Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:
- TRANSFORMERS G1-INSPIRED DESIGN: This Legacy Series Transformers 3.5-inch Iguanus robot toy is inspired by the animated series, The Transformers, updated with a Generations-style design
- UNIVERSES COLLIDE: Universes continue to 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 motor bike mode in 15 steps
- HARNESS THE POWER OF ENERGON: Gear up with the most powerful substance on Cybertron, Energon! This Transformers Iguanus figure comes with an Energon claw shield 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 Core Iguanus robot toy! Iguanus is obsessed with his scaly outer shell and believes he has a special relationship with earth reptiles. Universes continue to 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 more than just kids’ toys. They’re exciting collectibles for fans of all ages! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The Transformers Legacy packaging represents a radical update to Transformers packaging for (what is presumably) a new "trilogy" of Generations toys. For the Core Class we have already seen this design with the releases of Studio Series Ravage and Shockwave. 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 figures no longer sit in a plastic tray. Instead they are tied to a cardboard panel. I am all for eco-friendly packaging and reducing plastic use, but some fans have expressed concern that this could lead to figures being easily stolen or damaged in box. Frankly, I cannot say this is unfounded. During a recent shopping trip I did see Core Class Ravage gone from his packaging. He had simply been torn out. Now, it's probably easier to do that with a Core Class figure than a Deluxe or Voyager, but the concern is a valid one and I will be interested to see where this design choice goes in the future.
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 screams "Pay Attention to Me!!!" 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 Iguanus is packaged in robot mode, the art on the top flap shows his vehicle form. To the left of that is the name "Autobot Skids" without a "Universe" called out, which presumably means the line defaults to G1 as an assumed universe. The back of the box features Iguanus in both modes, calling out a 15 step transformation. Generally, Legacy boxes feature a QR code to scan to see the character's tech specs but in this case it is printed on the instruction booklet. I have screen captured and composited the tech spec in the gallery below.
Pretenders were introduced to the Transformers toy line in 1988. The conceit revolved around partly organic armor that would fit the entire Transformer as a disguise. When the robot inside left the armor (or shell if you prefer) that Pretender shell could act as an independent fighting unit controlled by the Transformer. At first it was pretty simple with Decepticons using "monster" shells and Autobots using human-like shells. Later there would be all sorts of variants including vehicles and animals. Despite dominating the Transformers line for a couple years in the 80's, the concept never really quite took off in the same way the toy line had in the early 80's.
Attempts at recognizing the Pretenders concept (or at the very least, the characters) have popped up now and then in the toy line but the Power of the Primes line was perhaps the most expansive featuring "Prime Masters" which were meant to represent the Primes "hiding" in shells that resembled other characters (it gets a bit convoluted so let's leave it there). Unfortunately this did not sell like gangbusters so Pretenders found themselves shelved once again.
Fast forward to 2022 and with its attempt to present a diverse set of characters (who are not all named Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and Starscream) Legacy takes another shot at Pretenders...kind of. Instead of a robot inside a shell, this time the shell and robot have been merged into one toy. This is very similar in concept to the 2010 release of Thunderwing. Iguanus is the first of this kind of Pretender-inspired figures in Legacy though current rumors indicate there may be others.
Iguanus includes a rather interesting looking accessory that appears to be a thick barrel with blades on either side that come up in a claw or pincer like pattern. If it looks like there should be more to this weapon that's because there is. This weapon is intended to connect to the weapons included with Iguanus' case mates (Hot Rod and Skywarp). Once you combine all three accessories you get a sweet looking sword!
The blaster/sword hilt features a 3mm peg on one side and a 5mm peg on the other. The front and back both feature 5mm ports. While cast in purple this accessory has been painted gold and red, two of the key colors found on Iguanus himself.
To work around the whole issue of having a Pretender shell with an inner robot, the designers decided to combine the two. For the most part, Iguanus' "robot mode" is really a more articulated (and less chonky) version of his G1 Pretender shell with wheels and a windshield mounted on the back that hint at his alt-mode and call back to the inner robot from the G1 action figure and fiction. This mode has a ton of details carried over from G1 Iguanus' Pretender shell. These include:
- The head looks like a lizard creature complete with a crest in the center of the head and spike like designs that are possibly inspired by the dorsal crest found on real life iguanas. The head looks organic, with scaley skin details and organic shapes.
- The chest features curved armor that looks like it is sitting on top of organic skin underneath.
- The waist area has a "belt" design with notches indicating segments leading to a "buckle" that almost looks like an abstract skull design.
- The arms feature more organic looking "skin" with armor on top. Like the G1 shell, the forearms have fin-like designs sticking out to the sides. The shoulders also have similar designs.
- The legs each feature knee armor with a raised section in the middle and the feet look like claws instead of the usual rectangular Transformers foot design.
- On the back there is a segmented tail resembling the one from the G1 Pretender shell.
I absolutely love this sculpt. It does a great job of calling back to the original Iguanus.
Iguanus is made up of purple and red plastic. The purple makes up most of the figure. The red is found in the wheels on his back, a callback to the inner robot from the G1 Iguanus figure. Paint colors include red, gold, black and light grey. The red and gold come together very nicely on the torso and I appreciate the knee armor being painted gold to bring those details out.
There are nine points of articulation on this figure. That does not sound like a whopping amount, but most of them are ball joints, so the range of movement is good. I was surprised to see the head turns side to side given its unusual design. Iguanus has a 3mm port in each fist and a 5mm port on the back. This allows him to either hold or store his weapon in this mode. Interestingly, the back of each lower leg has a 5mm port, but I'm not totally clear on just what to do with them. I think you could probably rig up some Weaponizer and Fossilizer parts to connect to them but it is a rather odd spot for those ports. I do wonder if this is intended for some future retool or if it is an artifact of a dropped feature.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- On the back, lift up the windshield panel, swing it forward and connect it to the chest, covering up the robot head.
- Move the right side wheel under the windshield piece and the other wheel to the back and rotate it so the wheel points down.
- Move the arms forward towards the front wheel. Rotate the forearms so the "fins" on the forearms are facing up.
- Line up the shoulder area so it slips over the tabs on the sides near the windshield piece, then push the fist ports up against the sides of the front wheel to lock them into place.
- Rotate the lower legs around, then bend them at the knees. Rotat the feet so the flat parts on the bottom face the wheel. To connect the pieces together, a tab on the sides of the knees should fit into slots on the sides of the tail and the pegs on the sides of the wheel should connect to the bottom of the feet.
- Attach the weapon to the top of the windshield section.
So real talk, G1 Iguanus' inner robot vehicle mode was not particularly spectacular. The wheels were an accessory you attached to the bottom (and years later, caused some plastic stressing when I did so for this review) and it really did wind up looking like a robot leaned back too much and slapped wheels on itself. In a bizarre way, this vehicle mode is much more successful. The key design elements that carry over from the G1 toy are the flat and semi-"scifi" looking windshield and the design on the wheels. The rest of this vehicle mode pretty much looks like Iguanus just leaned over and grabbed a couple wheels, but it's still light years better than what we had before. I also find it really fun and a tad silly that Iguanus' tail becomes the seat of the vehicle! I mean that in the most affectionate way possible.
This mode features the same base colors as the robot mode, but now we get a better look at the windshield which has an off white, almost blue color on it and a Decepticon symbol on top. Flanking the windshield are red painte details. Now, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you this is the sleekest, coolest vehicle mode of all time, but I find it absolutely ridiculous looking in the best way.
I was one of the fans that enjoye Pretenders right out of the gate. I found their appearance in the Marvel Comics super fun and in later years when I discovered Masterforce I loved seeing their interpretation of Pretenders as well. I understand how difficult making "full" Pretenders may be for the current market, so this is a really nice alternative. Highly recommended!
- Excellent sculpt that pays homage to the original Iguanus.
- Good articulation.
- Very nice deco.
- A nice mash up of both the Pretender shell and inner robot concepts into one figure.
- I would have liked an additional weapon that maybe resembled his G1 blaster since the accessory that does come with the figure looks "incomplete".