Here’s a first… a Beast Machines figure on FigureFan! I won’t take the time here to debate the merits (or lack thereof) of the TV series, but I did have a lot of Beast Machines toys at one time. They’re all gone now, except for my little armada of Tankors. Why? Because a lot of the Beast Machines toys don’t hold up for me, and yet Tankor is still one of my favorite Transformers of all time. Insane? Perhaps, but even still, I love this guy. Its a bit of a departure from the Energon and Cyberton stuff we’ve looked at so far, but he was in the tote, so he’s fair game.
Beast Machines had a lot of appeal for me back in the day because it saw the return of machine based alt forms for the Predacons, or as they became known, the Vehicons. As much as I adored the Beast Wars TV series, I was never a big fan of the toys, so when the action finally moved back to Cybertron and we got toys based on Cybertronian alt forms, I was absolutely delighted. I still wasn’t a big fan of the Maximals, but I sure bought all the Vehicons. I probably adopted Tankor as one of my favorites because for some reason back then I thought he resembled one of the tanks from Tron. In retrospect, I’m not sure where I came up with that, but I still love him all the same.
In his tank mode, Tankor is a great looking little alien war machine. You get two sets of molded black tracks on each side with some excellently detailed bright silver gears and wheels. The chassis is mostly green with some orange detailwork. There’s some funky translucent clear and orange plastic up front and a capture claw for a front bumper. The turret is designed to look a bit like Tankor’s robot head, signifying that it’s not really a vehicle, just an alternate Cybertron form. It rotates 360 degrees and has one big launching cannon that can raise and lower.
Transforming Tankor is pretty involved for a Deluxe Class toy of this age. There are some really clever shifting of parts here and when you’re done you get one very cool looking robot. The head sculpt is awesome as its more robotic than a lot of the sculpts we’re used to nowadays. His cannon lands on his shoulder for additional firepower. Its big enough to look imposing, but not so big that it looks ridiculous. Admittedly, Tankor has some Popeye forearms going on, but the fact that they each have spinning buzzsaws in them is enough to make me overlook the proportion issues.
Tankor’s articulation includes a head that turns side to side. He has ball joints in his shoulders and hips. His biceps have swivels, his elbows are hinged, and his claw hands open and close. His legs have hinged knees and swivel just below the knee.
Even if you aren’t a big fan of Beast Machines, you really should consider picking up Tankor. He can often be had for pretty cheap, which is why I own so many. I started picking them up when they went clearance with all the other Beast Machines toys and every once and a while I used to grab one off of Ebay. He was released later, in a box with Obsidian, as part of the Universe line of shitty repaints, (not to be confused with Universe 2.0) and while that one has its merits, I still prefer the original. He’s a super fun and great looking toy.
[I’m taking Sunday off to try to shake this damn illness, so rather than start something new, I’m going to extend Transformers Week for one more day to include tomorrow. I’ll be back on Monday to kick off a week of comic book goodness with some new Marvel and DC figures. In the meantime, I’m off to make another batch of Nyquil Jello Shots and crawl back into bed. -FF]