Galaxy Force Toy Reviews: Saidos

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force, Jungle Planet / Animatros

Transformers Galaxy Force

General Information:
Release Year: April 2005
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $20 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Force Chip

Images:

Saidos is one of the first line of Cybertron beasts introduced in Galaxy Force. Hailing from the planet Animatros, Saidos takes the form of a rhinoceros.

Beast Mode:
After years of Beast Wars, including recent Universe redecos of beast characters, it is almost surprising to find a beast Transformer that is mostly mechanical looking as opposed to organic. Running more along the lines of Beast Machines, I say "mostly" because there are some more organic details.

I am really quite impressed by the level of mechanical detail on this toy, especially considering its basic price point. The head is a perfect example of this. There are two horns, the larger one in front that resembles a blade, and the smaller one behind it which is more cylindrical and "natural" looking. The front portion of the head has mechanical lines and curves on it. The area around the eyes however has a rough, skin like pattern. The top of the head has a very tech detail look to it, with three layers of detailing on top of each other. There are even more organic like details in the form of raised shapes on the back of the head, and wrinkles near where the neck is.


The leg design looks a lot like an organic leg in armor plating. Circles on the legs seem to indicate the locations of joints, with the toes themselves looking rather organic in themselves. Much like his Transmetal 2 predecessors, Saidos has a bit of an asymetrical detail. On the right side near the front leg joint, he has tube designs leading into the leg.

The central body is the most mechanical looking section. It is full of cut details, including a series of lines that look almost like a spinal column going down the back. The rear end looks organic on the side and mechanical in the back, with the tail having angled lines that look like tangles of hair.

Saidos is molded in grey with the horn done in red. The detail work is done in metallic black, red, gold, yellow and silver. An Autobot symbol is heat stamped on the left side. The colors all work nicely since they are not used excessively.

Saidos' action feature is activated by plugging a Force Chip into the back of his head. This causes the horn to launch forward to ram opponents. A very nicely done and appropriate feature for a rhino beast mode.

In this form, Saidos has ten points of articulation, mostly in the legs.

Saidos has an excellent beast mode. It has wonderful detail, a cool design and a fun action feature.

The Force Chip included with Saidos is the standard Animatros chip. Like others, it is designed to represent the nature of the planet it is from. In this case, the central symbol is a clawed paw/hand. The perimeter has scale like details and teeth around the edges. The key is cast in translucent green plastic, with the central symbol in vacuum metallized silver and the edges painted in metallic silver.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the Force Chip if attached and push the rhino horn in.
  2. Swing the tail onto the rear end.
  3. On the underside, swing the robot head under the beast mode head out.
  4. Swing the rear of the beast out to reveal the left robot arm. Rotate the arm around at the shoulder joint.
  5. Flip the panel on the mid-body up to reveal the robot head.
  6. Swing down each beast mode leg. They attach to each other to form each of the robot legs.
  7. Pull down the legs to reveal the waist section.

Robot Mode:
I have to confess that my initial reaction to this robot mode was something along the lines of "What the heck?!". You see, there are some fantastic design features here, some really neat and different ideas. Unfortunately, they don't compensate for some of the really bad design ideas.

In terms of good design features, Saidos owes most of it to his sculpted details. The techno-organic look carries through in this form. My favorite details are found on the front and back There you will find curved, tube details, each featuring segments running up at an angle. The open palmed sculpt on the right hand is very well done too. The head sculpt is also well done. It is mostly rectangular and mechanical looking, but he has two sharp teeth protruding from his mouth, a visual reference to his alternate form.

The problem here comes in the design structure of the toy. The right arm comes out of the rhino head, but just the lower arm. It would have worked nicer if the arm could have extended out from the head and had more posability, it would have been better. The robot head is inset in the upper body, eliminating all potential posability, and really just looking awkward overall. Add to that the leg design, which also eliminates posability to a large degree. There is also no real foot detail at the front of the legs, so with the rhino toes all pointing to his right, he looks like his feet are constantly rotated to the right, another awkward looking detail.

Saidos has eight points of articulation in this form. One nice posability detail I like is that the beast mode tail acts as a finger on his odd left arm.

Red and metallic black paint are used for robot details including the aforementioned tubes on the chest and his fingers. Despite the questionable design, I do have to admit I really like the color scheme of this guy (at least).

Final Thoughts:
It is a fairly well known fact that sometimes, things look better on paper than they do in three dimensional form. Saidos is a screaming example of this...unfortunately. I can really see how this was a cool/funky concept piece that looked great in terms of artwork, but just didn't do so well in execution. Not recommended.