"Beast Wars Transformers" Wolfang Toy Review

in 1996, Action Figure Review, Beast Wars, Deluxe, Maximal

Beast Wars

Wolfang General Information:
Release Date: 1996
Price Point: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, K-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Tail/Missile Launcher, Missiles x 2, Sword/Beast Mode back

Tech Specs:
Name: Wolfang
Function: Infantry
A pair of glowing eyes pierce the night like twin lasers scanning for prey. Steel-plated fangs glisten as the full moon rises. A deep growl rumbles in the night air. It is WOLFANG, the warrior beast, searching for Predacon enemies! Swift and agile, prefers to hunt cloaked as an animal. But quickly converts to robot mode for battle, when he can best utilize the secret attack launcher disguised as his tail!

Strength: 8.0  |  Intelligence: 5.0  |  Speed: 9.0  |  Endurance: 5.0
Rank: 5.0  |  Courage: 9.0  |  Firepower: 6.0  |  Skill: 8.0

Wolfang is one of the second wave of deluxe toys from the first year of Beast Wars Transformers. Wolfang is an interesting toy for completist collectors since he almost appeared on the Beast Wars Transformers television show. Originally, it was Wolfang, not Tigatron who was to become the "arctic" member of the Maximal team. It is also an interesting toy to own since it became the base for two redecos/retoolings later on.

Beast Mode:
In beast mode, Wolfang is a wolf. His color scheme consists mostly of grey. Some other colors peek through here and there. Some blue parts from his robot mode show through and his beast mode eyes are bright green. The ends of his legs and paws, as well as the underside of his beast mode chin are lightly spray painted white for added realism.

Wolfang has six points of articulation in beast mode. The reason for this relatively low number is the loss of mobility on his forward arms. They are locked into place, as is his tail and beast mode head. His articulation comes from his hind beast mode legs.

Wolfang is molded in such a way that his pose looks like it is ready to strike and constantly ready for combat. Also, he has a very nice simulated fur pattern running all over his beast mode. Unfortunately, the illusion of a beast is easily shattered by the robot arms being tucked under his chest.

The beast mode is not exceptional, but serves the purpose. The lack of articulation is a bit of a disappointment.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Pull Wolfang's tail out and set it aside. Detach the back of the wolf and set that aside. Fold out the blue parts in the rear of the hind beast mode legs. Fold the beast mode hind legs on top of the blue sections and straighten out the feet to form the robot legs.

Detach the front beast mode legs from the sides of the body (they should remain attached to the robot arms, but their pegs should be separated from the sides). Fold up the thin side panels and push the main body down. Swing down the side panels which rest against the robot hips. Move the arms to the sides and rotate the front beast mode legs back to get them out of the way. Split the beast mode head and move the halves over the robot shoulders. You will note two pegs sticking out of his upper robot body. These are actually the missiles that fit into his tail/gun launcher. Swing down the small peg on the tail and fit it into his hand. Finally, rotate the middle panel on the beast mode's back piece and swing out the handle. Place this in Wolfang's other hand. He is now ready for action!

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Wolfang is much more colorful than the beast mode. The grey is still there, but much more blue and black shows on his arms, legs and upper body. Bright red is used for his "Mutant Head" eyes and bright green is used for his "Robot Head" eyes. Light touches of silver are also used on the gun barrel as well.

Wolfang has a healthy mix of organic and technological looking parts. His arms and upper body look like they have tubes running into the internals of the robot while small sculpted details such as what appears to be muscle fibers on his upper arms add nice touches to Wolfang.

As a robot, Wolfang has thirteen points of articulation. Unfortunately, the front beast mode legs have a tendency to hinder his arm movement a bit, but it is not so serious that it subtracts the point of articulation altogether.

Wolfang's oddest feature is his robot head. Like many of the first year Beast Wars toys, he has a robot head and a mutant head. When the black, red eyed visor piece is down Wolfang is using his "mutant head". Flip the visor up and he is using his "robot head". The robot head looks a bit odd since the chin of the robot is stretched out to act as a mouth with the mutant head visor. The result, one of the few Transformers to resemble late night talk show host Jay Leno.

Aside from odd styling, Wolfang is a fun toy. The beast mode could be better however. Mildly Recommended. B-

Updated Thoughts (February 11, 2016)
Looking back at my old review I found myself surprised that I only went with "Mildly recommended" back in the day. Maybe it's because we haven't had figures like this that often in the current "Transformers" line but there is a lot of fun experimentation in the design of Wolfang. I mean, he's still a total brick in beast mode, but he looks great. The robot mode does have a goofy/weird head design, but at least the designers tried something different back in the day. I'd say if you are into Beastformers at all, this guy is worth a slot in your collection if you can get it close to its original retail price.