These days, I don't know if Hasbro would get away with name reuses like this if they weren't applied to some figure that wasn’t an 'homage' to the toy that originally bore the name. Particularly if the toy that now bears the name is of a different faction and allegiance. The original Bonecrusher was part of the Decepticon merge group the Constructicons. This Bonecrusher is a Maximal Bison. One of the things I like (and continue to like) about Beast Wars is that the line continually feels like a refreshing break with what came before, so even when name reuses like this pop up, they don't feel like a) a lazy trademark retaining exercise or b) a toe curling 'fan pleasing' homage. This Bonecrusher, given his overall bulk, demeanour and appearance feels like an appropriately named guy.
One of the largest Deluxe Beast Wars toys, Bonecrusher is an impressive looking Bison. There are nice sculpted details, like the hair, snout and horns. The colours look great, the largely black coat blending nicely into areas of grey and white. The robot parts are all covered from view (well, they would be if I shifted those panels below the Bison head up a tad. sorry) and the little stumpy beast legs are cute. As with most Beast Wars toys, the beast mode is pretty much a nicely sculpted brick. He can't be posed in this mode. To make up for this, the designers at Kenner worked in one of the more comical attack modes of the line. Pulling on the tail causes Bonecrusher to perfom a 'head-butting' action and the entire head/ back assembly rises up and forwards from the body of the beast to take out any foes. It also launches a missile - which you'll notice is housed in the now visible robot mode mouth. It looks a bit daft, but it's nowhere near as embarrassing as Snarl's tail launching ... thing.
Bonecrusher is something of a shell-former, with various parts of the beast mode shifting about on axles to reveal the robot mode parts. The sequence is a bit fiddly the first time around, but repeated play means it becomes second nature. I particularly like the way the beast legs tuck neatly away and how the large panels of beast flesh hang around Bonecrusher like animal skins. He very much looks like some kind of Mongol warrior.
The robot mode itself is suitably stocky looking, with some good proportions. This is quite an impressive achievement given how much of the figures back and head is taken up with the missile launcher. it doesn't look silly or awkward at all. The colours on Bonecrusher are also one of my favourites out of the line. He is a nice mix of bone white, blacks and greys, with a flash of fleshy red and some superb gold painted details. Only the slightly too wide eyes give him less a look of menace and one of suprise. The open hands add a nice bit of change to the usual clenched fists of most action figures, and are great for taunting enemies to come and have a go if they think they're hard enough.
Now nearly 15 years old, Bonecrusher remains an impressive toy from an era that was trying hard to revive Transformers and push them into some exciting new directions.
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