Poison Bite - Beast Wars Mutant - Figure

Originally intended for the woefully unpopular Animorphs line, the Beast Mutants were instead released as the last wave of Beast Wars toys. Although some fans scoffed at the notion of TFs without robot modes (they conveniently forgot about Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Overkill, Slugfest, Beastbox, Squawktalk, Trypticon, Ramhorn, Steeljaw, Grand Slam, Raindance, and Sky Lynx) others very much enjoyed them. Count me among the latter.

Barracuda Mode
The term "mutant" is certainly applicable here. Poison Bite measures 20cm (7.9") long from snout to tail, and is decked out in bright red, with black and yellow stripes, white teeth, and metallic blue highlights. Not the right colours for a barracuda, but it looks pretty cool this way. Of course, colours aren't the only thing strange about him. Although thinner than Cybershark, Poison Bite's still a little too robust for a barracuda. His pectoral fins and tail are huge. This toy is about as far away from the real thing as you can get and still be able to call it a barracuda. Hasbro did get some features correct, i.e. the two dorsal fins and the underbite. In any case, this is certainly not a fish you'd want to catch on your line, especially when you consider that real barracudas can grow up to seven feet long.

Poison Bite's body is covered in a network of scales and bumps, like armour, and there's some nice detailing on his tail and fins. Like the other two fish TFs (Cybershark and TM2 Cybershark), he has little in the way of articulation. His tail moves up and down, which as everyone knows is wrong for a fish. His lower jaw opens and closes, and his pectoral fins are on ball joints. They do a pretty good job of supporting him. And he can even cover his face with them. Peekaboo, Poison Bite sees you!

Poison Bite lacks any visible undercarriage garbage and the whole toy stays together very well, including the tail halves. His robot head is accessible in this mode, but it's placed in such a location that it looks as though the fish is giving birth to a robot. Which is not a very nice image, noooo.

Not terribly difficult. Basically the whole fish opens up and comes apart, then everything gets re-arranged to form the scorpion. Very clever how his pectoral fins hide the barracuda face in scorpion mode, as his pincers would look silly otherwise. Dave Van Domelen has correctly pointed that you should rotate the tailfin pieces all the way in, so that the tips of the scorpion's legs point downwards. This not only makes it look better, but makes it more stable as well.

Scorpion Mode
This is my favourite of the two modes. Where you once had a mutant barracuda, now you have a mutant scorpion with a flattened body (which is correct for a scorpion), long spindly legs (again, correct), and a short and bulbous stinger (not correct). His claws look more like those of a lobster's than a scorpion's, and his face is a little too narrow. But, that's why he's called a mutant, in' it? And in all honesty, Poison Bite's more accurate than Scorponok or Quickstrike, so go figure. As a scorpion, Poison Bite measures 17cm (6.7") from his yellow mandibles to the tip of his stinger.

Poison Bite's legs do an excellent job of keeping him high off the ground. He stands 5.5cm (2.2"), tall enough for some Basic figures to crawl under. Four of his legs (the rear ones) are fused together, and all his legs are ball-jointed. His claws are wonderfully posable, each having three ball joints and a swivel joint, as well as the ability to open and close. The teeth, rather than making the claws look silly, make them look dangerous instead. He can cover his face (Peekaboo again!), lash out, raise his claws, squeeze TM Rattrap's tail, etc. Opening a panel on his right claw reveals some silver mechanical doohicky, which almost looks like a laser. It can't swing out to fire though, so I guess it's not a weapon. His Mutant symbol, which looks like an atom, is also emblazoned on his right claw.

His stinger is a bit of a disappointment. It's held together with three hinge joints, and is so short and thick, Poison Bite can't even sting himself, let alone an enemy, unless that enemy happened to be directly behind him. Pressing down on the barb causes the robot head to pop up. It's metallic silver and black, with yellow eyes, and has a feline look to it. It also has a scowl on its mug. Not much of a gimmick, but what the hay.

Suspsy Sez: I really like this toy, I do. Creating a toy that changes from a barracuda to a scorpion would seem a daunting challenge, but Hasbro has pulled it off. Neither mode is all that accurate, especially colour-wise, but is still quite cool. The barracuda mode looks better, the scorpion mode plays better.


"A strong spark ought to bear calamities and not flee them." -Poison Bite

DateJanuary 30th 2002  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  

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