Friday, January 24, 2014

Beast Wars NEO: C-36 Mach Kick!

01.24.2013 – This year would be in the Chinese Zodiac calendar as “Year of the Horse” and Hasbro has taken advantage in marketing Transformers in their “premium” editions. Previously you’ve seen the “Year of the Dragon” and “Year of Snake” releases.

But what if Hasbro literally released a “Year of the Horse” Transformer? It would be great as Takara previously had released a Transformer, which turned into a horse back in 1999 when Beast Wars was popular with robots turning into animals. Takara expanded that concept and idea to two Beast Wars series that was not shown in the US…


The series were Beast Wars II and Beast Wars NEO which produced an entire line of Transformers toys some never seen in the US. The last of the Beast Wars series in NEO recycled some of the Beast Wars characters from the US series, that was retooled into new characters and then there are some which was entirely new molds.

Most of the Beast Wars NEO characters where interesting creatures from both factions of Destron (Predacons) and Cybertoron (Maximals). But the good guys have those unique characters that you’ll probably think won’t fit in the US series.

There were Penguins, Cobra, Rabbit, Giraffe and even a Raccoon that appears to have a working clock which also turns into a robot led by Big Convoy who turns into a Mammoth complete with a big gun. But the most interesting among them is Mach Kick, a member of that team who turns into a horse.

Mach Kick’s character story revealed to be the only surviving member of the Thoroughbred Corps who eventually joins Big Convoy’s team, which also reveals to be a big fan of that Cybertoron leader. The action figure was released in 1999 along with the other characters from Beast Wars NEO and was never released in the US market. If Mach Kick would be released today this stallion would be designated as part of the Deluxe Class assortment.















Packed in a window box Mach Kick only comes with one accessory which is also part of his “horse mode.” This figure could possibly be the first Transformer to have a rooted nylon-hair tail. The soft brushable tail is attached to his weapon, a hatchet that he uses in robot mode. Unfortunately Takara didn’t include at least a brush to straighten his tail.

Unboxing Mach Kick the figure includes a product catalog, profile/tech spec card, warranty card and a manual in Japanese. The transparent tray rests on the cardboard that can be used as a background for the figure to pose.







BEAST MODE

Mach Kick in “horse modes” colored in gray-blue scheme which would appear to be a wild stallion. What’s interesting in this mode is that it can rear up in its hind legs in a dramatic pose and can stand unassisted. He doesn’t appear to be a Transformer id you’ve seen this from a distance and Takara designers definitely improved the concept when Beast Wars NEO came out.

LEVEL OF TRANSFORMATION

Transforming Mach Kick is VERY complicated and it’s a challenge revealing to be a shellformer with approximately 467 ball-and-socket joints needed to position correctly of none of his other parts would properly connect if you’re turning him back to his horse form which needs a lot more patience and a well-guided hand.







ROBOT MODE

In robot mode reveals also that his head has the nylon-hair which is unique to all Beast Wars related Transformer or even the current ones. This reminds you the Dreadnock named Zanzibar in G.I.Joe who also happens to sport the same hairstyle.

Mach Kick can do a variety of action poses and its where his hatchet which doubles as his tail in horse mode into the handheld weapon. Primary color is red and white with accents of gold all over his upper robot body. His main gimmick can be used in all his modes by pressing back on the horse’s main causes the head to spring forward via jack spring mechanism as his ramming attack. His faction symbol can be seen in his left leg as a red jewel with most NEO figures having this concept in each figure that was released.





BONUS MODE

Besides Mach Kick’s default horse mode there’s a third mode like the other Beast Wars NEO figures. They call it the “unhorse mode” which is also known as his “Protect Mode” that’s in the product manual appearing as a horrendous pile of limbs and ball-joints that doesn't hold no meaning.



THE VERDICT

Overall Mach Kick is a rare find for a Beast Wars character that only appeared in the original Japanese series as a member of Big Convoy’s team. The other appearance is in IDW Comics Beast Wars series where he joins Lio Convoy’s elite special operations team known as The Pack.

The action figure or course is a challenge to transform having a complicated design that would be beyond level four as a shellformer. What makes Mach Kick separate this Transformer from the others? He has rooted nylon-hair as his tail and in his head in robot mode with so many joints that can do some action poses.



THE YEAR OF THE “REAL” HORSE

This could be Mach Kick’s year to be recognized for those who haven’t gone through the Beast Wars years. Without the series there won’t be better designed Transformers toys due to the complex design that was incorporate in these toys from the past.

Since it’s the “Year of the Horse” maybe Hasbro should reissue this figure as an exclusive for 2014 it is literally Mach Kick’s year.

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