Release Date: September 2022
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Energon Buzzsaw, Crossbow/Grapple Gun
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
- BEAST WARS-INSPIRED DESIGN: This Transformers: Legacy 5.5-inch Predacon Tarantulas robot toy is inspired by the animated series, Beast Wars: Transformers, updated with a Generations-style design
- UNIVERSES COLLIDE: Universes collide with Transformers: Legacy! This epic line of Transformers toys brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse
- 2 EPIC MODES: Action figure converts from robot to tarantula mode in 19 steps. Comes with a crossbow accessory
- HARNESS THE POWER OF ENERGON: Gear up with the most powerful substance on Cybertron, Energon! This Transformers Predacon Tarantulas figure comes with an Energon buzzsaw accessory
- QR CODE: Scan the QR code on each package to reveal character tech specs from across the multiverse! Collect other Legacy figures to reveal their character tech specs (each sold separately, subject to availability)
Harness the power of Energon with the Transformers: Legacy Deluxe Predacon Tarantulas robot toy! Those who wander into the lair of Tarantulas find themselves facing his fangs. Or worse, they become the subject of his mad science experiments. Universes collide! Transformers: Legacy brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse. Figures feature deco inspired by their universe with an updated Generations design. In honor of the almost 40-year legacy of Transformers entertainment, the fandoms come together from across the Transformers multiverse, all in one toy line. Transformers: Legacy action figures are great kids’ toys and exciting collectibles for fans of all ages. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
When the Beast Wars toy line launched in 1996, one of the first Deluxe Class figures released was a tarantula that transformed into a creepy looking robot. This was Tarantulas, and his original tech specs had him labeled as a ninja type robot. However, when the Beast Wars show debuted, he was instead written as an insane Predacon scientist. Thanks in part to the brilliant voice work of Alec Willows, fans latched onto this portrayal. As fun as the character is, he has not had a ton of toys over the years (most were redecos of his two key Beast Wars figures). Now, thanks to Legacy we finally have a Generations style figure based on his cartoon appearance. For those wondering, this figure is not a redeco/retool of the Kingdom Blackarachnia sculpt. It is made from a brand new design and set of tools.
The Transformers Legacy packaging represents a radical update to Transformers packaging for this newest Generations toy series. The shape calls back to the War for Cybertron trilogy design featuring a rectangular box with one side set at an angle. This packaging was designed with a new ethos in mind: minimizing the amount of plastic used to be more eco-friendly. That means the "window" that reveals the toy has no plastic over it. Instead there is just an empty space.
The box art itself is pretty spectacular. The more Earth-tone colors of Kingdom have been traded up for a very retro-scifi (circa the 90's) look. The background tones are mostly purple and black and the Legacy logo just jumps out at you visually with its sharp angles and beveled letters that look like something right out of 90's toy packaging (and yes, this is what the BWTF logo circa 2022 is a homage to). On the right is the now traditional vertical Transformers logo with the Generations logo above that. Both have a "worn metal" coloring on them that really looks great. Since Tarantulas is packaged in robot mode, his spider mode is shown walking forward. To the left of that is the name "Predacon Tarantulas" but no universe called out. That said, the product description specifies he is from Beast Wars. The left (angled) side of the box features his robot mode art (in a pose reminscent of the original Beast Wars Tarantulas' artwork). The other side features Megatron, Dragstrip, Iguanus and Skywarp.
The back of the box features Tarantulas in both modes, calling out a 19 step transformation. The Legacy boxes also feature a QR code, next to a snippet of a classic looking Tech Specs images. Scan the QR Code and it takes you to Hasbro's web site and the character's tech specs. I have screen captured the spec and placed it in the gallery below. This is a great idea, but I do wish the profile was more robust. Still, this is a great way to get around the limitation of having to print tech specs in multiple languages on the box.
Tarantulas includes two accessories, both of which serve as callbacks to the character's toy and cartoon appearances in the 90's.
- Crossbow/Grapple Gun: This weapon is shaped like a crossbow featuring a point at one end that looks like an arrow. However, in the TV Show this gun design was also used as a grapple gun. This is likely due to the original Tarantulas figure having a string that went from the crossbow shaped projectile to the figure. Here however this is entirely one piece with a 5mm peg on the bottom and a port on the back. The tip can fit a Blast Effect too. This piece is entirely made up of black plastic with no paint applications. I love the sculpted detail on this figure. It looks like it came right out of the cartoon.
- Energon Saw: The "Energon Saw" weapon is based on Tarantulas Transmetal form which he took on in the second season of the show. This weapon looks like a handle with a saw blade at the end. Unlike the one from the original Transmetal Tarantulas figure, the blade does not spin on this one. Instead, there is a 5mm peg on one side and a port on the back. This weapon is also made of black plastic but the blade is painted silver. I love that they included this weapon with the figure. They could have tried to cut costs by just including the crossbow but they didn't go cheap.
I remember looking at the original Beast Wars Tarantulas figure in the 90's and thinking "Welp, he looks close enough to the model on the TV show. I'm good." and that was that. I never thought about needing a more "show accurate" season one Beast Wars figure...until now. When I saw preview pics of this figure I was floored by how the designers managed to recreate the way the character looked on the show in plastic form. Now that I have it in front of me, I'm blown away again. In this mode the designers absolutely nailed the look of the character. Here are some of the highlights:
- The silhouette of the character matches the show including the round head, round shoulders and torso with the spider legs sticking out from the arms. The top part of the figure is a bit bulkier giving him a strong appearance.
- The head sculpt is based on the CG model from season one of Beast Wars complete with a round helmet section, a circle on the forehead, visor eyes and his mouth area has a series of fangs set horizontally. It's a wonderfully creepy design that I love.
- On much of the torso and back the texture looks very organic complete with uneven surfaces and indentations. He had similar texture on his CG model in the show.
- The waist area is designed to look like it is formed from the spider head, complete with the circular eyes showing. His actual beast mode head is tucked away in his back but I love the faux spider head here.
The sculpt on this figure is absolutely fantastic. If I had to nit pick, my biggest wish would be for larger claws. If you look at the proportions of the claws on the TV show's CG model versus the arms, they were much larger. I suspect this was done in part for cost reasons but also for the practicality of having giant claws sticking out in beast mode.
Tarantulas is made up of purple, metallic green and black plastic. The purple makes up most of his body including the head, chest, back, claws and thigh armor. Green makes up smaller parts like his shoulders and lower legs. Black is used for parts like the spider legs, parts of the thighs and his feet. Paint colors on this figure include yellow, green and yellow. His detailing is very intricate, especially with details like the "spider eye" details on his head and waist area. He is only missing some yellow detail on the sides of the thighs. There you'll find some unpainted lines sculpted into the panels. These designs were colored yellow in the animated series. Overall the deco is beautiful and (mostly) matches the character's CG model.
There are a whopping thirty points of articulation on this figure. However, keep in mind that 8 of those are from the spider legs being on ball joints. This also includes seven in each leg (including ankle rockers) and waist articulation. Each claw has an opening designed to fit 5mm peg weapons. Now, that's all awesome but there's one more feature that I absolutely love on this figure: the ends of the spider legs can each fit a Blast Effect! Why, you may ask? In the television show the writers and animators turned Tarantulas' spider legs into arm mounted machine guns! Tarantulas would transform then start firing away. Attach enough Blast Effects and you'll recreate that effect and it looks great!
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the legs up.
- Pull the back panel out a bit. Then swing the beast moe head panel out.
- Swing the beast mode head panel over the robot head.
- Swing the arms out to the sides.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Push the back panel from the robot mode down, forming the abdomen section of the beast mode.
- Bend the robot legs at the knees, then tuck the feet into the abdomen piece. Then fold the lower legs against the thighs to finish forming the abdomen section.
- Swing the arms up and rotate them so the black section that forms the spider legs fills in gaps on the sides near the head. There is a tab on the purple head piece that fits into a slot on the base of the legs.
- The crossbow attaches to the peg under the abdomen section.
- The Energon Saw attaches to the port on the underside of the beast mode.
When it comes to his beast mode design, Tarantulas follows the design philosophy carried over from Kingdom. Instead of creating a "show accurate" beast mode, this looks like a combination of Tarantulas' details blended with a real life spider. What kind of spider is sort of up in the air since Tarantulas does not really look like an actual tarantula. Suggestions have been made that he better resembles a Wolf Spider and I can totally see that. Unlike a tarantula he does not have thick legs and fuzzy bits all over his body. Instead he looks almost more streamlined, much like a Wolf Spider. In my head canon this is a beast mode from the distant past, so it is an arachnid relative of modern day spiders that has not yet been classified.
This mode shows off a lot of the purple and black plastic with only a bit of the green peeking out at the base of the claw arms. Yellow appears on the claw arms from the robot mode but also on the back, though those designs look almost like a mustard color. The individual beast mode eyes are painted metallic green and the look great. Overall the beast mode looks colorful and creepy at the same time.
There are twelve points of articulation in this mode, mostly concentrated in the spider legs. His claw arms from the robot mode can also move.
Tarantulas absolutely rocks. The sculpting on this figure is top notch, the articulation is great and his weapons are fun nods to the past. Highly recommended!
- Excellent sculpt that brilliantly calls back to the cartoon.
- Beautiful deco.
- Love the weapons.
- Really nice articulation.
- I would have liked the panels on the thighs to be painted since the details there are sculpted in.
- It would have been neat if the claws were a tad bigger, but I'm really nit picking here.