Retrax is a big pill bug, or Woodlouse, if you're not American. Rather than render the toy in a more realistic grey, Kenner's designers opted for a rather mad neon yellow/ dark green colour scheme and also gave it some evil looking orange 'eyes'. Mental. It looks bloody creepy though, with those wiggly little legs and antenna. Not to mention the snapping mandibels and tail.
The toy can mimic a real pill bug (Woodlouse!!!) by rolling into a ball. Just pinch those triggers on his back and he curls into a ball! Its a novel gimmick, but one that is not without its problems.
Transforming Retrax doesn't take much effort. The robot torso, head and legs all fold out of the centre section of the insect body. Its the arms that are a real pain. They uncouple from the centre sections of the armour plating, but doing this will frequently set off the spring loaded triggers (which allow the insect mode to curl up), which leaves you with sore fingers after a while. The triggers also allow for a 'bear hug' type action feature whilst in robot mode, but its a bit too aggressive to be appreciated, as the springs have a mousetrap like strength and snap to them.
As a robot, Retrax has an overall nice design. That's perhaps the best thing you can say about him as unfortunately, he has some serious balance issues thanks to those huge insect halves hanging off both wrists. He falls over very easily as those spindly legs of his just cannot support the weight of his upper body. That means that if he is on a shelf, you have to prepare yourself for domino rally style fun with this guy.
The over use of spring loaded gimmickry in the toy mean he is not one of the better Beast Wars figures, despite his outward appeal. He's a poorly balanced figure with some questionable, although imaginative, attempts at an action feature. If you're building up a collection, he's probably one of the ones that should be at the bottom of your list.
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