Hasbro Transformers Beast Wars Heroic Maximal Optimal Optimus
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|coolawacs||4:52pm on Thursday, June 24th, 2010|
|Beast Wars The Game This game is brilliant, Amazing 3D filled ps graphics, i also like the characters look. It works for ps, ps2.|
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(Unofficial) Frequently Asked Questions 7.0 Written by: Benson Yee (firstname.lastname@example.org) Document last updated January 19, 1999 In hopes of relaunching the Transformers toyline into success and catching lightening in a bottle another time, Hasbro/Kenner was eager to find a direction that would boost sales and exposure of the Transformers. Thus the Beast Wars Transformers toyline was released in 1995. This line was backed with a CGI animated television series, promotional tie-ins and even a video game! As with any successful line however, this one has created a steady barrage of commonly asked questions. It is these questions which this F.A.Q. hopes to address. Questions and comments about this F.A.Q. may be e-mailed to Benson Yee at: email@example.com. Also feel free to visit the Beast Wars Transformers (Unofficial) F.A.Q. World Wide Web site at: http://www.bwtf.com where this information and more may be found. 1. 2. What are Beast Wars Transformers? The Toy Line a. Beast Wars Transformers Toy List b. What are the Botcon Exclusives? c. Beast Wars around the world d. Tracking down older Beast Wars Transformers Toys e. Replacing lost pieces The Television Show a. What is the Beast Wars Transformers Television show about? b. What ties (if any) does this series have to the original Transformers series? c. Season One and Two episode lists & brief synopsis d. Why didn't the bat Optimus Primal and crocodille Megatron appear in the show? e. Will there be a Season Four? Comic Books a. The two pack exclusive Comic Book b. The Botcon 1997 exclusive Comic Book The Beast Wars Transformers Games a. The Beast Wars Transformers video game b. The Beast Wars Transformers card game In Defense of Beast Wars Transformers ________________________________________________________________________
1. What are Beast Wars Transformers?
The following is the brief summary on the back of Beast Wars packaging: BioGenetic engineering has allowed the Transformers to create a perfect cybernetic fusion between ferocious animals and mechanical Transformers' technology. The result: Heroic Maximals vs. Evil Predacons! Robot Warriors disguised as wild animals in an explosive fight to the finish! The Beast Wars have begun.collect them all! The Beast Wars Transformers are the 1995-? line of Transformers toys. The focus of this war is now the heroic Maximals versus the evil Predacons. All the Transformers have now become a fusion of both mechanical and organic technology. They all turn into animals, reptiles, insects and vehicles of various types. The two allegiances now have different symbols than their predecessors as well. This relaunch of the Transformers line includes a great line of toys, a CGI television show and other merchandise tie ins. The "origins" of the Beast Wars differs slightly between the toy line and the television show. This will be expanded upon later in this FAQ.
2. The Toy Line
When the Beast Wars Transformers were first released, they surprised most people with their intricate design, complex transformations, play value and more. The sales for year one justified a second year, sales from year two justified another and more product has been made and even more is being designed! With an ever growing universe, Beast Wars Transformers has catapulted Transformers back into the spotlight of the toy collecting world.
a. Beast Wars Transformers Toy List: Beast Wars Transformers 1995 - 1996
Regular Size Armordillo (M) Iguanus (P) Insecticon (P) Megatron (P) Onyx Primal (P)* Optimus Primal (M) Rattrap (M) Razorbeast (M) Snapper (P) Terrorsaur (P) Deluxe Size Buzz Saw (P) Blackarachnia (P) Cheetor (M) Dinobot (M) Rhinox (M) Tarantulas (P) Tigatron (M) Waspinator (P) Wolfang (M) Mega Size Inferno (P) Polar Claw (M) Scorponok (P) Ultra Size Megatron (P) Optimus Primal (M)
McDonalds Beast Wars Transformers Happy Meal Toys (1996)
Beetle (P) M - Maximal P - Predacon *- Botcon 1996 exclusive. Two versions of Onyx Primal were released. One regular one in a box adorned with box art of the character. Another was a "dealer" V.I.P. exclusive with a stamp on the back and a black and silver box. The toy was a black and white repaint of the Optimus Primal bat toy. **-No name was given to this toy. It was a lion head that folded open to reveal a black and red robot that looked very much like Optimus Primal. Manta Ray (P) Panther (M) Rhino (M) Under 3 Toy**
Beast Wars Transformers 1996-1997
Regular Size Airazor (M) Claw Jaw (M) Drill Bit (P) Fractyl (P)* Lazorbeak (P) Packrat (M)* Powerpinch (P) Razorclaw (P) Snarl (M) Spittor (P) Deluxe Size Bonecrusher (M) Cybershark (M) Grimlock (M) Jetstorm (P) K-9 (M) Manterror (P) Retrax (M) Mega Size B'Boom (M) Transquito (P) Ultra Size Magnaboss (M)** Ironhide Prowl Silverbolt Tripredacus (P)** Cicadacon Ramhorn Sea Clamp
Japanese Beast wars Transformers Exclusives 1996-1997
Name Armordillo with Volcano Playset (M) Description The same Armordillo released in the United States with a playset which was a volcano which could shoot red balls up into the air, an air cannon and a small "jail" cell for regular sized Beast Wars Transformers figures. Repaints of the first year bat Optimus Primal and crocodile Megatron (respectively). Optimus Primal was repainted red, white and blue and Megatron was repainted purple, silver and black. Packaged on a card with a CD-ROM which had scenes from the TV show and a "coloring" program. Several small decoy like toys and model kits packaged with candy were released in Japan. Among the characters featured in these candy sets were: Optimus Primal, Megatron, Cheetor, Dinobot, Rattrap, Waspinator and Tarantulas
Conbat (M) versus Megaligator (P)
Model kits/Mini toys
M - Maximal P - Predacon * Botcon 1997 exclusive figures. Both packaged in a large box in a two pack which included an exclusive comic book. Packrat is a repainted Rattrap done in a metallic blue and white. Fractyl is a repaint of Terrorsaur, bearing a metallic green, white and gold color scheme. **These were characters released in 3 packs. Each member of the team could combine to form the larger giant. The individual members of the teams were not sold separately.
Beast Wars Transformers 1997-1998
With continued success and wonderful sales, the line forges on this year with fantastic new types of Beast Wars toys: Fuzors and Transmetals. Fuzors are Beast Warriors with a beast mode consisting of the DNA of two creatures "fused" into one (hence the name). Transmetals are characters who have been hit by a "quantum energy wave" that mutated their bodies giving them metallic beast modes and organically enhanced robot modes. Along with a strong presence in the American and European market, the Japanese market has released Beast Wars 2, a line of toys consisting largely of repaints, but also including a couple new molds as well. Regular Size Deluxe Size Mega Size Ultra Size Air Hammer (M)F Airazor (M) TM Optimus Primal (M) TM Depth Charge (M) TM Airazor (M)* Cheetor (M) TM Megatron (P) TM Rampage (P) TM Bantor (M) F Injector (P) F Scavenger (P) TM Buzz Claw (P) F Rattrap (M) TM Noctorro (M) F Rhinox (M) TM Quickstrike (P) F Silverbolt (M) F Razorclaw (P)* Tarantulas (P) F Terragator (P) F Terrorsaur (P) TM
Name Iguanus Easter present Description The first year Beast Wars Transformers toy Iguanus was re-released and packaged with an Easter Candle in Greece. This item reportedly sold extremely well. Optimal Optimus is Kenner's entrance into a higher
Optimal Optimus (M) TM
price point for Beast Wars Transformers toys. Larger than an Ultra Beast Wars toy with four transforms, Optimal Optimus promises to be a great toy. Its forms are: robot, gorilla, amored car and jet fighter. It also features include light up eyes and blast off armor!
Beast Wars Transformers McDonalds Toys 1998
Blackarachnia (P) TM Dinobot (M) TM Scorponok (P) TM
Beast Wars II (a.k.a. Beast Wars the Second) & Japanese Exclusives 1998
Name Apache (C) Autocrasher (D) Autojetter (D) Autolauncher (D) Autostinger (D) Big Mos (C) Bighorn (C) Dirge (D) Dirgegun (D) Description A re-release of the American Beast Wars Transformers B'Boom. A repaint and re-release of the American Generation 2 Autoroller Roadblock. A repaint of a never before released Autoroller jet. A repaint of a never before released Autoroller armored ground vehicle. A repaint and re-release of the American Generation 2 Autoroller Dirtbag A repaint and re-release of Transquito. A slightly repainted version of the American Beast Wars Transformers Bonecrusher. A repaint and re-release of the American Machine Wars Transformers Skywarp/Thundercracker toy. A retooling and repainting of the original Waspinator toy. This character was the new form of Dirge. A re-release (and possible repaint) of Drill Bit. A repainted American release Spittor in green and white. The Niagara base is a small base with cannons and one can run water through it like a mini fountain. A new mold. Galvatron transforms into a drill tank, robot and mechanical dragon. This toy was repainted in gold for a special promotion. A repaint and slight retooling of the Generation One Trypticon toy. The only part from the original set included was the small car that attaches to his chest. All radar dishes, buildings, central cannon etc. were not included with this release. Still motorized however. A repaint and re-release of five of the original Generation One Seacons toys. The original Decepticon Nautilator was excluded from this set, as were individual weapons for each of the team members (except for the leader's sword). The five toys were packaged as a gift pack. A remolded and repainted Cybershark. This was the same character as Starscream in a new form. A new mold. LioConvoy transforms from a white lion, attack lion and robot. This toy was repainted
Drill Nuts (C) Diver (C) with Niagara base
God Neptune (D)
Hellscream (D) LioConvoy (C)
Mantis (C) Max B (D)
Megastorm (D) Moon (C)
Powerhug (C) Scissor Boy (C) Scuba (C) Starscream & BB (D)
Taktotank with Ikard (C)
Tasmanian Kid (C) Thrust (D) Thrustol (D)
Tonbot (C) Tripredacus (C)
at least twice as special releases. One repaint Flash Convoy was released with the Beast Wars 2 movie and utilized glitter embedded in the plastic to make the toy look more glittery. Another repaint was the same toy done in a black and silver color scheme. A repaint and re-release of the US/Canadian Magnaboss toy. It was packaged as a team and seperately. A repaint and re-release of Manterror. A retooled and repainted K-9. This character was the new incarnation of the first run Beast Wars 2 character BB. A slight redeco and re-release of the Generation 2 large Megatron tank. A rabbit that transforms into a robot. This was based on a character from the Beast Wars 2 show who watches the Beast Wars from the oribiting moon of the Beast Wars 2 world Gaea. A repaint and re-release of Retrax A re-release and possible repaint of Powerpinch. A re-release and rename of the American Beast Wars Transformers Claw Jaw. A repaint and re-release of the American Generation 2 Dreadwing and Smokescreen jets respectively. This set is painted yellow, black, silver and purple. A giant octopus which could transform into a battle emplacement. Came with a hovercycle that transformed into a motorcycle and Ikard, a repaint of the Beast Wars toy Claw Jaw. A re-release of the American Beast Wars Transformers Snarl. A repaint and re-release of the American Machine Wars Transformers Megaplex/Megatron. A retooling and repaint of the original Dinobot toy. This was meant to be the next incarnation of the Beast Wars 2 Thrust character. A re-release and repaint of Jetstorm. A repaint and re-release of the Tripredacus toy from the US/Canada. This toy was packaged separately and in a three pack. Six Beast Wars keychains were released in Japan. Each a repaint and remold of previously released Takara toys. There were 3 main forms, a bird, robot and lion. Each transformed into a ball. Each "side" had one of each form.
C - Cybertron D - Destron M - Maximal P - Predacon F - Fuzor TM - Transmetal
- Repaints of the previous year's releases. Airazor is now a silver, dull yellow and gold paint color. Razorclaw was repainted in aqua blue, bright orange and silver. Each was packaged with the Beast Wars Transformers season 2 episodes "Aftermath" and "Coming of the Fuzors 1"
Beast Wars Transformers 1999-2000
The Beast Wars heat up as the Maximals and Predacons enter a new phase in evolution: Transmetal 2 technology has now enhanced Maximals and Predacons alike, making them more ferocious than ever! With new characters joining the battle, the Beast Wars rage on into 1999! Basic Size
Optimus Minor (M) TM2 Scarem (P) TM2 Sonar (M) TM2
Cheetor (M) TM2 Dinobot (P) TM2 Ramulus (M) TM2
Blackarachnia (P) TM2
M - Maximal P - Predacon TM2 - Transmetals 2 b. What are Botcon exclusives? Botcon is an annual Transformers convention. Since the first Botcon in 1994, each convention has featured an exclusive toy or item not available anywhere else. Thus far, two Botcons have featured Beast Wars Transformers exclusives. Botcon 1996 - featured a black and white repaint of the Optimus Primal bat toy. Named Onyx Primal, there were two versions of this toy. One was for dealers and "V.I.P.'s" while the other was for regular attendees. Botcon 1997 - featured two exclusive toys. Packrat is a metallic blue and white repaint of the original Rattrap toy. Fractyl was a metallic green, gold and white repaint of the original Terrorsaur toy. Both were packaged together in a box that combined elements of the original 1984 Transformers boxes and Beast Wars Transformers packaging. Also included in the set was a Botcon 1997 exclusive comic book written by Simon Furman and drawn by Andrew Wildman. The story featured both Fractyl and Packrat. Botcon 1998 - Like 1997, featured two exclusive toys. Antagony is a black and lavender repaint of the Inferno toy. Vice Grip is a blue and grey repaint of the Predacon Powerpinch. Antagony was packaged in a special window/flap box with awesome artwork, pictures of past Botcon exclusives and a great CGI background. Vice Grip was packaged seperately in a plastic baggie with tech specs. Both characters are Predacons. c. Beast Wars around the world. Although Beast Wars Transformers began as an American domestic toy line, its success quickly spread to every country that Hasbro distributes to including Japan, Greece, the UK, Australia and Singapore. Different countries have chosen to take different takes on the line. Some have renamed characters and the toyline itself (calling it "Biocombat" Transformers). Japan has brought the most extensive change to the Beast Wars Transformers line. The success of the line the first year was enough for Takara (the company that owns Transformers) to create a spin off line and series of their own in 1998. Using mostly second year Beast Wars Transformers toys, Generation One and Two repaints and a couple new molds, they created Beast Wars 2. A cel based animated series with an accompanying toy line. This series is intended as a "filler series" while the Canadian produced CGI Beast Wars Transformers show produces enough episodes to show as a full season in Japan. It focuses on a group of Cybertrons fighting against invading Destrons on the planet Gaea. The Cybertrons are led by LioConvoy and the Destrons are led by Galvatron. d. Tracking down older Beast Wars Transformers Toys
Several on-line resources for locating current and older Beast Wars Transformers toys are out there. This is by no means a complete listing, but it is one that will help get you a good start. Newsgroups: alt.toys.transformers.marketplace rec.toys.transformers.moderated.marketplace
Web Pages: Digital Toys - http://members.aol.com/banthatrad/web/DigitalToys.html New Generation Toys - http://www.ngtoys.com Rugby's Starbase - http://members.aol.com/rgbystrbse/index.htm Tempting Toys & Collectables - http://members.xoom.com/toydojo/ Yellow Monster Collectables - http://www.mindspring.com/~dmalderman/ymc.html e. Replacing lost pieces Kenner/Hasbro is willing to replace lost parts for a small fee. The NewYork City number is (212) 9667646. Unfortunately I do not have another number for Hasbro. My best suggestion is to call your local information service and ask for either Hasbro or Kenner's number. I'm sure they will be happy to assist you. I cannot guarantee they will replace every part that you lose, but it's worth a try. I would also suggest trying out the above mentioned retail sources for Transformers parts.
3. The Television Show
a. What is the Beast Wars Transformers Television show about? Beast Wars Transformers is a CGI animated series produced by Mainframe Entertainment, the same Canadian company that produced the revolutionary show Reboot and is currently developing the War Planets series. The show is set on ancient Earth, where the descendents of the Autobots and Decepticons, the Maximals and the Predacons fight it out in true Transformers style with the fate of the future and the universe itself at stake. The series combines incredible computer animation, intense storylines and wonderful acting to form a series that is the number one show in its market. b. What ties (if any) does this series have to the original Transformers series? The Maximals and Predacons are the descendents of the Autobots and Decepticons respectively. The time frame the Maximals and Predacons hail from is approximately 300 years after the time of the original series. The "back history" of the Beast Wars Transformers draws from both the original comic book series and cartoon series, both of which the story editors of Beast Wars Transformers Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio educated themselves before and during the writing of this show. Although their descendents fought for centuries in a bitter war, the Predacons and Maximals have lived in peace every since the Autobots defeated the Decepticons in the last Great War. However, some Predacons such as Megatron and his troops are rogues who seek to put the Predacons back on the path he believes they were meant for - conquest. This generation of Transformers still lives on Cybertron, the homeworld of the original Transformers. Although they are still robots in disguise, this generation of Cybertrons are generally smaller in size than their predecessors. This was done to both conserve energy and resources. Unlike their progenitors, this generation of Transformers originate from two main facilities. These facilities are known as The Matrix and The Pit (a.k.a. The Inferno). The Maximals and Predacons are born from the Matrix and Pit respectively. They begin as "protoforms", liquid metal forms which do not have a cohesive shape until they are programmed properly. What was once known as the "life force" or "essence" of a Transformer is now referred to as a "Spark". The source of "Sparks" are known only to a few Transformers. As to what happened to the Autobots and Decepticons, it has basically been stated that they retired. Only one Decepticon remained on active duty (that has been revealed thus far). That character was Ravage, who
Episode Title Aftermath Brief Synopsis A quantum surge, the result of the alien moon's destruction rocks the Earth, transforming Megatron, Rattrap, Tarantulas and Cheetor into Transmetals. The Beast Wars rage on as Megatron attempts his final push to destroy the Axalon and the Maximals. Two damaged Stasis Pods produce two new warriors, the noble Silverbolt and the powerful Quickstrike. Megatron recruits both and the Maximals seem to be losing the war, until Optimus Primal returns as a Transmetal and evens the odds. Silverbolt joins the Maximals and the war continues. Still under Tarantulas' control by their psychic link, Blackarachnia fights for her freedom. Dinobot rejoins the Predacons, but will he stay with them this time? The aliens send a new device to Earth which Megatron takes control of, intent on returning to Cybertron. Meanwhile, both Airazor and Tigatron are transported into space to parts unknown. A large Stasis Pod, containing the protoform and Spark of a failed Maximal experiment arises and the warrior Rampage is born! But who's side is he on? Meanwhile, Blackarachnia and Silverbolt begin to develop a relationship beyond being enemies. Using the Golden Disk to tell the future, Megatron
Coming of the Fuzors (Part One & Two)
Tangled Web Maximal no more Other Visits (Part One & Two)
Code of Hero
Transmutate The Agenda (Parts One, Two & Three)
attempts to destroy the human race by killing its ancestors. Dinobot single handedly stops them at the cost of his life. A new Stasis Pod is uncovered after an earthquake, however its contents are unique and dangerous. The Transwarp explosion created in "Other Voices" reaches a Predacon space station. In response, the Predacons dispatch their best agent, the Decepticon Ravage to Earth to investigate. When Ravage arrives, a new discovery on Earth may lead to the end of the Maximals and Predacons forever!
"Optimal Situation" It's a fight for the future as the Maximals struggle to save Optimus Prime and make sure they don't blink out of existence! Optimus Primal takes on a new form as "Optimal Optimus" and he's feeling Prime! The Maximal Depth Charge chases down the Predacon Rampage for a past crime. The two fight to the finish as Depth Charge seeks justice! The Maximals and Predacons struggle to gain control over the security system Sentinel. Ultimately, it may not be good that wins this day Megatron creates velociraptor clones enhanced with Cybertron "Transmetals II" technology to hunt down the human ancestors. It's up to the Maximals to stop them!
"Changing of the Guard"
d. Why didn't the bat Optimus Primal and crocodille Megatron appear in the show? In the first year's line of Beast Wars Transformers, both commanders (Optimus Primal and Megatron) were released in two forms. Optimus Primal was released as a robot/bat and robot/gorilla while Megatron was released as a crocodile/robot and tyrannosaurus rex/robot. The original intent of the Beast Wars Transformers writers Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio was to have the characters in the show be able to transform into all four forms. However, animation constraints made them choose only two forms for each leader, thus the larger "gorilla" and "t-rex" forms were chosen. Will there be a Season Four?
4. Comic Books
Beast Wars Transformers does not currently have a regular running comic book. However, two comic books have been previously published about Beast Wars Transformers. a. The two pack exclusive Comic Book The original versions of Optimus Primal and Megatron (a bat and crocodile respectively) were packaged with an exclusive comic book, depicting an adventure of the Maximals and Predacons. The art was adequate and there really wasn't a story. However, it did help introduce audiences to the concept of a new breed of Transformers using organic enhancements to boost their battle strength and prowess. b. The Botcon 1997 Exclusive Comic Book "Critical Mass" Included with the Botcon 1997 "Fractyl & Packrat" two pack was a comic book depicting an adventure of the two characters. It was written by Transformers comic book veteran Simon Furman and drawn by Transformers comic book veteran artist Andrew Wildman. Both did a fantastic job setting both Fractyl and Packrat right into the universe of the Beast Wars Transformers television show from season one. Copies of this may still be available at: www.botcon.com.
5. The Beast Wars Transformers Games
a. The Beast Wars Transformers video game 1997 saw the launching of Hasbro Interactive, a division of Hasbro dedicated to producing multi-media games and activities. One of these was a video game based on the Beast Wars Transformers television show. There are two versions of the game. The first release was for the Sony Playstation gaming system. The later release (supposedly in June of 1998) will be for the Windows 95 PC gaming market. The game allows the player to either control the Predacons or Maximals. From board to board the player takes on roles of various characters including Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Inferno, Megatron, Cheetor and more! Providing very long and complex levels, this game is a fun romp through the more dangerous side of ancient Earth in the times of the Beast Wars! b. The Beast Wars Transformers card game Released in 1997, the Beast Wars Transformers Mutating Card Game was one of many Beast Wars Transformers products outside the main toy line. The game allowed each player to play either Maximals or Predacons. The cards are played on a plastic and cardboard "mountain" mock up (really a flat platform with rock like sides). There were character cards which gave each character particular strengths. Other cards boosted power levels of characters and transformed characters into alternate modes. The goal of each side was to eliminate the other from the "mountain" and rule ancient Earth! This game was generally note carried by Toys R Us, but seems to have cropped up in other stores such as Wal Mart, K-Mart and Target.
6. In Defense of Beast Wars Transformers
Beast Wars is something relatively new. Despite the similarities to it's predecessors, Beast Wars is essentially a relaunch of the Transformers line, using some new (and other not so new) ideas. It is sometimes difficult for people to accept things that are new. Often they fear it, loathe it or even attempt to put down others who like it. Beast Wars is no exception. This essay was written by yours truly to help people understand the positive points of Beast Wars by addressing many negative points brought up by other fans. I hope you find it an enjoyable read. Note: Some of these statements are my own personal opinion, I do not expect anyone to take all these views as their own.
The first criticism of the Beast Wars are their names. The change of the Autobots to Decepticons is now in fact known to NOT be a change at all. The Maximals and Predacons are the descendents of the Autobots and Decepticons and exist side by side on Cybertron with the Autobots and Decepticons. This has been established in both the universe of the toys and the television show. Character names are relatively weak as well, with names such as Dinobot and Insecticon. However, some nice names have been thought up including Razorbeast, Tarantulas and Blackarachnia. Although the balance may be a bit uneven (towards the weak name side), I hope this will improve in the future. Others names such as Iguanus and Megatron are borrowed from names invented long ago. Considering the age group BW's are targeted at (5-10 years old, according to Larry DiTillio), such simple names are not too surprising. This is not to say that younger children could not pronounce cooler names or understand them, but the corporate mentality seems to skip over that little factoid. Also, take note that Hasbro/Kenner
invented the new faction names and character names, not Mainfraime entertainment (the creators of Reboot).
Other than the name criticism, many do not like the toys period. Some complain about simple transformations in the little ones and doofy looking modes (of course, most of the criticisms come from people who have yet to play with one of the toys but I digress). Here are the strong points of the toys as I see them: 1. Excellent packaging - The initial line had an impressive 'scaly' coloring pattern with the large reptilian EYE staring straight at you once the toy is taken off the card. Great detail has been paid attention to with the artwork on the boxes. The use of 'rocky' molded bubbles in the initial release of Beast Wars shows real attention to detail as well. The new packaging is less detailed but the artwork on the characters seems to be improving. Average of 9 point articulation - Unlike most figures today, the Beast Wars have incredible articulation. The lines I am using as comparisons include G.I. Joe Extreme, Spawn, Star Wars, Batman (all three series), Superman Man of Steel and Gargoyles. This is not to say that I don't like these toy lines but posability is the issue here. The 9 points (if you wonder) include, head rotation, shoulder and elbow rotation, upper leg and knee joint mobility (remember, there are two arms and two legs). This is cool for nice transformations and cool posability. Another strong point here is that the Beast Wars toys are made with ball joints or double swivel joints (as opposed to virtually no joints) which allow for greater posability and play. Excellent transformations - The mini Beast Wars transform quickly but that is not much of a bad thing if you think that there's only so much time one wants to spend transforming the toys in the middle of a 'battle' and it's great for kids! Also, the simple transformations of the small Beast Wars is balanced out by the complex transformations in the deluxe toys (although it should be noted most of the 1997 smaller BW toys have multi-step transformations as opposed to the "quick spring" transformation). The deluxe toys on average have multi step transforms which average to about 5-7 steps. Other nice features include the fact that all weapons are part of both transform modes. For instance, Waspinator's missiles fit under his wings, Tarantulas' missiles form the lower part of four of his spider legs, Dinobot's tail becomes his spinning blade and sword and Rhinox's tail becomes a sword and four other pieces become a spinning ball and chain. Good molding - The creature modes all have realistic molding. Examples can be seen in the 'fluffy' Beast Wars such as the bat Optimus Primal and Rattrap. The 'fluffy' Beast Wars have a fur like pattern molded into them. The more reptilian BW's have scaly patterns such as Iguanus. Details also include wires and tubes (look at Razorbeast in robot mode) and good detailing (look at most of the heads of the robot modes). For another great example, look at Cheetor's 'bladder' gun with the 'intestines' of the cheetah mode molded in. Good quality plastic - This sounds almost like a contradiction in terms. How can plastic be good? Aren't Transformers supposed to be all metal with rubber tires? The answer is no. If one were to count every Transformer ever made, one would find more plastic than die cast metal. The quality of the plastic used to make Beast Wars toys is quite strong. The ball joints allow for easy repair of parts that pop off as well.
These are (to me), the primary strong points of the Beast Wars toys. As for their success, many 'classic' TF fans are saying "This concept won't sell, it's not cars and planes." However, the truth of the matter is that cars and planes weren't selling anymore, the first couple years of Generation 2 proved it. Rather, it is the animals and creatures that are selling. Beast Wars is proof of this. So far, Beast Wars are selling well (and that's reports from many different places and stores in the US including Target, WalMarts, Toys R Us and Kay Bee). For those who are eager to return to the days of vehicle modes and mechanical looking Transformers, Hasbro/Kenner has produced the Transmetals which incorporate beast, robot and vehicle modes.
To be fair, it should be said that there are areas where Beast Wars is not selling very well. However, when balanced with the areas I've personally heard of that are doing well, the line seems to be selling overall. The latest information from Kenner representatives at BotCon 1996 indicate that Beast Wars is the third best selling toy line for boys. The other two are Star Wars and Power Rangers.
The next criticism stems from the show and the fiction behind it. The basic story is as follows. After a fierce battle in space, a crew of Maximals and Predacons crash on an unknown world. The world has vast supplies of energon, so much in fact that it can damage the Transformers irreparably if they are exposed too long. To protect themselves, the Maximals and Predacons take on the forms of local life forms and their organic aspects as well. Thus, the Beast Warriors are formed. First and foremost, many people are bothered by organics and TF's. To this, I say that organics and TF's are not new. Headmasters, Powermasters, Targetmasters and Pretenders were all examples of Transformers lines with organics as some part of the Transformer makeup. Also, I am impressed that the writers of Beast Wars came up with a plausible way to explain why Transformers have included organics into their makeup rather than having it done just for the sheer heck of it. It is not, as some have said, to rid themselves of their Cybertronian heritage, it is in fact to preserve their Cybertronian heritage, the robots in disguise underneath their beast forms. Second, many TF fans make it a point to criticize the names Maximal and Predacon, while saying that we don't need another version of Megatron and Optimus. I do not agree with this entirely. But let me explain, the Maximals and Predacons, first, are the descendents of the Autobots and Decepticons, not Autobots and Decepticons just changing their names for no reason. As for Megatron and Optimus, they are NOT the same characters as the originals. They are new leaders who have taken on old names (or name since Optimus Primal is NOT the same as Optimus Prime). In terms of animation, I find the show stunning. Some criticize it because of minor animation flaws, the lack of shadows etc. The lack of shadows issue has been addressed by Mainframe animators and they hope to correct it early on in the run of the series. It should be kept in mind that Mainframe really rushed the pilot episodes to be seen as the preview. That caused the animators to take some 'short cuts' that they may not have to once the series runs its regular course. Another complaint has come from comparisons between the other show Mainframe Entertainment creates, "Reboot" and Beast Wars. Some have said that Reboot has more details to it than Beast Wars. I would agree on some levels but not on others. There are some scenes (such as the intense battle scenes of a few weeks ago where Megabyte and everyone else teamed up). However, what must be kept in mind is that details such as the city, circuit boards and electronic vortexes are not things that are called on by Beast Wars. Beast Wars has its detail more oriented towards animal skin patterns, rocks and robot modes which I believe it does excellently. Megabyte has some nice 'metallic' detailing in "Reboot" which some of the Beast Wars characters, including Megatron seem to share and pay close attention to facial expressions and 'scaly' and 'fur like' patterns on the Beast modes. In terms of the animation, I don't know a whole lot about the CGI work, but I do know what I like and the Beast Wars look fabulous in both modes and the battle scenes are well done. The scenery is nice as well, even if it's not 100% realistic some of the time. I also believe that the show has given us some strong characters to begin with. Examples include: Dinobot Powerful and honorable warrior who sticks to his beliefs. Rattrap Rhinox Smart mouthed member of the Maximals who is a bit defiant, but loyal to those he considers his friends. Strong, level headed, loyal warrior and technical whiz.
Megatron Optimus Primal Tarantulas Scorponok Cheetor Tigatron
Power hungry and arrogant leader, bent on galactic conquest. Young leader with great potential, but conflicts with his troops. Crazy but skillful and intelligent. Loyal to Megatron and a strong warrior. Young and impetuous, sort of like Hot Rod from the old days.
A seemingly "grizzled veteran" with a more "earthy" or "philosophical" disposition than his comrades. It may not be the perfect start, but it's a nice one. Although it may never be stated blatantly on the show, the writers of Beast Wars have said that the show takes place approximately 300 years after the original continuity that we've known for years. However, many people state that since Transformers are life forms that live for literally millions of years, 300 years would only be a proverbial 'drop in the bucket' in a Transformer's vast lifetime. Many feel that 300 years is not enough time for the dramatic changes in Beast Wars to occur (Maximals and Predacons descending from Autobots and Decepticons etc.). While I can certainly sympathize with this statement, it does not hold up to close scrutiny. To prove my point, I will draw upon the best source of information, the past. Look at the time gap between Transformers the Original series to Transformers The Movie. The span was roughly 20 years (1985-2005). In that time: Cybertron was completely taken over by the Decepticons. The Decepticons seem to have been driven off Earth completely. The Autobots established two moon bases to serve as their base of operations. Several new characters (Kup, Arcee, Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod, Blurr, Wreck Gar etc.) were introduced & encountered. The Autobots built a large transforming fortress on Earth.
Now, let's take it one step further. Take the short span of time between 2005 (the movie) and the 2006 series (or 2010 if you're following the Japanese series). In that time: Optimus Prime died (along with many of the 'original' characters). Hot Rod became Rodimus Prime, taking on the mantle of leadership. The Decepticons were driven off Cybertron. Two moons of Cybertron were destroyed (no small task). Unicron was destroyed (or disabled if you prefer). Many new characters (and sub-groups) were introduced or created (Technobots, Autobot triple changers, Predacons, Sky Lynx etc.) The Decepticons lost their leader and gained a 'new' one, Galvatron. Several original troops were lost but changed into new forms (Scourge, Cyclonus & the Sweeps).
Beast Wars seems to be coming on strong. It's a great relaunch of the Transformers line. Was Generation One great? Yes, absolutely, I grew up with it. Did Generation Two have some cool toys? Yes, definitely, Dreadwing and Laser Optimus Prime are two of my favorites. However, Hasbro/Kenner is a business and it must make money, that means catering to the tastes of its target group which are the younger kids. A lot of thought and caring has gone into Beast Wars and I personally am pleased with what we have so far. Seems to me like the TF's are rising again, and I'm going to sit back and enjoy every moment of it!
As a side note, it should be mentioned that the "Machine Wars" toy line (which will reintroduce the familiar Autobots and Decepticons) may not have been possible without the success of Beast Wars. Beast Wars has helped to show that the Transformers line has a longevity that cannot be denied. It is a longevity I hope to see go into the foreseeable future. Beast Wars Transformers are copyrighted 1995-1999 Hasbro. Inc. (Kenner) Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02862. All Rights Reserved. Manufactured under license from Takara Co., Ltd. This publication is not endorsed by or created by Hasbro Inc. or Mainframe Entertainment. It is not meant to infringe upon any copyrights or licenses, but is meant for informational and entertainment purposes only.
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