Robotmasters Toy Review: Bound Rogue

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Wars, Robotmasters

Robotmasters Transformers

General Information:
Release Year: July 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $14 (Depending on Import Retailer)
Accessories: Tail/Cannon, Rifle


Tech Specs (Translated by Doug Dlin):
Name: Bound Rogue
Function: Resource Provision

Profile: A Cybertron warrior with a youthful atmosphere about him. Specializes in rapid-fire attacks and has the skill to wield two guns at
once. Will frequently abandon a battle to pursue his primary duty of securing energy.

Weapon(s): Type 93, Coolant Gun

Rank: 5 Power: 7 Defense: 6 Stamina: 9 Speed: 10

Back in the days when Beast Wars was primarily focused on creating "realistic" animals that became robots, one oddball toy crept into the line, a Tasmanian Devil named Snarl. Later, Takara would use the same toy (with no changes) for its Beast Wars the Second line as Tazmania Kid. Now the mold has been resurrected again as one of Convoy's warriors in Robotmasters!

Beast Mode:
Bound Rogue is a Tasmanian Devil in beast mode. I remember thinking when I first saw this toy's predecessor that he really didn't look like any Tasmanian Devil I had ever seen (and no, I don't mean Taz from Looney Tunes). See, normally when Tazmanian Devils are calm, their faces are kind of cone shaped, a bit like a rat. However, when they want to get nasty, their mouths can open really wide to bear their teeth! This is the moment that the designers were trying to capture with this sculpt, when the devil is agitated and (presumably) ready for a fight.

This sculpt has a lot of the classic design elements of early Beast Wars toys. His entire beast mode looks like it was meant to be organic, not techno-organic. Fur patterns are sculpted onto the skin, including raised fur along the middle of the back. Other small details include each digit on the fingers being segmented and lines on the underside of the tail.

The color scheme chosen for this toy is a really unusual one. In general, Tasmanian Devils are black with some brown hair. Bound Rogue wound up being mostly blue with light beige and white parts. While this combination looks good, black would have worked too. His teeth are white and the snout is painted white with a black nose. The eyes are orange. One bit of coloring the designers did keep accurate to the real life animal are the ears, which have a nice spray painted red on them. See, when Tasmanian Devils get aggravated, and they bare their teeth like Bound Rogue is doing, blood rushes to their ears, giving them a more fierce appearance. This mirrors that real life action nicely.

Bound Rogue has eight points of articulation in this form. This mainly consists of the forearms having three points each. He also has a unique action feature. Grab the tail, press the trigger underneath and the figure launches at his enemies! The pleasant surprise here is that the spring works really well. In the previous versions of this toy, the spring was so weak there were times that the figure didn't even clear the launcher.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Launch the figure from the tail.
  2. Swing the sides of the beast out.
  3. Move the lower jaw of the beast down to form the robot chest.
  4. Split the beast mode head in half and move the halves out and down.
  5. Swing the beast mode legs in and then swivel them up.
  6. Swing the beast mode head halves up, and swing back the heel pieces.
  7. Straighten the arms out.
  8. Attach each weapon to a hole on a lower arm piece.

Robot Mode:
Bound Rogue's sculpt is interesting as it is one of those you have to transform into robot mode before fully appreciating the level of detail put into the beast mode. As you transform the toy, look on the sides and central trunk of the body and you'll find all sorts of organic details such as bones
and veins. These details are awesome since they are "internal" details that you have to fold the toy open to see.

What I find interesting about this sculpt is that even in robot mode, Bound Rogue has a heavy, heavy organic influence in his design. Just take a look at the beige parts on the upper body for instance. While these parts are only seen in robot mode (unless you flip the toy over in beast mode), they look like organic muscle patterns. The same can be said for the legs, which have patterns on them that look like something you'd find on an organic, not a mechanical creature. This includes fur and muscle type patterns criss crossing on the lower legs. Indeed, even his primary weapon looks organic since it was his tail. The robot head design is also very organic looking in texture while the shape is rather Transformer-like. Overall, this toy offers an interesting look favoring the organic.

One small, yet significant change is the lack of an "Energon Chip" (or rather, the Beast Wars term for heat sensitive rub
symbols) on the inside of the robot mode. While Snarl had this, the spot where Bound Rogue would have it is just an empty square section. Not too significant.

In this form, Bound Rogue is still mostly dark blue and beige. We get to see the tongue of the beast mode on his chest now, but right above that is an Autobot symbol tampographed onto the chest piece. Personally, I would have loved to see some more paint apps, specifically on the internal bone/vein details.
That would have really upped the ante on the design a bit.

Like all Robotmasters redeco toys so far, Bound Rogue has an extra weapon: a thin, futuristic looking rifle. While the rifle is molded in translucent green plastic, it is mostly covered in vacuum metallized silver. I personally would have preferred the weapon be left as green, but it is still cool to have an extra weapon. In this case, since Bound Rogue's hands are open palmed, he can attach the weapon to the hole on either lower arm.

Bound Rogue has thirteen points of articulation, which is pretty good for a basic sized toy. Most of these are ball joints, a type of joint used in abundance during the Beast Wars era.

Final Thoughts:
Years ago when I first reviewed this toy, I think my biggest disappointments were (what I thought to be) an inaccurate beast mode, and a weak launching mechanism. Since both of those items have been corrected in one way or another, my opinion of this toy has improved. Sometimes you need to step away from something and then go back to it to fully appreciate it. This is one of those cases. Bound Rogue is hardly the perfect Transformer, but he is a neat toy to add to your collection. Recommended.