Who's ready for some Beast Wars reviews? I'm certainly up for reviewing as much of my collection as I can, but I'm not sure exactly what that will ultimately entail. This blog is called "Why Did I But That Toy?" after all, and I received a lot of Beast Wars figures as gifts.
By the way, before I go any further, I have to insist that if you are a Transformers fan in any way, you need to get yourself an original Cheetor figure from 1996 (a figure my brother bought for me when it was reissued in 2000). If you're new to the Beast Wars line, it's the perfect entry-level figure, being an essential character with a fantastic robot mode and plenty of playability.
If you're a fan of the Beast Wars television series, you need a Rhinox figure. He's one of the five original Maximals, and he's the only heroic character to remain physically unchanged through the entire run. He's the stalwart "big guy" character, always strong and ready to back his friends up, which makes his fate in the Beast Machines follow-up series all the more sadder.
The Beast Wars toyline debuted close to a year before the animated series, so there's a bit of discrepancy between how the early characters appeared on screen and what the original figures looked like. Rhinox in the series was a plumber/mechanic/blue collar kind of guy, but looking at this figure you'd think he was a samurai. There's two main divergencies between the plastic and CGI forms. Unlike in the series, the Rhinox toy wields a sword, but what really catches the eye is the "mutant head", which appeared on all first and second wave Beast Wars deluxe-class figures and larger. The robot head in on display here since it's the one Rhinox showcases in the series; if the mutant head flaps bother you much they're pretty easy to remove.
Regardless of inconsistencies with how the character appeared on screen, how is Rhinox as a toy? Rhinox is an early example of what Transformers fans call "shellformers", in that instead of shifting pieces around, the transformation chiefly consists of pulling apart large pieces of the alternate mode (essentially an outer shell), which then hang off the figure's body. This is generally considered to be pretty lazy on part of the designers. Much of Rhinox's rhino mode hangs off or folds onto his body, with the twisting of his lower legs being the only real exception. This makes the figure hard to play with and even harder to display in a suitable fashion. You won't believe how look it took me to arrange the outer pieces so that my figure somewhat resembled the character's on-screen depiction. In contrast, the animated series' CGI model simplified the character's transformation in a way that basically eliminated the outer shell kibble. While his main weapon--that big green blade in his right hand with black chains sticking out--is vastly different to the way it was portrayed in the series, it's still really fun. Press the black button on the back of the green box the blade sits on, and it spins really fast. Just make sure you position the arm right so the spinning action doesn't stop because it hits the upper arm or something.
I'm definitely a huge fan of the character, but Rhinox is only an average toy. There are definitely better Beast Wars toys in existence. Still, he's one of the main characters of the series, so it's worth tracking one down. Good luck finding one for a good price, though.