"Transformers Universe" Overbite & Repugnus Toy Review

General Information:
Price Point/Size: Ultra ($16.99)
Retailers: Target Exclusive
Release Date: March 2006
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Overbite Accessories: Missiles x 2, Tail/arm/Missile launcher, Head/axe
Repugnus Accessories: Wings/claw weapon

As part of Target's early 2006 "end cap" Transformers promotion, two Beast Wars era sculpts were given new identities, decos and put in a two pack. The Beast Wars the Second sculpt for Hellscream and the Beast Wars Fuzor Buzzclaw were put into a two pack as Overbite and Repugnus.

Overbite Review

During the course of the Japanese exclusive Beast Wars the Second series, several characters were upgraded into new bodies. Among these was the character of Starscream who changed from a jet to a cybernetic shark named Hellscream. This is the first time this sculpt has been released for the US market.

The name Overbite has not been used for quite some time in the Transformers line. Originally this name belonged to the Seacon shark from Generation One, making the use of the name here most appropriate.

Beast Mode:
Overbite's base sculpt is the Beast Wars Cybershark sculpt. However, the sculpt was heavily modified to represent a beast that was partly technological and partly organic. To that end, the top of the beast head, all the fins and the tail were replaced in this form.

The head piece (originally a Hammerhead shark head) is now a highly detailed array of mechanical parts with an axe-like blade at the end. This section is designed to be somewhat asymmetrical. While some details are found on both sides, others such as tubes on either side are completely different. The underside of this head piece is lined with large teeth. It is a bit difficult to discern exactly which parts here are meant to be his "eyes", but everything actually looks like it is one part of a large sensor array, so it is likely several parts are used by Overbite to detect his enemies.

The two side fins resemble engines, with oval shapes and pointed ends. Again each part is fairly detailed, with tubes and layered sections. The dorsal fin is different, resembling a control tower of some sort. Look closely at the front, middle section and you'll find a small window there.

The tail piece is much larger than the one originally included with Cybershark. The entire tail section has been changed into a mechanical looking turbine. On the sides are details like tubes and vents. The inside of the turbine has fan blades (non-moving) and the outer sections have four fin-like sections sweeping back.

These changes leave only the central portion of the figure intact from the original Cybershark sculpt. This section is clearly different from the rest, with smooth lines, gills and a much more streamlined design than the other parts.

The central portion of the shark is painted metallic grey blue. The lower portion has a beautiful spray pattern done in an extremely light yellow color. The way the colors fade into each other looks much more natural than if there had been a hard line separating the two. The two side fins are sculpted in grey blue plastic, matching the central body. The dorsal fin, head piece and tail turbine are all cast in green with silver, yellow and red painted details.

In comparison to Hellscream, Overbite has a very simplified color scheme. Hellscream also utilized black as a detail color, and the existing red, yellow and silver colors were used a lot more. For instance on the dorsal fin, the aforementioned "window" in the front is painted red on Hellscream, but not on Overbite. On the rear turbine's vents, the front vent is painted red on Hellscream but not on Overbite. I suspect part of the reason for this may have been to create a more simplified, streamlined appearance.

The fins in this form are ball jointed, so they can move around. Also, using the trigger on the top of the head, you can launch the top head piece as a weapon. Doing so also reveals some of the cool detailing underneath where technological detail blends into the organic detail of the shark.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  • Detach the head piece (launch it).
  • Detach the tail turbine piece.
  • Swing out each half of the main body to the sides.
  • Swing the robot legs up.
  • Swing the legs and shark head section down. This section attaches to the main body by a large, central peg.
  • Flip each foot up.
  • Attach the turbine to the left arm.
  • The head piece can be held in the right hand as a weapon.

Robot Mode:
The basic Cybershark robot mode sculpt was also altered for this release. The parts altered are the head, left arm and left leg.

The head sculpt is the biggest change in this form. This is a completely different head than Cybershark's, but like many of the Beast Wars era figures, the head reflects the alternate mode. A large crest in the middle and frightening looking teeth give Overbite's head a distinct shark-like appearance. The left arm has actually been cut down to half an arm since the turbine connects to it to form the lower arm, and the upper arm piece was modified to look more mechanical and less curved and organic-like. The thigh section of the left leg was also changed to look less muscular and more technological with more angles and mechanical looking parts.

Overall the combination of the technological and organic works very well here. Unlike later Beast Machines toys, there is little attempt to blend the parts. Rather many have clearly divided sections such as on the arms and the chest. This gives the appearance of a science fiction war machine which suits the character nicely.

Overbite has fifteen points of articulation in this form. All of these are focused in important parts such as the arms and legs.

With the few modifications made to this sculpt, the designers added quite a bit of functionality. The left arm of course is a big missile launcher. Attach one of the two missiles included with the figure and it fires a fair distance. It still amuses me greatly that the missiles are sculpted in a shark shape complete with a shark gritting its teeth. The arm can also fire the blade piece from the beast mode head. Just detach it from the top portion and it acts as another weapon.

Hasbro did make one change to this sculpt that is somewhat puzzling. On Hellscream's turbine missile launcher, the missiles and axe blade missile fit into a slot that is pretty much a horizontal line. In the Overbite turbine launcher, the opening was changed into a T shape. While the regular "shark" missiles have not been altered, the axe-blade missile has been given an additional notch along the handle to fit into the "T" shape. Functionally speaking, this does not add or take away from the figure, but collectors like to note things like this.

Overbite has another missile launcher however. This one is built into his chest. Raise the middle of it and you can insert the entire head piece or one of his missiles there to fire at enemies. The head piece can also be held as a melee weapon. Overall there is a lot of offensive capability in this 'bot.

Little is changed between Hellscream's and Overbite's deco. The head and altered leg piece are cast in green. The lower right arm and lower legs are black. The inside of the shark halves is a dark red, which is kind of neat in a gross way since we are basically looking at the interior of a techno-organic shark. A tampographed Decepticon symbol has been added to the left side of the chest. There is no heat sensitive rub symbol (which Hellscream did have), but the square section where it would have gone is still plainly visible.


Repugnus Review

During the post-movie era of Generation One, a small group of Transformers joined the Autobot forces. This trio was known as the Monsterbots, each had a mechanical beast mode that could shoot out sparks from its mouth. One of the members of this team was Repugnus, an insectoid creature. Inspired by this, Hasbro (with the help of fans Glenn Hallit and Dan Khanna) came up with the concept of taking Beast Wars Buzzclaw and giving him a new deco based on G1 Repugnus. The result is a very nice looking figure.

This review will focus on the changes made to this figure for this release. While the Beast Wars Buzzclaw review is rather short (and old to boot), the review for the more recent release of this sculpt for Timelines Buzzclaw is much more thorough and I encourage you to read it before this review.

It should be noted that while the Buzzclaw sculpt was used for three of the Botcon 2005 exclusive figures, this deco was planned long before those. Originally intended to be a regular Transformers Universe release, this figure was orphaned until Target decided to pick it up as an exclusive.

Beast Mode
Repugnus' color scheme is inspired by the color scheme of the G1 Monsterbot. G1 Repugnus was mostly made up of yellow and two shades of red. Here, yellow and red play prominant roles along with other colors that add detail. The arms, part of the neck and parts of the legs are all cast in yellow plastic. The yellow shade is a medium tone, not garish at all. The other primary plastic color is a dark translucent red. This color looks really rich and fantastic. It contrasts so well with the yellow that it makes the primary colors striking even though one is dark.

There is painted detail work as well. Metallic gold, green and a flat light blue all work together to provide detail to the head, wings and tail. All three sections have exceptional decos. The wings have the green blending into the gold at the edges. The head uses blue to form a lightning like pattern (perhaps an allusion to the G1 toy's ability to spark?) and the tail has the gold running down the center ridges on the tail with the green under it.

Just as with the Botcon 2005 exclusives, the mandible piece was assembled backwards. Since this piece was planned before the Botcon 2005 exclusives, and prototypes had already existed before Fun Publications even created those exclusives, this is actually the source of the backwards assembly, not the Botcon figures.

The packaging for this figure shows Repugnus as a Decepticon. However, on his neck is a tampographed Autobot symbol. With these types of conflicts, often you have to make judgement calls. I'm listing Repugnus as an Autobot partly because his color scheme is clearly based on the G1 Monsterbot, and also because I like the idea of having a "versus" pack of an Autobot versus a Decepticon.

Robot Mode
The Buzzclaw sculpt has always had a very dynamic looking robot mode. The new colors for this sculpt add to that by jumping out at the eye. In this form much of the yellow plastic consolidates around the waist, upper legs and arm area. The red distributes outward to the lower arms, the lower legs, the chest and the head. This break up works very well as the contrast between the two colors is found throughout the robot mode.

The metallic gold and light blue colors are used on the robot head for detailing. The gold makes up the face details while the eyes are blue (another clue that perhaps he was meant to be an Autobot). As well as the lightning pattern worked for the beast mode head, it works doubly well as a chest detail in this form.

The rear wing/claw piece can be detached to be used as a weapon. The action feature still works well. There are no joint tightness issues with the figure itself. I did notice the shield does not stick to the peg on his left arm quite as well as it used to, but all that means is you have to push it in a bit more to get it to stay put.

Final Thoughts:
This is a really well done two pack. In many ways, this two pack represents the best of what Universe had to offer as a regular line. On the one hand you have a great homage to a G1 character. On the other you have a sculpt that was never put out in the US finally making its way here. The price point makes this exceptionally worthwhile. Highly recommended!

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