Beast Wars Bonecrusher Toy Review

Individual Review

Name: Bonecrusher
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: First Strike Infantry
Alternate Mode: American Bison

Height: 10cm Length: 14cm Width: 5.5cm

   A black buffalo with silver sprayed along his back and on his face, with gold horns, grey feet and black hooves. Bonecrusher has a gold snout and red eyes, and some milky-white robot kibble on his rump, but is for the most part a pretty decent buffalo, with lots of shaggy detailing and short stumpy front legs as you'd expect.

   There's not a lot of poseability in this mode - the front feet wiggle back and forth, and the hips swing backwards, but he's really not designed for posing. I can deal with this - the bison isn't known for climbing trees - but for roaming the plains and being decimated by the pioneers.

   The play value of this mode is the missile launcher gimmick, which is activated by pulling his tail. The back lifts up on scissor-joints and lurches forwards, eventually triggering the launcher - which will shoot a long black missile about a foot (30cm) and then spring back into place. You might notice there's a face on the front of this launcher - that's his robot face.

   Yeah, it's an odd gimmick, but it works as intended, and there are many worse out there. Bonecrusher is from that Beast Wars era where more unusual animals were being used, and given inventive gimmicks. Considering some of his contemporaries, such as Snarl, this gimmick is fine in that it actually works.

   I like the choice of animal - the American Bison, Bison bison, is an inspired choice alongside the slew of carnivores and dinosaurs that are usually used as beast modes. You gotta love the species name, too - which must have taken all of eight seconds to concoct. The name use is also fitting for a large, powerful, trampling animal, so it's a good reuse, even if he has nothing in common with the Constructicon.

   The moral of the story? It's a fairly good bison mode, with an odd gimmick that works well enough. Bonecrusher's unusual beast form scores points, especially since he's a _good_ buffalo. I've heard that it's not a stable beast mode - this isn't true, you've just got to clip the side panels into the legs properly.


   Swing up the hindlegs, fold the feet in and swing out the robot feet. Unclip the side panels, lift them out to the sides. Swing the front feet in the legs and stow the legs on the sides of what will become his chest. Unfold the robot arms and swing them out to the sides. Swing the bison face down to form his chest, then swing up the missile launcher assembly onto his shoulders, bringing his face into place. Rotate the lower half of the body around and pull out the panels on the sides of his legs and you're done.

Height: 15cm Width: 11cm

   A milky white a grey robot with black and gold highlights, Bonecrusher has a pretty good colour scheme, with a tasteful mix of the colours. The chest is the black-painted-silver bison face. The forearms, shins, groin and face are white, while his shoulders and thighs are grey. his feet are painted gold, as are the horns now sticking out from the sides of his head. He has the large side panels of the bison suspended on struts behind his shoulders, as well as the smaller pads on the sides of his legs, both sets are black with fur detailing.

   It's a fairly well put together robot mode, with some interesting bits. The big panels on his shoulders have enough clearance that they're not in the way. They look good, as do the leg panels, and combining it all with the bison face on his chest, there's a great blend of beast parts in this robot mode. His hands are opened palmed, which is pretty unusual for a Transformer, but he doesn't really need to hold any weapons, thanks to the gimmick, which I'll get to now.

   The missile is in his mouth, which is a little strange, and as a result the head is quite deep - since it's housing both the missile and the launcher. Despite the missile mouth, the face looks fairly good, being white with red eyes and some silver detail on his cheeks. The face looks a little stupid with no missile loaded, though.

   Pulling on the tail will cause Bonecrusher's head to launch forward, allowing him to headbutt an opponent - which is in keeping with his tech spec. If you pull it as far back as you can, the missile will about a metre - the added height helps the launcher in this mode. Luckily the head springs back into place, otherwise he'll have a face floating out in front of him.

   As I said, he doesn't really need to hold anything in his hands - he has a ranged weapon and the headbutting is in keeping with his tech spec. His elbows have both hinges and ball joints, his shoulders are ball jointed, as are the panels behind them, so his arm poseability is great - he can slap Predacons on the sides and in front! His hips are ball joints and his waist rotates, although his knees and ankles are only hinged. The bison feet provide short heelspurs, but they're not as long as I'd like, especially considering the missile launcher sticking out the back. This is the only real flaw of the robot mode - it can be tricky to stand Bonecrusher up, he has a tendency to fall back.

   With good colours and form, a gimmick that works and great poseability, this is a worthwhile robot mode. It has to make certain allowances for the gimmick, which is fairly integral to the design of this toy, and so it's back heavy. But otherwise I really like it.


   Released in red and grey in Japan under the name Bighorn, but no American variations that I know of.


   Despite being fairly heavily based on a single gimmick, Bonecrusher still manages to be a good toy. The beast mode is unusual and well done, the robot mode works well and it's a _good_ name reuse. This toy was not released here in Australia, and I'm happy I imported him - he's worth it. If you like Beast Wars toys, I'd recommend Bonecrusher (or Bighorn) - even if you have to import him - 8/10

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