The Transformers franchise is full of rich and fun characters, many of which are more interesting in the comics or cartoons than the toy box. Hasbro decided that this needed to be fixed with Rhinox, the only heroic character to stay in the same form through the entire series' run. The original toy was cute and stocky, plus was loaded with fun play gimmicks. This one looks better though - if you loved the original cartoon you already know that you need this toy.
It's worth noting that this toy came out late in 2013 to online shops, but has yet to hit American big box chain stores - you can get him via Hasbro Toy Shop and Entertainment Earth, but the only brick and mortar sightings I've heard so far have been at scattered Kmarts. I had to get mine online as I keep haunting Kmarts to no avail, and gas is expensive. The same is true of his case sibling Doubledealer, and the next wave included Whirl who, as of yet, is also not making the rounds on the toy store circuit. Since 2010 this has been increasingly common with Hasbro product, thus making the Internet a blessing and a curse for toy shopping.
Rhinox is shorter than most Voyagers, but feels more chunky and rich - if you put him next to Grimlock they feel wildly different, with Rhinox' thick skin kibble making the figure feel like maybe, just maybe, he's the single greatest unreleased toy from the 1990s. (Of course, this is ridiculous.) He's also far better than many of the other recent Beast Wars releases, effectively making 2009 Cheetor look like an accident while making Dinobot continue to seem pretty great.
The rhino mode is about as fun as the original $10 toy from 1996 - it more or less just stands there. You can get some figures to ride on his back if you like. His jaw can open, but it looks creepy - the hinge joint is there mostly so you can fold it down for transformation purposes. Switching him from one mode to another is fairly simple, but there are some tabs and pieces that are not outlined properly in the instructions. For example, his arms can be "locked" in place just above the elbow, and the packaging may have his crotch positioned incorrectly. There's also a pair of tabs on the Rhino kibble which, in robot mode, peg into the back nicely. It requires some force, but you'll get it. It's also worth noting he can store his guns in his belly in Rhino mode, or on his back in robot mode.
His robot form is about as close as you can get to taking the best of the original toy and the animation model and crank out a taller chunk of plastic, within reason. At about 6-inches tall at the head - depending on how you transform him around the hips. I can't get them to lock in place, and the joints on his legs are looser than usual. I would exercise caution with your display shelves. The detailing is great - the skin is rhino-like, with an improved robot texture and metallic green plastic. You'll notice Maximal symbols on his head, and his face is very close to the animation model save for the excised lips. Without a doubt, he looks correct - this is Rhinox, as he should be. The 2006 Optimus Primal and Megatron or 2008 Cheetor are certainly less definitive.
The figure's big bonus are a pair of guns, once dubbed "The Chainguns of Doom" in the days of the ancient internet. Each has a spinning mechanism that works well, and the blades can be removed if you're into that. They're unpainted, so I assume customizers will be going to town on these. They fit in his hands without a fight, or can be stored on the back of his shoulders if you'd prefer. As accessories go, they're likely a huge selling point for just about anybody that saw the TV show.
Generally speaking nostalgia Beast Wars toys seem to be selling well lately, so I don't get why Rhinox isn't shipping to more stores - other than the glut of the 2013 Voyager toys, I mean. If there's a figure that's worth the hype, this is it - beast-era fans are going to love this figure and I have no doubt it will be a treasured collectible that gets expensive once everybody sells out of theirs. Rattrap is next to get his remake, and Rhinox' alter-ego Tankor will be getting a new toy in a couple of months, too. Just be wary of Rhinox' loose hip joints - you may want to get some sort of stand or lean him against a wall for the safety of your other Maximals and Predacons. Speaking of, the only Season 1 characters that haven't gotten a remake in the last 8 years are Terrorsaur and Scorponok - hopefully they'll be around for the series' increasingly nearing 20th anniversary. Prepare to feel old, Beast fans... but be glad that someone at Hasbro remembers you exist and will give you fun toys like this one.
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