Release Date: April 2023
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Entertainment Earth, Walmart etc.)
Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro via Press Releases:
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS BEAST ALLIANCE BEAST BATTLE MASTERS ASSORTMENT
The battle on Earth is no longer between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons as the new “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” film introduces the Maximals, the Predacons, and the Terrorcons, in an epic 90s globetrotting adventure. Inspired by the new film, Hasbro is launching the new Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Battle Changers assortment featuring 4.5” Battle Changer figures that convert from robot to alt mode and back. The new kids toys are cross compatible with other Beast Alliance figures, including Beast Alliance beast weapon and beast armor toys (each sold separately and subject to availability). The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Battle Changers assortment includes:
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Battle Changers Rhinox, the strong Maximal warrior, can convert from robot to rhino mode in 6 easy steps as he prepares to charge into battle with his Maximal and Autobot allies by his side.
The Rise of the Beast toy line began trickling into Target stores in March of 2023, but it would bein April 2023 that the line would take over shelves in a full blown launch at Walmart stores (Target stores appear to be catching up). Among the figures released in this line are the "Battle Changers". Think of the Battle Changers as a sort of middle ground between a 1-Step Changer and the old Commander Class from the Transformers: Prime "Cyberverse" series. The figures are about 4.5 inches tall (about 11.43 centimeters) and feature simple multi-step transformations from one form to another with limited articulation and no accessories.
Rhinox is one of the original Maximals introduced in the 1996 Beast Wars TV series and toy line, so it is no surprise that he would be part of a film bringing in elements of Beast Wars into the live action movie continuity. In March 2023 a Battle Master version of the character was released, but this Battle Changer is the first figure being released featuring him with both a beast and a robot mode. The actual CG model of the robot mode from the film has yet to be released to the general public as I write this review so for the robot mode I will focus on his design connections with Beast Wars Rhinox.
Similar to 1-Step Changers from Cyberverse, Rhinox is packaged on a large piece of cardboard that is then folded around the figure to form a kind of half card/half box type package. The graphics on the package are the same (or similar) to those on the rest of the Rise of the Beasts line featuring illustrations that look like some type of ancient temple with stone work and intricate designs that look like ancient carvings. The top right corner features the Rise of the Beasts logo with the vertical Transformers logo underneath. Rhinox's box art shows him in beast mode. The front flap that wraps around the figure shows the toy in both modes. To the right is the "Beast Alliance" logo found on most of the figures in this line. The bottom has a bar with the Maximal symbol and Rhinox's name. The back of the card shows Rhinox in both modes calling out a 6 step transformation with a ton of legal information in various languages underneath. This is some really beautiful packaging and the colors really help it stand out against other figures on shelves.
The best look we have had at the official CG model for Rhinox thus far has been the character model reveals by Takara Tomy. Comparing that to this figure, there are some commonalities and interesting differences. For the most part, both the beast mode character model and this figure both look like big, chonky, mechanical rhinox with lots of armor plates going from the head to the back. At the same time, some of the surfaces on this figure look almost organic, featuring textured sections that look like organic skin versus metal plates.
Where the two differ are some of the smaller details. Around the eye area and the sides of this figure you'll see bands of what could be interpreted as machine "muscle" fibers along with smaller mechanical details. These don't really appear on the character model revealed by Takara Tomy, but to be fair we do not know just how current that model is. CG changes can be made up to two weeks before a movie's release so I would not be shocked if this figure represents an earlier design. Either way, I really love how powerful this design looks and the organic-like designs are a fun nod to the original Beast Wars cartoon and toy line.
Rhinox is made up of brown and silver plastic. Most of his paint details are silver and the eyes are green. For a figure of this size and class I think the deco looks great. If I wanted to add anything, it would be perhaps patches of brown to look like "rust" or "dirt" on the front legs but that's about it.
The only real articulation in this mode are the front legs which can be moved forward and back to a limited degree. The real play value in this mode comes with the four 5mm ports, one on each leg. Attach extra weapons or shields to this figure from other toy lines and you can really arm him up!
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Flip the beast mode over and you'll see the robot arms are formed by the front rhino legs. Flip out the weapon on the right arm and the fist on the left.
- Swing the middle to rear half of the beast mode back to begin forming the robot legs.
- Swing the rear beast mode feet down.
- Swing the lower part of the body back and clip it to the top half.
- Swing the beast mode head back and down.
Over a decade plus of live action Transformers films fans saw many characters sharing names with G1 counterparts being reinterpreted to the point where they were near unrecognizable (Megatron being one example. In the case of Rhinox however it is the opposite. This design features a lot of elements that come right out of the 1996 animated series including:
- Head: The head sculpt comes right out of Beast Wars featuring an oval head shape with a "mohawk" strip on top, large brows and a "chin strap" piece that wraps around the lower part of the head.
- Torso: Rhinox's torso features two rows of teeth running down the sides. These are references to the way the lower jaw of the beast mode would form part of the torso in both the original TV show and on the original action figure.
- Beast Mode Parts: The rhino head winding up on his back and the way the front beast mode legs form the robot arms is also a direct callback to Beast Wars Rhinox.
- Weapon: The right arm does not have a fist. Instead, the end of his weapon swings out and it looks (from many angles) like he is holding one of his infamous "Chainguns of Doom" (maybe in the movie his forearm transforms into the Chaingun? One can hope!). This design comes right out of the animated series featuring a round saw blade with several weapon barrels in front. Even better? The small weapon barrels can fit Blast Effects!
I love all these design nods to the original Rhinox and I really hope this means we'll be seeing these design elements on the big screen when Rise of the Beasts is released!
Rhinox does not reveal any new plastic colors in this mode. Silver plastic makes up most of the upper half of the body while brown is used on the legs and head portion connected to his back. There is a lot of gold paint used on his head and torso, all serving as callbacks to the deco on Beast Wars Rhinox. Also calling back to Beast Wars Rhinox is the use of green on the weapon. Given this is a simplified figure I do not expect the on-screen version of Rhinox to look just like this, but I imagine there must be some similarities in colors.
There are seven points of articulation in this mode. This includes two in the left arm and one in the right. Rhinox has five 5mm ports to attach additional accessories. There is one on each arm and leg, allowing you to attach all sorts of accessories (though whether he'll be able to stand once you do so is another matter). The Chaingun of Doom weapon on the right arm can spin around, which is a fun touch from Beast Wars.
I am a huge fan of "pocket sized" figures that represent characters well and this smaller version of Rhinox does the trick. The transformation is fairly simple yet he looks good in both modes. I also appreciate his ability to interact with Battle Masters (and other 5mm connection point based accessories). If you're into simplified figures and Beast Wars, this is a great addition to your collection. Recommended!
- Fantastic sculpt in both modes with plenty of intricate details.
- Lots of design elements pay homage to Beast Wars Rhinox including the Chaingun of Doom!
- A simple transformation that is still fun to do.
- I would have liked a few more paint applications on this figure.
- Limited articulation may disappoint some fans.