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Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Basic
Year: 1996

To reduce thermal energy intake, infrared vision allows Armordillo to battle at night, when the desert battlefield has cooled. His back bears the burden of a built-in suit of armor that is virtually impenetrable. Enemy artillery bounces off like pebbles, while his own hidden laser weapon causes devastating damage to Predacon attackers.

Robot Mode: Armordillo is one of the original 1996 line-up of Beast Wars figures and nicely emphasizes many of the changes made to Transformers figures in the transition between Generation 2 and Beast Wars. First off, posability: Armordillo is completely ball-jointed, giving him a posability that, at this point, was pretty much unprecedented except for the 1995 Cyberjets. Head, shoulders, elbows, and the legs at hip and knees are fully posable, leaving no room for complaint.

While his two-color paint job (orange and grey) isn’t exactly the most exciting in the world, Armordillo does have a fair amount of detailing. The beast mode head that forms his chest has ‘dirt’ in between the scales, his grey shoulders look like they have scales, too, and his head is very nicely sculpted for its size. The only slight downside for me are the lack of proper hands, as Armordillo pretty much just uses his beast mode forepaws without any changes.

Armordillo carries two weapons, both of them attached to the rear legs of his beast mode. One is a pretty standard-looking laser gun, the other a morning star on a chain. Not the greatest weapons ever, but I like that he was given both a long-range and a melee weapon, so thumbs up for that. All in all Armordillo’s robot mode certainly isn’t a revelation, but a nice example of the sharp increase in play value offered by the Beast Wars figures, even in what was then the smallest size class.

Beast Mode: As one might guess from his name, Armordillo transforms into an orange armadillo. Like most first- and second-year basic figures he has a semi-automatic transformation. As long as the weapons/feet are in their proper slots and legs straight, all you need to do to transform him is raise the head from his chest and bring it up over his head, that’s it. And to reverse, just release the tail of the armadillo and you switch back to robot mode. Easy as pie.

The resulting animal looks a bit out-of-proportion to me (huge fore legs, stubby hind legs) and with some effort you can see his robot mode legs under the belly, but all in all it’s a very decent looking beast mode. The beast head is nicely sculpted. The detailing on the back is pretty nifty, and while the armadillo doesn’t really offer much in the way of play value except for standing there and moving his front legs, there’s nothing really wrong with it, either. A good, if somewhat unspectacular beast mode.

Remarks: Despite being one of the original 1996 Beast Wars toys, Armordillo never got much in the way of media attention. He appeared in both IDW Beast Wars comic series, but only as one of the crowd. He did get included in the 1997 Beast Wars trading card game, though, which included pretty much the entire 1996 line-up. As a toy Armordillo isn’t spectacular, but he’s good, he’s solid, and he is (for his size) among the most posable and detailed Transformers created up to that point. Recommended to all Beast Wars fans who don’t mind his lack of in-media appearances.

Rating: B-
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