Friday, April 21, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Rhinox vs Rampage

I think the first Beast Wars toy I ever bought was Rhinox. As you might guess from the name, he turned into a rhinoceros. I have no idea if he was supposed to be a white rhino or black rhino or whatever; the toy was brown with a gold horn. The weapon that came with the toy was a buzz saw with a couple of little maces; you could push a button to make the saw spin.

The TV show made that goofy weapon much, much cooler. Instead of a chainsaw it became a chain gun! They basically tilted the saw blade 90 degrees so it would face outwards and then added some barrels to it. Introduced a couple of episodes in, it was a pretty badass weapon and made Rhinox much more awesome. He was already pretty awesome to me as he was the gruff but lovable older Maximal upon whom Optimus Primal depended for advice. Often he was a steadying veteran influence, like in one episode when he and a few other Maximals were struck blind, Rhinox kept his cool and led the others back to base for repairs.

Strangely while there was a Transmetal toy version of Rhinox, they never changed him from the original version on the show. I’m not sure if that was a cost-cutting move or what. Rhinox and Dinobot were really the only original Maximals who never got an alternate version on the TV show while Optimus Primal and Cheetor went through a couple of bodies.

Rhinox’s chain gun was part of my inspiration to do a Beast Wars-themed mod to the Doom video game back in the mid-90s. One of the weapons in the game was a chain gun so it was an obvious match. My mod was probably pretty crude compared to what a real programmer or artist could do, but whatever. I don’t really remember what other weapons I used except the character I made for the game was a fox (named Outfox, ha) whose tail turned into a shotgun that was another weapon in the game that I didn’t really have a match for from the TV show.

Reissued Rhinox ready to kick ass!

When Rhinox’s toy was reissued they used the chain guns from the TV show, which is pretty cool. I suppose the practical reason they gave him those guns was so he’d have a stand-off weapon; they also gave Dinobot eye lasers in addition to a sword so he too would have something to use at a distance. Whoever came up with it, it was some pretty clever thinking.

Some of the Beast Wars characters have appeared in the IDW comic but I don’t think Rhinox is one of them. That’s too bad as he’s pretty darned awesome.


Also on the Beast Wars series there was a Predacon named Rampage. He had a somewhat interesting backstory. It was revealed in his introductory episode that the Maximal leaders had put his “protoform” tube on Optimus Primal’s ship the Axalon to ditch it on an abandoned planet or something. The reason is that Rampage is big, powerful, and a total nut job with a "spark" that can't be destroyed.

In that introductory episode the Predacons find Rampage’s protoform (marked with a big X) and bring him to life. He turned into a big crab thing and was a tough target for the Maximals, at least for a little while.  Like how Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad movie used Enchantress's heart to control her, Megatron cuts out part of Rampage's spark to make him do Megatron's bidding.  And like Enchantress, Rampage doesn't take kindly to that.

The name Rampage has probably been used on some Decepticons, but I think this was the only appearance of this version of the character.

1 comment:

  1. Double Beast Wars day lol...I love it! I do think they didn't update Rhinox as a cost-saving measure. Cheetor was the Bumblebee of the show so they had to keep him relevant for the kids to sell the toys and any toy with "Optimus" is going to get updated on the regular. Poor Rhinox...he kinda drew the short straw by being cool but not the main character. The recent toy of him was a great update.

    I liked the Rampage/Depth Charge angle...think they borrowed from "Les Mis" for that and they did ultimately end up destroying each other.



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