Alternate Mode: Stegosaurus
Thanks to Excelon Zero loaning me Striker for this review.
Height: 10cm Length: 18cm Width: 6cm
A pine green dinosaur with dark brown plates in his back, some gold in places and red and silver lines on his back and head. Striker is a repaint of Beast Machines Striker, himself a repaint of Sabreback. While the paint on the back of those two followed the same pattern, Striker has a new pattern. The red and silver is a bit too bold for my liking, which is a shame since the green, gold and brown is a good concept. The red and silver ruin what could otherwise have been a believable colour scheme, too - although we have no way of knowing. Without the ill-conceived stripes this would have been a nice colour scheme, but with them he just feels garish.
Being firmly in the realistic theme of Beast Wars, Striker is markedly different from the far more stylised Snarl, with wrinkled skin, distinct toes and a smallish head. The tail has spines at the tip, there are nostrils moulded on the snout, adding to the realism. The main detraction here comes in the form of two pale green "skis" stowed behind the hindlegs, which don't ruin the look but are visible - although they blend away fairly well.
There's a sort of attack mode, which basically involves flattening the beast, flipping up the tail and forming a flower. As with most BW Neo attack modes, it's bizarre. The flower tail comes into its own as a robot mode weapon though - so I view this flower as a bonus and nothing more. The dark colours on this version make this third mode a real non-event.
Since Striker is a shellformer, there's not a lot of poseability here. The hips can move around on all four legs, and the front legs can bend, allowing for walking poses. There are no gimmicks available in this mode. The beast mode looks pretty good, but I can't help but wish there was some respectable play value here - most deluxe beasts have more in this department - even amongst BW Neo moulds.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Unclip the tail, lift up the tail and spine (with plates), so it hangs loose. Detach the side plates, swing them forward, which will reveal the folded up robot. From here it's largely a case of unfold and clip together the robot mode, turning the sideplates around to form shoulder armour. The tail can hang as a tail, at the end of the spine (which attaches to his head), or handheld as a weapon.
Height: 17cm Width: 10cm
The robot mode is dominated by gold and pale green, with some pine to boot. The shoulder armour, forearms, ankles and outsides of the legs are pine green. There are red paint applications on the head, groin and chest, while the face is silver with mid blue eyes. The colours here are more tasteful than those on the BM version's robot mode. In fact this colour scheme is atypically tasteful for the Universe line, which makes the stupid paint detailing on the beast mode even more annoying.
There's a skull-piece on his chest, done in white with black eye sockets. This is complimented by an Amerindian chieftain head-dress on his head (which is red and black). The theme works quite well, and the white manages to fit in well here.
As with most shellformers, Striker has a few panels hanging around. The sides of the dinosaur mode stick up from behind the shoulders - and while I call them shoulder armour, they're quite obviously kibble that's been dressed up. Granted, they look good, but are still easy to pick as kibble. There are two more armour plates, which hang off his hips, and stand out far less - to the point where you don't really notice them.
The poseability is pretty good - Striker's shoulders and hips are ball jointed while the knees and elbow are hinged. There are rotators above the elbows and the head turns, although the latter is restricted a little by the spine hanging off the back. The hip and shoulder armour stays out of the way for the most part, while the skis on the bottom of the feet prevent the ankles from moving. Lastly, the waist turns. The weapon, which is formed from the tail, is a flower-like claws. Pulling on a brown lever will cause the tail to spread into three pieces, revealing black petals with dark blue veins, and a black and silver flowerhead in the centre. The lever can be pulled back to click open, making sure the weapon can be displayed as well as played with. I really appreciate the last aspect - the display value of this robot mode is much better than it would be if he was only able to hold the tail. The dark paint job on this weapon was not a good idea - it should be a bright centrepiece, not the sea of black we have this time.
A good robot mode, thanks to a fairly involved transformation once you open the shell pieces. The colour scheme is really good, which is unexpected in this line, but welcome. The chiefteam theme is quite cool, and the kibble is quite well dealt with. This robot mode is pretty good for a shellformer.
None as such, although as mentioned this toy is a repaint of both Sabreback and Beast Machines Striker. TFU Snarl also shares the mould.
A good mould with nice modes, and for the most part this repaint works. The attack mode isn't really much to get excited about, but Striker has enough happening anyway. The Dinosaur mode is quite realistic, the robot mode is a lot of fun. The painted details on the beast mode are typical of the unfocused Universe line, so I'd recommend one of the other versions of this mould first, but the mould is strong enough that I'd recommend Striker if you can't get your hands on the others - 6.5/10