Wednesday 22 January 2014

Beast Machines Longhorn.

So it’s 40 degrees Celsius today so what does one with a plastic crack addiction do to relieve the oppressive feeling of heat?  One grabs a tasty beverage, heads outside to a convenient balcony that happens to be within reach of a cooling breeze and takes some pictures of toys of course.

Today I have my newly acquire Longhorn from the curious Beast Machines line.  I kind of like and hate the Beast Machines line at the same time.  Generally the Maximals are rather ugly.  The Vehicons are also rather ugly, but less so and it’s in this ugliness that I garner some enjoyment. 

Longhorn here was an off-screen character.  The TV show concentrated on a small group of Maximals, that were essentially the same bunch from the Beast Wars show.  As a direct result there are a lot of characters in the line that I know nothing about.  On the plus side though, one can’t complain about how they look nothing like the TV show characters…  I bought Longhorn at a flea market of sorts for a nice cheap price.  It amused me as it looked awful, but did have a metal ring in his nose. 

Good since he is a bull.

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Beast Machines figures had no character specific art on them, just pictures of the toy and instructions on the back.  Don’t worry, through the power of haggling I paid a lot less than $10.  The way he’s kept in the blister isn’t too encouraging, he looks like a splayed chicken in a way.  On the plus side, he has a really nicely written Bio giving him heaps of character.  I really like “Considers himself a vegetarian.”

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As a bull he initially looks a bit on the small size and the garish colours are ever present.  I wonder if BM is as notorious amongst fans for the colours as G2?   Must admit though, I quite like the look of him as a bull.  The ring in the nose is a very nice touch.  His eyes are see through plastic, and can light pipe (through the sides )rather well in this mode.
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Where there is paint, it’s quite nice.  I quite like the paint on the hair ridge along his back.  This also serves a lever for his ‘goring’ action.  The paint on his horns is pretty good too going from solid silver and fading away as it gets closer to his head.
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There is also a nice little comedic touch in way in that you can see his ribs as they flow into the translucent plastic of his chest.  Beef ribs anyone?  His Maximal spark is contained within the thigh of his rear leg.  I have always like these Spark Crystals and wished they used them a bit more often and there is some nice ambient sculpting inside to show he is a machine bull at heart.

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It’s rather hard to see as it’s a small amount of movement, but where his neck attaches to the shoulders, he has a hinged joint allowing for a very slight left/right turning of the bull’s head.  It really adds to the look of the bull when you have him angled well.
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Transformation is remarkably simple and essentially consist of standing the bull up on it’s rear legs.  Well with a little bit of chest movement to get some robot shoulders and a fold down of the bull’s head.  I had to laugh at him a bit though as the picture on the back doesn’t look so good with a cursory glance as it looked to me like his hands were just the hooves of the bull.

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However the robot mode isn’t half bad at all.  Quite a bit of articulation on this guy and the way the shoulders transform allows for him to be able to reach across his chest.  What I find rather amusing though is the clever way they incorporated the hooves of the bull into the robot mode.  Instead of flipping away, they are still there, but have been sculpted to be some sort of weapon.  If you look closely, you can see that his fists are sculpted at the join holding on. Very nice.  On the down side though he is stuck with barbell curl arms because of the way the ball jointed elbow is facing.
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He ends up being a fairly poseable little dude, let down only by a wobbly table.  I’d set a pose up and pick up the camera which would then upset the balance of the table causing him to wobble and fall over.

Light piping for the eyes works rather nicely thanks to the light blue they have used and the face, while being full of character doesn’t contain much in the way of cool detail.  It gets the job done.  One thing I found very amusing with this guy is that he can do some nice dancing poses.  Just pretend his weapons are maracas!

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And that is pretty much all there is about this guy.  A surprising figure as I thought I would really hate this guy and that was part of the reason I bought him.  Well that and the metal ring in his nose.  But it turns out that Longhorn is a pretty well done toy with a cleverly written bio and lots of cool play value contained within his little frame.  I really like that the bio states he can shoot electricity from his horns, much like a certain bad guy from Astroboy!  I wonder if that was intentional or not…

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