I’m a big fan of a banging noggin, I admit.
Which is my way of saying I can’t get enough of a thoroughly impressive Transformers head sculpt, naturally. I’ve previously written entries on some of my favourites from Generation 1, but today, we’re mixing it up and putting the spotlight firmly on Beast Wars! It’s only fair because this era of toys is relatively unmatched when it comes to creative and unusual designs, as we’re about to prove…
Be sure to check out part 1 in case you missed it!
OK, admittedly, the repainted T-Wrecks isn’t the first use of this mould, nor is it actually a Beast Wars toy! Yet the Dinobot commander from Beast Machines can legitimately claim to show the design off to is best, not least because of how all the bright colours bring out the fantastic character of the sculpt. I’ve always felt this is a toy that is chock full of personality, and a big part of that must surely be the perfectly captured grin, which features some of the best-defined facial detail on any Transformers toy in memory. I’ll give bonus points to T-Wrecks for bucking tradition and having a pair of vibrant green eyes, too.
Torca ’bout the stuff of nightmares! No? Well, awful puns aside, this head design remains one for the ages, perfectly bringing to life a distinctive Maximal warrior with a sense of attitude. The beast mode tusks becoming horns is perfect, but the exceptional moulding and beautiful painted finish really make this one work. The colours give a real sense of menace, and the bright yellow peepers are just the cherry on top. It’s a shame that most people will remember this toy for being blighted with GPS, as its good looks deserve so much more attention.
#5: Universe Razorclaw
This is another repainted release from outside of Beast Wars, true. However, it took this 2003 Universe makeover to truly show off the exceptional moulding of the Tigerhawk sculpt, given that the original figure looked somewhat washed out and non-descript with its bare plastic off-white finish. Razorclaw reveals that the design was a certified banger all along, with the kind of creepy details and superb intricate touches most toys can’t claim. It’s no surprise it’s become so desirable in the years since, then.
#4: Depth Charge
Back onto Beast Wars home turf for this Transmetal big boy now, although I’m sure the fan-favourite Depth Charge won’t be a great surprise to anyone on this list. Like Rampage in part 1, this design benefits from being supremely accurate to the cartoon, yet even besides that, it’s fantastic in its own right. It’s semi-organic in nature, as is the core theme of Transmetals, and manages to sufficiently portray the idea of an aquatic alternate form. Yet somehow, it works for bringing a bad-arse robot in disguise to life, too and imbues this toy with the antihero sense of attitude fans are familiar with from the screen.
Where to start with this toy, eh? Newer fans might be getting their first taste of this design with the new Retrax reissue, but whether it’s that or this Beast Wars II version from 1998, there’s still a lot of love about it, no matter how acutely absurd it is. The head sculpt is of particular mention, given that it looks like a bizarre gasmask-wearing Doctor Who alien, complete with shiny red horns and the kind of mosaic-like eyes you’d find on a housefly. I realise none of this sounds appealing, but trust me, against all odds, Powerhug works. Bless him.
#2: Sharp Edge
For our penultimate entry, we have another example from the Japanese line, although one that features a lot more remoulding than most! Sharp Edge is a Beast Wars Neo retool of Cybershark, complete with an entirely new head that better fits the updated sawshark alternate mode. It’s relatively classic in many regards but still looks like it’s sporting a gladiator mask of sorts. Yet the yellow eyes and protruding fin elevate this one above what could have been quite ordinary and give this lad the edge.
#1: Transmetal 2 Megatron
Let’s finish on a special note. We’ve already mentioned the first T Rex Megatron design, and the Transmetal is worth checking out too. Yet this dragon-themed Transmetal 2 makeover is exceptional, bringing all the menace from the screen to life but giving it a distinct sense of style in the process. It means what you see here isn’t entirely cartoon-accurate, with those green eyes being one of the most significant departures, but honestly, who cares when the result is as good as this? One of the best Beast Wars toys overall, and one of the best head sculpts? Check.
So that’s our list! Did we miss any great head sculpts?