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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Knightdramon's review of: Bonecrusher

Name: Bonecrusher
Function: First-Strike Infantry
Sub-group: Maximal

As stubborn as he is strong, nothing can stop the brawny Bonecrusher when he charges into battle to crack some skulls! Like a living locomotive with a one-track mind, all he wants to do is fight, fight, fight! Optimus Primal tries to get him to lighten up, if only to prevent him from overheating an internal coolant co-processor, but Bonecrusher would rather be out pounding his enemies into cyber scrap. His favorite attack strategy is to stun opponents with a dizzying head-butt, and then finish them off with a fast firing missile shot straight from his mouth!

Bonecrusher is one of the BW figures that never made it to the show, but was featured (albeit recoloured) in the BW II cartoon in Japan. The character-or lack thereof- of "Big Horn" was pretty much as described in Bonecrusher's bio.

Bonecrusher made an appearance in the IDW's Beast Wars story as part of Razorbeast's initial recruits. Due to the rather short amount of space and time the series was provided with, his character was not explored at all. He got like five lines, but earned points being one of the four Maximals standing against a legion of Predacons at the fourth issue.

I remember Bonecrusher being one of the last BW toys I purchased all those years ago, and hence, he has the least playwear of them all. Still holds a soft spot in my collection as he's pretty nifty in both modes and nicely articulated.

Beast Mode

Bonecrusher is a buffalo of sorts. He's not overly big or too small-he's stocked. Averaging at about 12 cms head to tail and a tad higher than 9 from hooves to back, he's your average deluxe, although the proportions are a better than, say, Rhinox's.

The primary colour used on this mode is black with bronze, spray of silver and gray used for detailing. From his face to his tail he has a nice spray of silver that held pretty well through the years. Gray is used for his thighs on the rear legs (sprayed-on as well) and part of his lower legs. Bronze is used for the horns and nose, with red for those characterless eyes of his. The fur patterns are replicated quite nicely, starting as thick on his shoulders and becoming finer towards his tail and hind legs. Even his horns have detailing in the form of outer circles rounding them in patterns of four per horn.

In terms of playability, Bonecrusher disappoints. He has five pseudo articulation points that serve no purpose, focused on his legs and the ability to lower his head. His robot mode legs are apparent looking at his from the back, the shoulder panels do not align perfectly with the robot mode head and his arms are evident on his belly. The action feature of this figure is usable here as well; lowering the beast head and pulling the tail back, the robot head launches forward with a spring loaded missile bursting forth from the mouth. A useless gimmick that really does not work as well as you'd think it does.

Robot Mode

One of the things I like in this mould is definitely the way it transforms. The joints used in the transformation provide the arms and mid-section of the robot a spectacular array of articulation for his age. It also provides some impressive kibble (never thought I'd see these two words next to each other) on the shoulders, giving an imposing and grand appearance.

The only new colour addition in this mode is white, used for the lower part of the elbow and below the knee, as well as on the face. Speaking of which, lots of detail is missing from the head sculpt. Just two panel lines below the mouth and a silver moustache adourn the hollow, square mouth that houses the missile. Black and red are used for the eyes. Details are present on the lower arms too, with wires and other tech detail sculpted on. Tech detail is also featured on the waist and lower legs. Bronze is used for his toes (four on each leg) with ample panel lines and sculpted detail to accompany it.

There's fifteen points of articulation divided between the main body and limbs. Each leg has an adjustable ankle joint (only goes forward and backward though), a knee joint that allows for around 180 degrees of backwards movement and the obligatory ball joint at the hip. The waist fully rotates 360 degrees due to the transformation method. The arms have an adjustable joint on their collection to the body, a ball joint for the shoulder, a swivel joint for the elbow and a ball joint just below that. His hands are moulded open palmed, which is a plus in my book. Unfortunately, due to the stupid gimmick, his head has no articulation.

The only fault of this mould lies in the gimmick. The buffalo's entire back and spine, reaching to the horns, form the robot head. It cannot break down and fold inwards to the body, so he's very back heavy. This can be remedied by not folding the hind legs of the beast mode and using them as support. However, aesthetically, it breaks up the imposing nature of the figure.

The verdict? Bonecrusher IS a nice figure once you get over the missile firing gimmick. He's nicely detailed, has plenty of articulation points for dynamic posing and he's one of the few transformers who actually gains from the kibble. Recommended if you can get him for cheap.

Transformation: 8. Intuitive and years ahead of its design. You may need instructions on your first try, just to figure out the order of which you'll need to move some parts.
Durability: 10. No paint has chipped, nothing is broken or loose and he did survive some playwear (though not as much as his other comrades).
Fun: 7. The spring loaded action isn't incorporated nicely but he has the articulation to make up for it.
Price: 5. You can get him for cheap at lots or buy him individually. The carded samples tend to go for high prices, but cheap ones do pop here and there. The Japanese version is usually cheaper.
Overall: 7. A fun figure with plenty of articulation points and a nice sculpt to go by. If you can get past the awful launching system, he's largely for you. Recommended to pre-transmetals fans.

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