"Beast Wars Transformers" Polar Claw Toy Review

01/31/22

Polar Claw was the first Maximal mega sized toy released for the Beast Wars Transformers line. For those who wonder why his bear mode does not look like a polar bear except for color, it is because he was originally supposed to be released as another type of bear. Polar Claw's original color scheme was brown, black and yellow and his name was reported as being both "Barbearian" and "Grizzly-1" at different points in time. In the end, the mold was reused twice in Japan. Once Polar Claw was repainted and released as a Botcon Japan 1998 exclusive toy. The second time, he was given much darker colors and released as "Survive", part of the Beast Wars Neo Transformers series.

Beast Mode:
In beast mode, Polar Claw is mostly white. The area around his mouth is spray painted black and his nose is black. The only other color to really stand out is blue, which is used for his claws.

As a bear, Polar Claw has four points of articulation, his legs. You can also stand him up on the rear legs to show off his fangs and make it appear as if he is about to attack! One of the drawbacks of this mode is the appearance of robot parts visible on the rear legs and underbelly. The beast mode is nice (not great) with a neat action feature.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Start Polar Claw's transformation by pressing the trigger on his right forearm to release the "Arctic Bat". Set this piece aside for now. Next, swing down the lower robot legs out from the rear beast mode legs and straighten out the claws to form the robot feet. Now stand him up on the rear feet. Move the forearms so that they are right next to the beast mode head. Now fold out the robot arms from the center of the underbelly to the sides. Flip down the black panel on the underbelly of the bear and then flip up the white panel on the bear's back. Rotate the piece around to reveal the robot head and lock the two pieces back into place. Flip back the left bear forearm to reveal a claw weapon inside. You can either place the bat back onto the launcher or have Polar Claw hold it as a weapon. You can select Polar Claw's robot head or mutant head by just turning the robot head around.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Polar Claw is quite a mix of colors. White does carry over from the beast mode on his upper legs, shoulder mounted weapons and arms. However two new colors enter the mix, red (which is used on his upper body and lower arms) and black (used on his lower legs, abdominal area and hands).

Polar Claw looks rather tough and bulky in this mode, until you get to his lower body. This is mostly due to how thin his lower robot legs look in proportion to the rest of the robot mode.

Press the trigger on his left shoulder mounted weapon and the claw inside lashes out! You can use the right shoulder mounted launcher to launch the bat into battle. In robot mode, Polar Claw has thirteen points of articulation. This includes his shoulder mounted weapons which can fire to the sides if you wish.

Despite some problems with his appearance, Polar Claw is all in all a fun toy. B

Updated Thoughts (January 30, 2022):
To this day I imagine an alternate timeline where the Beast Wars show had Tigatron, Wolfang and Polar Claw forming some type of northern "polar patrol".   I love the idea of a polar bear Transformers character and the action features on Polar Claw are super fun even and kind of wacky.  I get the association of bears in caves and maybe hanging out with bats, but having a bear eject a paw and that paw transforming into a bat is a wonderfully silly leap from there.  I also have to give huge kudos for the action feature where the beast mode rears up and its teeth are exposed.  You rarely see that kind of action feature in Transformers toys nowadays and it is a great example of integrating the alt mode of a Transformer with its action feature.  If you can get this figure at a reasonable price I say go for it!