Alright, I gassed on for quite a while yesterday about Bovis’ packaging and his glorious robot mode. And yet my words were inadequate. They should have sent a poet to pay tribute to this guy. Today I’ll try to embrace brevity and wrap things up with a look at Bovis’ alt mode. Time to take the bull by the horns!
Transforming Bovis seems like it should be really straightforward. I mean, we’ve been seeing the same basic things in beast transformers for a long time now. The arms become the front legs, the robot legs become the hind legs, the animal head flips down over the robot head and bob’s your uncle. Yes, that’s still essentially what happens here, but there are just enough tweaks thrown in to allow for the superb articulation and, let’s be honest, to provide some engineering that justifies the cost and scope of the figure. I actually had to look at the instructions for this guy the first time, which is something I rarely ever have to do with my transforming robots, but once I saw what was going on, everything was easy-peasy. Nothing here is as clever as what’s going on in the hind quarters of Fansproject’s Quadruple-U, but it doesn’t have to be. What’s here is just solid engineering that works beautifully.
Bovis’ bull mode is more compact than his robot mode, but every bit as powerful looking. As with his robot mode Bovis sports all sorts of cool little sculpted details including little vents and the mechanical joints on his little bull legs. I really dig the angular sculpt of the bull’s head, although the fact that you can see Bovis’ robot head when you open the mouth is both funny and a bit of a bummer at the same time. In fact, that’s probably the only gripe I have against the entire figure. Also, if you’re someone who’s likely to freak out over inconsistencies in bull anatomy, Bovis doesn’t have a tail.
The articulation in bull mode decent enough, but this is not a super articulated bull. The legs all have a nice radius of movement where they meet the body. They can rotate as well as tilt laterally. There’s a tiny bit of movement in the second joint down and then the hooves are ball jointed. The head can move quite a bit at the neck, the horns can swivel, and as already mentioned, the jaw can open.
While he looks menacing enough by himself, you haven’t truly witnessed the awesome power of Bovis until you attach the massive cannon backpack to him and transformed him into a true Battle Bull. It clips on to his back, and it requires quite a bit of force until you hear that satisfying snap. It’s a testament to the quality of the plastic used here that I didn’t even feel nervous while doing it. While I tend to prefer Bovis in robot mode without the backpack, I can’t help but love it on his alt mode because it makes him look all the more formidable.
Of course, if you want to keep piling on the ordinance, all of Bovis’ weapons can attach to his bull mode, via ports on his legs, for SUPER MAXIMUM 110% BOVINE DETRUCTION!!! Yup, when you see this guy fully loaded and coming at you, you might as well get a shovel and start digging your own grave.
I’m not sure if you can tell, but I adore this figure. To sum up Bovis as succinctly as possible: He is exactly what I would want out of the official Masterpiece treatment of Tantrum, which Has-Tak would never give us anyway. In design, engineering, coloring, and quality, he’s exactly that good. Now, at $109, some may argue that with the recent Masterpiece Autobots as a guide, Bovis runs about $20-30 higher than he would if he were an official Takara release. True enough, but I would submit to you when you toss in the weapons and the large backpack/combiner piece, Bovis is using up a lot more plastic, and that’s where the value goes. I can’t vouch for the rest of the Feral Rex team yet, but if they’re anything like Bovis, this is going to be an amazing set of figures.