Monday, 13 August 2012

Review: Beast Wars Transmutate

For those who think cartoons are all about action and lack emotional impact, watch Beast Wars, the kind-of sequel to the 80s Transformers cartoon which was shown in the 90s. In the episode 'Code of Hero', the once evil-Predacon turned heroic-Maximal, Dinobot dramatically sacrifices himself to save a group of primitive humans. I cry every time I watch it.

The following episode is 'Transmutate', in which an innocent is killed due to the petty fighting between two others. Tears once again.

Transmutate was in a single episode. Trying to keep the Beast Wars technical lore to a minimum (though you should really go watch it - it's very good!), I'll describe Transmutate as a 'damaged' Transformer. It was unable to transform and had the mind of an infant. Megatron deemed the robot useless and ordered it destroyed. Even the Maximals saw little worth in it.

So it was that 'evil' Rampage and 'heroic' Silverbolt, both seeing something of a kindred spirit in Transmutate, went against their respective leaders' advice and attempted to befriend it. In the end the rivalry between Rampage and Silverbolt resulted in the destruction of Transmuate and everyone cried.

The toy version wasn't released in the original Beast Wars line of toys in the 90s. Why would it? It wasn't as though it could really be sold as a 'Transformer' since it didn't actually do any transforming. It eventually showed up, however, collector-a-piece style, in the 10th Anniversary line, which re-released the original toys in more cartoon-accurate colours (more, but far from completely accurate colours).

Articulation is extremely limited - at the head, legs and arms only. And even then there's only way way to position the legs and have Transmutate stand upright. It was a nice addition to the line, however, and no doubt a number of people bought up all the Anniversary figures purely to get this figure.

One of the great things about the Beast Wars toys was that the scale of the toys was exactly the same as the scale of the characters in the cartoon, and Transmutate is exactly the same. The colour & sculpt are near-identical to the screen counterpart, however the paintwork isn't quite as nice as it might have been. The face is just as freaky as the cartoon version, however.

Transmutate is a bit of a nightmare to get hold of these days, appearing on ebay rarely. It took me years of searching before I managed to get hold of one, so good luck if you're on the hunt!

No comments:

Post a Comment