Alternate Mode: Rhinoceros
Thanks to liegeprime for loaning me Rhinox for this review.
Height: 10cm Length: 14cm Width: 8cm
A brown robotic rhino with silver on his back, Rhinox has black feet and silver horns. He's a repaint and slight retool of Transmetal Rhinox. The retool consists of orange hardpoints on top of his hindlegs. There are black and some blue painted details here and there, some yellow painted details around the hardpoints, silver teeth and toes and yellow eyes. The paint job is somewhat random, although it works for the most part. The yellow outbursts at the back seem to exist to help the orange hardpoints blend in, but neither really works and they don't match one another anyway. So the end result is an uninspiring repaint.
This is a robotic rhino not just in sculpt but also in proportions, from the chunky legs to the wide, flat, front feet. The larger horn has a serrated edge while there are treads on the back of the hindlegs. Even the teeth on his snarling mouth look robotic, while there are subtle details like rivets and hoses here and there. There's nothing here that's really organic at all, in fact, since this mould was designed for a transmetal. There's no chrome here, as was the case on TM Rhinox.
Rhinox is unarmed in this mode, but has powerful looking legs and that blade-like horn - all he has to do is run at an enemy. All four legs swing at the hips and bend at the knees while the front legs also have hinged ankles. The front knees are restricted by the skis stowed on the back, but you can always flip them down under his feet if you want to pose Rhinox. The skis form part of his transport mode - the hindlegs swing down, bringing the treads into play (with the feet stowed inside). While it's a simple vehicle mode, it works well enough - even if it's nothing special. Armorhide can clip onto either hardpoint, although there are no gimmicks on either hardpoint.
A decent beast mode but this time in poorly conceived colours. While the brown, silver and black work fairly well, the minor colours really give him a random look - as if the designer wasn't really paying much attention with the colour palette. There is some overlap with Armorhide's colours and vehicle mode, mind you, which is nice.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Complex and clever yet not difficult. The hindlegs fold up to become a backpack while the head splits to become shoulderpads, the robot arms are hidden underneath the rhino. The front legs become robot legs thanks to some clever hip adjustment. The backplate becomes the robot chest, with the robot head stowed underneath this plate in beast mode. This mould comes from an era where limbs where not simply rearranged on quadrupedal beast modes.
Height: 13cm Width: 12.5cm
Rhinox is now mainly black, with the silver mostly on his back. The chest, groin, shoulderpads, arms, boots and head are black while the thighs are brown. His face is yellow with green eyes and silver teeth while there's a yellow paint spray on his chest. The colours feel more organic without the silver, and they're actually fairly similar to the Transmetal. The colours work better here since the yellow no longer random and fits in with the more organic colours here.
Just as the beast is quite robotic, Rhinox's organic theme is convincing - at least above the hips. The legs are shared with his beast mode, hence their robotic look. Rhinox's upper body is more prominent, so the organic aspects still dominate. The head is quite detailed and his face is based on that of Rhinox from the cartoon, which is a nice touch. If you open his chest, you'll reveal a sculpted Autobot logo - a nice subtle retooling of the BW era rubsign panel.
Rhinox's poseability is good - the shoulders lift up out to the sides and swing, while the elbows are ball joints with hinges above them. The upper arms and shoulderpads are the same thing, which might sound odd but it works quite well. The hips are ball jointed, the knees and ankles hinged and his head turns. The skis will get in the way of his knee joints, so again you'll probably want to give Rhinox skis. His horn-piece becomes a hand-held weapon (the smaller horn is a handle), and works underhanded as well as held conventionally, it's a sort of icepick-think that looks rather menacing. You can again plug Armorhide into the hardpoints on his back, although this is more of a storage solution than play value.
His better mode by virtue of decent colours. It's a solid mode that's not quite spectacular, but has nice poseability. The sculpt is good while the weapon is less forced than some Transmetal weaponry. Other than some hollow parts of his forearms (which you'll barely notice), there are no notable flaws here.
Alternate Mode: Snow Plow
SNOW PLOW MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 4.5cm
A blue snow plow with silver treads and blade, he's a repaint of Iceberg of the Adventure Team. He has grey windows and a (non-functional) black crane arm on the right side. The colours work without being anything spectacular. They match Rhinox fairly well, even if there's no brown here.
The crane arm has a ball joint at it's base, giving this vehicle mode some articulation, although there's not all that much point, since it can't hook onto anything. There are two black wheels underneath the generators and a rubber wheel under the cabin, rolling him along will cause the sides of the blade to close slightly, almost like jaws. The bottom edge of the blade is serrated, enhancing the jaw motif. While it's a silly gimmick, the execution is good and it doesn't compromise the plow mode.
A good plow mode with some nice details, Armorhide's gimmick is somewhat weird, but it works better than a lot of gimmicks do, without ruining the vehicle mode. The unusual vehicle mode is interesting in itself.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Extend the rear to form the legs, rotate the waist and stand him up. Fold down the roof of the cabin - now on his back - flip out the head and fold the roof back up. Position the arms and you're done.
Height: 6.5cm Width: 4.5cm
A blue robot with silver arms and a wide silver collar, which is the blade of the plow mode. Armorhide has black thighs and silver outer shins - the rear halves of the treads (the arms are the front). There's a black gear and rubber wheel on his chest and he has yellow eyes. His face and body are awfully dark, so he looks a little incomplete.
The treads work better than you might expect as arms, since he has proper moulded fists at the end, and the generators form rather small feet. Easily the most distinct feature is the giant collar, which looks vaguely like the blade of a guillotine. While I don't dislike it, it's a very unusual look, almost to the point of being comical.
His articulation is slightly below average for a Minicon. The shoulders rotate up about 100°, the waist turns and his hips swing. The feet are wider than they are long so poseability is somewhat limited - most of the useful posing is in his arms.
Not as good as his snow plow mode and it suffers from being too dark, but Armorhide's's robot mode is decent, even if the collar is really unusual.
A retooling of Transmetal Ironhide - with added Minicon - as mentioned, but no variants that I am aware of.
Two decent mounds which actually make some sense together thanks to the treads on both, and the colour schemes are linked fairly well. Both moulds are well engineered but Rhinox's paint job is a little gaudy in beast mode and Armorhide's too dark in robot mode. While it's a decent set, this is mainly on the strength of the moulds. Really, I'd recommend the original toys over this set, unless you're a fan of this incarnation of Rhinox's brief comic appearance - 6.5/10