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Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2001

Prelude: The rather bland name ‘Beast Changer’ actually refers to a rather unique character in Transformers history, the only purely organic Transformer, Savage Noble. Not sure why the toy couldn’t be called by that name, to be honest. Anyway, Savage Noble aka Beast Changer aka Megatron (spoiler alert!) is a rather obscure toy in a mostly forgotten toy line, but my buddy Reyjin is a fan of him (kind of), which came up in a recent episode of our podcast, so I figured it’s time to take a look at him. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Now robot mode is actually the wrong term, seeing as Beast Changer is a completely organic Transformer, but whatever, I’ll stick with my usual format. So Beast Changer’s robot mode is Noble, the blue were wolf type. Now in Beast Machines the Transformers didn’t so much transform as morph, and in Noble’s case he is a blue wolf that becomes a red dragon. Naturally the toy can’t accomplish this complete color change, so toy Noble has a blue head and chest, plus some blue details on his arms and legs, but the rest of him is red.

As a figure Noble is pretty well articulated, no problems here, and despite having double-jointed legs, he can easily accomplish a stable stance. The mouth of his wolf head can open and close. He has no weapons save his hands, which are huge claws, recognizably Savage’s claws, mind you, but still look cool. That is actually TV accurate, as Noble was otherwise unarmed. Shifting the spark crystal on his upper arm (a strange amalgamation between a Maximal and a Vehicon symbol) triggers a spinning claw attack.

Now technically Noble also has wings on his back (actually Savage’s wings), but despite them being colored blue on this side, they really don’t fit the look from the TV series, so your best bet is to simply leave them off in robot mode. Once you start to transform him into Savage, reapply them, as that was usually Noble’s first sign of transforming, too (spreading his wings). So bottom line: probably the best Noble figure possible, considering the rather impossible transformation the toy must incorporate.

Alternate Mode: Noble transforms into the dragon Savage, a red winged beast with big front legs and a dragging tail (a double tail, technically). If you prefer it, you can also turn Savage into a four-legged dragon, but if you go by the TV character, he’s a tail dragger. His huge jaws can open via a spring-loaded tab and the front legs retain their full articulation from the robot mode. The wings are pretty much immobile, though, and while you can pose the tail a bit, it doesn’t really change the look any.

So bottom line here: a close resemblance to the TV character and practically no visible wolf bits (most of the blue color disappears under the wings, too), but not really much in the way of play value.

Remarks: After Megatron’s apparent death in the finale of Beast Machines season 1, a new character appeared among the Maximals, a blue wolf called Noble. The fact that Noble kept going into Megatron’s old command post and kept transforming into a red dragon (just like Megatron) was a mystery the Maximals were unable to solve. Surprise, it turned out that Noble was Megatron’s organic half and he quickly returned to menace the good guys anew. His abandoned organic body remained alive, though, reduced to a primitive beast, and finally sacrificed himself to protect his friend Nightscream from Megatron.

As a toy Beast Changer is a bit of a mixed bag. I’d call him a very, very solid attempt at a figure that was really never meant to easily translate into toy form. Kudos for trying, Hasbro, but the end result is probably something only die-hard Beast Machines fans (or Beast era fans in general, like me) will actually appreciate. If you are not a fan of Beast Transformers, this is one is most definitely not for you. And even if you are, I’d say it’s not a given you will like it. Personally I acquired him for his uniqueness, little more than that.

Rating: C+

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