Repaints were pretty much always a sure thing in Transformers, so getting Repugnus a few months after his green sibling Undermine (who just got reissued in 2011) wasn't too much of a surprise. The fact that Hasbro made two toys named Repugnus in the same timeframe was surprising, though, as Target had one as an exclusive based on the Fuzors Buzzclaw mold. Oh, and this figure may be available as a shared exclusive in the Heroes from Three Worlds gift set, which was shared at Walgreen's, Toys R Us, and presumably others. Anyway, this one is based on a Spinosaurus, which is amusing because one of the bigger dinosaurs is being represented by one of the smaller toy sizes.
I probably couldn't be much less interested in this toy's robot mode-- it's just dull. The head is where a lot of the personality comes from, as most Transformers are fundamentally a pile of machine parts mashed into a blob which is vaguely human in appearance-- so you need a good head to make a connection with it. In this toy's case, well, look at it. Is that silver thing on his head a helmet? Is it his head? Are the eye things holes, or his actual eyes? Where's his mouth? I really have no idea, plus the mishmash of robotic bits is pretty ugly. You'll note lots of sculpted wires and mechanical bits-- which I love-- but the toy is basically the dinosaur legs becoming the robot legs, the head splits apart to make the arms, and that big sail is there for no readily apparent reason. Oh, and if you plug a key into his back, the sail spits out a knife thing.
The tail itself is jointed in multiple places, and can be plugged into his hand to make some sort of whip or chain weapon. I don't much care for it. Thankfully the dinosaur mode is pretty nice.
As a dinosaur, Repugnus is actually better than other dinosaur toys from Hasbro-- in some senses, even its own Jurassic Park offerings. You know, if you can get past the "robot" part. The mechanical creature takes liberties with the ancient animal's design, but it's actually nicely articulated-- the arms move, the tail is jointed, and each leg is jointed in four spots as opposed to the usual one. The head sculpt is really cool and seems to have taken all the robot mode's personality, plus it has a painted mouth and bright blue eyes. It's very rare to have an alt mode more charming than a robot mode, but this little Autobot is clearly better as a dinosaur. No questions here.
The "scout" (formerly "basic") class of Transformers figures has delivered more-or-less decent four-inch robots since the mid-1990s, and in recent years we've seen the price creep up and the quality bounce up and down. Repugnus is one of the lesser overall toys, simply because his robot mode is rather crappy. Hasbro has done some wonderful small toys over the years, so this one is something of a bummer. It's acceptable, sure-- but it's a little baffling that Hasbro opted to reissue him recently and not repeat some of the other really good Cybertron molds, like Hardtop and Armorhide.
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