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Series: TFC Toys
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2014

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. Aethon here is not a figure released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. He hails from TFC Toys and is clearly meant to be G1 Tantrum, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name.

Robot Mode: Aethon is rather similar in design to fellow Ares-leg Conabus, which isn’t surprising, of course. The arms and legs of the two robots are similarly engineered and they both fold their beast mode head down into their chest, though in different ways. Aethon might also be the one member of the TFC Predacons who looks the least like his G1 counterpart, at least in robot mode. There are still similarities to be found, mind you, but at first glance you wouldn’t necessarily get that he’s supposed to be the same guy as G1 Tantrum. I’m fine with that, by the way, but it might offend some rabid G1 fanatics.

Overall Aethon adheres to the same high standard of articulation and detailing as the other TFC Predacons, nothing new here. One thing stands out a bit, though, sadly not in a good way: Aethon’s buffalo head sinks into his chest and his chest plate folds up in front of it... mostly. It stands at an angle and the two flaps on either side give the impression it closes solidly, but it doesn’t, it just lies there against the buffalo head. It holds together well, but if that hinge on the bottom of the chest plate ever wears out a bit, Aethon’s entire chest assembly doesn’t work right anymore. This could have been solved a bit better, I think.

Otherwise, though, nothing worth complaining about. Like Conabus Aethon is armed with a piece of the bigger Ares sword, as well as two big guns that combine to form one of Ares’ feet. He can attach the big guns to his back, hold them in hand, or fasten them to his forearms. So overall, a nice robot mode with one design choice that could have been done better.

Alternate Mode: Like his G1 predecessor Aethon transforms into a robotic water buffalo (lat. Bubalus Arnee). Here the resemblance between TFC and G1 figure is a lot more pronounced as the similar beast form and color scheme make it clear that these two are supposed to be the same guy. Aethon is nicely articulated in this mode as well. All four legs can be moved, while the head itself is also mobile and also contains an opening mouth (plus a nose ring you can move up and down if you are so inclined).

Aethon’s two big guns can be mounted on the back here as well, of course, giving the buffalo firepower. Personally I think the big guns look better here than on the beast mode of Conabus, but that is a subjective thing, of course. Overall there is nothing to complain about here, a well-done and good-looking beast mode.

Combiner Mode: Aethon transforms into one leg (left or right, your pick) of the Ares combiner. I will do a separate review of Ares once I’ve reviewed all the individual team members.

Remarks: Like most of his teammates, Tantrum never really evolved past being the buffalo-member of the team and part of Predaking. That’s pretty much all there is to the character. Sure, he’s described as a hothead that goes into rages and all, but outside his profile text I can’t remember ever having seen him behave this way (or any other way, for that matter) in either comics or cartoon. So character-wise, Tantrum is pretty much a blank slate.

Aethon is the third TFC Predacon named after one of Ares’ fire-breathing horses from Greek mythology. The Greek word aithôn also means „burning“ or „shining“ and was also an alias used by Odysseus at one time. As for the figure itself, personally I think it’s the worst of the five TFC Predacons, if only by a hair. It’s not a bad figure, mind you, but given the price point the only reason to get him is because you need a second leg for Ares, nothing else.

Rating: B-

Update 2015-05-14: Turns out you can make the TFC versions of Headstrong and Tantrum look more like their G1 counterparts simply by leaving their heads up (see final two pics in gallery). Though I must say it looks much better on Tantrum / Aethon than Headstrong / Conabus.
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