Dark of the Moon Catilla Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Generation One, Mini-Con, Mini-Con

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: September 2011
Price Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Big Bad Toy Store, Limited Exclusive (Ollie's etc.)
Accessories: None


When Hasbro creates toys for the retail market, there are different segments. You have the "big retailers" such as Toys R Us and Wal-Mart who order tons of stuff. They generally get the main line stuff. However, there are other store chains which may not be as gigantic but still want to carry "Transformers" items on their shelves, but competing with larger stores would be quite difficult so they ask Hasbro to create smaller, cheaper toys for them. The solution often time takes the form of exclusive redecos of smaller figures in these markets such as last year's Mini-Con releases including Brake Neck and Swashplate.

For "Dark of the Moon", redecos of several Classics Mini-Cons were put out in limited release (initially as a Big Bad Toy Store exclusive). Each of these were beast based Mini-Cons with their colors based on the Generation one Dinobots! One of these releases is Catilla, based on Snarl from the Predator Mini-Con team. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

The name "Catilla" has its origins in Generation One. During the "Pretender" era, Transformers came with "outer shells" that were techno-organic in nature which they could control in combat or use as a disguise. One of these was Catilla, who transformed into a saber toothed tiger and had an outer shell that looked like an armored saber toothed tiger. This made the choice of Snarl ideal as a name/form homage to the G1 character.

Beast Mode:
Of all four of these Mini-Cons, Catilla is the only one who does not have a form based on a G1 Dinobot. Instead, his alternate form is a tiger (though the packaging tries to sell it as a "saber toothed" tiger, the teeth really aren't that long). While Catilla has no G1 Dinobot equivalent, his colors are based on the G1 Dinobot color scheme with the base plastic colors being gold and silver. Unlike the Dinobots however, the gold color is the main one here, with silver taking a back seat. Gold makes up most of the body while silver is used on parts like the lower jaw, mid-section and tail. This has both the effect of distinguishing Catilla from his teammates a bit and also harking back to a look more befitting a tiger (gold is closer in shade to orange than silver visually speaking).

The paint scheme on this figure is pretty intricate for a Mini-Con. His thin eyes are painted blue while several of the thin lines on his body are painted red, giving them almost a "glowing" effect against the gold plastic. The areas right above his two front legs are painted silver while a black Mini-Con symbol is painted on the left side.

For those who keep track of minute details, it is interesting to note that on the beast mode chest (right under the head) is a slight modification. In addition to "Hasbro", the company name "Tomy" has been added on to the sculpt. Back when the original Snarl was released, Tomy was still a separate company than Takara, the Japanese company that originated the toys that would become the G1 Transformers.

There aren't a whole lot of joints on this figure, especially in beast mode but those that are present work just fine. The detail on the sculpt is still fairly sharp as well, so it looks like the tooling for this figure is holding up well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the front of the body up.
  2. Swing the front legs up, and rotate them around to the right side.
  3. Swing the inner halves of the robot legs down.
  4. Swing the rear section of the beast mode down.

Robot Mode:
The Dinobot color scheme carries over into the robot mode where all the newly revealed parts harken back to the G1 team. The chest and lower legs are both silver while the head is painted black. The face is painted gold, matching up with the primary color of the figure. I would have personally liked to see a bit more red detail, perhaps a line or two on the chest to add an extra splash of color, but I can't say the figure looks bad at all.

All of Catilla's joints are nice and tight, so again the sculpt is holding up well even after several reuses.

Final Thoughts:
Catilla is probably my least favorite out of this group, but that's not because it's a bad toy or deco, he's just the "odd man out" due to his form and in an attempt to differentiate him I think the use of the gold dulled the figure slightly. Still, I do really like most of the deco, with only the robot mode leaving me wanting more. Recommended with reservations.