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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review of: BW Neo Longrack

Name: Longrack
Beast Mode: Giraffe
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Deputy Commander

Longrack is the gabby, annoying class committee member of the group. He is quite serious about following rules to the letter, and will butt in and aggressively complain to others about it. His Arm Shot attack extends his right arm, while his Crush Arm grabs and mangles his enemies. Longrack also specializes in tinkering with machines. (Bio with thanks to bwtf.com).

I picked up Longrack at the end of my buying spree. I by no means had any sort of plan as to what I was hunting down when I started, but I ended up snagging this guy in the process, and was pretty pleased. I was introduced to Longrack as a result of looking at collection photos from people here at the Archive (Wildfire Herald's, I believe). Once I figured out what the hell it was, I went after one...

Giraffe mode:

Longrack's alternate mode is a giraffe. In Beast Wars Neo, no explanation was really given for the alternate modes of any of the characters, but of course, at that point, none was really needed. I know very little of the series itself, but I have gathered that it's similar to BW II in that it's a filler series of sorts with traditional animation instead of cgi.

Anyway, the BW Neo line introduced Takara-made beast Transformers in many times the quantity of BW II, along with a few repaints. All of the new molds were takes on animals not yet attempted, and a giraffe was one of them. What's the advantage of turning into a giraffe, you might ask? Well... you can kick really, really hard. Sort of like Kickback, only bigger. The molding on the toy is great, and it looks pretty realistic from the top down, which is good enough. You can also push the tongue in to make the eyes roll back. Cute.

Battle Platform mode:

This is so lame, I'm not even going to bother...

Robot mode:

As a robot, Longrack is an asymmetrical Beast Wars design at its best. He's highly articulated, and has three or four gimmicks built in that are pretty well implemented. Takara was into using what are now pretty standard holes for the hands, so he can use Energon and Armada (and even some G1) weapons easily. His left arm features a pop out machete for gouging Destrons, and it can be detached and held normally. His right arm has a massive claw attached to a spring-loaded shaft, which can launch the whole apparatus forward and knock smaller toys down with impunity. His chest panel rotates up to reveal a Maximal spark crystal, but you'll probably see that while your transforming the thing, so it kind of ruins the magic (it's a "bride before the wedding" thing). He also has two missle launchers in the knees of the giraffe's forelegs, but those can only be meaningfully aimed in the battle platform mode. Lastly, I thought the head looked weird at first, but... eh, more good than bad. I'm used to it now.

As a goofy aside, his giraffe forelegs can be rotated down to give him a centaur-ish mode. It's not official, but it's surprising how decent it looks.

Transformation: 7 - Fairly complicated, but it has a good, asymmetrical robot mode, and it pulls off the giraffe guise well enough. So, decent marks here. It gets a few points taken off for ruining the missile launchers by confining their only use to battle mode, which looks like an afterthought. Still, managed to do it without the instructions (not having them didn't have anything to with it, though...). The front and rear torso plates can cause the arm to pop off during transformation, but after you get the hang of it, you can do it without that happening.
Durability: 8 - The missiles go off pretty easily, so they're off in 'The Bag'. The tail can pop off too, but it's a ball joint, so it goes right back on.
Price: 9 - For a Japanese-only mold this good, it's pretty cheap. Low demand, I guess. Shouldn't cost more than $20 boxed.
Fun: 10 - I like the asymmetrical designs of a lot of the Beast Wars guys, and this is no exception. Nice articulation, too. Plus, it's a giraffe.
Overall: 8 - I would give it a higher rating, but it's an old Japanese-only beast mold, so at this point its appeal is aimed more towards a niche audience of sorts. If you're in that sect, by all means, go for it! It's a great figure. Otherwise, it's not going anywhere, so just hunt it down at your leisure. Still recommended, though.

To see the claw arm in action, click here to download a BW Neo toy commercial!
 
 
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