Friday 28 April 2017

Toybox REVIEW: 52TOYS Beast Box BB-01 DIO (Police Colour & Neon Blue Versions)

Release Date: March 2017 (Japanese release)
RRP: 1512 yen

Although there may only be two different characters in 52TOYS Beast Box line thus far, that hasn’t stopped the Beijing-based company from maximising their product with the one thing every transforming toy embraces – repaints! In addition to their BB-01 DIO and BB-02 Ghost Dog releases, 52TOYS have also released Police Colour and Neon Blue variants of mascot character DIO – bringing this first wave of Beast Box toys up to the healthy number of four. By the looks of it a few other colourations have been released in China as well, but these were the ones deemed worthy enough to be included in line’s long-awaited wider distribution.

Both DIO repaints come in identical packaging to that of the standard one, without any printed information or pictures to differentiate them from it either. What they do have though is a small sticker stuck on the window part of the lid, noting which figure is which. The Police Colour version has a B.B.P.D. logo sticker, while the Neon version has one that just says “Neon Blue” – simple, but it gets the point across succinctly. It’s a shame they don’t have unique boxes as the tech spec geek in me wanted them to have different abilities, but given that 52TOYS is only a small company and these are just repaints that’s definitely me just being picky more than anything else.

When it comes to solely the cube mode DIO Police Colour might just be the best looking Beast Box yet. The colours all mesh together perfectly, with the B.B.P.D. police badge on show and the two police light colours on top adding that extra police touch to the ensemble. It would be easy to picture a bunch of these being used by some futuristic police force, and then folding out into action when required. Any police force that used robot dinosaurs would be a pretty great one.

Meanwhile the neon blue DIO looks like some sort of video game power up with its translucent blue frame and glowing markings, completely standing out against the other three cubes when lined up together. This thing looks so much like an Energon Cube (wrong colours I know) that I’m disappointed in myself for not taking some pictures of Masterpiece Megatron trying to drink him.

All four cubes look pretty great side by side, especially since they're not only different colours but also have very different markings despite being exactly the same mould (with the exception of Ghost Dog's head of course).

I’ve already gone through the transformation process twice in previous reviews, but why not one more time for good measure? Simply pull the sides of the cube slightly away, pulling down the fronts to form the legs. After that, just extend the legs down and flip down the front feet sections and you have yourself a walking cube! Simply flip the tail at the back to spring it into place, pulling out the head and neck from their compacted position on the other side. The final step is to pull down the arms, flipping out the claws at the same time. One thing I didn’t mention in previous reviews is that you can do these steps in any order you choose, making mid-transformation poses/displays a lot more fun. For example, my Neon Blue toy is currently in cube mode but with the head poking slightly out to survey its surroundings.

Protecting the streets and upholding the law, its officer DIO of the B.B.P.D.! There’s definitely an added element of cool when it comes to law enforcement decos and DIO Police Colour is no exception with his striking white and black colourscheme and tampographed markings (particularly the B.B.PD. badge on the forehead). The indents on the tops of the legs have even been given a splash of red and blue paint to simulate police lights, which is a nice extra touch. That said, Police Colour DIO doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as his standard yellow counterpart. I’m not certain whether it’s the white plastic is weaker or that I’ve just gotten unlucky, but the plastic quality doesn’t quite match up nor are the joints as firm (especially those tiny arms). That isn’t to say that this toy feels cheap by any stretch, just different. Still, it’s perfectly capable of holding a good pose and a perfectly viable alternative if you can’t afford them all and happen to prefer this particular deco.

Fighting for the users is DIO in neon blue! I’m not sure whether or not this colourscheme is a deliberate TRON homage or not, but it definitely works as one. Cast entirely in dark blue translucent plastic, this DIO’s colourscheme is only accented by the bright blue markings running across all over its body (remember that “Allspark Blue” from the first Transformers movie line? It’s pretty much that shade). It can’t be denied that the effect the two colours have together is effective, but the limited colour palette means this edition doesn’t have quite as much flare as the other three dinos. The toy also has the same issue as the Police Colour variant in that the plastic feels noticeably more brittle than the solid cast versions. But most of all this deco would have worked SO much better using Ghost Dog as the base rather than DIO. Not only does the head scream “stealth mode optimised” but it would have added some balance to the wave as well. It’s a nice toy if you have an affinity for clear plastic figures or the TRON aesthetic, but undoubtedly the weakest of the four Beast Box dinos.

The Beast Box BB-01 DIO Police Colour and Neon Blue variants are great little figures and tons of fun, but don’t quite feel up to the same high quality as the standard version or BB-02 Ghost Dog. While it may just be a case of white and translucent plastic not having the same tolerances as a different solid colour, everything feels just that little bit looser here and it’s hard not to notice. With either of these colour schemes suiting Ghost Dog perfectly, it would have been nice if that figure could have gotten in on the repaint action as well. Still, if you so happen to prefer these decos they’re still solid purchases, and round off the first “wave” of Beast Box figures rather nicely. With the other Beast Box animals beginning to appear in China fingers crossed it won’t be long before we see them also get wider distribution, so this wonderful little line can just keep getting better and better.


baratacom said...

How's the durability of the clear plastic on the neon version? Any stress marks at all?

Curious as the pre-orders for BB04-MOMA have gone up and that neon is looking pretty sexy.

Alex said...

No obvious stress marks on mine, but the plastic definitely feels weaker than the other variants. Not sure how well it would stand up to repeated transformations.