"Studio Series" 86 Gnaw Toy Review

12/11/21

General Information:
Release Date: September 2021
Price Point: $22.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster, Tail/Mace weapon

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:

  • STUDIO SERIES DELUXE CLASS: Deluxe Class figures are 4.5-inch collectible action figures inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe, now including The Transformers: The Movie!
  • 4.5-INCH SCALE GNAW: Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco, is highly articulated for posability and comes with blaster and tail mace accessories. Features translucent eyes and articulated jaw and arms
  • BIG SCREEN INSPIRED: Figure scale reflects the character´┐Żs size in the world of The Transformers: The Movie. Figure and packaging are inspired by the iconic Mockery of Justice scene
  • 2 ICONIC MODES: Figure features classic conversion between robot and Sharkticon modes in 17 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up
  • REMOVABLE BACKDROP: Removable backdrop displays Gnaw figure in the Mockery of Justice scene

Studio Series has always allowed fans to reach past the big screen and build the ultimate Transformers collection inspired by iconic movie scenes from the Transformers movie universe. Now, the Studio Series line is expanding to include the epic moments and characters from the classic The Transformers: The Movie, bringing fans a whole new series of screen-inspired figures to collect! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)This Studio Series 86-08 Deluxe Class The Transformers: The Movie-inspired Gnaw figure converts from robot to Sharkticon mode in 17 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Gnaw in the Mockery of Justice scene. In the Mockery of Justice Scene from The Transformers: The Movie, Gnaw and the Sharkticons lurk beneath the Quintesson Courtroom, ready to carry out the sentence of any bot unlucky enough to fall victim to Quintesson justice.

Gnaw is a rather weird and fun one off character in the Transformers universe. The original G1 toy was a Decepticon Sharkticon who was loyal to the last person (or faction) that fed him. In the 1986 film the Sharkticons were presented as the executioners for the evil Quintessons. That is where they have mostly stayed in fiction over the years. Over time, there have been many versions of Gnaw including a Legends Class figure for Titans Return and a fairly recent Warrior Class Cyberverse figure. This time out, Gnaw gets the Studio Series treatment in Hasbro and Takara Tomy's attempt to create a Gnaw figure that is movie accurate and who fits right into a Generations display shelf. Did they succeed? Let's find out!

Packaging:
Gnaw is packaged in the standard, rectangular Studio Series window box. The front features beautiful artwork for Gnaw in robot mode charging at an unseen enemy. The 1986 "Transformers: The Movie" logo is found on the lower right and a large window shows off the figure inside. The back of the box shows the figure off in both modes calling out a 17 step transformation. In a fun nod to the Quintesson scene in the film, the term "Mockery of Justice" is listed over the figure. The cardboard insert inside continues the tradition of giving Studio Series figures a backdrop that relates to a key scene in the film. In this case the backdrop is based on the walls of the Sharkticon pit showing off metal panels and machinery and the seams between them. Gnaw is rather round in his beast mode, so he really cannot stand on the insert in that form, but he can stand on it in robot mode without a problem.

Robot Mode:
Since the G1 era, Sharkticons have been very round in design, basically looking like a big ball with limbs in both modes. Hasbro worked hard to emulate that design within the limits of practicality, and the result is a robot mode that is very close to being fully screen accurate. For the most part Gnaw has a lot of the key design elements seen in the animation model. His torso and the shark jaw halves form circular shapes around most of the upper body and torso. His limbs are also curved, looking almost like humanoid muscles instead of blocky robotic shapes. This includes his feet which look like he is wearing a pair of boots that go up around his ankle. There are some fantastic smaller details as well including a mohawk like design on top of the head, a row of squares on his chest and details that look like computer controls on his torso. He is however missing panels on his back that looked almost like a metal cape on the animation model. This doesn't ruin the figure by any means, but it is an important detail that will become relevant when I discuss the beast mode.

Gnaw is mostly made up of grey, lavender and light blue plastic. Some smaller details such as the face and crest have paint on them including grey and red. A bit of green is used on his chest and waist area. Lavender paint is used on the jaws of the beast mode that surround the head. For the most part the colors match up nicely with the animation model. That said, on one of my Gnaws (I have six) the silver paint chipped off one of the teeth on his chest, so be warned.

There are twenty three points of articulation on this figure. This includes six in each leg and five in each arm. I'm being rather generous because I'm counting the ability of his heel pieces and wrists to move even though technically that's just part of the transform. Subtract those and you lose four points. Gnaw has five 5mm ports on him. Two in the fists, two under his feet and one on his back. Now, technically the one on his back is meant for his fin to attach to, but if you wanted to take that off and store a weapon there you could but on every copy of Gnaw I have this port is somewhat loose. In some cases the fin or weapon won't even stay in if you turn the figure over. In other cases it hangs in there very loosely. That said, I've heard other fans say their fin-ports have no issue holding on to accessories, so your mileage may vary. I was very happy to see the ports on the bottom of his feet as this opens up the possibility of attaching parts to him such as those from Weaponizers and/or Fossilizers.

Gnaw includes two weapons: a blaster and a mace weapon. The blaster is inspired by the blaster weapon included with the G1 version of the character. This piece has a 5mm peg and is cast in grey plastic. Sadly, the barrel is not designed to accommodate Blast Effects, which was a real bummer. His other weapon is a mace weapon which also becomes his tail in beast mode. This is the more iconic of the Sharkticon weapons (and was the only one included with the Legends Class figure). This piece is cast in light blue plastic and has a hinge at the base. While the fin does come off, I don't really count it as an accessory but I suppose if you want you could pretend it is a blade weapon.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Detach the weapons if attached and set them aside for now.
  3. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  4. Swing the heel pieces in under the feet.
  5. Lift the back panel up.
  6. Rotate the front panel with the shark head on it around.
  7. Swing the section with the robot arms out.
  8. Swing the robot legs down, folding them up. There are pegs that the feet should attach to.
  9. Swing the panel with the shark head down, connecting it to the rear panel so the legs are covered up.
  10. Swing the robot arms down and bend them at the elbows to form the legs.
  11. Attach the mace weapon to the back as the tail.
  12. Attach the blaster to the port on the left side of the main body.

Beast Mode:
The "ball shape" of the robot mode carries over into the beast mode with Gnaw kind of looking like a giant ball with lots of teeth and big bug eyes. In that respect he matches up well with the animation model, and from a detailing standpoint he looks fantastic. The triangular sections above the eyes, his crazy big teeth and some of the mechanical looking details on top all look great. There is only one aspect of this mode that I wish was better: the sides. If you look at the figure from the profile view, you can pretty much see the sides of the legs. Now, the designers did a good job of detailing them in a way that they look like side panels but because of their colors they really stand out. This is where the aforementioned "cape" panels in robot mode would have come in handy. It would have been cool if he had panels on the sides that were hinged and could fold over the sides to create more of a ball shape and cover up the legs. Now I'm not particularly broken up over this. He looks very cool and I do not regret buying a small crew of Gnaws, but it is something that struck me when comparing the animation model to the toy. My guess on why this wasn't done? Keeping the figure within the price point.

All the colors from the robot mode carry over into this form, but now the lavender "gums" on the mouth really come together and the beautiful metallic green on the eyes really shines. The dark grey on top of his eyes and the back panel also offer a really sharp contrast to the lighter colors on the rest of the figure and I like it a lot.

Gnaw has fifteen points of articulation in this mode. This includes four in each leg and two in each arm. I do wish his forearms had been on ball joints so you could rotate them. Regardless, this is a good amount of articulation for a beast mode and most importantly his mouth can open to show all those scary looking teeth off! The blaster clips to the left side of the beast mode and of course the tail is formed by the mace weapon. Be careful with the fin on back as it is very loose and tends to fall off on my copy.

Final Thoughts:
Despite this figure's flaws, I love it. While I really love the Legends Class version of Gnaw, this one kicks things up a notch with its sculpt, deco and accessories. I've purchased six of these to join my existing Sharkticon horde and I don't regret it for a second! It's not a perfect figure, but I really dig it. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt.
  • Good deco.
  • Includes both blaster and melee weapons (unlike the Legends Class which only had the tail weapon).
  • Good articulation and play value.

Cons:

  • The fin does not stay attached well in my copy of this figure.
  • I do wish the beast mode forearms could rotate around.