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Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Categories: Basic Fuzor
Year: 1998

Part mantis, part lizard, Buzzclaw has all of the makings of a ferocious but sly warrior. In beast mode Buzzclaw crushes his enemies with spiny pincers and venomous mandibles while a powerful tail lashes out to land his surprised prey on their backside. As a flying robot Buzzclaw generates lethal ion discs from his forearm-mounted stilettos, paralyzing his victims and rendering them helpless. Generally stoic and silent, when it comes to the business of battle, Buzzclaw is arrogant, resourceful, and intent on the job at hand.

Robot Mode: At first glance Buzzclaw has the standard beast-former figure design, meaning that the head of the beast mode rests on his chest and additional beast-parts hang off the arms or the back. That's only half the story, though, as Buzzclaw's transformation consists of more than simply going down on all fours and flipping the beast head up, but more on that later. Buzzclaw is a winged robot, at least as long as he carries his main weapon on his back, and boasts excellent posability. I especially like that the lizard feet on his forearms convert into a kind of double-bladed weapon for each hand. Looks pretty cool. When Buzzclaw takes his backpack and arm shield off, he looks very lean, dangerous, and ready to kick butt in close quarter combat.

One of the innovative features about Beast Wars figures was that their weapons were always fully integrated into their alternate modes (meaning no loose parts to lose, unlike G1 and G2). Buzzclaw takes this to the extreme, though. His weapons pretty much comprise half his beast mode, if not more. He has a backpack that doubles as a gun/claw thingy, which consists of the beast mode's wings and claws. There is a lever that causes the claws to snatch closed, grabbing whatever is in front of them. Buzzclaw also has a kind of shield for his arm that consists of the beast mode's tail. The main weapon is also quite large, so Buzzclaw must put his entire considerable posability to work if he wants to remain balanced when pointing that thing (of course using the wings as a kind of tripod for the weapon works, too).

All in all Buzzclaw features a surprising amount of play value in robot mode, considering that he's only basic-sized. The huge backpack-weapon might not be for everyone, but I like it, and he looks cool without his weapons, too. So to sum it up: Thumbs up for a well-done robot mode.

Alternate Mode: As a Fuzor Buzzclaw transforms into a beast mode that is a strange fusion of two different animals, in his case a Praying Mantis and a Lizard. The Mantis provides the head, claws and wings, while the Lizard gets the tail and feet. The result looks a bit like some kind of alien monster from a 50s B-Picture, but for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I like this guy's beast mode. It looks so utterly... beasty. You expect him to drip slime and lurch forward with the intent of biting off the hero's head. Nice.

As far as play value goes, the beast mode does okay, if not spectacular. Posability is not as good as it was in robot mode, but decent. The claw-snatching gimmick works here, too, and Buzzclaw can move his wings as well. So if you like grotesque beast modes, Buzzclaw is a pretty good choice.

Remarks: Buzzclaw never appeared in the Beast Wars TV series and had but a short cameo in the Beast Wars comics as one of the Predacon crowd. As a figure, though, Buzzclaw is solid. He makes the best out of the Fuzor gimmick and his small size class, putting together a figure that is fun, good-looking, and has no flaws worth mentioning. Now I would not go so far as to call Buzzclaw a classic, for that he's missing that certain something extra, but he is a good example of how Beast Wars put a lot of love and fun into even the smaller, non-TV figures. So Beast Wars fans might want to grab Buzzclaw if they can get him for a decent price.

Rating: B
Toy DB Link

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