Cliffbee.com: Universe Snarl Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Snarl
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Stegosaurus

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Snarl for this review.



STEGOSAURUS MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 18cm Width: 6cm

   A silver dinosaur with vermillion plates on his back along with black and white squiggly stripes on his back & tail. His legs are gold, his eyes red and there's an Autobot logo stamped on top of his head. The colours look quite nice even if they're incredibly unlikely on an organic beast such as this. I guess it's not beyond the realm of possibility, but there's certainly no reptile alive today with a colour scheme like this.

   Being firmly in the realistic theme of Beast Wars, Snarl is markedly different from the far more stylised & robotic G1 Snarl, with wrinkled skin, distinct toes and a smallish head. The tail has spines at the tip, there are nostrils moulded on the snout, adding to the realism. The main detraction here comes from two black "skis" stowed behind the hindlegs, which don't ruin the look but are clearly visible.

   Since Snarl's a shellformer, there's not a lot of poseability here. The hips can move around on all four legs, and the front legs can bend, allowing for walking poses. There are no gimmicks available in this mode. The beast mode looks pretty good, but I can't help but wish there was some respectable play value here - most deluxe beasts have more than Snarl in this department.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the tail, lift up the tail and spine (with plates), so it hangs loose. Detach the side plates, swing them forward, which will reveal the folded up robot. From here it's largely a case of unfold and clip together the robot mode, turning the sideplates around to form shoulder armour. The tail can hang as a tail, at the end of the spine (which attaches to his head), or handheld as a weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 10cm

   Much of the robot mode is now silver, although there's a lot of red, yellow and black. The forearms, ankles and outsides of the legs are gold. His head is a mixture of red and yellow with a silver face and blue eyes. The colour scheme is fairly good even if there are a lot of bright colours - they're essentially primary colours so it works.

   The colour placement serves to downplay the skull-piece on his chest (which is done in grey with black eye sockets) although it accentuates the Amerindian chieftain head-dress on his head. Together these create a distinct theme.

   As with most shellformers, Snarl has a few panels hanging around. The sides of the dinosaur mode stick up from behind the shoulders - and while I call them shoulder armour, they're quite obviously kibble that's been dressed up. Granted, they look good, but are still easy to pick as kibble. There are two more armour plates, which hang off his hips, and stand out far less - to the point where you don't really notice them.

   The poseability is pretty good - Snarl's shoulders and hips are ball jointed while the knees and elbow are hinged. There are rotators above the elbows and the head turns, although the latter is restricted a little by the spine hanging off the back. The hip and shoulder armour stays out of the way for the most part, while the skis on the bottom of the feet prevent the ankles from moving. Lastly, the waist turns. The weapon, which is formed from the tail, is a flower-like claws. Pulling on a vermillion lever will cause the tail to spread into three pieces, revealing an intricate menthol green and white pattern inside, with a yellow and royal blue flowerhead in the centre. The lever can be pulled back to click open, making sure the weapon can be displayed as well as played with. I really appreciate the last aspect - the display value of this robot mode is much better than it would be if he was only able to hold the tail.

   A good robot mode, thanks to a fairly involved transformation once you open the shell pieces. The colour scheme is bright but well put together while the shell plates manage to fit into the robot mode well. The chieftain theme is well handled, and works with the colours applied - even if the skull on his chest isn't as prominent as I'd like. The poseability is good and the weapon both innovative and useful.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although Snarl is a repaint of Sabreback of BW Neo & Striker of BM.

OVERALL

   A satisfying toy with two good modes - although for different reasons. The beast mode looks good but doesn't really do a lot - and exhibits a realism well beyond that of the G1 Dinobot Snarl. The robot mode looks good and is fairly poseable, and carries a nice weapon and interesting theme. While Snarl's a shellformer, his transformation is still satisfying and the panelling is well positioned. The colours aren't quite as nice as Sabreback's colours, but it's a nice repaint all the same - 7/10

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