Of all the iterations of the ongoing TakaraTomy Masterpiece line, many fans hold a soft spot for the much-celebrated Beast Wars releases.
However, there have been a fair few fears in recent times that the well has dried up somewhat, with no new releases since 2020’s Tigatron! Fortunately, rumours of a beastly demise have been greatly exaggerated, as we’re back in business with a new reveal, and it’s one of the highest anticipated characters of all – Rhinox!
The Maximal’s most capable asset has long been topping wishlists for the treatment, no doubt because he’s the very definition of a fan favourite but also due to him almost uniquely spending the entire three-season cartoon in the one body, having never upgraded to the Transmetal form. So, let’s waste no time in diving in and seeing just what this high-end figure has in store!
#8: The robot mode is sheer perfection
First, the robot mode looks entirely on point, almost literally ripping the character’s look from the screen and realising him in 3D toy form. The Beast Wars Masterpiece releases have all achieved this to staggering success so far. However, even with that in mind, Rhinox feels like a significant achievement, given how distinctive the character looks. The only minor compromise to be noticed here is a slightly enlarged backpack, given how the animation model cheats a little in that regard. Still, this is about as perfect a take on ‘big green’ as we’re ever going to see, and it scales well with the existing figures to boot.
#7: The beast mode is also inexplicably good
It’s incredible to see just how magnificent the beast mode is here when considering how little of it is visible in the robot guise, yet the wizards at TakaraTomy have yet again proven they’re up to the task. Sure, it looks a little panel-heavy in places, but that’s to be expected given the nature of the design, and besides, it all looks pretty seamless overall. However, it remains to be seen how articulated this form is as the legs, in particular, do not appear to be especially poseable. Still, it’s got the look and then some, as evidenced by what I can only describe as one of the most bizarre promotional images for a toy I’ve ever seen…
Yes, they really chose to focus on these two very specific areas… but hey, at least it shows he can do the Maximize roar face!
#6: It features an alternate face
There are quite a few accessories to be observed in the package here, the first of which is an alternate face for the robot mode. It takes Rhinox’s characteristically laidback look and switches it out for his more no-nonsense angry side, which is sure to come in useful when posing him with the next inclusion…
#5: There are some big guns!
Yes, as any Beast Wars fan would hope, the Masterpiece release includes the character’s signature ‘chainguns of doom’! These are the weapons Rhinox can be seen wielding to great effect throughout the ’90s cartoon, after first appearing in the now legendary episode, Chain of Command.
The guns themselves look fantastic, with superb detailing all over, including Maximal symbols on the side and even little wooden handles, in a neat touch.
#4: He can wield Cheetor’s gun too
As if that wasn’t enough firepower, it appears the Masterpiece figure can also wield the ‘gut gun’ from MP-34 Cheetor, much as Rhinox did in the first episode of the cartoon before he was granted his own armament.
#3: There’s the alien probe extraction device
Another accessory here is also a nod towards Chain of Command, as it’s the extraction device the Maximals attempt to use to remove Optimus Primal’s corporeal form from an alien probe, as you do. Ultimately, the contraption isn’t required, but still, it’s fun to see it here in toy form for the first time!
#2: There’s also a spark!
Next, we have one of the more unusual accessories of all, but also one of the more special in its way! This is a representation of a Cybertronian spark, the life essence of a Transformer, as first seen in the appropriately titled episode, The Spark! What makes this item different is that it comes from a dream sequence, as Cheetor is turned offline as part of an effort to repair a damaged protoform Airazor, only for his unconsciousness to receive an important lesson from Rhinox in the process.
#1: You can mount Optimus Primal on his back
The final feature to mention is also one of my favourites! Lots of classic Beast Wars moments reign in the memory even all these years later, but few can surely be as joyous as the simple sight of Optimus Primal mounted on Rhinox’s beast mode back as they charge into battle. It’s an iconic sight from the very first episode of the show, and whilst it naturally begs the question of whether or not a Masterpiece Rattrap might be soon to follow to complete the homage, it’s worth noting that you can at least achieve it with the Legends figure of the rodent for now, as it can clip securely on Optimus’ back. Either way, it’s a great nod!
So that’s our list! Masterpiece Rhinox is available for pre-order now!