Silverbolt, as voiced by the talented Scott McNeil, was a very welcome addition to the Beast Wars Maximals. The gimmick of a show can get boring rather fast and shouldn’t be used for more than one season; for examples of this see the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” Minicons pursuit of Armada, or the Combining-for-no-apparent-tactical-advantage of Energon. With Beast Wars, the power-that-be were apparently very aware of this. Hence, we start the second season with the Transmetals. Then, before the shock of mechanical animal alt modes with vehicle sub-modes mixed with techno-organic robot modes can even wear off, we are given this,
The Fuzors introduced us to a robot with a freakish mix of two animals for an alt mode. They also gave us some of the most fun toys of the entire line, like the splendid Elephant/Orca hybrid, Torca, or the so-astoundingly-hideous-he’s-beautiful Lionfish/Hornet combination of Injector.
The polar opposite of Quickstrike, the only other Fuzor with an appearance in the show, Silverbolt was given to bouts of righteous indignation, usually accompanied by a flourish of gallantly-themed trumpets. With a somewhat overdeveloped sense of heroism, Silverbolt finds it nearly impossible to determine a grey area between right and wrong. This just adds to the complexity of an already character-rich show when he falls head over heels in love with the villainous (villainess?) Blackarachnia.
As with a lot of later Beast Wars toys, the toy-to-show accuracy was absolutely unprecedented in both robot and alt modes.
Just like in the show, when he is not brandishing those
giant writing quills deadly clubs, they form missiles that fire from the tips of his wings. Unfortunately, the huge triggers for these missile launchers jutting out from the leading edge of his wings is a little unsightly. Though you can fire them manually with the buttons, pulling out his alt mode’s tail feathers cause the wings to push forward and automatically fire his missiles.
From one of the most awesome Beast Wars toys, Silverbolt would move on to have the single worst toy of the Beast Machines line; and we’re talking about the toyline that had the monstrously large and ugly Nightscream toy in it.
That’s not a real thing. I am not even pretending that that is even an attempt at a real thing. I hope the designer that made this toy was summarily escorted from the building by security, or at least was administered a drug test. You know it’s a bad toy when it makes the cartoon version look better by comparison.
Of course, then it becomes this,
Ok, fine. Sleek purple, samurai-ish robot. Not too bad. Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope for the toy in robot mode?
I constantly want to defend this toy based purely on robot mode, but then I see those hands. Those needlessly humongous hands. Also, the completely show inaccurate colour scheme. How freaking hard would it have been to at least make this stupidly ugly toy in show accurate colours?!? Takara managed it!!
Sorry. Let me just breathe for a moment.
Luckily Silverbolt was not to be trapped with this malformed alt mode. In 2003, the Universe line brought him back to his original form, stating that “in his newly reformatted Fuzor body, Silverbolt has reverted to the powerful form he started out with in the beast wars.” His Universe comic book appearance, however, was not so friendly about this “reformatting”.
Also, he is now apparently an Autobot rather than a Maximal. Along with his new tampographed Autobot symbol in robot mode, his alt mode has added “Energon Surge” paint applications that were prevalent in the Universe toyline. Also, pupils on his wolf head, I guess.
All-in-all a pretty, if not somewhat jarring, repaint for our flying doggy-bot.