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Transformers Generations
by yo go re

If any character ever deserved the name "Ironhide," it's this guy!

Rhinox is rare among robots. He has a brilliant scientific mind, as well as a deep philosophical curiosity about the nature of the universe around him. He is astoundingly strong - able to hold his own against even the most powerful opponents. He is friendly, good-natured and charismatic, with a fine strategic mind that would make him an ideal leader for the Maximals forces if they didn't already have one. What's more, he carries one of the most powerful weapons of any Maximals in the form of the twin Gatling Guns of Doom, which pump out a Predacon-shredding storm of hot lead.

Rhinox was the biggest of the Maximals (at least until Dinobot came along), and he's a massive brute as an action figure. He stands 6¼" tall, and is built like a linebacker. His shoulders and shins are massive, and his chest is quite bulky as well. There's substantial kibble on his back, but 1) it was there on the CGI model for the cartoon, which is what the modern designers were trying to duplicate, and 2) there's really nowhere else for it to go. Plus, it's not even slightly as terrible as it was on the 1996 toy.

The head is a direct update of the old style. It has the big golden "beard," the heavy eyebrows, and the pointed ridge running over the top. They even printed tiny Maximal symbols on his scalp! His eyes are painted red with black rims, and the lines on his face make him look like he's scowling, even though his mouth is just a straight line.

Rhinox has a balljointed head, hinged and swivel shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel waist, swivel and hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees and hinged "rocker" ankles. Like the box says, he's armed with his twin Gatling Guns of Doom - the fanboys called them "Chain Guns," but it's still a nice nod. They are sculpted to look just like the ones he used on the show, with four barrels in the center and pointed armor plates that make it look like a sawblade around the edge - they even get the two little spiked balls, a vestigial design element from the original toy's weedwacker-like gimmick. When you press the tab on the gun, the front part spins.

If you think it's weird that, despite being in a story set 2.5 million years ago (or 600 years ago, if you're a creationist), Rhinox still turns into a modern rhinoceros, don't worry: rhinos as we know them were recognizable almost five million years ago, so he's perfectly fine; it's possible that the African species hadn't split into white rhinos and black rhinos yet, but they'd still be unmistakable.

In his beast mode, Rhinox is nearly 7" long and 3⅜" tall. There's no specific articulation here, but the mouth does open (since that's part of his conversion process). The cartoon gave him a very cartoony, Disney-style head with a long face and big, expressive eyes, while this one is more like a real rhinoceros. That was the right way to go.

His skin has a lot of large wrinkles, and a pebbly texture that suits his species. There's a bit of that "armored plate" look that real rhinos have, and he's got a stumpy little tail that ends in a tuft of hair. There's some robot kibble on the backs of all four legs, but that's a pretty minor amount, all things considered. Impressively, the two guns can be stored in the rhino's gut, so you don't lose them. The toy isn't as brown as the cartoon model, but that just helps him look real - it also gives die-hard Transfans an excuse to import the Takara version if that "corrects" it.

In a show that put its characters through constant changes - changes of allegience as well as changes of body (to sell toys) - Rhinox was an oddity, the only Maximal who remained the same through the whole series. So no matter what part of Beast Wars you like, this Rhinox represents it. And if you find him too difficult to convert, well, he made it through all of Season 3 without ever changing from his robot mode, so you can just leave him alone and pretend that's what you're homaging.

-- 02/18/14

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