"Transformers Universe" Reptilion Toy Review

General Information:
Price Point/Size: Deluxe
Retailers: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee)
Release Date: June 2003
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2 (Intermediate)
Accessories: Missile

It is a testament to the longevity of the Transformers toy line that Hasbro has decided to create an entire line of toys based on redecos of previous releases. Reptilion draws from the later Beast Wars Transmetal 2 series, which featured bio-mechanical, highly detailed Transformers and introduced the "Spark Crystal" into the Transformers line, a feature which became a staple of the line until Car Robots. Reptilion is a redeco of the Transmetal 2 Predacon Iguanus. For a review of the toy itself, check out the Transmetal 2 Iguanus review. This review will focus on the changes made to the toy for this release.

Beast Mode:
Reptilion's color scheme is not like Iguanus's scheme at all. Hasbro seemed to want to go for a sharp contrast between colors rather than a blending of colors as they did with Iguanus. Reptilion's primary color is dark brown. Some parts are painted (or molded in) bright green. Metallic gold and silver spray ops are used on parts such as the neck, head and tail. The frills on his neck range in colors that include purple spray ops. While the spray ops blend very well with the brown, the green offers a very sharp contrast to it, making those parts leap out at you visually.

The Transmetal 2 aesthetic focused around asymmetrical bodies, it was good to see that the paint apps were done accordingly. The frills (for the most part) have different paint apps on them, as do the front legs. His eyes (one "organic looking" and the other "mechanical looking") both have different color schemes as well.

In an interesting move that reflects the current Transformers' team preferance against vacuum metallized parts, none of the parts on Reptilion have vac metal. This is especially noticable on the frills, which are now just brown plastic with the paint apps on them. This doesn't subtract anything from the toy since the mold itself is so well done. As a gimmick, vacuum metallized parts can be tricky. If not done right, they can break easily or flake.

Reptilion can still utilize his missile firing feature. Press the trigger under his chin and a missile fires while his frills move up. It's a fun and visually appealing way to have the beast mode "attack".

Robot Mode:
Reptilion's robot mode takes the basic color pattern of Iguanus and improves on it a bit. His helmet, upper arms, main body, hands and lower legs are dark brown. His lower arms, waist and upper legs are bright green. The face is green, but his teeth are painted silver and his one eye is light green. His hands have gold spray ops on them, as does his upper body.

His lower leg color schemes follow the mold's asymmetrical design scheme. The right leg is molded in brown but has gold spray ops. The left leg is also molded in brown, buthas silver spray ops that blend into purple ones towards the knees. Very nice looking.

The panel on his chest is brown, with a yellow circle on it. Flip that panel open and you'll find a Spark Crystal. A Decepticon symbol has been heat stamped on top of the Spark Crystal, so it's tough to see what pattern the Spark Crystal originally had. It's possible that it has no pattern and just contains a swirl inside.

Reptilion is a great example of a good redeco. It pays careful attention to the mold's structure to determine a good scheme. The scheme has bright colors, but not to the point where they're overwhelming. Despite having bright green as part of his color scheme, overall Reptilion still manages to look like a dark warrior.

Personally, I would have liked to see some more paint apps applied, like silver to accentuate parts like the metal plates on the organic parts of his right shoulder. But that's a small quibble. Reptilion is highly recommended unless you just don't like redecos.

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