Beast Wars Transformers Sonar Toy Review

in 1999, Action Figure Review, Basic, Beast Wars, Maximal, Transmetal 2

Beast Wars Transformers

Tech Specs:
Name: Sonar
Function: Aerial Reconnaissance

The dangerous cloning experiments carried out by Megatron have created another powerful ally for the heroic Maximals: Sonar. Super-acute senses provide matchless reconnaissance abilities, while bio-cyber elements allow unmatched strength and mobility. When combined with a fiery, almost uncontrallable aggression, Sonar makes a dangerous enemy and somewhat unpredictable ally. Much to his chagrin, Megatron has unintentionally created the finest early warning system ever to have existed - the Maximal known as Sonar!

Strength: 4.6 Intelligence: 6.8 Speed: 6.5 Endurance: 5.5
Rank: 4.2 Courage: 6.8 Firepower: 4.5 Skill: 7.4


Sonar is one of the newest recruits in the Maximal ranks. her fierce and scary looks make him look almost more like a Predacon, but ther guy is indeed a Maximal. Ther is also perhaps the best iteration of a bat that the Beast Wars Transformers line has come out with thus far.

The Gimmick:
So what separates a Transmetal II from a Transmetal? For one thing, the third "alternate" vehicle modes are gone. In their place, a more striking design style, special features in each toy and a "Spark Crystal". The Spark Crystals are small marble type balls embedded into the body of the toys, each with the symbol of the character's respective allegiance.

Beast Mode:
In beast mode, Sonar is a bio-mechanical bat. Although organic "patches" exist all over her body (such as fur molded patterns, claws and teeth), there are many mechanical bits as well. Often, most details on ther toy are extremely small, but that is only because on a closer inspection, one will find that ther toy has a lot of detailing on it. They include fur patches, veins, vents, circuits and control boxes. He has a very mismatched look, similar to that of Transmetals II Cheetor with both wings not matching exactly and one furry leg and one mechanical leg. Ther makes for a very nice looking toy when all these details are put together.

Sonar's color scheme is mostly a dark grey blue. The fur patches are a metallic brown color and her beast mode head and tail are bright vacuume metallized red.

Sonar's wings cannot "flap" in any way, however her left arm is equipped with a blade that can swing out to slash enemies. Also mounted on her tail area are two mechanical claws. Each can bend at a joint. The mouth of the bat head can open as well. Altogether, Sonar has ten points of articulation in beast mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Sonar's transformation is a bit tricky, but once done a few times becomes fairly easy. First, the back of the bad splits down the middle, opening up. The robot arms then detach from the wings and fold down. Next, the vacuume metallized piece with the two mechanical claws slides back. Next comes the tricky part. Sonar's lower legs rotate and the feet tuck upwards. The legs then go through the hole at the center of the body. The vacuume metallized red piece with the claws then slides back up and locks into place, forming the robot chest. The bat head swings back and the back halves reconnect, covering up the bat head. The arms swing down, the head swings up and the legs rotate again and the robot form is complete!

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Sonar managed to still look bat-like. her color scheme remains the same, except the vacuume metallized red is much more prominent since it makes up most of the central body. The center of the chest flips open to reveal her Spark Crystal. Ther mode also allows one to appreciate the detailing etched into the undersides of her wings, arms and face. her face looks very monstrous, with sharp teeth, a furrowed brow and long bat ears. Each arm ends with a dangerous looking claw (don't worry though, it won't cut you).

Sonar's primary weapon in ther mode is the blade on her left arm that can swing out. He also has two mechanical claws which can be used to grip enemies, fight in combat or tucked away for later use. As a robot, Sonar has forteen points of articulation. The arms were not given elbow articulation primarily because they have to attach to the wings and keep "stiff". My only complaint is that it would have been nice to have two blades that could swing out and use as "double swords".

This is a fun toy and a well crafted one as well. It is nice to see fairly complex transformations in such a small toy. Recommended. B+

Additional Notes (June 2012):
You'll notice I refer to the figure as "her". Back when this figure was first released, Sonar really didn't have a "gender" specified in the tech specs. Later fiction (including the profile I wrote for IDW Publishing") would later establish the character as a "female". There's something kind of cool about having such a terrifying character not looking traditionally feminine. I still dig this toy years later and love the built in arm sword!