The evil Megatron has developed an experimental anti-conversion virus with which he plans to win the Beast Wars! This toxin infects its host and prevents the ability to change into robot mode - eventually causing permanent shutdown. But something went wrong... when unleashed on several Fuzors, it caused a reconfiguration of their conversion abilities, trapping their robot modes inside two different beast modes. Now, bewildered by new and potent extrasensory powers plus the ability to change into two ferocious animals, these Transformers join together to form a renegade band of warriors. This is...Mutant Beast Wars!
Poison Bite is one of the first "Mutant" Beast Wars toys to be released in the 2000 line. This concept is explained above, but adds a nice link between the Beast Wars and Beast Machines toy universes. Beast Machines involves Megatron beginning his new assault on the Transformers by using a anti-transformation virus, and the virus that affects the Mutant Beast Wars appears to be a predecessor to that virus.
In barracuda mode, Poison Bite is sleek and deadly looking. The color pattern used on him is primarily red, with metallic blue, black and orange used for details. The word "mutant" really does apply here as Poison Bite does not look like a very normal barracuda (especially with the wild colors). The detail level is nice, with ridges and subtle indentations all over the main body of the barracuda form.
In barracuda mode, Poison Bite has three main points of articulation: his two fins and his mouth, which opens and closes. Fish/Marine based Transformers in general lose articulation in one form or another, so this is expected. The only real problem with Poison Bite is the fact that his tail fin halves are each held together with small peg in hole systems. They both come apart fairly easily (and reassemble just as easily), making play a bit awkward.
Transformation to Scorpion Mode:
Begin Poison Bite's transformation by separating the halves of his tail fins. Now lift up the oval shaped piece which covers part of his head and back. Swivel it around and then move the fins over the halves of his barracuda head. Now split up the barracuda head. Fold out the halves of the main body and extend the barracuda head halves to form the scorpion claws. Fold down the claw like blue and red pieces on his sides to form the forward scorpion legs. Flip up the scorpion head from the underside of the toy. Now position the halves of the rear fins as additional legs. Fold up the scorpion tail from the underside of the main body. Poison Bite is now ready to fight on land!
In scorpion mode, Poison Bite retains the color scheme from his barracuda mode, down to the orange and black which also show themselves on his stinger. The detailing used in the barracuda mode of course carries over to the scorpion mode, making him look more organic than robotic.
However, the designers did not want you to forget that this character was once a robot in disguise. Open up a panel on the inner part of the right claw to reveal robot parts. Also, press the tip of the stinger on his tail to reveal the robot face! This is meant to represent the robot soul trapped inside the organic form of the Mutant Beast Warrior.
Overall, this toy is pretty cool looking and works well with the concept. Neither mode is very convincing as a "real animal", but they are close approximations. Also, the title "Mutant Beast Wars" lends itself to odd variations on different creatures. It's not for everyone, but if you can get past the concept, this toy is recommended. B
Updated Thoughts (January 30, 2022):
Poison Bite remains one of my favorite Beast Wars toys to this day. I would find out after I wrote this review that it was an Animorphs figure originally, but it was ported over to Beast Wars when that line ended. I really love the two modes. Each is equally creepy and well detailed and the deco is outstanding. My estimation of this figure has actually gone up since the original release and whenever people ask me about the Mutants I encourage them to grab this figure.