Dinobot Striker - Universe - Figure

Striker is one of those molds that seems destined to be with us for a very long time. This mold first saw release in the Japanese BWneo series as the Destron Saberback. The first American/European release was as Striker, a member of the BM Dinobots. Then he was released as a member of the exclusive Dinobots sets (this time named Snarl) and now he's released in the universe line.

Unfortunately, when dealing with the universe line, you never know what you will get. For some reason there's a lot of difference in quality: my U. Razorclaw is good, while an other's is bad, others write positive reviews about U. Optimus Primal, but I'm no so happy with mine.

Beastmode: As well known by now, Striker is a Stegosaurus. His primary color is a dark green, while his flanks and the upper part of his hind legs are painted in a metallic yellowish-green. The scales on his back are mostly dark brown (some have white parts), while the points/stakes at the end of his tail are gold. From the scales the now-familiar red-silver-dark brown pattern - which we've seen on other universe figures (e.g. Primal, Silverbolt) points downwards. On his head there's also some red, but I believe some of this was not intended to be there. All in all, it's a very pleasing sight. I especially like the dark green/brown combination, as this is representative of the colors dinosaurs were once presumed to have.
There doesn't seem to be any mold degradation in this mode. Compared to BM Striker, the beast mode is, IMO, far better looking.

Transformation: Like the other two BWneo designed figures I own, this is a frustration. There simply is a lot of twisting and turning of parts with very limited space to do so. Beyond that, the transformation is by far more interesting than we've seen with, for example, many of the Armada figures.

Robotmode: In this mode, the primary colors are a flat gold and the green of the altmode. There is, again, some red and silver, and even some white and black. The picture on the back of the card also shows deep purple on the inside of his tailgun and the inside of the dino-parts that now adorn his shoulders. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The inside of his tailgun is dark brown with some blue and silver. Rather dull, compared to previous incarnations, and, it makes it look as if they didn't put any effort in it. The dinoparts on his shoulders are the same dark green on the inside as on the outside. Some extra (vibrant) colors here would've been appreciated. Without those extra colors, the figure is slightly bland.
Striker stands very comfortable and is well articulated. His body is well-balanced, making him look good. It's simply a nice mold in robot mode. The only drawback to this mold is the ridiculously large weapon, which he in reality would never be able to use. Other than that, he looks good.
To my surprise, Striker's joints are tight and better than those of my BM striker, who has some trouble with both his hip joints.

Trapmode: Again, Hasbro does not mention that there's a third mode. Some of the BWneo figures had a third mode which made the animal look dead, thereby luring the unsuspecting opponent closer. Saberback/Striker was one of those. The opened tailweapon in combination with the backscales, are supposed to represent a flower growing out of the dead carcass. I've never been a big fan of this option, but with these colors for the inside of the tailgun, it simply doesn't look right.

Conclusion: I really like this one. I had actually bought him to repaint him in G1 Snarl colors, but I think I'll just leave him as he is (and let BM striker undergo that particular ordeal). The beast-mode is good-looking. The robot-mode is a bit bland, but by painting in those formentioned dinoparts on his shoulders), this can easily be rectified.
Simply put: if you don't own Striker yet, get 'm. If you already own a previous incarnation, see if you can get this one for a nice price, since I think he's better than some of his previous releases.
(Then why the score of 7/10? Well, you can't really compare him to Binaltech/MP figures, can you? BT/ALT=10, MP Prime=9, 8 is for really good NEW Figures and really, really good repaints, etc...)

DateMarch 23rd 2004  
Score 7 stars (7 out of 10)  

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