The Amazing Spider-Man Cyber Lizard Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Maximal, Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

General Information:
Release Date: May 2012
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

*Official photos and text below in italics from The Official Hasbro Web Site.
What’s more powerful and unpredictable than the web-slinging hero’s arch-nemesis? It’s the Flip and Attack Cyber Lizard! One minute it’s a speedy vehicle for the forces of evil, and the next minute it converts to a powerful armored attack bot! The Flip and Attack Cyber Lizard uses TRANSFORMERS technology to convert from vehicle mode to bot mode and back again so it’s a double threat to innocent bystanders everywhere. In vehicle mode, pull back and let go to make the Cyber Lizard charge into the fray! The vehicle automatically converts in an instant to bot mode, so your powerful Cyber Lizard bot will be ready to take on whatever comes at him!

Includes 1 converting vehicle. Ages 4 and up.

LizardIn the days of Generation One, the dominant gimmick in any Transformers toy line was the transformation itself. However, additional gimmicks wound up getting added on to figures over the years to make them more interesting. One of these gimmicks from the early days of Generation One was the "Jumpstarter" technology. The idea was a Transformers figure that transformed by itself. You pulled back the vehicle in vehicle mode and it had a motor inside that propelled it forward and then transformed it into robot mode automatically, "jumping" into robot mode. Only two Jumpstarters were released in Generation One, but the two characters have gone on to be featured in Transformers media including the recent "Last Stand of the Wreckers" comic book mini-series.

With the release of the 2012 "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Avengers" movies, part of Hasbro's toy lines for each of these films includes the release of transforming robotic figures using the old "Jumpstarter" technology. In general, these figures are a bit smaller than their G1 counterparts, roughly qualifying as a Deluxe level figure. Unlike the current Star Wars Transformers, these figures are not being marketed as "Crossovers" Transformers. However, they do mention "Transformers Technology" on their packaging. Interestingly however, outside of this small use/mention of the "Transformers" logo, there is nothing else on the packaging mentioning Transformers such as trademark information mentioning Takara Tomy.

If you're going to create a toy line of heroes, you've got to have someone for that hero to fight against. In the case of the "Amazing Spider-Man" film, the main "monster" villain is The Lizard, aka Curtis Connors. While this character appeared in his human form in the previous series of Spider-Man films, this is the first time fans will see him become his alter ego on the big screen. This made him the perfect candidate to be the villain of the "Flip and Attack" line.

Special thanks go out to fellow fan Derek B. for helping me acquire a couple of these before they hit my area. I appreciate his willingness to help out a fellow fan!

Robot Mode:
In "The Amazing Spider-Man", the character of the Lizard undergoes a bit of a facelift, making the character seem more human than many of his more fanciful comic book portrayals. In the comic books he often is portrayed with a long snout and weird proportions. However, in the case of this new Lizard, most of the footage shown so far portrays a more human shaped character (though he's still green, scaley and scary). This is most notable in the design of the head, which looks more human in proportion, lacking the long snout that many versions of the character have had in the past. The "Cyber Lizard" mech is based on this appearance but of course adds on extra detailing to truly make it a formidable looking machine.

In some ways, the Cyber Lizard mech looks almost techno-organic. The head and torso look very organic with curved surfaces and scale like details. This is most heavily featured on the head, which has a lot of curved, organic looking detail down to a cheek and jawbone structure. He even has a "lizard tail" hanging off the back of the figure. However, a closer examination reveals many of these parts are quite angular and indeed wind up looking more like armor plating than anything organic. The rest of the body bolsters this perception including the wheels on the arms, the machine guns on the forearms and the very angled armor plates on the legs and feet. Several details remain consistent throughout the figure however including the scales (which show up as a hex pattern on the sides of the arms and in a slightly different pattern on the thighs).

The Cyber Lizard mech is mostly cast in metallic green plastic. On the back of his legs are small, silver pieces that form a spoiler in vehicle mode. These are cast in soft, silver plastic. The head is metallic green as well, but it looks slightly darker in shade than the rest of the figure. With green being The Lizard's primary color, this color is the perfect base for the figure. Paint decos are done in a variety of colors including silver, yellow, blue, dark metallic green and black. The yellow is the most prominent color, featured on the torso. A different, more dull shade of yellow is used for the cockpit detail seen on the hip area. Silver is used on a lot of the more mechanical details such as the wheels on the sides, his machine guns and the area around the eyes. The blue and black are used together to color in the eyes complete with pupils, something that makes the figure look more "life like". The dark metallic green is seen everywhere form the shoulder area to the legs, which helps to break up the potential monotony of having nothing but metallic green everywhere. The black color on the knees also helps to do this, making the robot look a lot more visually interesting.

Cyber Lizard can move its arms up and down and the head can turn slightly from side to side. This isn't a lot by today's "Transformers" standards, but it is in line with the gimmick of this line. It's not about high articulation or accessories, it's about a simple and fun gimmick. Having the machine guns on his forearms helps however as it gives the robot something to fight with other than its clawed hands.

Spider-Man uses the old "Jumpstarter" style transformation. The legs of the robo latch onto the hook on the chest. Pull back the vehicle until you hear a click and then let go. The vehicle will roll forward on its own and in a few seconds, it springs the legs forward and lands in robot mode. With Generation One's Jumpstarters, one of the complications with the figures was balance. They didn't usually land on their feet, so adjustable weight balances were put on their heads for you to play with to get them just right. The figures in this line don't have such balances, but overall they perform well. I tested each figure out with five successive transformations and only one out of those four times did the figure not land on its feet.

One note: in the case of this figure, you'll need to swing the little tail piece on the back of the robot under the vehicle.

To transform the figure back, just push the legs up and connect them to the hooks on the chest. If the hook is out of alignment, you can just roll the wheels on the back a bit and let them spin so the hook readjusts.

Vehicle Mode:
Cyber Lizard's vehicle mode manages to take the savagery of the character and mash it up with (what looks like) high technology. In many respects this looks like a Cybertronian vehicle, with curves and lines that make for an alien looking vehicle but with some aspects that resemble an Earth based machine such as the wheels on the sides, the cockpit in the center and even a bit of a spoiler formed by the two silver pieces on the top of the vehicle. However, this is not a vehicle of peace and the savagery comes in with the large claws mounted in the front of the vehicle. Combined with its side mounted machine guns, I imagine the Cyber Lizard vehicle is quite adept at blasting and tearing apart its enemies!

The only newly revealed detail in this form are the claws in the front. They are designed after the claws the character has in the movie, with each set having four distinct "fingers". The placement of the machine guns works out perfectly here and on the top of each arm the smaller, cone shaped details now look like they're meant to be headlights. Like the other figures in this line so far, the back of the vehicle shows off detail from the bottom of the feet that resemble thrusters. It's not hard to imagine this vehicle racing down the street, blowing things up and tearing into its enemies all at the same time!

Final Thoughts:
Cyber Lizard is a fun little figure. You do have to enjoy the actual gimmick to get anything out of this figure, but if you do I say this vehicle makes the perfect "bad guy" to fight against the Spider-Man based mechs in the "Flip and Attack" line. Recommended!