Week 180: What is the best Beast Wars Basic Flipchanger Maximal?
Meet the European Year 1 Beast Wars Basic Assortment:
With the exception of one repaint released much later, these are all the mainline Beast Wars Basic Flipchangers.
In the US these were divided into TWO waves, with Rattrap & Razorbeast in wave 1 who were joined by Armadillo in Wave 2. You will note there's one less Maximal than Predacon and the Maximals don't have a retool from the vs pack.
Rattrap. And not because of the show character. The day I saw pictures of these in a Tomart Action Figure magazine in late 1995, the rat one with its massive head and obvious transformation was the one that caught my eye and was the one I wanted the most. Love the way his animal legs just stick out to the sides in robot mode. I assumed he was a bad guy.
Yeah, I think it's going to have to be Rattrap - and I don't just think it's because of the show (although it's hard to be sure). Those feet sticking out the side may be ridiculous, but they do draw the eye...
Rattrap is the only one of these three to have a Western Repaint and even then it's a convention exclusive: Packrat.
Razorbeast wasn't available in Japan except via import. The same goes for Iguanus. They both get a Neo repaint though, and indeed are in opposition to each other as C-34 vs D-24 (and in VS-34). Unfortunately Razorbeast's Neo repaint Randy is notorious for it's GPS - I broke one getting it out the packaging!
In Japan Armordillo was available in his original colours in the VS-X1 Volcano Showdown playset. He's also repainted in Neo, as Bump, and in Robotmasters as Psycho Orb
Like many of the show characters, there are TWO versions of Rattrap in Japan
The first, with a green sticker on the packaging, is the US Release
Razorbeast wasn't available in Japan except via import. The same goes for Iguanus.
This has taken me down a rabbit hole this morning....
TFWikis pages for Razorback and Iguanus say they're shown on an early Japanese catalogue. I did some digging and I found it..... which is why I've spent a large amount of today scanning:
This is the Japanese image showing them and giving their names: it's a battle scene from the first Japanese catalogue using all the first year US toys.
They don't feature anywhere else on the catalogue, neither does Insecticon who would end up paired with Year 2's Airazor in the last wave of Japanese original BW toys - now I don't have a catalogue showing them (or Inferno & Cybershark) - does anyone else?
Here's the rest of the catalogue (clck to go to Flickr foe enlargements) - it's in bits so you'll need to click on different bits of the same picture
Oh this is tough. Armordillo was my first Beast Wars toy, by no more than a few days at most and possibly just by being the first of several bought at the same time, still first. I love it but have to admit its the weakest of the three. I got Bump this year and the colours work better there.
Theres almost nothing between Rattrap and Razorbeast. But I had nearly a year between getting these and seeing the show and Im sure I favoured razorbeast. And I pretty much stick with that opinion now.
Theres almost nothing in the robot modes, but the smaller head on RB just give him a slightly better proportioned figure. the back pack tucks away a bit better so it doesnt look like hes carrying a splayed animal around. (even though thats exactly what they are doing. There totally should be a prehistoric, cave man reimagining of Beast Wars... I mean not as in the cartoon we already got)
The extra articulation in beast mode gives razorbeast ever so lsightly more play value there too.
Rattraps gun is great, very sensible weapon in a series that leant heavily in to silly tail/gut/leg/wig guns.
No, Alas. Hasbro Europe realised there were too many Predacon basics in the third BW Basic case and side swapped a Predacon instead of ditching an earlier Predacon basic and keeping the only remaining show Maximal basic.
In many ways these three are quite similar: quadrupeds pull up on the tail, the beast head folds down to become the robot chest and the legs extend out the back of the toy. In many ways, a Beast Wars version of the Sideswipe/Gobot TF. Rattrap and Razorbeast are even closer to each other with the beast body folding out to the sides with the arms pegged into the sides.
The weapons are all different: Armordillo's are formed from his rear feet: loose on of those and the beast is fatally compromised. Rattrap's two part gun is nice but has boiled my p!$$ ever since I bought a Rattrap minus the rear half of his gun and have thus far failed to replace it. Razorbeast's beast mode doesn't look too bad without the weapon and the weapon can additionally mounted on the robot mode's back.
So Razorbeast for me. And to celebrate here's a lovely picture of him from Ed Pirrie!