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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review of: Transmetal Tarantulas

Name: Tarantulas
Function: Secret Police

There are few Predacons spinning webs of violence and deceit as skillfully as the eight-legged ninja warrior Tarantulas. After the quantum surge, Tarantulas was delighted to discover himself as a meched-out arachnid with motor-cross vehicle-like capabilities. Instead of constantly relying on stealth and surprise, Tarantulas now races into battle on his wicked new wheels, converting into a new animalized robot mode that makes him virtually unstoppable in battle!

Spiders alive! Tarantulas, the character, is something of an anomaly in the Transformer stories: a backstabbing saboteur that's actually competent. Tarantulas, the toy, is something far more normal for the Beast Wars Transmetals: fun to play with, neat alternate modes, and good articulation. Well, on with it!

Spider Mode:
Tarantulas, the spider, is something that would have worked superbly alongside G1 animal figures. It's fully robotic, and nicely detailed. It would have never passed, though, simply because it does have some articulation to it. The legs are all made of single pieces of plastic, meaning they can't bend, but they are mounted on the body with ball joints, so they can be posed about and such. Other than some shiny-metallic spider fangs, there's little else to this mode.

Bike Mode:
One gimmick sandwiched in to the Transmetals was the inclusion of tertiary vehicle modes. For Tarantulas, this was incarnated as something of a motor bike. Two little wheels flip down, and off he supposedly goes. Out of all the Transmetal figures, I'd have to say I like this one the least. It's not to suggest that trying worm some other type of vehicle into a spider's body would be any easier, but it just seems lackluster on the whole.

Robot Mode:
The best of the three. Complete with buzzsaw, massive shoulder-things, and giant spider-leg-wings-from-hell, Tarantulas is quite intimidating. As if the mere structure of his appearance weren't enough, the colors play into this as well: the blacks, neon greens, dark maroons, and the dull sheen of chrome all contribute to the imposing visage.

But looks aren't everything! Tarantulas has quite a bit of dexterity, as well. Multiple ball joints abound, and the big feet help offset the balance problem that possesses Blackarachia. There is some limit to his elbows, however. His little spider hands are a bit different though, so he can really only hold his own weapon and not swap around with the other Beast Wars figures.

Transformation: 7. Kind of tricky the first time. All in all, well designed, but the bike mode sucks.
Durability: 9. Very solid little figure, but beware of chipping the chrome!
Fun: 9. Yet another spectacularly good Beast Wars figure. Detail, simplicity, articulation, and no extra parts.
Price: 6. Tarantulas is hard to find, for some reason. Prepare to suffer unto the laws of supply and demand if you go on ebay.
Overall. 8. A great figure, all things accounted for. Even the tacky bike mode can be overcome by simply ignoring it. It is somewhat harder to find than some other Beast Wars figures, and as such most people would probably be just as content owning any of the other fine figures from the line.
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