Strika is a big girl. There’s no two ways about it. A fearsome, boisterous presence in Beast Machines, she was the consort of Obsidian and the two earned a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. She has a huge hulking frame and the strength and firepower to back up her size. She is probably a bit intimidating.
Her vehicle mode is a six wheeled tank type thing with pom-pom cannons. Part of a neat play feature, pressing down on her Spark Crystal will cause these to move back and forth in rapid succession. Both missiles can launch via the kinetic launchers they are housed in. She trundles about on carpet nicely enough, but has no chance on smooth surfaces. You can insert your own joke here. As with all the Vehicons, some anthropological features shine through to give the impression of a ‘living vehicle’. Here it is the cab, which can bob its head up and down in a manner approaching the Churchill dog. Quality wise, Strika is an interesting one. The plastics have an odd shiny-ness to them and its notable that the paint applied on some sections looks as though its failed to adhere properly. It feels solid enough and there’s no sign of parts developing stress fractures, but she doesn’t feel the same piece of quality work that characterised others in the line.
After a clever transformation, we get to the robot mode and oh dear it’s a funny old thing. Most obvious and unfortunately comical are the two plant pot feet formed from the front wheels. Although quite stable and sturdy for the figure to stand on, the struts at the back of legs probably give you a massive clue as to the toys main failing – it is very top (and back) heavy. The weight of the torso is just too much for those amusingly tiny legs without the crutches for her to stand on. The legs also look like they are assembled back to front because of the ball joint required to give the legs some manoeuvrability. The head can’t really do much either, as it’s sat on a paddle of joints with the cab of the vehicle mode flapping about behind her neck. Worse are those horrible arms. You can see that with a bit of thought, she could have had far more suitable forearms. Instead we’ve got these weird twig-like appendages from the elbow down housed in shoeboxes. Rather undoes the whole ‘bruiser’ persona.
Given the quality of the other Deluxe Vehicons, Strika does feel like an off day at the office where no one could be bothered and this was the end result. A pity as her design and the clever transformation are very good indeed.