Beast Wars Neo Saberback Toy Review

in 1998, Action Figure Review, Beast Wars Neo, Beast Wars the Second, Deluxe, Destron, Triple Changer

Beast Wars Neo

Saberback is a Beast Wars Neo Destron warrior. He is also one of the few Transformers to have the dinosaur mode of a stegosaurus. Unlike his predecessor Snarl (the Dinobot), Saberback is meant to be an organic stegosaurus, presenting Transformers fans with a new and exciting toy to add to their collection.

Beast Mode:
Saberback is primarily grey and dark green in beast mode. Pastel purple and blue adorn his body as stripe detailing coming out from the center of his back towards the middle of his body. His bony plates are colored dark green, and his beast mode eyes are bright orange. A bit of robot mode detailing (such as robot leg parts) can be seen in this mode, but overall he looks very organic. The "skin" of the stegosaurus mode was molded so that it appeared to be stretching over bone. This is most evident near the neck. Also, the skin has creases detailed all over it, adding a level of realism. In beast mode, Saberback has twelve points of articulation, each focused in the beast mode legs. Although this doesn't sound like a lot, it actually allows this mode a variety of poses.

Transformation to Camaflogue Mode:
Spread Saberback's beast mode legs out to the sides. Then flip up the tail and push down the green bony plate/switch. This will open his tail up into a colorful plant.

Camaflogue Mode:
In his camaflogue mode (which could also be called a "trap mode") Saberback looks like a dead dinosaur with a plant growing out its back. The bony plate/switch can be used to open and close the plant trap or if you push the switch all the way back it can lock into place. Overall an odd looking mode. Although one can imagine him trying to trap unsuspecting enemies, it is still an odd mode to transform into and look at.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Swing down the robot parts on the back of Saberback's beast mode legs. Flip them forward and attach them via the peg-in-hole system on the beast mode feet. Straighten out the robot legs. Bring down the sides panels of the stegosaurus mode and move them down to the robot hip area. Swing down the red and yellow "loincloth" piece, and then swing up the robot chest and push it down into position. Split the piece which forms the dinosaur head and sides and position it to the back of the robot by bringing the shoulder pieces of the robot mode forward, and snapping them into place. Flip up the robot hands. Fold down the lower portion of the beast mode mouth over his spark crystal, and turn the robot head around. Place his tail weapon in his hand, and Saberback is now in robot mode!

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Saberback is a very interesting figure. The look of the robot mode was inspired by a very "tribal" look. Saberback's robot head looks as if he were wearing a type of feathered head dress. His lower waist piece looks much like a loincloth and his weapon appears most plant like. Even as a robot, the organic nuances of design are readily apparent in this toy.

Saberback is primarily different shades of grey and silver in this mode. To contrast with that, his "loincloth", robot chest, the inside of his weapon and his head have yellow detailing. Red detailing is evident in these parts as well. The plant weapon has three "leaves" that extend out, resembling blades. Each is yellow with purple designs on the inside. The center of the weapon has a flower like plant, which one can speculate is dangerous to Cybertron enemies! The detailing on the toy is nicely done. For instance, the part of the stegosaurus mouth that folds down over his spark crystal resembles bone with holes in it. It even has details such as cracks lining the bony part.

In robot mode Saberback has sixteen points of articulation. These include waist and head articulation. His spark crystal is located right in the middle of his chest, so you only need to lift up the piece covering the center of his chest to see it. The only slight problem Saberback has involves his weapon. It is a bit heavy and big, so it can easily cause him to lean towards one side.

Overall, Saberback is one nice piece of work. The only thing which really detracts from him being an excellent toy is the weapon which doesn't do a whole lot and is fairly cumbersome. B+