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Series: Beast Wars II
Allegiance: Cybertron
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 1998

The Insectrons' requisite spy, Tonbot is a flashy type who enjoys dressing up. His specialty is strewing his conversation with English. His tail contains powerful Botshot homing missiles, and he can blast a solvent liquid or mist from his mouth, literally enveloping pursuing enemies in smoke. His flight speed is the fastest of the Insectrons, and he can make his way as high as the stratosphere under his own power. He also enjoys sunset skies.

Prelude: Tonbot here is a repaint of the Western Beast Wars figure Jetstorm. It’s been eight years since I reviewed Jetstorm, though, so I think I can give this mold another go.

Robot Mode: Tonbot makes for an impressive looking robot. The wings of his beast mode frame his chest and adorn his upper arms, giving him a very striking silhouette. The combination of red, dark grey and green that makes up his paint job looks pretty good (better, in my opinion, than Jetstorm’s colors) and he adheres to Beast Wars’ high standard of articulation.

Tonbot has two weapons. One is a water-squirting gimmick built into his head, the bellows for which is in his long tail, while the other is a pair of missile launchers, which he can’t use in robot mode (except to fire straight up or down). The latter are really meant for the beast mode, making water-squirting his sole weapon in robot mode. So bottom line: a nice-looking, good robot, who could really have used a better weapon for his robot mode. And possibly a slightly shorter or folding tail, as it tends to drag on the floor a bit.

Beast Mode: Tonbot transforms into a dragonfly (Odonata Anisoptera for the Latin lovers). The red color prevails, of course, and Tonbot has the necessary four wings, six legs, and long tail that goes with that form. I’m not an entomologist, so I can’t tell you how realistic a depiction of a dragonfly this is, but apart from the head maybe being a tad too broad, I think Tonbot does a pretty admirable job here.

The wings move, so can the mandibles, only the front legs look a bit out of place when compared to the four others. In this mode Tonbot can also finally bring his arms to bear properly. The twin missiles lie snug against his tail, but can swing forward when the trigger on his tail is pulled to fire from underneath his wings. So bottom line: a very nicely done insect mode here, no complaints as such except that the front legs are sculpted differently than the other four (due to them being heel spurs in robot mode).

Remarks: The Japanese Beast Wars II series was created to bridge the gap between the first and second season of the original Beast Wars series for Japanese audiences and utilized many of the Beast Wars toys that weren’t used in the Western series, quite a few of them with new paintjobs. Tonbot is one such figure, giving the unused Predacon Deluxe-class figure Jetstorm a new red paintjob and some media presence. I haven’t seen much of the BW2 series, but the Insectrons were a more or less independent faction in the battle on Gaia, though they were more closely tied to the Seibertrons / Maximals than the bad guys.

As a toy Tonbot is on the good side of average for a Beast Wars figure, which is a compliment of course, as the Beast Wars average bar is set pretty damn high. There is nothing truly spectacular or outstanding here, but Tonbot easily conforms to Beast Wars’ high standard of toys, making him a pretty good figure, period. Not a must-have, but a good choice for Beast Wars enthusiasts and probably a tad more interesting than Jetstorm for his media presence.

Rating: C+
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