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Transformers Legacy
by yo go re

The "War for Cybertron" trilogy (Siege, Earthrise, Kingdom) is over, so it's time for something new. This time it's "Legacy" - or, technically, Transformers Generations: Legacy, which is kind of unwieldy as a name. So yeah, Legacy, a celebration of the brand's 40th anniversary.

Iguanus is obsessed with his scaly outer shell and believes he has a special relationship with Earth reptiles.

What kind of special relationship? Like, does he think he can command them like Aquaman with fish, or does he think he needs to defend them like weird nerds with Elon Musk? Is he lurking on their Instagram, accidentally liking old photos at 3am and generally being a reply guy (or "respond 'Con," as the case may be)? Explain the nature and direction of his parasocial relationship with reptiles, Hasbro! You're not printing these bios on the packaging anymore, just on the website, so you might as well go big!

The original Iguanus was a Pretender, meaning he was a typical robot inside an oversized shell. The stuff about him loving his disguised appearance has been there since the beginning, but it was in the Dreamwave era that we got the added wrinkle that he wanted to remove the middleman, so to speak, and somehow become a real lizard himself. Here we are 19 years later, and he's finally living the dream!

Legacy Iguanus does away with the inner robot, just making the lizard suit the default look. This isn't unheard of, but at least when Bludgeon did it, it was more of a stylistic homage, not a direct copy: Iguanus is just the old Pretender shell with more articulation. He's got the purple scales, the gold armor on he chest and knees, the gray belt... the only major nod to even the existence of the old form is the inclusion of the two big wheels laying across the back of his shoulders.

Iguanus is a "Core Class" release, meaning he's as little as movie Shockwave - small enough, in fact, that you could fit this Iguanus inside the old one's Pretender shell. Neither of the old bodies had very good articulation, but this one gets balljoints for the ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, and neck, and a swivel waist. The 1988 toy included a "Hurricane Air Blaster" rifle, while this one includes (what the website refers to as) an "Energon claw shield" - it's actually one part of a sword you can assemble if you also buy the Core Class Skywarp and Hot Rod.

A Transformer this size is never going to be complex to convert; there just isn't room for it. For Iguanus, begin by lifting the flap off his back, then folding it down to cover his face. Rotate the waist around, reposition the wheels, turn the forearms to the outside and raise the arms before clipping the hands onto the front wheel. Turn the shins 180°, then turn the feet back the way they were. Pegs on the inside of the knees lock into place near the back of the seat, and the feet fold down sideways to attach to the rear wheel.

Iguanus' 1980s altmode was a small motorcycle, and the same is tru today. There are a few parallels between the two designs, especially the front windscreen, but overall they're definitely different objects. This one suffers because of the reptilian robot mode: it looks like a lizard that turned into a bike, not like a bike itself. The robot limbs remain blatantly obvious, and the "seat" never stops looking like a tail. At least the wheels roll now? The weapon can plug onto the top of the motorcycle.

I only had two of the old Pretenders, and Iguanus was one of them - I've even said before that a modern version would be killer. Unfortunately, this little dude just isn't as fun as he could be. Blending the robot and Pretender shell didn't work as well for him as it did for Bludgeon, and the altmode is kind of wack. We're glad you're getting your second toy ever, Iguanus, but 34 years should have been long enough for the designers to come up with something interesting.

-- 05/31/22

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