Transformers Beast Wars Basic
Item No.: Asst. 80295 No. 80292 Manufacturer:Kenner Includes:Mini folding pistol Action Feature:Transforms from Pteranodon to robot Retail:$4.99 Availability: 1996 Other: Repainted as Fractyl, Laserbeak, Hydra, and show colors in Japan
While Transformers has been through many mutations over the years, the last truly world-shattering change was probably Beast Wars. Since then, we've moved away from organic creatures as alternate modes almost completely and now we get an occasional cybernetic critter. Back when Terrorsaur hit stores the concept of dinosaurs and fuzzy mammals and bugs didn't exactly go over well with some people, but it was hard to deny that the TV show was supremely compelling and it helped to endear the toys to the older-school fans. Also, the toys were priced quite well even for the day - this little guy is 4-inches tall and was $5, the same price as a Star Wars figure and a much, much more fun toy.
Standing just over 4-inches tall, this robot is a little spindly guy despite being one of the largest Predacons on the TV show. This didn't bother me, because the ball joints gave me a lot to futz with for not a lot of money. 13 points of articulation on a figure of this size was exceptional in those days - it's still pretty good now - and doesn't have too much difficulty standing. His smaller hand weapon fits in his hand perfectly, and it can store behind his robot head so you won't lose it in either mode. This is a well-designed figure for its day, and while I remember a lot of complaining about the auto-transforming gimmick I thought it was great.
Packaged in beast mode - most Transformers were packed out in their alt modes until 2009 or so - you could flip back the dino's head and it would immediately transform. It's incredibly simplistic, with the dino feet becoming Terrorsaur's hands and his robot feet fly out from under the creature's neck. Other than the opening mouth and the moving feet, the dinosaur really doesn't do much of anything. Back in 1996 it didn't even have a faction logo - around the end of Generation 2 Hasbro and Kenner seemed to decide that this wasn't something kids liked, which is a shame. The dinosaur mode has very little paint other than white teeth, yellow eyes, and a bunch of green spots. Japan had a variant with a bright yellow beak which better matched the cartoon. I don't think anyone will argue that the beast mode is some spectacular beauty, but as toys go it's pretty fun to flip from one mode to another.
If Hasbro updates this character with a new mold - at this point I assume it's inevitable - I'd still suggest getting this one just because the action feature and clever weapon storage are fun to futz with. Looking at Hasbro's other updates - Dinobot, Cheetor, and .shtmlinator - most are ultimately a lateral move. Maybe the sculpting is better, but you lose a cool weapon mechanism or in the case of Cheetor, it's hard to argue that the remake was an improvement.
It's a nice, small toy an while it's kind of expensive, that's because it's not a bad one. To hedge your bets, maybe get the Laserbeak or Hydra redeco figures as those are less likely to see a remake and function the same. I like Terrorsaur, and you will too. And if you don't? Well, too bad.
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