Everybody’s favourite rhinoceros, nobody’s favourite tank.

Rhinox was my favourite character in the entire Beast Wars series. I am already quite partial to rhinos, but his personality was what really sold me. Of course, that means there are no words to properly summarize my feelings when he was then warped into an almost indistinguishable parody of himself in Beast Machines. Regardless of his deathbed repentance, my reaction can be best summed up by the incomparable Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White in Clue: The Movie:

Flames on the side of my faceIn fact, just thinking about it is bringing those angry feelings back up, so best to stop while I can still write a comprehensible post — at least until later this year when the new mold Generations Tankor is released…

Rhinox’s toy appears to have been mostly a suggestion when it came to creating his cartoon model.

Rhinox Cartoon Robot

There are some definite details present in both, like the chest plate made from his beast mode’s lower jaw and the robot mode head design especially.

Rhinox BW Robot

Other things are far more suggestive, such as the huge skirt on the toy being shrunk to knee-length and the crotchplate being almost eliminated. Some things were understandably dropped altogether, such as the flaps from the sides of his head, along with the accompanying gimmick, the “Mutant Head” formed by closing them.

Rhinox BW Mutant Head

Even his weapons weren’t safe from the “eliminate or reinterpret” rules. Eliminated was his sword formed from his beast mode’s tail and drastically reinterpreted was his spinning sawblade/double flail weapon.

Rhinox BW Weapons

The end result is the melee weapon wielding, Samurai-looking robot was turned into a stocky bruiser carrying dual “chainguns of doom”.

Rhinox Cartoon Chainguns

This fit with his alt mode, the rumbling rhinoceros, but — evidence of the show’s genius — was juxtaposed wonderfully with his personality as the quiet, technological and scientifically-minded, almost mystical zen master.

Rhinox Cartoon Yoga

When it was announced that Rhinox would receive a Generations update I was initially very happy about it especially given how well Generations Waspinator turned out. Then, remembering how Generations Cheetor and Dinobot turned out, I moved to the cautiously optimistic side of things. Turns out no worry was necessary. Design-wise he turned out spectacularly.

Rhinox Generations Robot

Really his only issue is the tremendous looseness of his leg joints. One thing that helps this a lot is to not pivot down the piece that holds his legs. With it rotated down, he is taller, but he is also less stable and looks too long and thin, in my opinion.

Rhinox Generations Waist Down

Everything about this update is a good balance between the detail of the toy and his less detailed, but more familiar cartoon appearance. His guns, called “twin Gatling Guns of Doom” in homage to the fan name on the packaging, are present and accounted for.

Rhinox Genarations Guns

As far as alt mode, both do a decent looking rhinoceros, but the original actually does a little better job of hiding the robot parts thanks to all those large pieces that are hanging off his robot mode.

Rhinox BW and Generations Alts

Of course, at least from the top, the Generations release looks like a more realistic rhino; in fact, much more realistic than the cartoon version. I absolutely adore his beast mode headsculpt.

Rhinox Generations Alt Head

Granted, the age of the cartoon makes its flaws very easily overlooked, especially when it comes to this flower loving gentle giant .

Rhinox Cartoon Flower

Speaking of the cartoon, Rhinox is the only Maximal member of the cast to make it all the way through all three season unchanged and still alive. Despite not being affected by the Transmetal wave in the show, the toyline had different designs for him. First up was Transmetal Rhinox. I don’t actually own the original Transmetal Rhinox. At the time of his release — either for monetary or dumb “show accurate” reasons  — I didn’t pick him up. Next, to promote the Fox Kids reruns of the TV show, a series of repaints were released. The first Rhinox mold, the non-Transmetal one, was repainted as “Energon Surge Rhinox” (though that name only ever appeared on Hasbro’s product list on BeastWars.com).

Rhinox FK Robot

So, I didn’t bother getting the new mold Transmetal Rhinox, but I bought that? Yeah… I still don’t know what I was thinking. As a repaint, he makes a pretty good “Evil Rhinox”.

Rhinox FK Alt

Or, at least, he would if the cartoon hadn’t already done that.

Rhinox Dark Designs

I eventually rectified the lack of the Transmetal Rhinox mold in my collection when the Fox Kids repaint of that one showed up as well.

Rhinox FK TM Robot

I still can’t remember why I didn’t buy the first Transmetal Rhinox other than the fact that it couldn’t look any less like the cartoon Rhinox I grew to love. My collecting at that time was a tad schizophrenic. I didn’t get Transmetal Terrorsaur originally (picked him up years later), but I did pick up Transmetal Waspinator though not Fox Kids Transmetal Waspinator.

Rhinox FK TM Alt

Being a Transmetal, he also has a third, vehicular mode. The slow, plodding rhino got some much needed speed with the addition of a half-treaded, half-sled wearing tank-like mode.

Rhinox Transmetal Vehicle Alts

As you can see, I ended up buying the Transmetal Rhinox mold a second time when it showed up, along with Transmetal Terrorsaur, Cheetor, and Airrazor, all modified with Mini-con ports and with their Maximal or Predacon symbols swapped for Autobot or Decepticon, in Armada. This time it was because I was Mini-con crazy and wanted every Mini-con I could get my hands on.

Rhinox Armada Alt

Very little sense can be had with a mechanical rhinoceros with the tiny snow groomer, Armorhide, hanging off of him, but even less so when he ends up as a herald of Unicron — “War” in a not-so-subtle Horseman of the Apocalypse analogy — in the Dreamwave comics.

Rhinox Armada Robots

He even showed up for a heartbeat in the Armada cartoon, miscolored as his original Transmetal incarnation.

Rhinox Armada Cartoon

Of course that’s nothing compared to IDW’s Beast Wars Sourcebook. There Transmetal Rhinox is the Vok-created body that Rhinox uses to travel the multiverse to fight Unicron’s chaotic effects and atone for his actions in Beast Machines.

Poor, poor Rhinox, post-Beast Wars fiction has not been kind to you.

Rhinox Robots

'Til All Are Mine.


One thought on “Everybody’s favourite rhinoceros, nobody’s favourite tank.

  1. Man, those armada transmetal repaints. I’ve always wanted those things. I love the idea of the horsemen of the apocylpse of unicron. Their mini cons had cool bios as well.

    I can’t wait to finally get a generations Rhinox, I’m going completist on the anniversary line. The biggest question I have is if the knee problem is universal, as I’ve heard many reports of it.

    Btw, I can’t wait to hear more about Maighared in your next podcast (hopefully)

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