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Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro, 2023
Day #2,680: February 6, 2024
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action FigureBeast Wars Universe Tigerhawk
Maybe Don't

Transformers Legacy United Leader
Item No.:
Asst. F2990 No. F8550
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Includes: Wrist cannon, 2 feathers, 2 blasters
Action Feature: Transforms from robot to tiger...hawk
Retail: $52.99
Availability: December 2023
Other: The Other Beast Wars Transmetals 2 Leader

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Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action FigureThe second Legacy United toy I managed to get was Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk. I initially skipped the pre-order due to an indifference to the character and a general dislike of the original toy, which was exceedingly bulky and fiddly with lots of moving parts plus chrome I was worried about chipping. The new version keeps the moving parts, ditches the chrome, and somehow makes it more unpleasant complex. I was transforming it while shooting pictures for the review, and tabbing the kitty chest together was just exceptionally tough to get aligned and in place just right. If you must have every toy of every character from Beast Wars, you've already bought this and probably love it. But if you want a good toy that's fun to play with, I had a much better time with Thundertron [FOTD #2,708] who has stuck around on my desk. I want to put this Tigerhawk toy very far away.

The toy does a decent job replicating the purple chrome of the cartoon as a less shiny paint, with clear green highlights. The original toy's kitty helmet is missing, but the very awkward but true-to-the-old-toy forelimbs on the creature mode are here. Without the launching rockets or swinging wings, it's just sort of a lot of bulk and a lot of mass, plus weird kibble and whatnot that is an engineering triumph in the sense of updating the original toy and animation model. I would say they got the job done - but I really don't enjoy handling it at all, and it takes up a ton of room on a shelf with those giant wings. Whatever you do, if you love Transformers, don't make this your first purchase of the new 2024 line.

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I used this same sentence for Armada Megatron, but it holds here. The 2023 edition drops pretty much every bell or whistle from the original. The rocket launchers don't launch, the wings have no swinging springing action, there's no kitty helmet targeting visor. The original toy had leftover spark crystal gimmick parts that weren't fully realized, and this one does too. Unlike that older toy, the wheels aren't here so there's no "vehicle mode" parts left this time. The sculpting of the toy is pretty great, with elements of Airazor and Tigatron from Kingdom being remixed into a new whole that is colored like the cartoon and is a mishmash of the toy and animated version. Hasbro and Takara-Tomy did a great job making a new collectible based on the 1999 concept - I just happen to dislike the concept as it results in a lot of clunky parts.

Sculpted detail is, overall, great. But there are so many parts you can knock out of position, like the bird feet on the chest. The wings are huge space hogs, with non-firing rockets and a build that really makes you appreciate the good stuff like Studio Grimlock. There are tons of joints - and that's good - and they're sturdy, too. This is what you want to see in these toys, because if nothing else it will hold a pose. You won't want to play with it, so the fact that it's going to be a good display piece is certainly welcome. It's kind of like Power of the Primes Predaking, or the Siege and Earthrise Headmaster Triple-Changers - so much of the original toy design is there to make the design work. But they were all rather clunky designs, charming as they may be. When you're working with robotic and fantasy animals, the amount of wiggle-room allowed in the design can result in a toy where neither mode seems to be the "main" one. The robot looks off, and the beast looks weird too - it's not like a car or a truck, where a massive gap or a door where it doesn't belong really sticks out. A flying winged tiger with robot bits is going to be weird no matter what, and it's at least a positive that it matches the existing character. Having said that, I don't feel I would complain if they just redesigned it were they so inclined.

Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure

Transformation is hateful, time-consuming, and tricksy. It's an incredibly odd design so recreating it is an amazing challenge, and while the engineers earned their paychecks, it's just not fun. There are tons of moving parts, swinging limbs, pop-open chests, moving claws, and just so dang much involved in converting an awkward, kibbly robot into an awkward, kibbly kitty beast. Neither mode was all that great back in the day, and while I can get behind the absurdity of a silly toy it stings a little bit when it's $55 and you see things like a robot arm on the cat's head that doesn't seem like it sits quite right, or somewhat inelegant robot legs becoming even less elegant cat legs. I had a difficult time getting all the parts to line up too, which no doubt colors my experience.

Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure

I hesitate to call the beast mode good. It's a good update of what it's supposed to be, but there's just so much to not like. His robot chest is being pooped out under his tail. The wings are most of the toy's bulk. Given the mass that needs to shift around, it's miraculous and a decent mimic of the original designs... but I wouldn't have minded seeing them do something to updated it a little more. Sleeker forelimbs like the cartoon would be great, but the audacity o the original concept means you're dealing with tons of visible joints and unsightly elements just to make the conversion work. While it does have an opening kitty mouth, and the legs do have decent articulation, the head is stuck and it just doesn't look like a great toy. There are vestigial elements of fun like removable 6mm cannons on the wings, removable feathers that don't shoot, and the green spark on the chest, and they look fine. It is, however, kind of unfortunate when the spring-loaded goofiness of those old toys goes away because yesterday's kids, who are today's adults, at some point said "we don't want that." The toy is just as bulky as before, but there's not as much fun to be had now.

Fans of Beast Wars probably bought this in droves, and my guess is unless the run is a short one, it's going to sit around a bit. The original Transmetals 2 line-up was a weird one with lots of chrome and general strangeness, with increasing amounts of kibble - and Tigerhawk was one of the last ones that came out back in the 1990s. It felt like it needed more time in the oven back then, but I think this new one is more or less exactly what they aspired to make. It is indeed an update of the original, but it is a toy that I would have been curious to see a new reinterpretation that felt a little more cohesive. Rogue talons hanging off the legs and such make this a great toy to polish off a gang of characters from a specific show, but also, I might have felt better about buying it if I already had Cheetor or Blackarachnia or some of the other upgraded Maximals and Predacons from the later seasons of the show. But if you just want someone to look like Tigatron to stand around on a shelf? You won't find a better one for the price.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
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Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure
Hasbro Transformers Legacy United Leader Beast Wars Universe Tigerhawk Action Figure

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