Blackjack's Review: Prime Beast Hunters Hun-Gurrr
Cyberverse Legion Class
The Terrorcons is the combiner group from Generation One that I really liked due to their wacky monster alternate modes and their funky 80’s colours, yet have never really gotten a revisit over the years until recently as part of the Beast Hunters subline. And instead of just repainting random dragon toys, they got honest-to-goodness new moulds, and I remember being so ridiculously happy when I saw the beautiful, beautiful image of the Sinnertwin toy (now renamed into the equally awesome Twinstrike) first surfacing on news sites. I was even happier to find out that Hasbro’s making all five Terrorcons, and they’ll combine… and the latter part worries me a lot. Combination is really not something that Hasbro/Takara has gotten the hang of over the years. They either look good and have no articulation, or look gangly and messy but have good articulation. To say nothing of the fact that the individual components usually get shafted in the design process. My recent purchase of the extremely underwhelming Fall of Cybertron Bruticus set doesn’t do much to alleviate my concerns, although at least they’re taking a step in the right direction.
The Terrorcons are Legends class toys, though, and while the limbs are pretty awesome little dudes, they don’t so much as transform into limbs as do a few little contortionist moves and call it a day. Twinstrike and Cutthroat basically fold up their beast modes and latch on to the central body. And while traditionally the robot that forms the central body is one size class larger than the limbs, as with Bruticus, the central body here is at the exact same size with the other limbs… which leads to really ridiculous proportions. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell me if your arm or leg has the same mass as your entire torso and stomach. It’s really ridiculous, although I can see, sort of, why they are doing this – it’s in order to make the combined robot not too heavy for the legs to support, but the end result is usually horrid looking and the resulting Abominus is no exception. Like Onslaught in the Bruticus set, Hun-Gurrr does look as if he is the weakest out of the five.
But we’re not going to talk about Abominus, not just yet, anyway, because this review is about Hun-Gurrr. Hun-Gurrr is a reimagination of the original Generation One Terrorcon leader, who is called Hun-Grrr, Hun-Grr, Hun-Gurrr, Hun-Garr and Hun-Gar in differing official sources from the packaging to the instructions to the Marvel comics to cartoon scripts. It simply adds to the ridiculousness of his punny name, and IDW comics seems to have it a running joke to change the spelling of his name in each comic. Since this is my review, I will be parsing his name as Hun-Grr. It’s the spelling I first saw in the Marvel comics and thus the ‘right’ one in my head, and I type two letters less than if I typed ‘Hun-Gurrr’. Not much of a reason, but what the hey.
Hasbro did release a half-hearted repaint of Cybertron Scourge as Hun-Grr in 2008’s Universe line along a slew of other half-hearted repaints, but other than that and the original toy there aren’t any Hun-Grr toys out there. There is also no one who wants to trademark the name Hun-Grr (or, rather, Hun-Gurrr) so he and Rippersnapper get to be the only two Terrorcons to keep their original name.
Out of the five modern Terrorcons, Hun-Grr is the one I want the least, and the one I eventually never managed to find in my Terrorcon hunt. As if to mock me, I finally found him in a clearance sale. Loads and loads of him.
The original Hun-Grr transforms into a mainly gray two-headed dragon-dinosaur thing with pink spine spikes. It’s basically Sinnertwin’s alternate mode, only bigger, scarier and with articulation. Beast Hunters Hun-Grr, on the other hand, transforms into a two-headed theropodal dragon. It is really kind of a jarring exchange, because instead of being a four-legged beast which gives off the impression of being large and in charge of the other Terrorcons, now Hun-Grr looks like a two-headed chicken with long necks. And the long necks and short body doesn’t give off a threatening silhouette like a Tyrannosaurus or a Velociraptor. Unlike the revisions made to the other Terrorcons, this is not a change I am happy with, since he went from looking like the most imposing Terrorcon to the most fragile.
Also, they decided to change Hun-Grr’s colour from gray to white, and his pink bits turned into dark maroon. And instead of being confined to his spine spikes, Hun-Grr’s two dragon heads, his tail, parts of his back that are obviously his robot mode hips and chest and both of his legs. Yellow picks out a bunch of details here and there and silver colours his feet claws, but overall it’s a paint scheme that doesn’t really do a good of homaging the original toy, nor does it look good.
Unlike the other modern Terrorcons, Hun-Grr’s heads look criminally small and non-threatening, and so are his dinky T-rex arms. His back is very obviously the torso of a robot, as I mentioned before, and beyond being a two-headed dragon he looks as much as Hun-Grr as the 2008 random redeco does. I know I may sound really harsh here, but considering the awesome job they did with the other four Terrorcons, Hun-Grr really feels inadequate.
In dragon mode, Hun-Grr is decently articulated. His useless arms can swing up and down, although they are connected with a single bar. Both legs are independently on two rotating joints and his claws are hinged. His neck is ball-jointed on where they connect to the body, and his heads are jointed to look up and down. I’m not really able to pull off a pose that doesn’t make him look comical.
Hun-Grr’s transformation is obvious and easy. You flip the tail back to reveal the head, move the dragon feet and turn them into arms, and the dragon heads become the legs. You can flip the leg-claws up or down depending if you want Hun-Grr to have Wolverine claws, or if you want them tucked away awkwardly. In robot mode he’s still predominantly maroon, which I really dislike. I remembered Hun-Grr to be mainly gray, with pinkish-purple chest bits from both the comics and the cartoon, and pink from the toy. I would have been okay if it was the case – Abominus’ pinkiness adds to the sheer absurdity of his whole design – but it’s just disappointing and makes Hun-Grr look even more different from who he is supposed to homage. Articulation remains more or less the same as the joints we know in dragon mode. Shoulders, hips and ankles, plus the Wolverine claws.
Hun-Grr also has G1 Sideswipe’s head plus a visor for some reason. His broad shoulders, his stout body and his criminally long and lanky legs give the impression of a really non-threatening person, which I highly doubt is an accurate portrayal of the supposedly-savage leader of a savage pack of savages. Compared to the other Terrorcons that look burly and brutish (Rippersnapper and Blight/Blot) or look sleek and predatory (Windrazor/Cutthroat and Twinstrike/Sinnertwin) Hun-Grr just looks out of place. He definitely doesn’t look like he could be the ‘Berserker Infantry’ that his toy lists as his function. It’s disappointing all around.
Hun-Grr comes with a unique weapon, the ‘Dragontooth Saw’, which is a blaster with a chainsaw bayonet. Which is awesome. Hun-Grr can hold it like a traditional chainsaw, or like a rifle, either holding it like a normal gun or underarm like some cool sci-fi gun. Like all Cyberverse weapons you can plug it into other weapons to make awkward-looking super-weapons.
Of course, he has to form the chest of Abominus, so you’d think they would make a lot of cuts to make Abominus work, but not really. If anything, Hun-Grr makes Abominus’ super mode worse. But before I touch Abominus, I will list Hun-Grr’s scores.
Marks out of ten for the following:
3/10 It’s functional, I suppose, but I so dislike both Hun-Grr’s robot mode and alternate mode. If, like Fall of Cybertron Onslaught, it had been a sacrifice to create a stable and good-looking Bruticus, I might have complied, but if anything Hun-Grr’s super-long robot legs causes Abominus to be ridiculously unstable and disproportioned.
8/10 I suppose modern Cyberverse toys are made out of relatively sturdy plastic, and unlike Rippersnapper or Twinstrike there aren’t any obviously thin or fragile parts.
1/10 The fact that Hun-Grr doesn’t work as a good homage, and looks terrible even without considering the need to homage, is my biggest problem with this toy. Bad proportions in robot mode, bad proportions in combined mode, bad proportions in dragon mode, a goofy looking alternate mode, a non-pleasing paint scheme…
3/10 Substandard even by Cyberverse standards. Warcry once told me that the original Hun-Grr toy had around eighteen points of articulation… for a G1 toy, which is awesome, since it means that the original Hun-Grr toy had as much points of articulation as a modern Deluxe class toy. Unfortunately, even when compared to his Legion class Terrorcon brethren, Hun-Grr fails to measure up.
3/10 I don’t find him really fun, especially since I’ve got four other great-looking, well-designed, well-articulated updated homages Terrorcons on the table with him.
3/10 As a standalone toy? He’s not worth your money. Go buy food instead. To complete your set of Terrorcons? I would argue that he’s not worth your money but anyone who likes Terrorcons enough to buy four is going to want Hun-Grr to complete the set, so I can’t really blame you.
2/10 A horrible disappointment in both modes. As I mentioned before, if he had been compromised badly in order to fit as a sturdy combiner chest it would have been somewhat of a forgivable affair, but since his design inarguably causes the resulting Abominus to be even worse, Hun-Grr sadly isn’t anywhere like his Generation One counterpart, which is probably the best ever combiner leader toy. It’s really a shame since I don’t want to hate this toy, but ever since I saw his promotional images I know there is no way this toy can be good. I really don’t like bashing a toy like this, but as a combiner part, he fails. As a homage, he fails. As a threatening Predacon, he fails. I don’t even hate the toy, I just cannot find any justification for giving him a higher score.
Blackjack’s mega value deal! Click one review link, get a second one completely free! You get a bonus Abominus review! 'Bonus Abominus' even rhymes somewhat. Anyway, for all your reading pleasure, I have decided to write up an additional review for Abominus right after writing the Hun-Grr one. I don’t really want to clutter up the index with another review, especially since unlike Bruticus I don’t have as much to say about Abominus. Anyway, the individual Beast Hunters Terrorcons don’t come with instructions to transform them into the combiner robot Abominus, but you can easily google up the instructions that did
come with the Walmart exclusive clear boxset, or the ones included with the Fruit-Loop-coloured Japanese repaint, Goradora.
Combining the Terrorcons into Abominus isn’t really that hard on the surface, although you’ll have some trouble folding Cutthroat/Windrazor’s arms into a compact shape, and you’d better make sure Blight/Blot and Rippersnapper has got all their bits clipped together properly lest they fall apart when you try and have them support Abominus’ entire weight. Hun-Grr, gets flipped around when combining so the dragon tail forms Abominus’ chest, probably to simulate the additional chest armour piece that the original G1 Abominus has. Hun-Grr’s robot hands also flip up in order to make Abominus have higher shoulders.
Abominus’ headsculpt looks relatively like his G1 toy head, except entirely purple (well, maroon) instead of having a purple face and a white helmet. Also, he’s grown a chin. And his horns have shrunk. His head looks a lot like Overlord now, actually.
Like I mentioned in the Hun-Grr review above, though, Hun-Grr has a really short body and really long legs. It’s barely proportional. Now imagine if his legs extended even more. Like, an entire body-height more. Yeah, that is exactly what Abominus looks like. He looks ridiculous, and if you think those long legs don’t look stable, you are right. And that’s not to say that Rippersnapper’s shark head halves don’t peg well together stably (though the shark and robot arms do help to stabilize the leg). Abominus is a gangly, unstable giant that, despite being able to rotate his shoulders and have ball jointed hips and hinged knees, won’t be able to use any of his articulation without having Hun-Grr’s feet pop out of the legs. It’s a two-edged sword, and I really had hoped they went for a Commander class Hun-Grr. Abominus might not be such a mess if it’s done that way, but who knows? It might be an even bigger mess that the legs can’t support.
The arms are really too massive and unwieldy, and they can't even point flush straight down due to Blight and Rippersnapper's robot arms kind of getting in the way. Blight and Rippersnapper also kind of jostle for space, and as a result Abominus' legs are permanently locked in a slightly open fashion. The way that Hun-Grr's dragon heads are bent and how they very loosely attach to Blight and Rippersnapper also means that Abominus is almost always doing a slight pelvic thrust with his abnormally chest-high crotch.
Abominus’ arms are better, but they are not so much arms as the beast modes of Windrazor/Cutthroat and Twinstrike pegged in, with their tails folded away. So on one hand Abominus has a gargoyle-pterodactyl monster as an entire limb… although Windrazor’s wings does look like a nifty arm-mounted crossbow or some weird fan-blades. And a two-headed dragon forms the other hand. On the Windrazor arm he has a bird’s head as a hand, articulated at Cutthroat’s neck and simulating a weak elbow. The Twinstrike arm is relatively static, and with the power of imagination you can pretend that his two heads and two forelegs (which can extend out further at the shoulder) are opposable fingers. Or fold away his forelegs and make Abominus a three-handed dude with two smaller dragon heads as arms on one side. All the ‘hands’ can, of course, hold a Cyberverse weapon, or you can go the Japanese anime route and combine a chainsaw bayonet, two crossbow-pickaxes and two hammers into something and have them hold it. I actually like the look of his hands that are blatantly beasts, Abominus is supposed to be a rampaging animal and his adds to the whole monster imagery. Pity the rest of him looks so pathetic.
Overall, considering the effort I put in to hunt down all the Terrorcons, it's very much underwhelming. Good thing I didn't expect much at all from the original pictures. Abominus is also available in half-transparent plastic from the giftset, or in Fruit Loop colours from Takara (which I am ashamed to say I own), and at least two of the individual Terrorcons are getting upsized with less joints into Deluxe class toys in a rather silly move by Hasbro. So there is no shortage of Terrorcons for you.
Marks out of ten for the following:
2/10 The combination gimmick seems to be an afterthought with all five Terrorcons, to be honest. They don’t really give much of a damn with Windrazor and Twinstrike, and while Blight and Rippersnapper have transformations built in they don’t really deviate that much from their transformation schemes, just a few additional hinges here and there. Hun-Grr doesn’t so much transform as get flipped around, change a head and stretch his limbs wide like he’s being quartered.
5/10 The individual toys themselves are relatively durable, but Abominus himself is prone to fall down.
3/10 Abominus is really badly proportioned, and even then he looks really terrible. It’s even hard to stand him up straight, he’ll tend to lean to one side either because of Hun-Grr’s loose hip joints, or because Rippersnapper’s shark heads don’t clip together well. The alternative is to have all five Terrorcons displayed separately, which looks a lot, lot better.
2/10 You can safely move around the shoulders and the necks of Windrazor and Sinnertwin to simulate elbows, but touch anything on the lower limb after you’ve combined him and you’ll knock his balance off, or make him look even more disproportionate than he already is.
3/10 Rar rar giant robot terrorizing Legion toys and Kreons! Except the giant robot looks fragile and the five dragons (well, two dragons, one mutant dinosaur, one shark dinosaur and one gorilla crocodile thing) look far more threatening than Abominus is.
8/10 If you’re getting this set for Abominus? Forget it. Bar Hun-Grr all the Terrorcons are totally worth it, though.
3/10 Abominus is an afterthought tacked on to a set of mostly-wonderful toys. It’s a bonus, it’s a bonus they included to appease fans that would no doubt complain if Hasbro released a Terrorcon set that can’t combine. So good for Hasbro, now they’ve got fans who complain because Hasbro released a Terrorcon set that combines into a shit gestalt. You’d argue that a shit gestalt is better than no gestalt, but I’d take no gestalt over a bad Hun-Grr plus a shit gestalt any day. Abominus is a nice touch for older fans and a nice little nod to fans of this wacky obscure combiner team, but at the end of the day it’s a simple tack-on bonus with not much thought put into it. It’s a good thing, though, because (again, poor Hun-Grr aside) all the Terrorcons ended up being awesome toys and awesome homages instead of the shoddy sub-par effort that was Bruticus.