Alternate Mode: Robotic Wolf
Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Snarl for this review.
Height: 9.5cm Length: 22cm Width: 6.5cm
A milky white wolf with a baby blue rump, dark blue lower legs, baby blue feet and tail. There are yellow elements here and there, along with some dark blue painted details. The tip of his tail is transparent yellow - and it's fairly obviously a missile. The colour scheme is reasonable if not remarkable, although I don't think the colours are necessarily in the right places, since the most detailed pieces are too dark or too light for the sculpt to come through. There's a small Autobot logo stamped onto his left hip.
The sculpt is quite good - with a lot of robotic detailing and a hint of fur here and there. The baby blue tends to on be the less detailed areas, which is a shame. The milky white plastic hides some detail while the best detailing - on his legs - is lost amongst the dark blue. The end result is a rather bland wolf mode that fails to inspire, at least visually.
Snarl's poseability is standard - the hips and shoulders (I use those terms lightly) swing on restricted ball joints while the elbows, knees and ankles are all hinged, whilst there are mid-foot hinges, making Snarl digitigrade. His head is fixed which is a tad disappointing (although it's forced by the nature of his transformation), the tail can swing down, but the joint isn't really designed to look good in poses.
The key gimmick is almost redundant. Plugging his green Planet Key (code: d43j) into the back of his neck causes the mouth to open, revealing transparent yellow fangs. The blue ears also rotate, lifting up. While the gimmick does what the designer has asked of it, you can move these pieces manually, so the whole idea of the key activating what is essentially part of his articulation is weak. There's a slot on the right hip for the key, which is really well constructed - it's better than the actual gimmick, sadly.
While Snarl's wolf mode is by no means bad, it's uninspiring. The colours aren't compelling, the sculpted detail is wasted and his key gimmick is very underwhelming. The poseability is pretty decent, but this isn't enough to make this beast mode stand out.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach and set aside his tail. Lift up the hindlegs and straighten to form robot legs, flip out his heelspurs and rotate the knees. Lift up the front of the beast, flip out the robot head. Unclip the throat of the beast, pullout the shoulder panels, fold back to form the sides of the robot torso, folding up the forelegs, which stow inside the chest. Slide the left shoulder down into place, flip the left fist out from within the throat. Position his arms, place the tail into his left hand as a handheld weapon.
Height: 14cm Width: 11.5cm
Again based on three colours, although in different forms. His chest, left forearm and shins are dark blue while the head, shoulders, right forearm and outside panels of his torso are milky white, the thighs and lastly the things and feet are baby blue. There's more dark blue and less white here - and the yellow detailing isn't as prominent. The colour scheme is again decent but nothing special. His doglike face is well sculpted and while it could have been lost on white plastic, the effective lightpipe through his yellow eyes draws your attention to the face, which I appreciate.
The transformation is fairly simple, and strongly reminds me of Beast Machines, which saw a lot of quadrupeds standings up during transformation. I'm not all that impressed by the lazy formation of his arms - the beast head as his right forearm especially annoys me. While the resulting robot mode has a good shape, the transformation that gets Snarl here is insipid. The forelegs do stow well, but with the head becoming highly visible kibble, he doesn't come off that well. Much of the complex sculpt loses prominence here - although the face is really nice.
If anything, the key gimmick is even less inspiring now, since it's purely carried over, and the fangs don't really provide any sort of menace. The missile launcher works quite well, firing the single yellow missile about half a metre. Snarl's poseability is respectable - his head turns, the shoulders rotate and lift out while his elbows are hinged with rotators. His hips are ball jointed while his knees and ankles are hinged. The heelspurs are smaller than I'd like - he can stand but a lot of action poses aren't as stable as they should be.
As with his wolf mode, the robot mode is more uninteresting than anything else. The head on his right arm blows, quite frankly, and the gimmick associated really brings nothing. Snarl's missing launcher is quite effective - but so are about 1000 others - the missile launcher being the highpoint tells you all you need to know about this bland robot mode.
None that I'm aware of.
Whilst I generally appreciated the imagination and focus in the Cybertron line, Snarl feels very generic and uninspired. Sure, neither mode is awful - but there's just nothing exciting or creative in this toy. The transformation has adopted some of the lesser themes of Beast Machines and provides kibble in robot mode. Even his name, by this stage, had become rather generic. Whilst I wouldn't recommend against him, I'm unable to really see any reason why you'd _want_ to grab this guy - 4.5/10