Beast Wars Neo Longrack Review

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    My buddy Desastron did a review for this guy here:

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    For more pictures, click on the image above

    Prelude: Most fans will have heard of the series Beast Wars, which was one of the milestones in the history of the Transformers. What's not quite as widely known, though, is that "Beast Wars" spawned not just one, but two spin-off series.

    First there was Beast Wars II, which was created mainly to bridge the gap for Japanese fans between seasons of Beast Wars. This series was never aired outside of Japan, but it was popular enough to pave the way for a second spin-off series.

    Beast Wars Neo might just be the most extraordinary Transformers series ever produced. The characters especially were set up differently than one would expect. Big Convoy’s band of recruits, for one thing, does not exactly confirm to the standard mix of characters one is used to in a Transformers series. Usually you have the same type of figures, who barely have time to develop their own character. Except for the mandatory hot-headed slob, who always gets in over his head. Remember Armada Hot Shot? Beast Wars Neo turns that trend on its head.

    The entire main cast of the series consists of individualists, most of whom are hot-headed slobs themselves. The only exception is Longrack, who portrays the voice of reason in this series. Not that most people pay much attention to said voice, mind you.

    Nevertheless Longrack quickly becomes Big Convoy’s executive officer in the first episode. Maybe because the big guy had few alternatives, seeing as the rest of his crew consists solely of louts, slobs, cowards and sleepyheads. Longrack takes his posting very seriously, though, and develops into a competent officer over the course of the series.

    Robot Mode: Longrack is a Mega-class figure (today’s Voyager class) and thanks to his rather unique design he seems to be a lot more massive than he actually is. Especially his right arm, which consists of the entire neck and head of the alternate mode, makes him look pretty big. His left arm, on the other hand, consists of the lower back of his alternate mode, complete with tail (or to say it plainly: it’s the beast’s behind).

    The actual body of the robot is rather slim, but very nicely sculpted and detailed. Plus there is a nice gimmick here. If you twist his spotted chest plate aside, you get a look at Longrack’s spark crystal. The head, too, leaves little room for complaint. It’s very nicely sculpted and makes for a near-perfect counterpart to the cartoon character’s noggin’.

    Another detail worth mentioning are the two posable missile launchers on Longrack’s back. While not extraordinary in itself, they’re an added benefit to this figure, even though they very nearly drove me insane during the transformation, as they went off every few seconds. The triggers are in places where you can’ t help but touch during the transformation procedure. Still, they are a nice bonus here.

    A few words about the legs. Here, too, I can only say that they’re very nicely sculpted and very posable, too. Longrack’s posability is pretty good overall. Even the long neck on his right arm doesn’t really hinder him any.

    Said arm contains yet another gimmick, by the way. If you press a certain spot on the neck, the long claw Longrack has in place of a right hand shoots forward on a long extension. And if that weren’t enough, the claw can open and close and it can even hold Longrack’s weapon, a kind of saber. The latter looks better when held in his left, normal hand, though.

    What else can I say here? Yes, the paint job, haven’t mentioned that yet. Longrack’s paint job is defined by the spotted pattern of his alternate mode. It’s broken up nicely, though, by several silver-grey mechanical elements and a few red highlights. A very nice paint job, which only enhances the great overall impression of this robot mode. In other words: Absolutely no complaints about this mode.

    Alternate Mode: A relatively complicated and rather asymmetrical transformation turns Longrack into a giraffe. This might be one of the most unique and unusual alternate modes of them all. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. Quite the opposite, as it makes Longrack even more interesting.

    The giraffe is big, really big, especially considering that we’re talking about a Mega-sized figure here. In terms of posability Longrack must take a step back here. The head can move, just like the rear legs and the tail. The front legs can only be moved at the knees, though.

    The upper front legs are completely immobile, though, just like the long neck. This somewhat limits Longrack’s possibilities for dynamic poses in this mode. I doubt, though, that the design left any other possibility here, seeing as the long neck contains the extending claw and the upper forelegs contain the missile launchers. The latter are a bit bothersome here, by the way, because if you grab the giraffe, you almost inevitably touch the launchers’ triggers and Longrack fires into his own kneecaps.

    Longrack has one more extra in this mode, I’m speaking about his tongue. It sticks out of his mouth a bit. If you push it in, Longrack’s eyes move. It’s a matter of taste, of course, whether or not you like this gimmick, but in any case it does imitate the typical feeding movement of a real giraffe, who more or less “grabs” its food with its tongue. Whichever way you look at it, I see it as a nice little goodie.

    So all in all the alternate mode is pretty good apart from some minor issues. But wait a minute, didn’t I forget something here? I fear it is so, because just like many other figures of the Beast Wars Neo line-up Longrack, too, has a rather superfluous and ridiculous-looking third mode. He transforms into a kind of battering ram. Or maybe it’s a crane, I’m not really sure. The extending claw arm points forward, while a smaller figure can stand behind it, which kind of says ‘battering ram’ to me.

    Whatever the case, I tend to ignore this strange construct and focus on the other two modes, both of which actually appeared in the series. This third mode doesn’t make the figure any worse, but I just wanted to mention that it exists, strangeness and all.

    Conclusion: Say what you want about Beast Wars Neo, but this is one series that doesn’t come short on surprises. When I first heard about Longrack, I thought the idea of a Transformer that turned into a giraffe to be a joke. It was a joyful surprise to see that, not only was this joke actually real, it’s a pretty good kind of real.

    Longrack’s robot mode is great. It looks good, has a very unique design, excellent posability and several nice extras such as the strange saber, the extending claw and his missile launchers. The paint job is also quite nice and very well done overall, just like the detailing. So in terms of the robot mode: Two thumbs up.

    As for the alternate mode, I’m more or less satisfied overall here as well. The only thing that somewhat lessens the positive impression here is the lack of posability in the front legs. As far as the third mode goes, it’s enough to know that it exists. Only fans of forced third modes need to know more than that.

    So to sum it up: I’m pretty much thrilled by Longrack. Because of some minor shortcomings in the alternate mode he does miss an A rating by a hair, but I still award him a very good…

    Rating: B+
     
  2. Jarodimus

    Jarodimus the guy with that scan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Love love LOVE Longrack. Probably my favorite beast TF, and one of my favorite headsculpts. It's been too long since I've fiddled with him.

    Your pic isn't working for me, though it does at the linked page.
     
  3. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    The picture link was messed up, not sure why. Fixed it. Thanks for the tip.
     
  4. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    I've got the Sonokong set with Break and Stampy and that snake guy and Longrack is just a brilliant figure.
     
  5. TFcollecterguy

    TFcollecterguy Well-Known Member

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    That's a really cool design but I don't like it. Not that I hate beast wars. I only like the looks ov Optimus Primal and a couple others.
     
  6. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    One of the best beast toys ever IMO.
     
  7. Zress Tayasu

    Zress Tayasu Axiom

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    huh. looking at him, that repaint/remold they did during cybertron was a good choice of mold, it seems.
     
  8. MACRAPTRON

    MACRAPTRON Well-Known Member

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    Neo and Transmetals are my favorite Beast Wars toylines.
    Longrack is cool, but my favorite is Guiledart. The little guy is awesome, he and Killerpunch.
     
  9. Desastron

    Desastron Member

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    Than you might like my next review of the Beast Wars Neo line since it will be about Guildart.
    It's already written and will soon be sent to Phil, who does the translation part.
    Killerpunch will also get his review but I want to do all of the main figures first.
     
  10. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hehe, Longrack...

    Uh, ahem, but yes, he is one of my favorite Beast Wars toys ever. great design and great color scheme, and he's a giraffe. And giraffes kick ass.
     
  11. MidnightBliss

    MidnightBliss Well-Known Member

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    Love my BWN figures. Longrack is one of the best.
     
  12. Sage o' G-fruit

    Sage o' G-fruit Critics gonna critique

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    I've got to get this guy, and his Cybertron toy soon. :D 
     

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