Semi-retro review: Beast Machines Silverbolt

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    For more pics, click on the image above

    Robot Mode: In the TV series Silverbolt was the tallest of the Maximals (though not as massive as Optimus Primal). He was also cast in dark grey and purple colours to underscore his brooding ‘Dark Knight’ shtick. So naturally the toy representing this character is not only the smallest of the good guys (a Basic figure, comparable to today’s Scout/Commander class), it also comes in bright primary colours, mostly red and yellow with light blue feathers and wings. Somewhat like bringing out a toy for the “Batman: The Dark Knight” movie by Nolan and modelling it after Adam West.

    Size and colours aside, though, the robot mode does manage to look very close to the character we saw on TV, which is far from a given in Beast Machines. It’s a very slim robot with the kind of chicken legs that would become en vogue nearly a decade later in the Revenge of the Fallen line. It’s nicely detailed and manages to mostly disguise the fact that it’s got a big beast mode head as a belly. The robot head looks very screen-accurate, too, though the whole look is a bit too Samurai-Jack for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, I like Samurai Jack, but not as a Transformer. Articulation is pretty good, though the robot really would benefit from heel spurs, as he’s prone to toppling over backwards.

    All in all a decent robot mode if you disregard colour and size, except for the weapon. Basically it’s the wings of his beast mode, folded together into a giant fan or something. Unfolding the wings reveals a kind of sword, but now the whole thing’s far too unwieldy to use. The weapon can be stored on Silverbolt’s lower back. If you put it there, you should unfold the wings, though, because leaving them folded forces the figure’s legs forward, threatening its balance quite severely. So bottom line: an okay robot, which could be better if not for some shortcomings.

    Beast Mode: According to his profile Silverbolt transforms into a techno-organic condor. In reality the toy transforms into a primary-coloured robotic chicken with robot legs haphazardly positioned along the wings in a futile effort to disguise them. There is a way to fold the legs behind the chicken’s back, hiding them a tiny bit better, but still: it’s a chicken with robot legs hanging off its body. There’s no getting around that.

    And... yeah, that’s pretty much it. The chicken is moderately articulated; it can move its legs a bit. And those pesky robot legs can move as well, of course, but no matter where you put them... you get the picture. So, a strong candidate for worst beast mode of all time. Probably not the winner (there is still Optimus Minor, after all), but definitely a runner-up.

    Remarks: After being one of the most fun characters in Beast Wars with his penchant for over-the-top heroics, Silverbolt became the tragic figure of Beast Machines when it was revealed that he had been reformatted into the evil Jetstorm. Inevitably the Maximals managed to bring him back in the series’ second season, once again giving him a new body, though his personality was now more of a brooding Batman-type rather than the joyous hero he had once been.

    While I consider the story of Silverbolt one of the better aspects of Beast Machines, the body he ended up in, both on TV and as a toy, is by far the worst incarnation of Silverbolt we’ve seen so far. The robot mode manages to be okay for the most part, but the beast mode is just ridiculous, the design in general is far from great, and the colour scheme doesn’t resemble the TV character in the slightest (the Japanese version was far more TV accurate in colour, but that didn’t change the other problems of the figure). So at the end of the day, I can recommend this figure only to Silverbolt fanatics or Beast Machines completists. Everyone else should much rather look at the Beast Wars version if you want a Silverbolt.

    Rating: C-
     
  2. iron maniac

    iron maniac Help Uncle Sixshot, Help!

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    Actually what happened to Silverbolt and Rhinox aggravated me to the point where it nearly ruined Beast Machines for me. Beast Machines was a major downgrade from Beast Wars IMO. The superior CG animation is what saves the series, it really is absolutely outstanding for the time. I wish Beast Wars had the same quality of CG animation(although season 3 was quite good):2c: 

    Anyway, I totally agree with you about the toy 100% it's just kinda meh as far as Beast Wars/Machines toys go. Silverbolt deserved better.
     
  3. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Agreed. Beast Machines Silverbolt had a horrid beast mode and decent robot mode and given how it appeared in the animation makes the toy that much worse. This is definitely the worst toy to have the Silverbolt name.
     
  4. PrimusVsUnicron

    PrimusVsUnicron Well-Known Member

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    Batman Sliverbolt and Hippie Primal
     
  5. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    I could've lived with the garrish color choices if only he had been larger (Deluxe, at least) or even had a better beast mode. It's upsetting that this was the only figure we got for BM Silverbolt, yet the only figures for Rattrap and Nightscream (easily the smallest on-screen characters) were gigantic; why couldn't they make a couple Basic versions of those guys?? Oh well.
     
  6. Woodclaw

    Woodclaw Sargebot

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    Not to mention Rattrap being unarmed and depressed because of his lack of firepower... sad.:thumbdown 
     
  7. iron maniac

    iron maniac Help Uncle Sixshot, Help!

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    The whole series he was very "un-Rattrap", it still bugs me how the charcters were handled in BM.
     
  8. grimlockprime

    grimlockprime Well-Known Member

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    superior animation?i'll grant the facial animation was top notch,but alot of effects and backgrounds were downright primitive.the "cheeto" explosions,
    the biggest cheat of all with the transformations(basically we shrink the character into a ball of light and they come out as their alt mode),and "lets use shadow to hide the bland backgrounds" hurts the animation quality.
     
  9. PopCulturePooka

    PopCulturePooka Longest running avatar

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    Say what you want about this toy and BM toys in particular, but I am such a sucker for translucent parts on toys and BM had it in spades.
     
  10. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    You're mistaking stylization for primitive animation. The "cheeto" explosions were part of a deliberate effort, combined with the matte textures and contrasting colours, to make a more "anime/cartoonish" look. They weren't a product of bad animation, they were a concentrated effort to make the most of the limited CGI and make everything look unified, and thanks to that Beast Machnies holds up way the hell better than Beats Wars, visually. Explosions in Beast Wars, those were primitive. Either they had laughably phoney looking overlays of actual protechnics, or they were those doofy CGI bubbles.

    And at least Beast Machines bothered to try and hide lacking backgrounds.
     

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