Cliffbee.com: Gairyu Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Gairyu
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Defence Soldier
Alternate Mode: Monster

Thanks to heroic decepticon for loaning me Gairyu for this review



MONSTER MODE
Height: 4cm Width: 3cm Length: 6.5cm

   A pine green and white winged quadrupedal monster, Gairyu is clearly meant to be a mythical creature rather than any real animal. His front half, wings and head are green while the rear half and and all four legs are white. He's a repaint of Bristleback, sans brittle gold plastic. Gairyu shares his colours with Goryu. Gairyu has red eyes and extensive stickering, especially on his back and wings, the sticker on his back sports a Decepticon logo. The colours are much better than those of Bristleback, and he avoids the Gold Plastic Syndrome that ravages Bristleback toys.

   Gairyu is better for not trying to be a real animal. The wings are an interesting touch, and they sport guns on the tips, which is cool. I suppose the wings make Gairyu a griffin or something similar, and his legs look like dog legs.

   The play value is limited to his legs swinging, and considering how brittle the plastic is I wouldn't recommend play with the legs anyway.

   This is a decent animal mode, mainly because the wings make him interesting. The colours work well, and much better than those of Bristleback who is both garish and brittle.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the back half up to form his robot boots and swing the hindlegs back to form heelspurs. Fold back the griffin head to reveal the robot head. The forelegs simply become his arms without any manipulation, but you might like to swing them down from pointing forward. You can't swing them right down to his sides since they're moulded with bent elbows. Lastly, give Gairyu his metallic charcoal handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 3cm

   Again pine green and white, Gairyu's torso, head and thighs are green while his arms and boots are white. There's a fairly noticeable hole on his waist - where he attaches to Kakuryu as Dinoking's arm. His face is while, which matches the white limbs rather nicely. The colour scheme works well and of course avoids the dreaded GPS.

   Gairyu's body shape is for the most part well defined, but because the wings sit on his back, the griffin head sits behind his robot head, in plain view, rather than being tucked away on his back. Of course he has wings on his back, which is a nice upside. Like Rairyu, this is a fairly blocky robot, but Gairyu has more detail and isn't quite as blocky. His face features an eyevisor and moulded mouth.

   The only poseability here is the swinging shoulders. I prefer to leave the arms up - in the animal mode position, or slightly down to the sides.

   Despite the gaping hole on his waist and the kibble behind his head, this robot mode looks fairly good. He's much better than the inherently fragile Bristleback in both durability and colours.

The Pretender Shell

   A brown Ankylosaur with a grey and gold robotic backpack, a grey moulded helmet with red eyes "peeking out" and white spines around the base of the backpack. The choice of creature is quite interesting - we've seen very few Anklylosaurs Transformers (in fact, Bazooka is the only other one I can think of). There's a spiky ball moulded on the tail, as you'd expect of this creature. The colour scheme is understated and simple, but works well.

   There's no real play value here - aside from putting Gairyu himself inside, of course. The legs are sculpted in a walking pose with the right legs together as a single protrusion. His handgun attaches on top, and behind this is a spot for the left hand of Dinoking.

   This is a nice shell, and a better one that the turtle shell of Bristleback, which is broken up by a prominent lilac plate. The unusual choice of animal really helps make this shell work.

VARIATIONS

   None I'm aware of. As mentioned, he's a repaint of Bristleback.

OVERALL

   While Bristleback is a major disappointment, Gairyu is one of the better Dinoforce toys. His colours are good and while the beast mode is a little ill-defined, but the shell is great and he avoids the dreaded GPS which plagues Bristleback. While I wouldn't generally recommend the Dinoforce toys due to their hefty pricetags, he is one of the more satisfying members of that team, and of course if you're after Dinoking or trying to complete the Victory cast members, you'll need him - 6/10

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