"Beast Wars Transformers" Rhinox Toy Review


Rhinox had the distinction of being one of the key characters in the entire Beast Wars Transformers television show. He was introduced at the very beginning of the show, but the toy was not released until much later, causing much anticipation from fans. When he did come out, fans got a toy that was a bit different than what they were expecting, but a good complex piece that pointed the way of future Beast Wars Transformers deluxe toys.

Beast Mode:
In beast mode, Rhinox is a rhinocerous. His color is mostly varying shades of brown with a golden horn. Although the molding is nice and he looks very large and bulky (appropriate for a rhino), his only point of posability in this mode is his mouth, which can open and close. Because of the nature of his transformation, all his legs are locked in one position. This is perhaps the biggest let down of this toy.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin Rhinox's transformation by folding out his flanks to the side. This will reveal several things:

  • His tail is really his sword
  • The round saw piece that is revealed can be removed
  • On the inside of each side of his flank pieces, there are ball and chain weapon pieces. Remove these as well.

Set the pieces aside for now. Straighten out his rear beast mode legs and flip out the black pieces to form the robot feet. Rotate the lower robot legs around so the spikey looking pieces in a circular pattern face outwards. Now with the underbelly of the rhino facing you, flip down the center piece of the body to reveal another component of his weapon. Remove this and set it aside.

By this point, you should be able to see his robot arms. Detach them from the forward rhino legs and rotate the rhino legs back while straightening out the robot arms. Flip down the lower part of the beast mode mouth to form Rhinox's robot chest and then swing back and down the piece with the horn on it. Rotate the pieces which contain the rhino eyes down so the flat edges align with his shoulders.

Assemble Rhinox's weapon by attaching the saw blade onto the spinner mechanism. Use the pegs on each of the ball and chain pieces to connect to the saw. Place this weapon in one hand and the sword in the other, and Rhinox is ready to fight!

Robot Mode:
Rhinox reveals a new major color in this mode: green. His shoulders, lower arms, robot head and spinning blade weapon are all green. More gold is revealed as well on his chest piece, waist section and on the insides of his "mutant head halves". His robot eyes are red, and a bit more black appears on his arms.

In robot mode, Rhinox has thirteen points of articulation, a dramatic improvement over the beast mode. His weapon is activated by pressing the tab on it. Do so and the blade spins knocking down Predacon enemies!

For fans of the television show, it is not hard to see where the CGI animators came up with the bulk of Rhinox's features. However, whereas this toy seems to have been made with somewhat of a more "ancient warrior" look to it, Mainframe animators were aiming for a totally different ethnic look for Rhinox. Also, fans were overjoyed when they saw Rhinox packing major weaponry with his infamous "chaingun of doom" on the television show, but were disappointed to see that the CGI animators had in fact taken his spinning weapon and adapted it into a gun.

Had the toy come out first, reaction may have been different. Aside from the lack of posability in beast mode, Rhinox is actually a fairly complex and solid toy. Definitely recommended. B

Updated Thoughts (January 31, 2022):
It is fitting that not too long before I restored this review the Kingdom Rhinox figure was released, and decades later, even with "TV Show accuracy" in mind, it has still proven difficult for designers to create a good looking beast mode with good articulation.  Between the Generations Thrilling 30 and Kingdom Rhinox figures, it becomes more apparent that this figure needs to be looked at in a different context.  Since this Rhinox was developed before the TV show, looking at it with the eye of "show accuracy" is unfair.  Instead, I feel like this design was intended to look like an ancient warrior with thick layers of armor on (possibly a Samurai?) and in that context he's excellent.  Despite its flaws, I still have a strong fondness for this figure.

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