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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Osku's review of: Clawjaw (regular and transmetal)

Name: Clawjaw
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Underwater Attack
Sub-Group: NA

From the deepest, coldest depths of the sea, Claw Jaw emerges to attack predacon enemies that stray too close to his underwater lair. By wrapping his eight powerful arms around them in a constrictive vice grip, Claw Jaw drains his victim's powers by extracting Energon from their bodies through his suction-cup arms. The four razor-sharp fangs surrounding this cyber squid's mouth make him a potent warrior, as does his robotic metal-mashing claw weapon.

Claw Jaw is an early Beast Wars basic toy released in 1997. The European rerelease was released on transmetal colours and card in some parts of Europe (not just UK) in 1998 and it came with a VHS tape featuring an episode from the second season of Beast Wars cartoon.

Claw Jaw is one of those toys that almost no one seems to care about, myself included until I got the original and European rerelease in "transmetal" colours as a part of bigger lot. Don't let the original red/orange/purple colour scheme fool you. Claw Jaw is a solid little toy with an unusual beast mode and fun gimmick.

Alternate Mode:
Weaker mode. Being a squid, the articulation is limited to four smaller tentacles and vice grip gimmick. In this mode Claw Jaw sort of lies backward supported by its big tentacles, ready to move backwards (like squids actually move in reality). Vice grip gimmick is a bit useless in this mode as tentacles get in the way. Claw Jaw can be displayed standing on its tentacles, if someone wants to pretend that squids live on land. At least Scuba (Japanese rerelease) is displayed like that in Japanese BW2 catalogue.

The tentacles are full of little suctions cups giving the sculpt much needed little details. The squid head would otherwise look good, but the screw in the middle of the head spoils it. Other minuses are a robot head that is too visible and the lever needed for vice grip gimmick.

Original release colour scheme: In a word "kiddified." Main colours are orange and red with little purple. There's something about the colours that really aren't to my liking. Too many "Finding Nemo" vibes. Little purple dots don't help either.

"Transmetal" rerelease colour scheme: Much better. The main body is dark blue and head and part of limbs dark green with light green paint details. Paint details give, purposefully, a more robotic feel. This actually looks like a dangerous beast instead of a cute little squid you expect to see in Disney movies.

Robot Mode:
I don't much like the first BW basics because of the spring loaded semi-automatic transformation. I think the designers pushed the line in the right direction with the second wave of basics. Especially with robot modes.

Claw Jaw has 15 points of articulation (plus the vice grip gimmick) and it displays very nicely in many positions. At least with my toys there's no problem with loose ball joints either. Robot mode is quite balanced, though a bit top-heavy because of the vice grip mechanism being in the chest. Gimmick works better in this mode and adds play value, at least for the kids.

Part of the squid head become the robot feet and front tentacles become hands. Big tentacles are swung on the side giving it a bigger/wider look. Suction cup details show well in this mode too. The rub sign symbol is placed on right side big tentacles. In theory, I like the squid-like robot head, but it's a bit too organic looking for my taste. Part of the lever for vice grip gimmmick can be detached and used as a hand weapon.

Only complaint I have is that the toy looks pretty bad from the side and back.

Original release colour scheme: Mostly the same complaint as in beast mode, too "kiddified." Good sculpting saves a lot in this case and Claw Jaw actually looks good. Silver coloured mandibles(?) give it a more threatening look and you don't pay so much attention to those purple spots on the limbs.

"Transmetal" rerelease colour scheme: Excellent, as I like dark blue mixed with dark green colour schemes. Upper body could be almost too dark, but it's nicely with the heavy use of light green in the head and bright red eyes. Silver coloured mandibles work well in this colour scheme. Easily the best mode/colour of this toy.

Transformation: 7 - Easy, rotate the waist, separate legs and big tentacles lift up the robot head.
Durability: 9 - I don't see how this could get broken without trying on purpose. Perfect toy to give to your young relatives you don't want to touch your more fragile toys... Detachable weapon can get lost though.
Fun: 8 - Robot mode is excellent with a nice gimmick. Beast mode not that great, partly because there aren't so many predacons with aquatic beast modes.
Price: 9 / 6 - Original version is widely available at cheap prices, especially in lots. "Transmetal" version can be found pretty easily from European ebays, but if you're from somewhere else, shipping will be higher.
Summary: 8 - Much better toy than could be expected from pictures. Original version recommended for Beast Wars fans, "transmetal" version recommended for others as well.

 
 
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