Select your language

with Armorhide
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Supercon
Year: 2003

Prelude: When the Armada toy line sold so much better than anyone expected, Hasbro had to dig out some old molds to meet the increased retail demand. Among them were the Beast Wars Transmetals, who got a new paint job (with no flaking chrome paint), Mini-Con ports, and got inserted into the Armada continuity. One among them was Rhinox, along with his new Mini-Con partner Armorhide. How does Armada Rhinox compare to Transmetal Rhinox from Beast Wars? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Armada Rhinox is a repaint with some slight retooling of Beast Wars Transmetal Rhinox, but as it’s been ages since I reviewed that figure (and four years since I reviewed its Fox Kids repaint), so I guess we can go for a full review here regardless of it being my third time with this mold.

But let’s look at the differences before we get to the figure itself. One, no flaking chrome paint, which is already a huge plus. Two, different colors, more on that later. Three, Rhinox now has a molded Autobot logo below his chest plates (see ninth picture) instead of a Maximal rubsign. And four, as an Armada figure Rhinox has to have Mini-Con ports, of course, so those were added to the pods on his back. They don’t activate a gimmick, of course, but you can plug in Rhinox’ Mini-Con Armorhide or any other Mini-Con of your choice up there. A much better spot for Mini-Con ports than on some of the other Armada Transmetals (looking at you, Cheetor).

Differences aside, Rhinox is a robot that adheres to Beast Wars high standards when it comes to looks and articulation. He has ball-jointed arms and legs with elbows and knees, a turning head, and can easily pull off a running or kicking pose. No turning waist, but his transformation design wouldn’t really allow that. His slight chunkiness makes some of the poses look a bit awkward, but he can pull them off. The colors of this version look very fitting, in my opinion, better than that of the original (and MUCH better than that of the Fox Kids version). While his resemblance to the Beast Wars TV character Rhinox is only so-so (Rhinox was never transmetalized in the series), he very much looks like the Armada TV and comic character (see below).

Rhinox’ only weapon is a knife that becomes his horn in beast mode, which he can hold either in an upward or downward grip, both looks good. Sadly he lacks a ranged weapon. I assume that, had he appeared in the Beast Wars TV series, they would have given him some kind of ranged attack like shooting bolts of energy from the disc on his chest, but we’ll never know. They could have given him a weapon mode Mini-Con, of course, to mount on his shoulder, but alas, they didn’t.

Bottom line: still a nice robot mode and my favorite color version out of the three variants. Would have been even better with a weapon mode Mini-Con.

Alternate Mode: Naturally Rhinox transforms into a rhino, a techno-organic beast (bearing some resemblance to the live-action Rhinox from “Rise of the Beasts”, too). The proportions are a bit off here, I think, with a big head with an even bigger horn and a rather small pair of hindlegs. Still, the rhino looks fearsome and powerful and all four legs have articulation. The head is fixed in place, though, no movement here. Still, as far as techno-organic rhinos go, this one looks pretty awesome. The Mini-Con ports are now on top of his hind legs, so he can easily mount a Mini-Con in this mode as well.

Like all Tranmetals Rhinox has a sort-of vehicle mode, too. He flips ski-boards under the feet of his forelegs, while his hindlegs transform into tank treads. It’s still a rhino, of course, but one that seems to have mated with tank, now. It’s far from the best Transmetal vehicle mode, but it looks pretty cool and you can easily imagine Rhinox tearing up the landscape as he thunders towards the Predacons in vehicle mode. So, nicely done. The only downside of this mode is that the Mini-Con ports are now pointing backwards, so linking up a Mini-Con doesn’t really work here.

Partner: Rhinox comes with Mini-Con partner Armorhide, a repaint of Iceberg from the Armada Adventure Team. Armorhide is a good little Mini-Con with a good deal of articulation for so small a figure and his vehicle mode as a snowplow looks pretty good and thematically fits with Rhinox’ vehicle mode, at least a little bit. Still, I think Rhinox would have been better served with a Mini-Con with a weapon mode, like Firebot or Gunbarrel, whose weapon modes look a bit like Rhinox’ old gatling guns of doom.

Remarks: Rhinox only had a blink-and-you-missed-it appearance in the Armada cartoon, but like the rest of the repurposed Beast Wars Transmetals (except Predacon), he had a more substantial appearance in the Dreamwave Armada comic series. Rhinox worked with Jetfire to retake Cybertron’s space bridge hub from the emissaries of Unicron. Later on he was among the Transformers kidnapped by Unicron, who were then transformed into his Horsemen for the Energon comic series. Rhinox became the Horseman of War. Had Dreamwave not gone bankrupt, the Energon series would have seen Rhinox being defeated and killed in battle against Omega Supreme.

I was never that big of a fan of this version of Rhinox despite my love for the Transmetals. Maybe because he never appeared in Beast Wars in that look? Anyway, the Armada version of this figure leaves out the flaking chrome paint, gives him better-looking colors (personal taste, I know), and adds a Mini-Con for added play value. Personally, I have given him a weapon-mode Mini-Con to mount on his shoulder (Chainclaw works well, for example), which I think improves him even more. So bottom line: still not my favorite Transmetal, but an improved version of the Beast Wars figure.

Rating: B-


Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

No comments