Release Date: March 2023
Price Point: $6.29 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Weapon Barrel
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. Prepare for battle with the new Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Battle Master assortment. Each 3-inch figure converts from beast to weapon mode and back, and can weaponize other Beast Alliance Transformers action figures by attaching them to their robot partner. The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Battle Master assortment includes:
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Battle Masters Rhinox charges onto the battlefield and converts into his powerful gatling blaster weapon mode in 6 steps.
Rhinox is packaged on a card that is partly folded over the figure (alternatively you could call this a box-ish thing). Following Hasbro's desire to use as little plastic as possible in packaging the only non-cardboard packaging here are the flexible ties used to hold the figure down.
The graphics on the packaging are gorgeous, featuring stonework that looks like it's from an ancient building. Towards the upper right is the Rise of the Beasts logo and under it is the vertical Transformers logo. Rhinox's package art shows him in beast mode on the upper left hand corner. The figure is packaged in beast mode and the cardboard flap over the figure shows off the "Beast Alliance" logo and the figure in weapon mode. Under that is Rhinox's name with the Maximal logo on it.
The back of the packaging shows the figure in both modes calling out a 6 step transformation. The rest is all legal information in multiple languages.
Back when the War for Cybertron: Siege line debuted, a new class of figure was added into the mix: Battle Masters. Basically these were a new version of Targetmasters that could not be priced into the cost of other classes of figures, so they were sold on their own. For the most part, Battle Masters eventually fell by the wayside but now they have returned as part of the Rise of the Beasts toy line.
Part of the first (but hopefully not last) assortment of Rise of the Beasts Battle Masters is Rhinox. In the film I'm pretty sure he'll be transforming from a mechanical rhino into a robot, but this figure posits a scenario where Rhinox transforms into a gatling gun! Long time Beast Wars fans will immediately get the callback which references the "Chainguns of Doom" wielded by the character in that show in what is one of the most memorable moments of the show's first season. This is a really fun way to celebrate the history of the Maximals in this new film's toy line.
The clearest look we have gotten of Rhinox's beast mode is from the character model released by Takara Tomy on March 23, 2023. Unlike his Beast Wars counterpart, Rhinox is not meant to be an "organic" rhino in beast mode, but the way his metal panels are shaped and detailed, he could easily pass for one at a quick glance. Much of that design philosophy carries over to this figure, which features many layers of armor and mechanical details between them on the sides. However, his silhouette and overall shape is very curved and organic looking. This is a really nice sculpt which offers a different take on the character while also paying homage to what came before. There are some really nice, intricate details sculpted into this small figure and I think it looks great!
Rhinox is made up of brown and grey plastic with brown making up most of the main body and grey being used for his legs. This is different from the character model image which shows most of his body being a dark grey (maybe silver) color with brown accents on it (maybe dirt?). The mechanical details on the sides and his horns are painted silver and the eyes are painted green. For a Battle Master, this is a nice amount of deco and it looks cool.
Technically speaking, all four of Rhinox's legs are on ball joints, but they're really in service of the transformation and I would not really count them as articulation. Rhinox also has two small tabs on the back and I'm unsure if they are just a sculpted detail from the CG model or if they were intended for some use with an abandoned feature.
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- Holding the rear legs, swing each half of the beast mode back (revealing the weapon barrel).
- Using the hinge in the middle of each side of the beast mode, fold the rear section forward.
- Rotate each rear leg so the hooves point outward, then swing them up.
- Swing up the front legs.
- Swing the 5mm peg under the barrel out.
Rhinox's weapon mode manages to be both super cool and hilarious at the same time. It's super cool because it's a gatling gun which has a powerful appearance and it calls back to Rhinox's "Chainguns of Doom" but it's hilarious because the weapon barrel looks like it's sticking out of his rear end. Fandom has come up with many names over the last few weeks for this mode. My personal favorite is "Rhino Butt Blaster"! Seriously though, the barrel of the weapon looks like something you'd see on a Gatling Gun from Earth, but presumably there is some Cybertronian tech in there to make it effective against Terrorcons! The barrel is painted silver, helping it stand out against the brown and grey weapon base. The weapon has a 5mm peg on the bottom allowing it to attach to 5mm ports on other figures. Technically you can attach a Blast Effect to the smaller openings at the end of the barrel, but you'll only be able to attach a few thin ones or only one of the larger ones because of how small the barrel end is.
Now, here's where things really get interesting. The weapon barrel can detach (hence me counting it as an "accessory") but this is not documented in the instructions, nor is it referenced in promotional pics or the packaging. So what gives? The answer lies on the other side of the weapon. Turn the weapon around, look closely at the details on either side of the rhino head and you'll see what appear to be parts of circular saw blades! This is of course a direct reference to a key design element of Rhinox's "Chainguns of Doom". There are also some curved line details flanking the "blades" which I'm interpreating as ammunition drums (but I am open to other interpretations). This means you can have the weapon held the other way around to be Rhinox's "Chainguns of Doom"! The barrel detaches so it won't get in the way of being held like this and I think this is absolutely brilliant. Again, none of this is documented so it is a wonderful "hidden" feature!
Of all the Battle Masters being released in this wave I was most excited for Rhinox. I love the idea of him turning into a pseudo-traditional-gatling gun, but the ability to reverse the figure to become an interpretation of the "real" Chainguns of Doom just takes this to the next level. Highly recommended!
- Excellent sculpt in beast mode with wonderful mechanical details.
- Ability to act as two different weapons including the Chainguns of Doom was an amazing design decision.
- Fun play value.
- Could have used a tad more paint. I would have loved if the "saw blades" were painted silver.
- No meaningful articulation in beast mode.