Cliffbee.com: Yokuryu Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Yokuryu
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Light-Speed Soldier
Alternate Mode: Fly Monster

Thanks to heroic decepticon for loaning me Yokuryu for this review



MONSTER MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 4cm

   A cobalt blue and white fly monster, Yokuryu is a repaint of Wildfly in duller colours. He shares these colours with Doryu. He has red eyes and a sticker on his back bearing a Decepticon symbol. While his colours work nicely, he's the only Dinoforce member where I would say his colours are inferior to his anglophone counterpart (although a couple of others are about level).

   While flies aren't bipedal, the head is quite fly-like, despite having angular rather than rounded eyes, and the wings look like vestigial insect wings. Yokuryu is meant to lean forward slightly, looking like he's about to take off, and this is an effect I really like. The arms on the sides bother me slightly, since they're simply the robot arms, and aren't hiding at all. I guess this is a fly with arms. There's a hole in the front, which is the socket that Kakuryu plugs into when the set combines.

   There's some play value here - not much, but more than his teammates have. The arms can swing at the shoulders and the hips swivel, allowing you to lean him forward or stand him upright, if you prefer.

   A good little fly monster, and while the arms don't quite fit the colours work well and he's fairly well put together compared to most Dinoforce members. This is my favourite animal mode of the set, in fact.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold back the fly legs, swing down the robot legs and bring the fly legs down to horizontal. Swing the fly head down to form a chestplate. Give him his gun if you feel so inclined.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 4cm

   Again cobalt blue and white, Yokuryu is now mostly blue while his arms, the fly legs on the outsides of his boots, his chestplate and the wings on his back are white. His face is mustard yellow with moulded eyes, nose and mouth - making Yokuryu's face the most detailed of the Pretender Monsters.

   There are a several things to like about this robot mode, but the facet I like the most is that Yokuryu's animal mode parts are features of the robot mode, which is very unusual for a Pretender. The fly head on his chest is the most obvious, but the fly feet are also prominent and the wings give him something of a cape. Yokuryu is the only Pretender Monster with a well defined waist and the chestplate largely conceals the hole on his groin. The only major downside to this robot mode is the block that forms his boots - there's no separation between his shins, although his feet are split.

   The only play value here is the swinging arms, which is standard for the Pretender Monsters and really about all I'd expect of a toy this size anyway.

   A relatively strong robot mode, and while it's fairly simple Yokuryu's robot mode rivals some of the better Pretenders of the previous year. The colours work, the body shape is good and animal parts have been integrated as features, which was rare for 1989 Transformers. Again the colours work well - I'd still say Wildfly just shades him - but it's close.

The Pretender Shell

   A brown pterosaur with a while wash under the partially-outstretched wings, a silver robotic head wit red eyes and a gold & grey backpack. There's a darker brown on his breastbone and along the top edges of his wings. While Wildfly has a good pretender shell, Yokuryu's is a more realistic looking animal and has colours that are more aesthetically appealing.

   Unlike the other Pretender shells in this set (and the Pretender Monster shells, while we're at it), there's some distinct poseability here - the head can turn from one side to the other. I've photographed it right to one side to reveal detail, but it can swing all the way around to the other if you wish. He carries his gun and Dinoking's right fist on his back.

   One of the better shells in this set, and while it's replacing one of the best in the Pretender Monster group, it still beats Wildfly's shell. The colours work well and are well thought out, the poseable head is a nice bonus and it suits the flying alt mode of Yokuryu himself.

VARIATIONS

   None I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Wildfly.

OVERALL

   This mould must be charmed, because like Wildfly, Yokuryu is one of the standouts in this set. The colours work well on both the inner robot and the shell, he actually has a coherent beast mode and the shell gets some poseability. While the Dinoforce are prohibitively expensive, if you want to grab just one, this is the one to track down. He's not fantastic - none of them are - but he's a satisfying little Pretender - 7/10

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