I’ll get more into the Animorphs toyline when I get to those toys, but what you need to know here is that they were based on the Nickelodeon adaptation of the book series in which kids can turn into animals. Because of the show, Hasbro was chosen to create toys based on the characters and their favorite animal forms due to their success with Transformers. The toys…well, let’s just say what works with robots doesn’t necessarily work with people and the line failed. One of the ideas created for the line were toys with two animal forms, which instead was brought into the Transformers.

Mutant Beast Wars was a bit of a shove-in to the Beast Wars timeframe as the toyline had already moved on to Beast Machines. The new premise was that the Mutants were Fuzors who, thanks to Megatron’s experiments, transformed from one animal to another rather than having a hybrid beast mode. They also gained strange, almost mystical powers and desire to get rid of technology altogether while being very dark and broody. In others they weren’t too fun at parties and wouldn’t party with the Maximals anyway. They may fight alongside them to stop Megatron but they didn’t care for their robotic allies anymore than they did their robotic enemies.

The only one that didn’t interest me in the line was Poison Bite, who turned from a barracuda to a scorpion. It just didn’t grab me…so to speak. I did pick up the other three but for some reason Soundwave (the bat/crocodile namesake of the famous Decepticon) has gone missing. So we’ll be looking at the other two. We begin this week with the leader and the one who can best showcase some of the quartet’s gimmicks, Icebird.

“Forget Energon, I want cola!”

Icebird of course comes with two beast modes. While I usually start with the alt mode, which one qualifies is up to you. For me the “polar bear” mode is closest to his robot mode but it’s also his best mode so I’m starting there. Icebear is a rather nice polar bear. He’s white with a nice molded fur pattern. This claws are a softer plastic than the rest of his body but not too soft. His mouth can open if you can get in there and pry it open since his teeth get in the way. There’s a “Mutant” faction symbol on his right front leg. He also has some stripes at the top of his chest that I think is designed for “snow owl” mode.

This is probably also why his front claws are so long. The bird wings are rather obvious, even with the attempt to blend them in by not painting anything, but they goofed because the plastic is a bit more grey than the rest of his body. And if I were to turn him around you’d see him trying to poop out his bird beak. Seriously, it looks like he’s doing that thing his cousins are always accused of doing in the woods. Articulation is okay. In addition to the opening mouth he has bear knees and his hind legs have ankles thanks to transformation, which also gives him a moving tail. You can get some okay posing. Nothing spectacular but how many different ways do you want to pose a polar bear? He’s not exactly going to play guitar.

“I’m starting to envy the bots with animal heads for hands!”

Icebird also has an unintentional feature fans found rather early back in the day that gives him a pseudo-robot mode. Each figure still has their robot head (most likely it was originally the head of whatever Animorph kid this was supposed to be) but unlike the others I own the spring-attached head piece can actually stay in place, making it easier to show off. Since Icebird can stand up like a real polar bear this means you can fake a robot mode for him if you choose. Also, under his faction symbol is a panel that you can open to reveal more technological bits, showing the Mutants aren’t fully organic. It seems like an unnecessary feature but on Icebird it doesn’t mess anything up and you can just opt to not use it without any hassle.

Now there’s something you don’t want to see flying at you on your next trip to Antarctica.

As a bonus feature you can actually have Icebird use his bird wings in bear mode although they do cover up the holes in his body. I’m also sure I saw this in a little kids cartoon show once or twice.

“Now I want a lollypop with a crunchy center. What is wrong with me today?”

Those gaps I mentioned before somehow look worse in snow owl mode because you have to see that section now. That’s why the wings are painted on this side to add a bit of visual texture. However, you can see his hind bear legs trying to hide the hole but the claws ruin any chance of not being distracting. I also think they chose the wrong color for the body coloring, as orange looks off. I thought the idea was that he could hide in the snowy trees to swoop down on prey? Granted I’m no animal expert. Also, the tail feathers are on the same spring as the head assembly that holds the bear and robot heads so I need to use the talons to keep the things in place.

Otherwise though it isn’t a bad owl mode either. Thanks to the necessary jointing on the wings you can have them flap or fold around him while giving sage advice to his allies. If you have the bird head locked in correctly the bear tail that now forms the top of his bird head can be used to press a button the bird head that makes the beak move while giving said wisdom. The faction symbol and tech panel are now on his left leg.

DECISION: STAYS

Minor flaws do not ruin a neat figure. The two beast modes look mostly good with minor complaints while the unofficial flying bear and robot modes are a nice touch as well. I kind of want to keep this one. Next time I’ll look at the other one that hasn’t gone missing.