To say that Tigatron's one lucky Maximal would be an understatement. In Season 2 of Beast Wars, he was captured by the Vokk along with Airazor only to come back as the insanely powerful Fuzor, Tigerhawk, near the end of Season 3. Then following Tigerhawk's destruction by the Nemesis, Tigatron was again resurrected by the Vokk along with Airazor in the Botcon 2001 comic. He's almost on a par with G1 Optimus Prime, he is!
Among convention exclusives, Tigatron is significant for two important reasons. Along with Arcee, he was the first exclusive toy to named and based after an existing character. As well, he was the first ever Japanese toy to become a US exclusive. As such, he symbolizes the ever-improving relationship between Hasbro and the fandom.
Packaging: Transmetal Tigatron comes in a large starry black and purple box. On the front of the box is a photo of his robot mode and a large flap featuring a CGI image courtesy of Mainframe. Lifting up the flap reveals Tigatron inside the box. On the inside of the flap is another Mainframe image, this one of Tigatron's original robot mode and two renderings of his Transmetal form by artist extraordinaire Dan Khanna. The sides of the box feature more photos of Tigatron in robot and tiger mode. The back features the Wreckers symbol and a brief backstory, a BW style bio and tech spec for Tigatron, and a large CGI image of a battle scene from Primeval Dawn (which is now kaput). In the background, Primal Prime deflects a blast from the undead Tarantulas while in the foreground, Tigatron grapples with Tripredacus Agent. Well, they're supposed to be fighting, but it looks more like they're dancing.
Robot Mode: Transmetal Tigatron is a recolour of Jaguar (Ravage) X-9 from the Beast Wars Metals line, which in turn was a recolour and remould of Transmetal Cheetor. Appropriately for a denizen of the ice and snow, he's white and icy blue with darker blue panels on his torso and thighs, black eyes, and light blue vac metal on his waist and back. He stands about 15 cm(6") tall at the head.
Several key features distinguish TM Tigatron's mould from TM Cheetor's. First and foremost is his head, which doubles as his beast head. Although this looks odd at first, it's actually appropriate given Tigatron's primal nature. Second, his robotic chestplate, whose panels flip open to reveal a sticker of a blue Spark with a pink core. If the Spark isn't to your liking, Tigatron comes with two alternate stickers. One is a green Maximal symbol on a grid pattern; the other is a Vok alien floating like an octopus in a tank, meant to represent his devastating Nature's Fury attack. In addition, Tigatron comes with Maximal and Wrecker stickers for his shoulders.
Finally, Tigatron's arms are more muscular and end in open hands with spring action features. Flick the cryo-blasters folded up against his forearms and they will flip forwards for battle! The blue barrels can also be detached and stored in grooves on Tigatron's thighs.
In robot mode, Tigatron is articulated at the head, lower jaw, shoulders, elbows(hinge and swivel), forearms, waist, hips, knees, second knees, and ankles. Like Cheetor, his tail can be detached for use as a melee weapon, but there's really no point, since Tigatron's hands aren't moulded to hold it properly.
Transformation: Pull up and extend Tigatron's head, flip up the chest plate, swing the arms up against the underside of the chest plate, fold the tiger shoulder and front limbs down, fold in the heels, and pose the limbs accordingly.
Tiger Mode: In tiger mode, Tigatron measures about 18 cm(7") long from snout to tail. His primary colour is now vac metal light blue, with white and light blue for his head and limbs and some darker vac metal blue on his shoulders. Ironically, his small, streamlined head makes him look more like a cheetah than Cheetor. In addition to the aforementioned joints in his head and rear limbs, Tigatron is articulated at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. About the only negative aspect about this mode is that the robot arms are in plain sight on the belly.
Flight Mode: Flip out the jets on the tiger's flanks and pull out the tail and re-insert it upside down to reveal a stabiliser fin. From above or from the the front, Tigatron's flight mode look neat, but from the sides, he's got a big gaping hole through him.
Overall, Susp Sez: Transmetal Tigatron is easily one of the best convention exclusive toys ever produced. Great colour scheme, neat-looking robot and tiger modes, lots of posability, and good gimmicks. Like all convention items, he comes with a hefty price tag, but almost any fan will come away more than satisfied, methinks. 9.5/10
Thanks to Tyson Biesterfield for selling me his Tigatron.
"Maintain your balance and the rest will follow." -Tigatron
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