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Series: Beast Wars Neo
Allegiance: Cybertron
Categories: Mega
Year: 1999

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.

My Review:

Robot Mode: Longrack is definitely one of the most strangely-shaped robots in the entire history of Transformers. Mostly because of his right arm. It's basically the neck of his beast mode and since said beast is a giraffe, that's a lot of neck. Stranger still, the neck points up, so the head of the giraffe sits high above the rest of the body. The actual arm extends out from the underside of the neck, a big grabbing claw that can extend quite a bit and even features a fully posable wrist joint. Not bad, but very strange.

The rest of Longrack's body looks a little less strange, but only a little. His legs are actually the giraffe legs, encased by robotic boots, if you will. His waist and belly are extremely thin, though the hip plates give the illusion of thickness from certain angels. His chest and head look pretty cool and are the most normal-looking parts of him. Finally his left arm has the giraffe tail on top and a flip-out knife as a weapon. The remaining two legs of his beast mode sit on his back as missile launchers.

Longrack is certainly an acquired taste in robot mode. He's very posable, though his strange configuration somewhat limits him in certain poses. He carries a nice number of gimmicks without being overwhelmed by them. The detailing is also quite good. So objectively the really is little to complain about here. I mean, once you get over the strangeness of the giraffe head-and-neck that forms his right arm. Once you're past that, you get an excellent robot mode here.

Alternate Mode: As one might have suspected after looking at the robot mode, Longrack transforms into a giraffe. Don't ask me why it's sticking its tongue out at you, can't be helped. That's just the way it is. Anyway, the giraffe looks pretty good and rather realistic. It's only at the rear and and the underside that some parts of the robot mode can be seen, the rest is very nicely hidden. Posability isn't great here, the front legs can barely move, but all in all it's a pretty nicely-done beast mode. No complaints.

Like many Beast Wars Neo figures Lonrack also features a sort-of third mode as a battle plattform. Basically it's the giraffe with its head flipped back so the big grabbing claw can emerge out front and it kneels, so the missile launchers in the knees can fire forward. A smaller figure can ride on the back and 'man the controls', more or less. I've yet to see a good third-mode among the Beast Wars Neo figures. Longrack doesn't break that trend, sadly.

Remarks: The Japanese-Exclusive Beast Wars Neo cartoon series is rather famous (or maybe infamous, depending on who you ask) for its choices in alternate modes for the heroes. You get a penguin, a bunny rabbit, a racoon, and in Longrack's case here you get a giraffe. Make up your own mind about that. Anyway, Longrack is kind of the Beast Wars Neo version of G1 Prowl, the analytical, play-by-the-rules guy who always gets on everyone's nerves regarding procedures and stuff, but also the one everyone wants to have at his back during a fight.

As a figure Longrack gets quite a few bonus points for being original and strangely interesting. Not only is he a giraffe, he also has one of the strangest-looking, yet fully posable and enjoyable robot modes ever. And he's a giraffe, the only giraffe ever in Transformer history. So if you're a fan of beast-mode Transformers and not too put off by his strange-looking robot mode, there's no reason not to buy this interesting, nicely-done figure.

Rating: B+

And for a second opinion, the 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. Big Convoy’s band of recruits, for one thing, does not exactly confirm to the standard mix of characters one is used to in a Transformers series. Usually you have the same type of figures, who barely have time to develop their own character. Except for the mandatory hot-headed slob, who always gets in over his head. Remember Armada Hot Shot? Beast Wars Neo turns that trend on its head.

The entire main cast of the series consists of individualists, most of whom are hot-headed slobs themselves. The only exception is Longrack, who portrays the voice of reason in this series. Not that most people pay much attention to said voice, mind you.

Nevertheless Longrack quickly becomes Big Convoy’s executive officer in the first episode. Maybe because the big guy had few alternatives, seeing as the rest of his crew consists solely of louts, slobs, cowards and sleepyheads. Longrack takes his posting very seriously, though, and develops into a competent officer over the course of the series.

Robot Mode: Longrack is a Mega-class figure (today’s Voyager class) and thanks to his rather unique design he seems to be a lot more massive than he actually is. Especially his right arm, which consists of the entire neck and head of the alternate mode, makes him look pretty big. His left arm, on the other hand, consists of the lower back of his alternate mode, complete with tail (or to say it plainly: it’s the beast’s behind).

The actual body of the robot is rather slim, but very nicely sculpted and detailed. Plus there is a nice gimmick here. If you twist his spotted chest plate aside, you get a look at Longrack’s spark crystal. The head, too, leaves little room for complaint. It’s very nicely sculpted and makes for a near-perfect counterpart to the cartoon character’s noggin’.

Another detail worth mentioning are the two posable missile launchers on Longrack’s back. While not extraordinary in itself, they’re an added benefit to this figure, even though they very nearly drove me insane during the transformation, as they went off every few seconds. The triggers are in places where you can’ t help but touch during the transformation procedure. Still, they are a nice bonus here.

A few words about the legs. Here, too, I can only say that they’re very nicely sculpted and very posable, too. Longrack’s posability is pretty good overall. Even the long neck on his right arm doesn’t really hinder him any.

Said arm contains yet another gimmick, by the way. If you press a certain spot on the neck, the long claw Longrack has in place of a right hand shoots forward on a long extension. And if that weren’t enough, the claw can open and close and it can even hold Longrack’s weapon, a kind of saber. The latter looks better when held in his left, normal hand, though.

What else can I say here? Yes, the paint job, haven’t mentioned that yet. Longrack’s paint job is defined by the spotted pattern of his alternate mode. It’s broken up nicely, though, by several silver-grey mechanical elements and a few red highlights. A very nice paint job, which only enhances the great overall impression of this robot mode. In other words: Absolutely no complaints about this mode.

Alternate Mode: A relatively complicated and rather asymmetrical transformation turns Longrack into a giraffe. This might be one of the most unique and unusual alternate modes of them all. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. Quite the opposite, as it makes Longrack even more interesting.

The giraffe is big, really big, especially considering that we’re talking about a Mega-sized figure here. In terms of posability Longrack must take a step back here. The head can move, just like the rear legs and the tail. The front legs can only be moved at the knees, though.

The upper front legs are completely immobile, though, just like the long neck. This somewhat limits Longrack’s possibilities for dynamic poses in this mode. I doubt, though, that the design left any other possibility here, seeing as the long neck contains the extending claw and the upper forelegs contain the missile launchers. The latter are a bit bothersome here, by the way, because if you grab the giraffe, you almost inevitably touch the launchers’ triggers and Longrack fires into his own kneecaps.

Longrack has one more extra in this mode, I’m speaking about his tongue. It sticks out of his mouth a bit. If you push it in, Longrack’s eyes move. It’s a matter of taste, of course, whether or not you like this gimmick, but in any case it does imitate the typical feeding movement of a real giraffe, who more or less “grabs” its food with its tongue. Whichever way you look at it, I see it as a nice little goodie.

So all in all the alternate mode is pretty good apart from some minor issues. But wait a minute, didn’t I forget something here? I fear it is so, because just like many other figures of the Beast Wars Neo line-up Longrack, too, has a rather superfluous and ridiculous-looking third mode. He transforms into a kind of battering ram. Or maybe it’s a crane, I’m not really sure. The extending claw arm points forward, while a smaller figure can stand behind it, which kind of says ‘battering ram’ to me.

Whatever the case, I tend to ignore this strange construct and focus on the other two modes, both of which actually appeared in the series. This third mode doesn’t make the figure any worse, but I just wanted to mention that it exists, strangeness and all.

Conclusion: Say what you want about Beast Wars Neo, but this is one series that doesn’t come short on surprises. When I first heard about Longrack, I thought the idea of a Transformer that turned into a giraffe to be a joke. It was a joyful surprise to see that, not only was this joke actually real, it’s a pretty good kind of real.

Longrack’s robot mode is great. It looks good, has a very unique design, excellent posability and several nice extras such as the strange saber, the extending claw and his missile launchers. The paint job is also quite nice and very well done overall, just like the detailing. So in terms of the robot mode: Two thumbs up.

As for the alternate mode, I’m more or less satisfied overall here as well. The only thing that somewhat lessens the positive impression here is the lack of posability in the front legs. As far as the third mode goes, it’s enough to know that it exists. Only fans of forced third modes need to know more than that.

So to sum it up: I’m pretty much thrilled by Longrack. Because of some minor shortcomings in the alternate mode he does miss an A rating by a hair, but I still award him a very good…

Rating: B+
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