Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Scale Twinstrike Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Generation One, Predacon, Prime, Terrorcons

Beast Hunters

Twinstrike General Information:
Release Date: March 2014
Price Point: $15-30 (Depending on country and retailer)
Retailer: Limited Release (Primarily in Asia and Europe)
Accessories: Hammer/Cannon weapon

Images:

In 2013, a Legion Class team of Predacons was released featuring five Transformers who could combine to form the powerful Abominus. One of these Predacons was Twinstrike, a homage to the G1 Terrorcon known as Sinnertwin. As part of the last wave of "Beast Hunters" action figures, several toys from the Legion Class were "upscaled" into Deluxe Class figures. This was a bit of an experiment, to see if there was market appeal for "Transformers" figures with simpler transformation schemes. A similar philosophy was applied to the "upscaled" version of the Commander Class Optimus Prime figure as a Voyager Class figure. Twinstrike was one of the Legion Class figures that received this treatment. I do recommend reading Legion Class Twinstrike's review before this one since it will cover the figure's design in depth. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

It should be noted that distribution of these figures was somewhat limited due to them being sandwiched between the Christmas season of 2013 and the upcoming "Age of Extinction" toys. These figures were found in various places including the UK and parts of Asia. My particular set came from Singapore courtesy of fellow fan Brandon Masagung. BWTF thanks Brandon for his efforts in getting me these figures.

Beast Mode:
Unlike his Legion Class counterpart, Deluxe Scale Twinstrike is packaged in beast mode. I really liked this as this is one of the more unique beast modes in the "Beast Hunters" line and showing it off in the bubble really catches the eye. I really dug this figure as a Legion Class, but as a Deluxe sized figure a lot of the details on the beast really pop. The ones that jump out the most at me are the layered ridges on his neck and the fierce looking heads at the end of each of his long necks. His rear feet are larger than the front ones, and here the three claws on each really look extra threatening! On top of all this, the spiked ridges on his back and the layered design of the tail really help cap off a wicked design.

This larger size also brings a lot of details out that were visible, but rather small on the Legion Class figures. This includes vent like sections on his back, a semi-circle with line patterns on the top parts of each leg and the tube like details on the front of each lower leg. From a detailing perspective, he actually looks quite good and doesn't look like he's lacking at all. Overall, I find the figure more visually striking than its Legion Class counterpart thanks to its new size.

Twinstrike is cast in yellow, purple and light green plastic. The yellow is used on the heads, the armor on the rear legs and the feet. The green is used for the legs themselves (and the feet in the front) along with the tails. Purple is used for the back and the weapon. This is different from the Legion Class figure which only featured two colors: yellow and green. Unlike the Legion Class figure, the yellow plastic is flat and bright as opposed to being metallic and more subdued as it is on the Legion Class. The green is not a dark, metallic green but more of a teal color and flat. There is some metallic color in the form of the purple parts. I'm definitely partial to the metallic colors of the Legion Class, but I am happy to see three plastic colors being used here instead of just two.

Silver, yellow, purple and red paint are used to provide detailing on the figure. Silver is found on the top of the head, painting both the top of each head and the horn near the noses. Yellow is used to paint the front feet and some panels on the sides of the front legs. A bit of purple is used on the yellow armor panel on the back of the figure. The red is used to paint the eyes on the heads. Overall, the paint job is good, though I did find myself wishing for a bit more silver here and there or perhaps more yellow on the front leg's armor. It's a good color scheme, but it could've been much better.

While he may be an "upscaled" figure, some structural changes have been made to this figure for this release. Here's a rundown of the ones most visible in this mode:

  • Each of the beast mode neck/head pieces from the Legion Class figure were ball joints seated inside a shoulder piece at the base. For the Deluxe figure, the ends of each neck has a groove that is connected to a disc, forming a hinge. That piece connects to what will be the robot shoulders. Those pieces have a separate hinge. For this mode, that allows the beast heads to independently move up, down, left and right.
  • The two front legs are connected to small panels that in turn are connected to a rod that runs through the middle of the robot mode's chest section. On this version, the right side has a screw holding the panel in place, most likely to secure the larger piece more strongly than would be necessary on a Legion Class figure.
  • On the Legion Class figure, the rear legs have one solid piece for the legs which then end in ball joints that connect to the feet. On the Deluxe version, the ankles are separate pieces than the rest of the leg. They are connected to the leg via small metal rods, and then those ankle pieces connect to the legs via a ball joint.

Like the Legion Class version of this figure, Twinstrike has eleven points of articulation. While the heads have different joints, they still move in the same way. The 3mm ports on the Legion Class figure have been traded in for 5mm ports. This allows you to attach weapons on his back, tail and on the sides of his legs. He also still has the curved indentations on the mouths so you can have him hold his weapon in his mouth if you'd prefer. Speaking of weapons, while Twinstrike still uses a hammer as his weapon, the sculpt is completely new. The hammer has a long handle with a ridged pattern for the grip. One side of the hammer is actually a drill while the other is the head of a hammer with small drill screws inside of it! The top of the weapon features a spike and on the left side of the weapon you'll find a 5mm peg that is designed so you can connect other 5mm peg weapons with 5mm ports or even Mini-Cons. Of course, this peg can also be used to let Twinstrike hold the hammer as a cannon. It's a mean looking weapon and fits the barbaric appearance of the character.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if connected and set it aside for now.
  2. Rotate the rear feet around.
  3. Pull the yellow armor pieces on the rear legs out, swing them down, then push them back in.
  4. Swing the rear legs back to finish forming the robot legs.
  5. Swing the two front legs up.
  6. Swing the beast mode heads out to the sides to form the robot arms.
  7. Flip the figure over and swing the torso piece out, swing the head up, then snap the torso piece back in place.
  8. Swing the tails up onto the back.
  9. Attach the hammer into one of the beast mode head/hands.

Robot Mode:
From a design standpoint, Deluxe Scale Twinstrike has all the same detailing as his Legion Class predecessor. This includes the multi-layered armor on the torso section, angled thighs leading to oval knee armor and thick, lower legs. While he didn't look like any slouch in Legion form, being a Deluxe makes him look much more threatening since all his bulky parts really stand out and the width of his upper body shoulder to shoulder looks much more impressive. There are some structural differences apparent in this mode from the Legion Class, here's a list:

  • Since the shoulder pieces are not holding ball joints, they don't have the open indentation often seen on ball joint supports. Instead, the shoulder details are completely filled in with no gap brekaing up the detail.
  • On the Legion Class figure, there is an indentation right in the middle of the chest, on the Deluxe Scale version there is no indentation. Instead the detailing from the top of the chest continues down to the mid-body.
  • On the Legion Class figure, the thighs connected to ball joints on the hips. On this version of the figure, the joint has two hinges. One allows the legs to swing forward and back while the other allows it to swing out to the sides. I believe this is to offer the figure more stability.
  • The pegs on the inside of each lower leg have been removed, replaced with raised tubes that have holes at the end. This means if they ever were to release an upscaled Hun-Gurrr (and it's doubtful), they'd have to engineer another solution for Twinstrike to combine with him.

Like the beast mode, this form has a very different color layout than the Legion Class figure. Sure the arms and lower legs are still mostly yellow plastic, but the torso section is very different. The Legion Class was mostly yellow on the torso. This version uses the green plastic on the torso with yellow details painted along the top, middle and bottom. A black Predacon symbol is painted at the top, center section of the chest. Unlike the Legion Class version, there is no purple paint on the torso, but the shoulder pieces are metallic purple, so that brings a bit of that color into the mix. The face is painted silver with red eyes, replicating the colors of the Legion Class figure. I do like the differences in color overall. It still delivers the "spirit" of the Legion Class figure but also manages to be different at the same time. I do find myself wishing again for more colors, particularly on the thighs and knee armor which look a bit plain in this scale without some type of color detail.

The robot mode has ten points of articulation, with the major sacrifice being the lack of knee articulation. It's not surprising given the figures' origins of course. He can hold the weapon either by its handle or the peg on the side. It can also connect to the hole on his back for storage. Thanks to the way the beast mode legs wind up positioned in this mode, you can attach weapons into the 5mm ports on them and he can have extra weapons over his shoulders and on the sides of his legs.

Final Thoughts:
If you already own the Legion Class version of this figure, there's no real need to run out and grab this one - especially given its limited distribution. There's a strong chance these will not come out at mass retail in the US (some items from this wave have been found at Ross stores as of this writing, but not the Deluxe "upscale" figures). However, if you can get him easily, he's a neat figure to play with. There is an appeal to a relatively quick transformation and the already striking features of this figure are enhanced by its larger size.

For older, more hardcore collectors this may not be your cup of tea since you'd have to forgive a certain lack of articulation and complexity. However this would make a good buy for kids to play with (which was the intention of these "upscaled" Legion figures). For me personally I find it a cool curiosity and really dig it. I think the deco could be stronger, but the amount of work put into it shows it's not just a simple matter of making the Legion Class figure bigger.