Thursday, September 8, 2011

Transformers Beast Wars: Terragator

QUICK INFO:
Name: Terragator
Line: Transformers Beast Wars (Kenner)
MSRP: $4.99
Year: 1998


A few years into the Beast Wars line Kenner introduced a new sub-group of Transformers called Fuzors.  The idea behind the line was that instead of the Transformer having one distinct animal or beast mode the Fuzors would have beast modes that were comprised of 2 animals meshed together.  If you followed the television show then you'll know that 2 of the Fuzors went on to come fairly famous, but what about the other Fuzors?  Read along and we'll take a look at one of my personal favorites, Terragator.

FUNCTION: 
Swamp Warrior, Amphibious Assault

BIO: 
Most Transformers find that smelly, mucky environments clog up their circuitry. Not the half-croc, half-turtle Terragator. He prefers it. Terragator is most at home in the swamp lands and sewers. Part of the Predacon elite amphibious warriors, his specialty is land/water assault. In robot mode he wields an impenetrable shield, and his hand reveals an awesome weapon.  

Strength:  6  Intelligence:  6  Speed:  4  Endurance:  5
Rank:  6  Courage:  9  Firepower:  7  Skill:  7

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Terragator is a basic sized Transformer and comes packaged in beast mode.  All of the Beast Wars toys featured some excellent box art on the packaging and Terragator is no different.  I loved the large yellow eye that was used on the blister cards during this beast era of Transformers.

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Terragator is part alligator and part turtle.  What kind of turtle I have no idea.  I don't know of any specimen of turtle that has bone like teeth surrounding it's shell!  At first glance it may look a little goofy, but don't underestimate this little toy as it's quite fun.  In beast mode there isn't much articulation to speak of.  The feet have a limited range of motion thanks in large part to the size of the shell.  The gator's mouth is hinged allowing it to freely open and close.  I do give the designers credit for molding in so much reptilian detail.

Thankfully just about all of the robot kibble is well concealed.  That's about it though.  Most of the play value of this toy in beast mode will be generated by one's imagination.

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One of the things I loved about most of the Beast Wars toys were the paint apps.  Just look at the level of detail that was given to the turtle shell.  The colors are vibrant and it gives the shell a nice hardened and weathered look.  While it's hard to see in this picture you'll see that the gator's underbelly has a nice neutral paint application as well that gives some credibility to this beast mode.

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Earlier I mentioned that a lot of the robot kibble was concealed in beast mode.  That is if the gator is on all fours.  Flip him over and you'll see a few folded up robot pieces and his gun in the tail.  Not a bad job if you ask me at hiding these parts.  I'm glad the robot head isn't exposed.

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The turtle shell is removable if you didn't already know.  It acts as a believable shield for the robot, but underneath the shell and you'll see the rest of the robot parts.  Take notice of the robot's hands or claws if you will.  See how they are the same color and shape as the bone teeth that surround the shell.  I love how that was integrated into the figure...very nice touch.

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Terragator has a very simple yet interesting transformation.  You start be removing the tail section and shell.  Then rotate the torso/waist piece down.  Fold down and straighten the legs and feet.  The gator head lifts up and out  while rotating upside down forming the right shoulder.  Simply extend the arm down.  The left arm folds out and up into place on ball joint making the left shoulder/arm assembly.  Rotate the head 180 degrees to the front of the body and you're done.

As you can tell Terragator is a little small.  One of the things that I enjoy about the robot form is the mix of organic and robotic.  You've got the reptilian feet and forearms meshing with the robotic legs and chest.  It seems as if a lot of beast Transformers suffered from having the animal's head forming a hand in robot mode.  I'm so glad the designers opted to do something a little different here with the large gator head.  The robot head (at least to me) sees to be inspired by Rhinox.  It's not bad, but it's not my favorite head sculpt.


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The left arm has two rectangle shaped notches in the forearm that allow the spiked shell to be attached to the arm to be used effectively as a shield.  Because of the size of the shell it does hinder that arm's movement and basically hides the hand, but it's so cool looking hanging on the arm that I can forgive these limitations.

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As you saw from underneath the beast mode his weapon is hidden in the gator's tail.  Once you have removed the tail simply fold the rear legs back and out of the way.  How you pose the legs is up to your liking.  Then just flip out the blue double barrel gun from the tail's tip.  There is a small peg underneath the gun that allows Terragator to wield his weapon in robot mode.

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The gun is a little large a goofy looking, but it grows on you just like the rest of the figure.  Thankfully the large gator feet give him good balance in robot mode.

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I know at first glance it doesn't appear that this robot would be very articulated...but you're wrong.  Even with the large gator head kibble there the figure sports a nice range of motion in both the arms, hips, knees and ankles.  Just about all of the joints are ball and socket allowing for smooth movement and some good poses.  I'm not all that great coming up with creative poses for my Transformers, but even I was surprised at how easy this guy was to strike a cool pose.

I can't recommend this toy enough.  I'm a little biased to the smaller toys, but this is a solid Beast Wars figure.  Most of the Fuzor toys were a disappointment.  That said there are a few gems with Terragator being one of those.  He features one of the better animal amalgamations and has lots of articulation in robot mode.  I would have loved to have seen this character featured in the television and how his character would have interacted with the other Predacons.

While I recommend this toy and while I would love for you to click on the Amazon.com box and buy Terragator his current Amazon prices seem to be a little inflated.  If you don't care to have the packaging then search out this toy on Crave.com or eBay as it's a fun little toy that is often overlooked.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see Terragator finally getting a little love.

    ReplyDelete