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Transformers: Robots in Disguise
by yo go re

At last, a Transformer who would make sense hanging out with Marky Mark Wahlberg!

Bisk is a lobster-bot Decepticon who was a prisoner on the crashed prison ship, the Alchemor. He likes making up ways to rack up points and track his achievements during battle, even if he's the only one who understands how to keep score. (No one's really sure if he wants to defeat the Autobots or just level up.) He blasts steam from his antenna and his armored shell is strong enough to deflect blaster fire.

Well hey, isn't all that really neat! And wouldn't it be even neater if they printed a single word of it on the packaging, instead of only putting it on their website? I haven't watched enough Robots in Disguise to have seen Bisk in action yet - the fact that he's a robot lobster and his name is "Bisk" was enough to make him worth getting - but we will say that if the show doesn't portray him with a wicked thick Bahstahn accent, then it will have missed a prime opportunity.

Bisk is bright orange, with black accents and maroon limbs. His broad chest and the large plates of armor hanging off his shoulders conspire to make him look strong, while the narrow waist suggests a bit of speed, as well. Of course, his defining feature is the way both of his arms end in humongous claws! Massive! Each claw is bigger than his torso! They're so big, even Clawful would be envious.

But that's not where the lobsterfication ends! Being red and hanging claws is not enough to fully declare this robot homarine - it's his goofy-ass head that carries him over the finish line! Like a lobster, he has eyes on stalks, a long pair on antennae, and weird little mouthparts that stick down off his chin. The only thing missing is a spike on his forehead! The head is molded from PVC, so none of the pieces break off, but it's a shame they couldn't paint his googly eyes, the way the look on the packaging art.

Bisk is articulated pretty well, with joints at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, claws, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. His head emerges from the front of his chest, not the top, so moving the neck joint more makes him rock his chin side-to-side than looking around. For times when THE CLAMPS aren't enough of an offensive weapon, he comes with two small black blasters. And since he can't hold them, they just plug into the tops of his claws (which means that you technically don't have to remove them to convert him.

While there's no room on the card to print any biographical information, there is room to print his instructions. Fold down the chest, tuck his head away, raise the arms and rotate the shoulder armor into place, raise the claws to the sides and unhinge the pinchy parts, then lift the roof and tuck his feet inside. Congratulations, you have a car, perfect for pahking in Hahvahd Yahd. ["Hey Sully! This retahd thinks Hahvahd Yahd's a fooking pahking loht!" --ed.]

The car is low and angular, and like the robot mode, seems to be a mix betwen power and speed. It stands only 1¼" tall, but has a very wide front end with large fenders (which is where the guns plug in, if you want to blast your enemies, rather than just ramming them). The tail fins are a little weird, especially since they don't serve any purpose in robot mode, either - they're just pointy design elements that could have been any other shape at all.

It's interesting that in the 2000s Robots in Disguise, the Decepticons were (mostly) robots who turned into animals, while in this Robots in Disguise, the Decepticons are (mostly) animal-themed robots who turn into vehicles. Bisk is a crazy idea for a character, and - just as a reminder - he's a lobster Transformer whose name is BISK! How can you not dig that?

-- 05/09/17

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