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Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 1986

I live for the taste of an Autobot's fuel line!
Travels in packs with fellow Sharkticons. Fearless and vicious. Loyal only to the master who last fed him. Powerful tail fin allows him to travel at speeds over 150 Knots. Carnivorous with a voracious appetite. Possesses several rows of razor-sharp teeth that can tear through solid steel. In robot Mode, carries a maceration laser that shoots salt-based corrosive liquid. Also carries a barbed mace.

Robot Mode: Isn’t Gnaw just the cutest little robot? Yes, he is! Gnaw is a tubby little thing with a big broad face and a big honkin’ nose. He’s got cute little purple legs holding his big belly body upright, though he is constantly in danger of toppling over backwards and landing on his big, beefy butt. And he’s got this adorable cobalt-blue mace in one hand and... yeah, the gun in the other is just a gun. Not cute. But still, overall, he’s sooo cute.

Gnaw has got average articulation for a toy from this time, meaning he can twist his arms at the shoulders and that’s it. Well, not quite: he’s also got twisting wrists due to his transformation, which means he can actually hold his weapons on almost dynamic ways. Not bad. Overall, though, he’s as much a brick as most G1 figures. Not that much more I can write here except that Gnaw probably has one of the goofiest-looking robot modes in all of G1 and that’s saying something. Still, I kinda like it. It’s definitely different.

Alternate Mode: You’d expect someone named ‘Sharkticon’ to transform into something vaguely shark-like, wouldn’t you? Well, the only thing that are even remotely shark-like about Gnaw’s alternate mode are the little fin on his back and his big chromed teeth. The rest looks more like a giant toad, to be honest. Still, unlike the rather goofy-looking robot mode, this beast mode here actually manages to look at least a little scary. Not a lot, but a little.

In terms of articulation, though, the beast mode is actually superior to the robot mode. The beast can move his legs (the robot arms) and his smaller forearms can move as well. Still far from a contortionist, but not bad for a figure from 1986. Anyway, I have to wonder how Gnaw is supposed to eat anything, given that his mouth is full of robot head, but apart from that: not a bad 80s cartoon monster. Definitely the better of his two modes.

Remarks: The third season of the original Transformers cartoon changed things quite a bit. Pretty much the entire cast was replaced, including both leaders. Disposable bad guy red shirts were introduced. The action was set more in space than on Earth. And the Decepticons were replaced as the series’ main bad guys by another faction: the Quintessons, creators of all the Transformers. Interestingly enough despite getting lots of screen time in the cartoon, the Quintessons themselves never got any (official) toys, but we did get one of their foot soldiers at least: Gnaw, one of a horde of identical Sharkticons. The second group of bad guy red shirts, actually.

I have lots of fun imagining the thought process behind the design of the Sharkticons. Okay, they’re supposed to me mechanical monsters, yes, but this is still a Saturday morning cartoon, so they can’t be too scary. There should be a cuteness factor, maybe, so parents will buy them for their kids. But still, mechanical monsters. Bad guys. Not too cute, but not too scary, either. The result: Gnaw! Definitely more cute than scary in my book. I love my little Gnaw. Isn’t he just the cutest? Yes, he is! And do I recommend him to all G1 fans? Of course I do. He’s soooo cute!

Rating: B
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