Armada Toy Reviews: Rhinox

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot, Beast Wars


General Information:
Price Point/Size: Supercon
Retailers: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee)
Release Date: May 2003
Accessories: Horn/Weapon, Armorhide Mini-Con


Last year's Robots in Disguise toy line took toys from previous years and gave them new decos, releasing them as supporting characters to the line, even though they did not appear in the television show. That tradition continues in Armada with the addition of Beast Wars molds to the line. Joining the Autobots is Rhinox, specifically Transmetal Rhinox. Coupled with a Mini-Con to give it a greater tie to the line, this is not just a simple redeco but a retooling of the mold as well. This mold has been used twice before. First in its original Transmetal release and then the later Fox Kids! version. My previous review was rather brief, so instead of the usual "read the old review" feed, I'm going to review the toy over again, while nothing differences between the original and this version.

Armorhide Review

The name sounds familiar doesn't it? Armorhide was introduced into the Transformers universe last year as one of the Decepticons in Robots in Disguise. The RiD Armorhide was one of the Decepticons who formed Ruination (the tank). Of course, this Mini-Con is most likely a new character altogether, but it is nice to see Hasbro trying to keep a hold on its copyrighted names.

Armorhide is a redeco of Iceberg from the Adventure Team. His new deco is blue, black and silver with light blue windows in vehicle mode. I like the sharp contrast between Iceberg and Armorhide. Iceberg is a nice bright version of the toy while this one is dark, and almost more appropriate for the stormy, dark environment one can imagine this vehicle being in.

In robot mode, a lot of silver appears since his shovel and treads are silver. Unfortunately, due to the rather soft plastic used for the robot arms (which Iceberg had as well), the left arm was bent in slightly on mine. It's not a huge deal (the arm is only very slightly bent) and I doubt every single Armorhide out there has this problem.

Armorhide looks good in these colors, especially the vehicle mode. His joints aren't different than Iceberg's (so don't worry about him being all loose and floppy as redecos can sometimes get).

Rhinox Review

Rhinox was one of the most beloved characters from Beast Wars. He had command ability, great strength and technical prowess. This version of Rhinox never
actually appeared on the television show, but it is the most mechanized version of the character in toy form, thus making it appropriate for release in the tech based world of Armada.

Beast Mode:
Rhinox's beast mode is a mechanized rhino. His primary color is a reddish metallic copper color. His horn, teeth, claws and back are mostly silver. It is interesting to note that the silver parts on the back replace the vacuum metallized parts from previous incarnations of this toy. The current designers of Transformers at Hasbro are not particularly fond of vac metal, thus it's extremely limited use with Transformers the past year or so. Dark brown and blue are used to fill in details on all over the body, including lines on his neck, his inner ears and his tail. The lower legs of the beast are made up of a very dark metallic gray, which almost looks like a gunmetal type color. An interesting touch can be found around his Powerlinx points on the hind legs. Each has a yellow lightning pattern around it, indicating the "power" of a Mini-Con connecting, a very nice and visually dynamic addition to the mold.

Someone is probably wondering "Did Ben just write, 'Powerlinx points'?", and yes I did. The Rhinox mold has been modified to include two Powerlinx points, one on each hind leg. Mini-Cons fit in these points just fine, but they do not activate any features. Rather, these are meant to enhance the inclusion of these older toys into Armada.

Rhinox is choc full of detail, and an example of why many fans consider the Transmetals to be one of the best lines ever put out during the Beast era. All over his body you will find sculpted rivet details, looking like his armor was put together in a factory of some type. His legs have wonderful detail work including pistons on the inside of the front legs. Tubes and various mechanical looking devices grace the neck and sides of the beast mode. It is a testament to the quality of the sculpt that the addition of the Powerlinx points do not detract from the toy's appearance at all. Rather, they look like another technological detail added in by the manufacturers of this powerful robot beast.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  • Flip the skis on the back of the front legs forward so the beast mode's front feet rest on them.
  • Lift the treads on the rear legs and fold the rear beast mode legs into the openings.
  • Swing the treads down and back into place to cover the legs.
  • Swing the rear legs down so the treads are on the ground.

Vehicle Mode:
Rhinox's vehicle mode is a beast/snow ski type vehicle. Not many details differ between this form and the beast mode. We get to see a bit more of the rear section of the beast mode (here, the rear section of the vehicle mode) where it is silver and there are more mechanical details (this toy has lots of layers!). The treads on the rear legs are sculpted nicely, but they do not have any way of actually rolling since they are not functional treads and no small wheel was put in, so I don't recommend pushing this around on a hard surface unless it's smooth, otherwise you'll just scratch it up.

Transformation to Robot Mode (from beast mode):

  • Lift the treads on the rear legs and fold the rear beast mode legs into the openings.
  • Swing the treads down and back into place to cover the legs.
  • Lift up the flaps on either side of the beast.
  • Swing out the front beast mode legs and pull the dark gray piece they are attached to out to the sides.
  • Flip the toy over and open up the yellow robot chest halves to reveal the robot arms. Swing the lower arms up and then split the beast mode head in half and swing each half out to the side.
  • Fold the chest halves back together.
  • Detach the horn from the beast mode head half.
  • Lift up the silver and brown plate on the beast mode's back and flip it down to form the robot's abdominal area and the robot head.
  • Close the chest halves.
  • Swing up the rear beast modes leg section and lock it into place on his back.
  • Rotate the dark gray pieces on the sides, then push them back in and snap the dark gray pieces the legs are attached to in the center to form his waist/lower body.
  • Attach the horn weapon to Rhinox's hand.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Rhinox adds a lot more of the dark gray color even as yellow/orange and silver seep into the mix of colors. His robot head "helmet", shoulders, armos, lower body and lower legs are all dark gray. His face is orange with silver teeth and yellow eyes. His chest and abdominal area are dark gray, but a very nicely done orange/yellow spray op has been applied, bringing out the sculpted details very well.

Rhinox's robot mode sculpt is just as impressive as his beast mode one, but for different reasons. Whereas the beast mode was a fierce looking machine, here we see more of the techno-organic aspect that Beast Wars was based on. Rhinox's face, chest and robot arms all have very organic looking detailing such as the fine lines on his shoulders and lower arms and the wavey lines on his chest. Sharp eyed fans will notice one very nice resculpt here. If you open up the chest halves you will see that Rhinox now has an Autobot symbol sculpted right into the area where his "Energon chip" rub sticker used to be. Rhinox is not just an Autobot in name, he's an Autobot by design!

The Powerlinx points are really positioned in a neat place here. They rest behind his shoulders, meaning you can place Mini-Cons on them easily to provide support capabilities. It's nice to see the Powerlinx points work out so well even though the toy was not designed with them in mind. Rhinox has nine points of articulation in
this form.

Many have complained about Armada using an older mold to boost the line's numbers. Others still wonder if yet, another repaint of Transmetal Rhinox was even necessary, while others complain that somehow the Powerlinx points should have been functional. If you fall into these groups, this isn't the toy for you. However, if you like the idea of mechanical beasts from the past coming into the Armada line, then this one's for you. It's a great sculpt, a nice color scheme and a fun toy. Highly recommended.