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Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Pretender
Function: Assault Warrior
Year: 1988

Stealing isn't a crime, getting caught is.
A selfish, obnoxious master of destruction. Does everything for himself. Refuses to follow orders. Transforms to boar with front-mounted, razor-tipped drill that drains enemy fuel supplies. Horns on outer shell equipped with sonar distorters that disrupt the flow of cerecral impulses and rupture enemy circuitry. Also equipped with armored hide on outer shell and a 30mm submachine gun in his tail. In robot Mode, armed with programmable explosive shell rotary cannon. Range: 6 miles.

Why, when he was a young warthog
When I was a young wart-hoooog!
Very nice! Thanks!
Snarler found that peace lacked a certain appeal
He’d rather smash Autobots with total zeal

I'm a destructive soul within my hog shell
And it hurt that my friends never fought that well
And oh, the shame
He was ashamed!
Thought of changing my name
Oh, what's in a name?
But I never got bothered
How did you feel?
Every time that I-
Snarler! Not in front of the kids!
Oh... sorry.
Decepticons, rise up! What a wonderful phrase!
Decepticons, rise up! Ain’t no passing craze!

Prelude: So, uh, G1 Snarler, a loan from my buddy Jörg “The Carpenter” Zimmerman. Let’s say go!

Beast Mode: Snarler is one of the so-called Pretender Beasts, meaning that his Pretender shell is not a human or humanoid monster, but rather a four-legged beast. A huge wild boar, to be exact, with vicious looking (blue) tusks, a yellow horn, armor, shoulder pads, and a big purple rifle on top, too. The color combination is a bit weird, to be honest, but the whole package looks suitably evil and vicious, so mission accomplished. Sadly the Pretender shells of the Pretender Beasts are about as well-articulated as the original Master of the Universe Battle Cat, meaning: not at all. Snarler’s shell is a brick, pure and simple. At least the human(oid) Pretenders could swing their arms at the shoulders.

The boar shell splits lengthwise and reveals the actual Snarler figure. Snarler emerges in beast mode, fittingly, and he is... well... actually, he is supposed to be a wild boar here, too, but with a kind of... drill? Helmet? Drill helmet? According to his profile he uses it to penetrate enemy armor and suck out their Energon, so... yeah, let’s go with drill.

Apart from that, Snarler’s beast mode is pretty typical for a G1 Transformer. Basically the robot mode on all fours, the beast head covering the robot head, and you can mount his rifle on top here, too. All four legs are fully poseable, though, including knee joints (or something approximating knees, at least). So bottom line: the shell looks great, the beast mode looks weird, but is pretty decently engineered. On to the robot mode.

Robot Mode: At first glance Snarler in robot mode is a very typical G1 figure. He is basically the beast stood upright. The robot legs fold out from the beast’s body, the beast rear legs are now on the sides of his legs (and can be used as additional stabilizers for this rather back-heavy figure). The beast’s front legs become his arms and the beast head folds onto his back as huge kibble (I did say he is back-heavy). His legs are fused together, so no articulation worth mentioning below the belt, but he does have elbows (sort of) and can turn his head, which makes him one of the better-articulated G1 figures.

Snarler is made almost entirely from gold plastic, but there are no swirls in the plastic, so worries about him shattering due to GPS can probably be put aside. The big rifle he wields is the same purple color as his legs and beast helmet, so it fits in very nicely. His face looks sufficiently grumpy for a bad guy, so no complaints here, either. Side note: if you use Snarler’s beast mode legs as stabilizers, he can sort of ride on his beast shell.

Bottom line for the robot mode: a pretty typical G1 figure, really. Maybe a tad better articulated than the average figure of that time.

Remarks: Snarler and his fellow Pretender Beasts only appeared on the toy shelves once the G1 cartoon was already long over, so his only in-media appearances were in the pages of the Marvel Comics. Did not even score an appearance in the Japanese Masterforce series, poor guy. His resemblance to a famous character from the Lion King aside, there is little to get excited about in terms of the character, as he has been relegated to background appearances for his entire life.

As a gimmick the Pretender Beasts weren’t really any better or worse than any of the Pretenders. Of the four of them, only one managed to become even semi-famous and it wasn’t Snarler. Still, I really like his Pretender shell and I had lots of fun coming up with new lyrics for the Hakuna Matata song. Judging from today’s standpoint Snarler is, of course, rather lacking in many ways, but in terms of the late 1980s, he is above average and has that extra fun factor. Which I shouldn’t add, given that the Lion King didn’t appear until the 1990s, but whatever. Recommended to G1 fans and gimmick enthusiasts.

Rating: B
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