Razorclaw is like Tigerhawk back in black. Oh, yesssss. I never got Tigerhawk, and I'm almost glad I didn't, because Razorclaw is that much better. Granted, I have little basis for comparison, really just pictures and others' comments, so take this for what it's worth.
DESIGN: Getting Razorclaw has put me into a deeply nostalgic mood. His hawk mask looks like Battle Cat's armor from the Masters of the Universe. Sans mask the winged black panther design with a teeny cockpit on its chest brings back happy memories of the Black Lion from the Voltron series. I'm sure I could find a Thundercats parallel in his robot mode somewhere. Plus he's a transformer for crying out loud! Sweet. Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. Ahem. The design looks great, and very decepticon. From what comparisons I can draw with the original, Tigerhawk's translucent green has become translucent red, metallic blue has become flat violet, white has become black, and instead of stripes we get silvery energon leakage along the trailing edges of his wings and some silver on his mask and talons. I don't know why, but even without the stripes he looks so much better than Tigerhawk. For one thing, Tigerhawk's white plastic obscured much of the sculpted detail, but this detail is much more visible on Razorclaw. I didn't even know the mold was supposed to have that weird TM2 asymmetrical styling to it until I saw Razorclaw in package. Robot mode is comparable to the original: a bit kibble-laden on the shoulders but otherwise imposing. I especially like the silver talons draped over his shoulders and his translucent visor. The neon green maximal symbol really stands out here, which makes me want to see if the comic explains why a decepticon would brand himself so prominently with the badge of his sworn enemies.
TRANSFORMATION: As complicated a piece of origami as TM2 Megatron/Cryotek ever was. Even the front paws get a thorough transformation to become legs, even though they would have worked fine as robot legs without the extra tricks. While I'm thinking about transformation, I might as well mention the spark crystal, since it is only visible when the thing is half transformed. It is light purple, and imbedded in a column of translucent red plastic. It looks sweet. I've heard reports that the deluxes in the universe line were using recycled BM dinobots spark crystals with faction symbols stamped over them. Interestingly enough, Razorclaw uses a BM era maximal spark with a decepticon symbol superimosed over it. At least mine does, and I think it enhances the coolness factor of the toy even more. But I digress again. Where was I? Oh, yes, um, the transformation is complex and cool. Yeah. :P
POSEABILITY: Slightly frustrating, like some other TM2 toys that I could name. The biggest problems are in the shoulders, especially the left. They're jointed to move out to the sides, but the beast parts hanging off the shoulders limit the range. Also, the shoulder joints are stiffer than the shoulders' connections to the torso, so you have to reattach the shoulders after you pose them. Balance is another slight problem, thanks to the wings. Still, you can get a decent range of cool poses out of the guy. Beast mode is less poseable, which isn't unusual, but a little disappointing for such a cool alt mode. The main problems are in the wings, which are spring-loaded and gimmick-laden (though the gimmick is cool enough that it's a fair trade-off), the front legs, which don't have any elbows, and the head, which can only look downward when the mask is tucked away.
GIMMICKS: Razorclaw has three main gimmicks, two of which are available in beast mode. His robot mode can use the wing-mounted missile launchers as a weapon. I suppose he could use his feather-missiles as knives, but only his left hand could wield them. Yes, they would probably look weird, but if Silverbolt can get away with killer feather spoons (spoon!), then Razorclaw should have knives. Anyhoo, the wings are spring-loaded so that if you press a button on his back, they flap downward and deploy his main launchers. Little feathered sections also pop up like air brakes, interesting . . . . Razorclaw was remolded a bit so that the launchers don't auto-launch like Tigerhawk's did, another improvement over the original. Switches on the circular sections of the wings flip the feathered wingtips forward to aim the feather-missile launchers, bringing the total of frightening projectiles to four. The mechanism is cool, but a little floppy: there's so much weight on the wings that the back triggers can't hold them up well, and they'll deploy even if you just bump the guy. This is one reason why no one will miss the auto-launch feature. The other gimmick is found in the hind feet, where a little button triggers the talons so he can grab stuff. This one's my personal favorite.
RANDOM COMMENTS: I've digressed enough already. Okay, just once more: the instructions are inadequate. The toy has lots of cool stuff the instructions never mention. More for you to discover, eh? Oh, and mine did not come with the CD, so I can't review that. (shuckie-darn, eh?)
OVERALL: I'd like to think of myself as an objective reviewer, so I'll score this guy 9/10, as opposed to an 8/10 for Tigerhawk, because it's not perfect, but not seriously flawed anywhere either, and definitely worthwhile. But even that may be high, since this mold has found a bit of a soft spot in my collection. I would recommend this toy to even friends of mine who don't collect transformers but like 80's nostalgia, simply because of the parallels I mentioned before. Bah, do what you like.
SAUROCON likes Razorclaw, but he doesn't, like, like-like him, or some junk. Whatever.
|Date||August 1st 2003 |
|Score|| (9 out of 10) |
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