BEAST WARS (McDONALD’S)
I’m sure most people remember being a kid and asking their parents to go to McDonald’s, not for the food, but because that month there was a cool toy that came with a Happy Meal. When I was just a wee babby Tim, Beast Wars (an offshoot of the Transformers brand) was my jam, so you can imagine the incessant begging that went on when I found out it was that month’s theme. Today I’ll be looking at one of my favorite McDonald’s toys I ever had, Manta Ray. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
First off, let me apologize for that pun, I’ve been informed that it was, in fact, terrible. Moving on, Manta Ray was released as part of McDonald’s 1996 Beast Wars promotion. She is based on, well, nothing really since she was effectively created to be a McDonald’s toy primarily. Despite her name, in Beast Mode, she is actually a mobula ray, those damn imposters. She stands about 3 inches tall fully transformed as a robot, although you can make her a little taller by leaving the beast head up. She has 6 points of articulation which is a little low for a Transformer, but it’s a McDonald’s toy, the bar can only be set so high. The sculpt is, again, what you’d expect from this kind of toy and nothing more. The legs look like legs, the arms look like arms. The head and torso are basically just blocks with some detailing, which is fine except that this is supposed to be a female character and the body does nothing to even suggest that maybe perhaps Manta Ray is not a dude. Although this may have something to do with how, in Japan, she is actually a he. Her face also looks like the front of a truck, but I guess she’s a robot so I’ll overlook that. The paint is sparse but acceptable with just a bit of bleed over on the gloves. Manta Ray comes with no accessories. It’s not a great figure by any stretch of the imagination, but you have to remember where it came from, and as a McDonald’s toy, it’s not bad at all.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As you’ve probably guessed, I got Manta Ray at a McDonald’s right alongside my chicken nuggets. I do recall being a little disappointed that I didn’t get the Rhinox toy, but retrospectively, I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Manta rays are clearly way cooler that rhinos. Besides, for a Beast Wars junkie kid, this figure easily met its fun quota which is all that really matters anyway.