As part of a co-exclusive review with THIELMJ over on youtube, I was able to get my hands on the test shots for the upcoming CST-03 and CST-04 B-Box and Birdbomber cassettes from KFC. You will know them as Beastbox and Squawktalk
I should stress that while the boxes are complete, these are only test shots so they did not come with a bio card or instructions. They will however, for the final product and come in the same well designed boxes as the Rhinohorns have, and will include the pink energon cassette cases.
And yes, they do combine, in a very ingenious way, but we’ll get into that later. First, let’s take a look at the individual cassettes, starting with Beastbox or “B-Box”:
The first think you’ll notice is that both cassettes are very much similar to their old G1 versions. Unlike Rhinohorn, who featured a whole new transformation, both B-box and Birdbomber utilize nearly identical transformations to the G1 originals but with a LOT more articulation due to numerous ball joints.
The head sculpt on B-box is quite amazing, and while it’s not really standing out too well here, the finished product should look excellent with the paint apps applied. You’ll also notice his hands are rotated inward for the ‘Gorilla” walk hands, even they are on ball joints.
Next to the G1 version (or a crummy KO at least) you’ll see B-Box is actually quite similar in size. And that’s a huge improvement that stands out – yes, these guys are in fact, true G1 Cassette sized! Just like the new MP tapes, they are the same height and width of the G1 originals.
What’s more, they even included chromed, detachable weapons!
You can see the size similarity here. B-box is a bit more 3 dimensional because of the ball joints,but other than that, he’s just about the same, if not a touch smaller.
His head is bigger than the G1 version, but his body in general is a little smaller and more compact.
The weapons are also a bit more compact and on a smaller scle, which is nice seems they fit more into the MP line that way. I can’t express how happy I am that they included chrome weapons. So much better!
Lets move on to Birdbomber:
Where B-box’s ball jointing improvements are subtle, Birdbomber’s hit you over the head with a mallet Literally every facet on him is ball jointed. So much so, that you can actually mimic a real hawk’s wings being folded back over his body. Even the wing tips are jointed. It’s really quite amazing. And even with the test shot most of the joints were still nice and solid and held their positions. The final product should be outstanding.
Again we see that he’s the exact same size as the G1 version. We’ll get into this more later, but it’s worth pointing out.
He still measures up with the G1 version quite well, though you can see just from the picture here how much more articulation he has.
The chrome weapons being smaller adds to the over all compactness of the figure itself. You can see the wings spans are just about the same, though Birdbombers sholder look fa more slender, and his tail feathers are smaller too. An interesting thing to note, where as B-boxes weapons are simple pegs, Birdbombers feature teeth that slot into his cassette reels. Due to his transformation, the reels are left open in bird mode so this ensures the guns stay put and in place.
Finally let’s take a look at how he measures up to MP Laserbeak. Obviously the wingspan is much longer, but that’s always been the case. His head seems a bit small compared to Laserbeak’s but all i all they’re really well suited to appear side by side. On an unfortunate note, Birdbomber does not have the slotted feet that Laserbeak and Buzzsaw do, at least not in the test shot. I don’t think the final version will however, so that does take away his ability to perch on Soundwave’s arm. A minor setback though.
Now for the best part – Boxbomber – the combined form of the two cassettes:
Honestly, I’m very happy with this. He’s got all the articulation of a MP Cassette, and still uses the same design as the G1 versions. Even the weapons combine the same way.
Unfortunately with the test shots, we’re going to loose out on the detail and the final look of the head scupt. I know this looks like he has little ears sticking out at the top, but those little notches should be grey like the surrounding area, while the head its self will be purple, so it’ll look FAR better painted.
He’s surprisingly smaller than the original, but again that’s due mainly to the over all compact design. The great part about the transformation is that B-Box’s arms have a sliding shoulder, so that they push up for robot mode and down for gorilla mode it makes a BIG difference in the shoulders.
Here’s a better look at his size over all. He’s clearly bigger than Frenzy, which is good for scale and helps him fit in quite nicely with the rest of the MP Tapes.
Finally, just for confirmation, here they are in Soundwave’s chest:
Given that Takara may not make these guys, I can’t possibly be more excited for the final versions. They were two of my favorite G1 cassettes, and I’ll be very happy to have them in my MP collection with the others. There’s no confirmation on price yet, but they will likely be the same or around Rhinohorn so that’s a great deal!
KFC is doing an amazing job with these guys. And a little laserbeak told me they don’t’ intend to stop any time soon.
I’ll have the video review up by this weekend, so keep an eye out for that as well!
Oh yeah, and his head totally turns! AWESOME!