Hasbro Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Twinstrike Hasbro, 2014
Day #1,179: May 5, 2015
Twinstrike Deluxe 4: 002
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. ??? No. A6215 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Hammer Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Beast Retail:approx. $19.99 Availability: March 2014 Other: Upsized Cyberverse and Proud of It
When I first saw the picture for Twinstrike I assumed it was a Cyberverse toy - and I was half-right. The design is similar to the Cyberverse toy of this character, but has been redesigned and now stands about 5-inches tall at the head. The intent was for Hasbro to make a $10 deluxe for kids, keeping costs down while delivering a toy that is sized nicely and thus has a perceived value to parents that is greater than a $10 "Legends" toy. Like many of the other toys from this era, Twinstrike was made in Vietnam and as it turned out was an experiment which Hasbro put in hiatus for 2014. Four deluxe toys and two voyager toys based on a simpler, Cyberverse-esque design were manufactured and only two were distributed in the USA.
I snagged this because it appeared on Amazon for $20, and usually these tend to be pretty pricey when they show up in Europe. I was pretty irked when I found out these guys weren't coming out stateside because removing the "cheap" part of "cheap toy" sort of defeats the purpose, although given the rampant price increases I don't feel ripped off for having paid $20 a whack for Twinstrike and Windrazor. They are basically just big Legion-class toys, sure, but they're big and the paint is nice and the colors are bright and bold. Also Hasbro has let slip some G1-themed toys are coming in this cheap style, although how and where and when remain to be seen.
The robot mode looks just like the Legion toy, with a few minor tweaks. I'm really impressed by how nice the colors all match and that the paint is really clean and even. Our Predacon pal has only 8 meaningful points of articulation, but with no knees and no elbows you might be shrieking "no sale." However, I'm old and played with the original toys as a kid and those generally had moving arms and not much else. This is an improvement. The hips, shoulders, and ankles give you about all the articulation that you're going to get and odds are you are going to feel robbed if you overpay for this figure. On the other hand, it's a distinctive design in nifty colors that pop nicely on the shelf. He has no problems holding his weapon in either hand, plus there are at least 11 places to plug in his weapon, Mini-Cons, Energon weapons, BMOG bits, or whatever other 5mm accessories you may have.
This isn't to say this toy is great - it's good. The arms are kind of hard to move around much, and the shoulders are sort of awkward - a tiny bit more clearance at the shoulders could make it look like he's not trying to scratch his thighs or trying to shrug. Thankfully the level of detail was scaled up and the head sculpt is pretty wonderful, otherwise you'd be wondering why anyone would buy this goofy thing.
Transformation into beast mode is pretty easy, and is outlined through the on-pack instructions. Five steps get it from beast to robot, meaning you probably don't need the instructions. The parts fit together nicely, but nor perfectly. The forelimbs hang low, somewhat awkwardly, by a rotating piece that sort of looks like a last-minute fix to get him to stand evenly on all four legs. Other than that, it's pretty neat - two heads, two tails, and too many 5mm ports.
The beast mode is yellow, green, and purple with silver-capped heads and red eyes. If I told you this was the best thing ever, you would be correct to call me a liar - but I will say it's a lot of fun, and I miss transforming toys that don't require annoying steps or have pieces that pop off when I'm trying to figure out what goes where. The beast mode doesn't really do much - you can move his legs a bit, his back feet are ball-jointed, and the necks can move just a bit. It has more moving parts than an average transforming car, but it's still mostly just a statue. A very cool cybernetic creature statue, still, but don't expect the toy itself to knock your socks off unless you're just digging the design. For the record, I'm digging the design and recommend it on that reason alone.
This is a fun toy - I like him and his wavemate bunches, although it's a shame the line stopped short because all of these guys could have made for a fantastic deluxe-based Abominus combiner had Hasbro produced the remaining three Predacons, but it'd be pretty ugly with lots of bits hanging off. Maybe we dodged a bullet there. The sculpted detail is good, but it's very much a product of Hasbro's "let's reduce costs!" initiatives we saw spread over Star Wars, Spider-Man, Iron Man 3, and even G.I. Joe from 2013-2014. And now, I guess, but the emphasis now seems to be in bigger cheap toys and smaller cheap toys. This figure is a nifty specimen for what might have been, or what may be soon. I can't assume things are going to be as spiffy as they are for long.
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