"And let it be called... BEAST WARS!"August 14, 2009
While optimistically reintroducing Transformers to the next generation of impressionable young minds, Transformers Generation 2 didn't take long to start facing the same sagging sales as the tail end of the first go round. Rather than shelving the Transformers brand yet again, Hasbro made a decision that would deeply impact everything that would follow for years to come. The Transformers brand was put in control of the Kenner offices in Ohio, and early the next year the generation of Autobots and Decepticons was over - the Beast Wars had begun!
The first year's worth of Beast Wars toys have bios and package copy that strongly implies it as a direct followup to the previous Autobot/Decepticon conflict, on more or less modern day Earth. But in April of 1996, that would be challenged. Contracting Canadian computer animation company Mainframe, at the time acclaimed for its debut series Reboot, a cartoon series based on Beast Wars was produced. A sneak preview broadcast of the first two episodes in Spring of 1996 served not only to introduce characters based on several of the early toys, but establish an entirely different setting for the Beast Wars.
From a future Cybertron, lost somewhere in time on an unknown planet, Beast Wars was the first Transformers cartoon to lack any human involvement, and work with a small, constant cast. In time, this approach would prove revolutionary and lead to then-unprecedented depth of plot and character development. Though despised for some considerable time by old time fans who had grown up with Generation 1, Beast Wars would eventually get its due respect and acknowledgement for its true quality. Today, Beast Wars is often held as a benchmark for Transformers fiction. Little manages to rise to the occasion, and almost none of the subsequent animated series.
"In the beginning came the beasts, and all that creeps, crawls, and flies - but nature lies, they're Robots in Disguise!"
A figure designed more for play than articulation, it does a lot of fun things and looks neat. If you only one maniacal tyrant that turns into a gigantic robot dragon, make it this one. Overall Rating: Very Good.
It's initial scarcity made it highly sought after, but the truth is that this toy is a case of a lot of poor design choices, not the least of which was making it a Mega class figure. Overall rating: Could Have Been Better.
Like most of the early Transmetals 2, solid concepts and good intentions fell a bit flat when it came to execution. But Dinobot is saved by the design and the things it does manage to get right. And also by not being Transmetal 2 Cheetor. Overall rating: Good
Static Shark! A flawed but appealing toy that is overshadowed by the personality of its recolor. Overall rating: Good
A much better toy than the first round of Transmetal 2 Basics and a bright orange flying squirrel. I can't stress that enough. Overall rating: Very Good
Despite being the best of his batch, still falls short in a lot of simple technical ways and kind of misses the point of being a tiny ball jointed monkey action figure. Overall rating: Not Worth Owning.
Depth Charge has some appealing features, but they're all wrapped around a central gimmick that Could Have Been Better. Overall Rating: Good
(Predacon Warlord!)August 28, 2009
A toy rife with bad design choices with only one decently executed mode to try to redeem it. Overall rating: Could Have Been Better.
Probably the best thing to come along in the Mega size ...as long as you don't get the one whose plastic will one day utterly fail in your hands. Overall rating: Excellent.
For a figure that transforms from a biped to a biped, it's surprisingly versatile. Overall rating: Excellent
Suffers the quirks of its design, but ages better than most Transmetals. Overall rating: Good.
Cheetor's pretty nice! RAC doesn't know if he'd call the Flight Mode a full third-mode, but it's a nifty addition to the toy. Overall rating: Excellent
There's nothing the toy tries to do that it fails at, and nothing it does wrong. It doesn't particularly try to do anything exciting or new either, but the fact that all the kibble resolves into weaponry is really nice too. Overall rating: Very Good
Solidly designed toy with the benefit of a great media portrayal to make it even better. Overall rating: Very Good
A strong toy, but a weak display of the Fuzor concept. Overall rating: Very Good
Silverbolt has a lot going for him! He's pretty show-accurate, reasonably flexible in both modes, he has a versatile accessory, and his transformation is neat. He could use a touch more paint, but that's forgivable. Overall Rating: Very Good
The mold is good, but this set of colors is third or lower on my list of choices to have. Overall rating: Good.
If you see him at Toys R Us one day, he's worth a look. Overall rating: Good
Great beast mode, but unamazing and really red robot mode. Overall rating: Could Have Been Better
Basic but fun, built around a gimmick in the best possible way. Overall rating: Very Good
The range of gimmicks and accessories more than makes up for the otherwise simplistic design of the toy. Overall rating: Excellent.
A strong early showing for the ever-troubled $15 pricepoint, but one of the main gimmicks is doomed to eventually fail with age. Overall rating: Very Good.
A solid toy, the most traditional Transformer that RAC has gotten from the Beast Wars line to date. Overall rating: Good
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