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Old 2017-09-07, 08:54 AM   #1
Skyquake87
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Default Animorphs Tri-Rex

Name : Tri-Rex
Allegiance : Animoprhs


Bio: We call ourselves Animorphs. We can't tell you who we are. It's too risky. The Yeerks are among us. We have the power to change into any animal we touch. Five kids against an empire of alien slugs but we may Earth's only chance of survival...

Our names are Jake, Marco and Cassie. Our ability to morph into any animal we touch is Earth's last hope. Now we found a creature so powerful, it takes three of us to become one. We use an advanced morphing technique to combine our efforts into one incredible change. Now we're unstoppable. We are the TRI-REX!



Animorphs! The not-Transformers branded as Transformers by the cheeky scamps at Hasbro in 1999. Probably because the toys riffed off the engineering marvels of Beast Wars, they were animals and (most probably), because as toys, they transformed, lending for some branding cross-sell funtimes.

The premise of the toyline was taken from a series of popular books for the teenage market and had nothing whatsoever to do with the warring robots, but featured the struggles of a group of kids as they took on a bunch of aliens. They did this through Manimal-style hijinks, turning into various Earth creatures. A TV show followed, running for 26 episodes across 2 seasons between 1998 and 2000, but unlike Manimal, didn't benefit from Stan Winston's special effects, but some crude CGI 'morphing' effects.

Much as I like all the razzmatazz of mainline Transformers, I do have a lot of fondness for some of its less celebrated diversions and Animorphs certainly checks that box. They're all such weird and ugly looking toys and worthy of a closer look. Being a rather unloved and largely forgotten toyline, the figures aren't as easy to come by now as they were a few years ago. I managed to get hold of what is easily the biggest and most impressive figure from the line: Tri-Rex- a horrible squishy threesome of key characters Jake, Marco and Cassie. Who all sound like they should be on Saved By The Bell.


Human mode: This is where a lot of the scorn for the line gets directed. Animorphs had two kinds of humanoid forms a full on human form and an intermediate mid-morph effect, which mixed animal and human features. The former was passable, if not massively convincing, with characters looking like they were dressed as a football mascot with their civvies over the top. The latter is more horrific looking and plays on the body-horror of switching to a different form. As far as the toys went, its the mid-morph look that I think works well and makes for a more interesting looking figure. Your mileage may vary.

In a set filled with mad looking figures, it's difficult to say any of them look any good and it doesn't half look like Hasbro had been influenced by Beast Wars Neo on the design front. Jake is made up of the head of the beast and as such is quite a stumpy and portly looking fellow with an awkward looking human head perched on top. The kibble is a bit clumsy but with some careful manipulation, you can keep it out of the way to strike some decent poses. The flip out blade weapons are a neat touch, but it's a shame these couldn't have been painted up. Marco probably looks the best of the three, by dint of being the one with the least involved transformation due to hawking around the battery box. His mad googly red eyes and those fearsome looking dino-legs as arms make him look rather frightening and I like the blending of scales/ human flesh/ torn clothes on the humanoid form. Cassie sadly looks a bit of a mess. Two huge chunks of dino-guts swamp her right arm, making it difficult to do anything with and her left arm is just the tail necessitated by a gimmick that allows you to 'flick' the tail to give a whipping action. Her torso looks a bit stretched and whilst she has the same blend of scales and skin as the other two, she's easily the least lovely looking one of the bunch, with her bloated face. Her crop top has a nice moulded Animorphs logo, but I think all three would have just benefited from getting rid of their clothing and going full on with a mix of animal and human flesh as the texturing where it appears is really nice.

Beast Mode: Whatever the merits (or not) of the human modes, the combined beast mode is fantastic. Compare this to the earlier Beast Wars Megatron figure, which (colours aside), feels a little bit bulky and just doesn't look as dangerous as Tri-Rex. The more considered colour palette is obviously a massive help, with a nice mix of black, red and mustard yellow. The texturing of the skin and muscle structure is superb. The toy box photography does show the figure using its tail to balance, but it's perfectly stable stood on its own two legs. It's a good size too, being about a foot long from head to tail. It's an incredible looking figure and holds its own against some of the best Beast Wars figures.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation design: Whilst there is some shell-forming, it makes sense here despite the impact this has on the human modes and there's still a fair bit of actual transforming to do. The way the three figures seamlessly lock together to form the beast mode is genius. 8/10

Durability: Nice, solid plastics, ball joints and pins lend the figures some heft and in combined mode, Tri-Rex feels like a brute. 9/10

Fun: If the human modes don't tickle your fancy, there's superb beast mode to play with with some fun sound effects. The tail whipping action is something I could have lived without, as it's not very good. The big plus point is that unlike other figures in the range, there's no detachable parts that are likely to get lost. 8/10

Aesthetics: I like what they were going for here the use of mid-moprh rather than full on human forms works wonders and the beast mode really is an excellent looking thing. 9/10

Value/ Price: Aftermarket prices are quite variable and suprisingly steep for a largely unloved toyline, but if you're patient, you can find Trii-Rex for it's original RRP or less. 7/10

Overall: Animoprhs isn't a Transformers line that's going to appeal to everyone, but this figure, perhaps more than any other, represents the best of the line and the one to go for if you're curious. It's hard not to imagine that, with some minor retooling and new heads, this would have made for a very good Beast Wars toy. 8/10
 
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Old 2017-09-07, 08:56 AM   #2
Skyquake87
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