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Series: Beast Wars Neo
Allegiance: Destron
Categories: Deluxe
Function: Destron Staff Officer
Year: 1999

Magmatron's right-hand man, Guiledart is a supporter of reason and can construct various operations as a tactician. The Thunder Horn blast he releases from his horns can heavily damage an enemy, while his tail can become a Tail Shooter, which fires powerful missiles. The ambitious type, he is watching for his chance to advance in the ranks.

Review by Tobias H:

Prelude: Most fans will have heard of the series "Beast Wars", which was one of the milestones in the history of the Transformers. What's not quite as widely known, though, is that "Beast Wars" spawned not just one, but two spin-off series.

First there was "Beast Wars II", which was created mainly to bridge the gap for Japanese fans between seasons of "Beast Wars". This series was never aired outside of Japan, but it was popular enough to pave the way for a second spin-off series.

"Beast Wars Neo" might just be the most extraordinary Transformers series ever produced. The characters especially were set up differently than one would expect. If one looks back at the long line of first officers in the ranks of the Decepticons, the first name that inevitably comes to mind is Starscream. Hungry for power, arrogant, loud and self-possessed, always looking out for number one. That’s Starscream’s typical character, as it was shown in just about every series.

But there are other seconds-in-command apart from Starscream. Scorponok, for one, a rather dumb brute, part of the original Beast Wars cast who somehow got the notion that he was Megatron’s “friend”. Or maybe Cyclonus, who was always busy cleaning up the results of the mad schemes of Galvatron.

Guiledart, on the other hand, is a very different character. Despite looking like a powerful brute, who gained his position based solely on his physical prowess, he’s actually a rather laid-back, quiet character, who impresses through his tactical abilities. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad fighter, far from it. Once he’s fired up there are few enemies Guiledart can’t face and he’ll come out on top most of the times.

The other Destrons accept him as Magmatron’s right hand, for the most part at least. Only Archadis occasionally makes a bid for his spot, but usually ends up realizing that Guiledart isn’t the kind of guy you want for an enemy. Because he’s got one major ace up his sleeve: D-Navi. The eccentric, female main computer of the Destron ship, which is in love with Guiledart and would do everything to please its beloved.

Despite his many advantages Guiledart isn’t looking for personal advancement. Other than most of his fellow seconds-in-command, he has no ambition to topple his superior and take his place as leader of the Destrons. So it seems that Magmatron has actually managed to gain what might possibly be the most trustworthy first officer in the history of the Transformers.

Robot Mode: Like most of the Beast Wars Neo figures Guiledart has a rather unusual look. Despite being rather small -smaller than most other Deluxe figures- Guiledart is very broad and thus makes up for his lack in height. Many edges, stingers and horns cover his body, giving him a very dangerous look. Guiledart’s right hand isn’t a hand as such, but rather the complete, massive head of his beast mode. This was also his primary weapon on the series, where he could shoot energy beams from the head’s horns.

But Guiledart, the figure, has yet more to offer. His left hand is standard, but is adorned by a dangerous-looking stinger. A rather effective weapon for close-quarter combat. Most opponents will be more worried about his missile launcher, though, which Guiledart can carry in his left hand. This strange-looking weapon is curved and displays Guiledart’s purple spark crystal. And when he doesn’t need it, he can store the weapon on his back.

Speaking of storing, Guiledart can store the two missiles for his launcher in the ‘padding’ on on the shoulder of his left arm, where two holders are fastened for just that purpose. This shoulder piece emerges from the back of his beast mode. Why do I mention this? Well, because the ‘ribs’ look like a rather scary caricature of epaulettes on a uniform. A very nicely-designed detail.

Guiledart’s body is also nicely sculpted. There are a lot of details here, that could just as easily have been left out, but Takara put in the extra effort here. The result is very nice to look at. And thankfully the coloring was done with equal effort. Many of the details are highlighted. Guiledart’s color scheme looks very nice overall. The visible parts of his alternate mode are mostly colored a bright ocher, while the actual robot body is mostly metallic-grey. There are multiple highlights in red, brown, yellow and other colors. Like I said, a lot of effort was put in here.

The head is also very nicely done. On TV his head often looked black thanks to the lighting, but it‘s actually red, which the figure reflects. The head looks a bit like the helmet of a samurai warrior.

A few words on the legs. Guiledart’s legs result from the extended hind legs of his beast mode. His lower legs are relatively thin, which only serves to enhance his massive look. The feet aren’t all that big, but surprisingly stable. To be honest I originally had some reservations regarding Guiledart’s stability, but those were groundless. The figure has no problems remaining upright.

Seeing as I’ve pretty much praised Guiledart to the high heavens so far, I must answer the question whether there is anything negative about the robot mode. Sadly, there is. I’m speaking of Guiledart’s posability. Which, because of his massive body, is rather limited. Oh, in theory Guiledart is fully posable, he’s got just about every joint a figure this size can have. But his own body is hindering him here.

Which is sad, because this figure is excellent apart from that and would have gotten a near-perfect score otherwise. As things stand I must deduct some points. But don’t worry, the limitations on his posability aren’t that dramatic, they don’t pull down the entire figure. I only deduct half a mark.

So in total we have a fantastic-looking robot mode, whose look strongly reminds me of an ork or maybe a troll from a fantasy novel. If you like that look even a little bit, then you’ll certainly love Guiledart.

Alternate Mode: A rather complex but not frustratingly so transformation turns Guiledart into a Triceratops, which makes him the heir apparent to Slag, the Generation 1 Dinobot. Guiledart makes for a rather realistic-looking dinosaur. The scaly body was molded with a great eye for detail, with the dinosaur’s head being the highlight. Even the tongue was separately sculpted and looks out between the jaws. He’s also got those little spikes on his neck. Look-wise he’s a very good replica of what might be the best-known herbivorous dinosaur.

The paint job is also done very well. The primary color is, of course, the same ocher tone we’ve seen in robot mode, with some shades of dark green here and there. The head, too, has some color highlights. The horns are brown, the tongue is red, and the eyes white with painted-on pupils. Especially well-done is paint-job on the beak-shaped mouth of the dino. All in all the paint job isn’t exactly spectacular, given that an animal of this kind isn’t all that colorful, but they did the best job that was possible.

In terms of posability Guiledart’s dinosaur mode is pretty much a statue. He can move his legs at the shoulders, but that’s pretty much it. A posable head would have been a great bonus here.

This alternate mode has more to offer, though. Many Beast Wars Neo figures have a third mode, most of them barely worth mentioning. In most cases it’s some kind of weapon, or maybe a household tool like garden clippers. Guiledart, too, has a third mode. And in his case it’s actually very well done.

Because instead of transforming into some kind of hair-brained something, Guiledart would much rather play dead. And I don’t mean that you just put the dino down on his side and be done with it, no. I mean that Guiledart can transform into a decomposing carcass, which has already gained the attention of a scavenger or two. There is a wound on the neck, possibly a broken neck, a wound on the upper rear leg and, my personal favorite, a serious wound on the flank. A piece of skin hangs down here, while the “flesh” is already gone, either eaten or decomposed, with the ribs showing. Excellently done.

And if all that weren’t enough, Guiledart features a mechanism, which makes his head look “dead”, too. If you move his nose horn, his tongue extends and his eyes roll up, just like you’d see in a dead animal. I really like this third mode because of the effort put into it. A very nice, gruesome beast.

In total Guiledart’s alternate mode certainly has a few limitations, but all in all it’s very nicely done and for a mode that doesn’t have much posability, it offers a surprising amount of play value.

Conclusion: As you might have noticed, I very much like Guiledart. I liked the figure from the get-go, despite the fact that, much like Animated Bulkhead, it’s really too small for its size-class. You barely notice in Guiledart’s case, though, because he makes up for it in sheer mass and through his bulky look.

His look is very well done in both modes and both the sculpting and the paint job show a lot of love for detail, done by very capable hands. The posability could be better in both modes. Okay, the robot mode is fully posable in theory, but sadly Guiledart can’t actually utilize it.

Adding the gruesome “decomposing mode” of the dinosaur, I end up with a well-deserved and very good B+. I’d really have liked to give Guiledart an even better rating, but I think B+ is one he can easily live with.

Rating: B+
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