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Total Chaos Series 1
by yo go re

Wait, didn't we just review this guy last week?

Primarily chosen for his fighting experience in desert-like terrain, his relentless pursuit of the enemy adds another dimension to the team. With the Accord genetically altering his brain, he now has the same mental capacity of the other combatants. Along with his new wits, the armor plating covering his already thick skin, makes him an almost unstoppable impenetrable fighting machine.

Okay, if that bio doesn't mean anything to you, don't worry: you just need to know the backstory of the Total Chaos line. The original impetus was just "we're sculpting lots of cool things that won't fit in a Spawn series," but they did put a flimsy setting on the packaging to provide an excuse for why all these toys were sold together:

In a far sector of the galaxy, there is a battle of good vs. evil. This conflict is not fought by armies, but by a handful of warriors picked from throughout the eons of time. Chosen for their distinctive skills they are then adapted to fight in this war known as Total Chaos.

So, as you can tell from the bio, this guy is a real Earth rhino, not an alien who just happens to look identical. Surprisingly, while there's a character called "Gore" in Total Chaos Series 1, it's not him - he's "Hoof," which calls into question how much the namers actually know about rhinos. For instance, the fact that rhinos don't have hooves. And yet they do gore people with their horns. Hoof was apparently a white rhino before his upgrade - you can tell by the big square lip.

Hoof was sculpted by Eric Treadaway of the Four Horsemen. His skin is covered by thick cracks, but it's lacking the small bumps that set rhino hide apart from elephant skin. He does have the appropriate number of toenails (three) and the cute little tail. While his feet are still typical rhino feet, his hands have been upgraded by the aliens who modified him: he has two fingers and a thumb on each hand. Not that it really matters, since both hands are curled into fists and not intended to hold anything, but it changes the way we view him as a character; he's not just an animal in a robot harness, he's a semi-humanoid.

When the bio talked about the armor plating covering him, it wasn't kidding! Hoof looks like someone disassembled a tank and strapped it to his back. Seriously, there's a turret up there. And it has an access hatch where someone (very, very small) could get inside. The armor covers his shoulders, back, and groin, plus he has more metal wrapped around his forearms and shins. The armor has thick lines differentiating the plates, plus some rivets and even bullet holes scattered about. The layout of the armor is symmetrical, but the designs aren't: the same areas of the body are covered on both left and right sides, but it's not just a mirrored copy when you get down to the details.

Hoof is light gray with darker shading in the cracks on his skin. His armor is a rusty brown and again has a dark wash for the sculpted seams. There are some silver details in select areas of the armor, as well as a few random smears of silver paint scattered around. There's some lettering on his right shoulder - "EL-6" - and a "RY-N0" on his gun turret. There was also a repaint available, in which he had darker grey skin and green amor. That one also has a lot of orange-red detailing, including the big missile, so it doesn't look quite as good.

The missile (silver on this release) can fit in one of two locations on the turret: either in the center barrel, where it will just sit until you remove it, or the launcher above the right shoulder, which is spring-loaded but doesn't have a trigger; you just pull the tail of the projectile back and let it go.

Hoof is a very sturdy figure - but no surprise there, since he's so thick. He has swivel joints at the hips, waist, wrists and shoulders. There are also slider joints for the turret and the head, but not really so you can aim/pose them. See, the idea is that Hoof, still being primarily an animal, will sometimes be more comfortable dropping to all fours. So you can still have him looking striaght ahead while he's in that position, the head and the main gun both raise up. So when you're playing with him, you can decide whether you want him to be more humanoid, or more animalistic.

Total Chaos was a weird toyline, and only lasted two series. None of the characters ever made it into the comics or anything, so there really isn't any story beyond "some of these guys work for this team, some of these guys work for that team." No logic behind the split, either. But I got Hoof because he was an anthropomorphic rhino, not because he had some epic backstory, and at that, he's a big success.

-- 02/17/13

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