BEAST WARS (KENNER)
“Shadows of mystery cloak this silent and proud warrior. Part wolf, part eagle, Silverbolt possesses all the attributes of a great lone warrior: speed, power, wisdom, intelligence. His uncanny ability to track and then ferociously overcome Predacons by himself, only to suddenly disappear into the backdrop has inspired myths describing a fierce winged warrior who has come to defeat their evil ranks one by one. Preferring to work alone, Silverbolt is a ferociously intelligent fighter: extremely dexterous, he seems to be everywhere at once, striking with fearsome talons and firing hidden point-missiles from his wing tips to ultimately surface victorious.”
After being largely focused on machines that turned into other machines for their first decade and some change, in 1996, the Transformers brand reconfigured into Beast Wars, which gave the robots in disguise a bunch of animal-inspired alt-modes, as well as a prehistoric setting. After rather quiet reception for Generation 2, Beast Wars rather revitalized the brand, and even brought in a lot of new fans. It had a rather strong four year run as a toyline, as well as a rather successful tie-in cartoon running at the same time. Both of those also had a follow-up in the form of Beast Machines, but nobody really likes to talk about those. The whole “Beast” thing is getting worked into the live action films this year, with a number of the characters playing pivotal roles in Rise of the Beasts. But we’re not here to talk about that today. No, today, we’re talking about “Fuzors.” See, while the early run characters were all just one lame animal (totally objective fact, there, by the way), the Fuzors were *two* animals fused together! The best of the bunch (again, objective fact) was the Maximal Silverbolt, who I’m looking at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Silverbolt was part of the first Deluxe Class Fuzors wave of Beast Wars, which was released in 1998. He was one half of the wave, with the Predacon Sky Shadow being the other half. In his robot mode, Silverbolt stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 practical points of articulation. Due to the nature of his transformation, there are a few spots where he can get a little extra movement from joints that aren’t really meant for articulation, but it’s all pretty minor adjustments. His movement wasn’t terrible, which was honestly something that was pretty consistent for Beast Wars. They certainly weren’t as focused on just the transformation as the G1 stuff was. Compared to more modern stuff, he’s a little stiff, of course, but 25 years removed, it’s not so bad. The sculpt is a bit rudimentary, but again not bad. It tracked well with the animation model he got on the show, especially when it came to the head sculpt. That said, the proportions do look kind of wonky; the torso is particularly blocky, and the limbs are a bit chunky. He’s also got a fair bit of kibble on the upper half, with his back legs just sort of hanging off the elbows, and the wings not really folding into the main body, instead just sort of sticking straight out from the back. It’s a little awkward. There are also a lot of rather obvious joints and hinges in the robot mode, which breaks up the flow a bit. His color scheme was predominately the grey he was molded in, with a healthy helping of bronze and darker grey accenting. It was all pretty cleanly applied, and pretty solid for the era, and it’s held up well over time. Silverbolt was packed with two feather “missiles” that, in robot mode, were meant to sort of be swords. They looked more like clubs, but that’s neither here nor there, because I don’t have them anyway. Silverbolt’s alt-mode, the source of his “Fuzor” title, was a wolf and an eagle, making him a pseudo griffin type thing. It’s a fun mode, and his transformation into it is a pretty well-engineered one. In the beast mode, a lot of the uglier parts of the sculpt are hidden, and his overall look is a lot more cohesive…which is actually kind of ironic, since he’s supposed to be a merging of two rather different things. In this mode, the missiles would go at the ends of his wings, and moving the wings inward would fire the missiles.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was not super into Beast Wars as a kid. I watched the show, but really only because it was between other things I liked to watch, and I didn’t change the channel. I owned exactly two of the toys as a kid. One of them was a gift, so I didn’t have much say in it, and the other was this guy. I actually quite liked Silverbolt; he’s the only character from the series that I have any sort of attachment to, and as a kid I actually made a point of tracking down his toy. That one took quite a beating over the years, and ultimately wound up a few limbs shy of where he should have been. The one reviewed here was actually not mine originally, but was instead Max’s. He was sorting through several large bins of his old Transformers, and this was one of a few figures that he fished out and gifted to me. He shows his age to be sure, but I do still really love the figure.