Friday, July 7, 2023

Bumblebee with Snarlsaber (Beast Combiners/Beast Alliance

As we continue our dive into Beast Alliance, we should take a look at Beast Combiners. While the main robot figure is still compatible with Beast Battle Masters, the main focus is combining with animal partner figures. With my love of partner figures, there's no surprise I was instantly hooked. The armor aspect is fun and I love the super robot looks it gives to the movie style robots. It's a pretty cool concept and a fun little toy line. A set costs around $16 here in the states and to accommodate the low cost, the figures are a bit more simple than a normal toy. It didn't bother me too much, but is impossible to ignore. Especially after the pretty great Beast Weaponizers. It's meant to be a line for kids to have fun with, not for a middle aged robot nerd to put under a microscope. It's Beast Summer, so here we are. 

Bumblebee turns into his Camaro that we're used to seeing in the live action movies. The VW from the Bumblebee movie would have been preferred, but with the maybe it's a prequel/maybe it's not nature of these new movies, I get it. That's not me being a Geewuuner either. I like the Bug more and enjoyed his look better in comparison to the Camaro bot styling. However, they did work as much of that design into this new movie as they could, so happy middle ground. I love me some Bumblebee, but this isn't his best toy showing. While these figures are more basic due to the gimmick and price point, this could have been any generic bot. It just doesn't scream Bee to me. In car mode, sure. The robot could have used more character. As is, the figure is perfectly fine. Simple, but fine. Articulation is limited and transformation is simple that'll turn off some. It's not a deal breaker, just hard to ignore. 

Snarlsaber is a large black cat/panther who isn't Ravage surprisingly. Like with the Beast Weaponizers, the new character partners is very welcome. Ironically, even though he isn't Ravage, Snarlsaber makes me think of Panther. Who was Ravage in the Beast Wars Metals manga. Also, a Happy Meal toy. Putting aside my love for the McDonald's Beast Wars toys for a moment, this draws the obvious criticism. He looks like a Happy Meal toy... and that's fair. With the simple nature of the toy and plastic quality, that's a reasonable complaint. It doesn't bother me, but I'm not ignoring it either. Snarlsaber converts into Bumblebee's armor with a spring transformation and a little finagling over BB's head and shoulders.

In Beast Combiner mode, the toy looks pretty great. There's fun overall cat theme thanks to the big cat kibble and head. It's pretty adorable. Snarlsaber's tail detaches and becomes a bladed melee weapon and the top half of his head becomes a shield/gauntlet attachment. The beast leg kibble on BB's right shoulder can fold up to become a blaster for some extra firepower. This is a cool armored upgrade. I had made the super robot comparisons (and I'll swear by them), but there's some tokusatsu in this too. I'm strongly reminded of Gridman/Servo with his toy. The base robot and the way it works is similar to the original toy. Which was also designed by Takara. It's pretty neat. Snarlsaber as well as all Beast Combiner partners are interchangeable with other Beast Combiner robots. If you don't mind the more simple bots, there's a really cool toy here.

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