Kamen's review: Bantor
Jungle Warrior, Demolitions Expert
Beast Wars Basic Fuzors
Tempermental and solitary, Bantor relishes his Fuzor animalian fusion. Enhanced by the attributes of a baboon's and tiger's instincts, he is a natural warrior in total flux with the ways of combat. Extremely versatile, Bantor combines the cunning patience of a tiger with the near-demented frenzy of a baboon, deleting the need for ammunition in close-range combat. Optimal Optimus's first choice for recon demolition missions, Bantor can traverse deep into Predacon territory and escape undetected. Largely unknown by the enemy, his reputation for setting undetectable traps exceeds his identity, though is power-ram head butt and right hook are widely considered devastating.
Although his bio depicts Bantor as a tiger/baboon fusion, it is only half correct. He is actually a mandrill/tiger fusion, as marked by his colourful face. Fortunately, that does nothing to detract from his beast mode.
Bantor is mostly orange and brown. Orange is used for the legs and body, with brown coming into play as his mane and tail. However, orange "fur" is spliced with brown, further blurring the line between the two beasts. Black appears for the tiger stripes. Green shows up for his eyes, red for his nose, and silver for his face completes Bantor's colour palette.
The overall aesthetic deftly merges the power and sleekness of the tiger with the more leonine profile of the mandrill. The face, although coloured like a mandrill's, is constructed in a very feline fashion, with ovule shaped eyes, drawn back ears, and fangs. Bantor's rear legs are of particular note. Each leg is actually sculpted differently, one being a mandrill's leg and the other a tiger's. His front legs are quite large compared to his rear limbs, and they can look awkward in some poses, but I think it actually adds to the figure's charm in this case.
Bantor has nine points of articulation, one of which is his mouth. However, the lower jaw forms the elbow of his robot arm, therefore closing the mouth reveals the arm, so he is best left with his mouth agape.
His bio, if you've read it, mentions a powerful head-butt. This feature is reproduced in the toy. Directly behind his mane is a small button. Press it and his head shoots forward. I don't get it, but it works very well.
No new colours appear for Bantor in robot mode, which is actually a shame. He has plenty of new details on his chest, head, and arms, but they're lost in the orangeness of it all. Considering the strength of his beast mode, I wouldn't have minded if they had painted his shins even though they would have stuck out in his alternate form.
Amusingly, Bantor is a baldy. Oh, he's got silver hair on the sides of his head, tousled like Wolerine's, but between the peaks, he's got a smooth dome. Plenty of robotic detail shows through in this mode, otherwise. A thick tube dominates the left side of his chest, and armor plates guard his shins and left arm, as well as his upper arms and legs. His head sculpt throws me off, however. Because it's somewhat scrunched, instead of looking like the fierce warrior depicted on his box art, he looks cute and cuddly...aw, who wants to pet the fuzzy-wuzzy?
ANYWAY, one problem with this mode is the final location of his beast mode's rear end. It just hangs off his left arm. The tail looks like it's supposed to be a sword or a whip of some kind, but the beast legs and back keep it from looking serious. Fortunately, the piece is removable, but it cannot be stored anywhere else on the figure.
Bantor has eleven points of articulation as a robot and his huge feet give him superb balance.
His action feature from beast mode is now incorporated into his right arm, giving him one hell of a right hook!
Surprisingly complex for a basic figure. 4
Most of his joints are balled, but I am worried about the spring or catch on his right arm eventually wearing down. 8
I like him, but he's not for everyone. 7
Between 5 and 20(!) USD. 5-7 is perfectly reasonable; anything more and I'd forget it. 7
Bantor is a good Fuzor all around. A few more paint apps and a better use of his left hand weapon in robot mode would have made his figure excellent. 6