseability.

   There are two action features here, mind you. One of the spines on the right side of his head is actually a lever - pushing it forward causes his mouth to open, revealing six moulded, unpainted teeth. Granted you can open the mouth manually, but it's still an action feature. The other feature is more impressive. If you lift up his tail, a spring in the base will cause it to flip down rapidly, whacking the bony club on anything in the way.

   I do really wish there was some poseability here, and while the static beast is at least in a pose, it does hold him back. The tail gimmick is decent and the colours are good. As with some of the other BW Neo basics, everything fits together very closely, leaving a fine margin of error - lining his neck up to the front of his body is especially tricky. I do like the unusual choice of animal used here - like many BW Neo toys, Slapper's beast mode is memorable for the choice of creature alone. While it's not a great beast mode, there's certainly enough innovation here to make Slapper enjoyable.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unfold him, basically. The shell splits in half, the torso, legs and head are all folded away underneath. The beast head becomes the left arm while his rear right foot becomes the right arm. The front of the shell hangs off his left shoulder as an armour plate, the rear half - with tail - hangs off the right upper arm. There's a small grey warhammer which stows underneath the tail, unplug it and insert it into his right hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 11cm

   A grey and red robot with some bronze detailing and lots of beast stuff hanging around. Slapper's torso, thighs and arms are red while his boots, hands, breasts and head are grey. There are some bronze markings on his chest whilst his face is grey with green eyes and a red helmet on top of his head. There's a red Autobot logo stamped over the spark crystal on his waist. The colour scheme is quite nice, and the kibble actually looks good. The red and grey work well together here as well.

   As with most BW Neo toys, the designer thought about what to do with the panels hanging off the robot mode. The left hand is his beast head, which opens and shuts, the armour shell basically looks like a shield, and for something so curved, it gives the shoulder decent clearance. On the other side, the armour sits on a small pole, giving the shoulder full motion. And with the club at one end, it's a mean looking melee weapon! Slapper might carry some baggage, but he uses it to his advantage, which is really good to see.

   The poseability is fairly good here, although the kibble does get in the way a little. His neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball joints while his feet and heelspurs are hinged. The armour plates naturally do limit the arm posing, but not as much as it would appear at first glance. With a little patience, the legs can be posed in a decent range of poses, even with the upper body weight.

   The clubtail mechanism still works here, although it's not really as effective since it snaps in towards his body. The warhammer looks really cool, mind you, and has a second handle so he can hold it sideways like a gun, if you prefer. With the range of posing, nifty weapons and armour and a good sculpt (featuring an armour head which carries the beast mode theme over, as on most BW Neo toys), Slapper displays really well in this mode.

   Other than the limitations placed on his shoulders from the kibble, there's not really anything to complain about here. Even then, the designer has done a great job of making sure Slapper can still move around. He looks great and is surprisingly versatile, with clever weaponry. I suppose a left hand would have been nice, but the opening jaw means that the beast head isn't just a solid lump, rather a claw. Thanks to the play value, this is Slapper's better mode, despite the stuff hanging off him.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of, although he is a repaint of BW Neo's Bazooka.

OVERALL

   A great robot mode with a great range of posing and a decent if rather static robot mode make Slapper a fun toy. He's very much a shellformer, but as with many BW Neo toys, he deals with the panelling well in robot mode. The robot mode is really quite impressive, in truth, and the beast mode is worthwhile thanks to the interesting pose and choice of creature. Quite a lot of thought has gone into making him work well at the basic level without being too simple. The colours work well - better than any others in this Universe sublime. He's quite tricky to find, but if you can find Slapper at a decent price, I'd recommend him - 8.5/10

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