Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Concise Review of Energon Cruellock In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Basic, 2004.
Modes: Robot and Dinosaur.
Transformation Style: Basic dinoformer with minor automorph.
Play Patterns: Robot and Dino. 5mm weapons. Energon weapons and chip.
Points of Interest: Seemingly inspired by the 1998 Godzilla film, with hints of Grimlock.

The Good
Cruellock has a fairly impressive sword as a weapon with a pistol, both having modular functionality. His articulation is relatively high in both modes with 11 joints, including 6 of the ball variety and the dino head can bite. There's an interesting use of translucent plastic on the hands and feet, implying he has energon weapons built in. Both actual weapons also store in the tail.

The Bad
Cruellock has an extremely simplistic, spring-loaded, transformation. Not only does this lead to minimal differences between modes, there's translucent plastic in the mechanism, which is asking for trouble. The translucent claws also cause problems when wielding his sword, as the shape of the blade and the length of its handle place it at an angle. You can compensate by combining the gun with it, however. Not all of his dino teeth are painted, and due to the transformation, he's a bit floppy in both modes.

The Mediocre
So, he looks like Zilla, A.K.A Toho's whipping boy. That might matter to people.

The Alternatives
T-Rex and 'raptor style beast modes are very common, especially since Age of Extinction, where this mould eventually ended up as Grimlock. Almost any of these would be a reasonable or superior substitute to this. This mould was also repainted with lava colours to make Doom-Lock. If you are just looking for an Energon vintage basic though, consider Battle Ravage or Strongarm.

The Verdict
Cruellock's merits begin and end with his sword, and even there, he's got issues. The transformation is both unsatisfying and a concern, and neither mode is interesting. The nicest thing you can say is that he's inoffensive, he doesn't have the articulation problems some of his kin does, and he can pass his blade onto someone whom can make better use of it. You can skip him.

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