Tuesday, 6 September 2011
N is for Noble/Savage (Beast Changer)
The Winning Toy
"Megatron's method for removing the organic elements in him is riddled with unknown side effects, the first of which is Beast Changer. A completely organic Warrior born of the by-products of Megatron's organic elements. Beast Changer is his own breed. Extremely powerful with acute senses. In Wolf Mode, claws and teeth rip through synthetic alloys with a vengeance. Capable of flight in Beast Mode, and scales offer more protection than any type of known Vehicon armour. Has genuine hatred for Megatron, but Maximals are still cautious and unsure of him due to his origin. Nightscream sympathizes with the self-proclaimed "outcast"."
Toyline: Beast Machines
Generation: Beast Era
Size Class: Deluxe
Quote: "Science has yet to match the force of Nature - allow me to demonstrate!"
Noble is an odd toy, in which he has 2 beast modes, rather than a definitive robot mode, however most sources seem to treat his wolf mode as his robot mode, so that's what I'll be doing here as well
In this mode, Noble is mostly blue from the front, but with an almost entirely red back. His torso uses a transparent blue plastic whilst most of the rest of the blue present is painted onto the red plastic. This mode has a lot of sculpted fur and muscle visible that is mostly hidden in his beast mode
Noble's head is sculpted to look like a stereotypical wolf-man head, with sculpted fur, nose teeth and other wolf components. His ears are made of transparent blue plastic that are attached to the head by a screw which can be repositioned in whatever way the owner desires. Noble's eyes are...well basically they're void of anything, there was most likely supposed to be a light piping system in there originally, but it was removed before a replacement could be designed. Noble's lower jaw is able to be opened a closed on a hinge revealing some fangs etc. The head is connected to the upper torso by a hinge, which allows it to nod up and down, but not tilt or shake without moving the entire body. The torso has sculpted muscles that adds to the appearance of it being a wolf-man rather than an actual wolf. He has a pivoting connection to his groin area which enables him to rotate it fully
Noble's right arm are connected to the torso by a connector and a hinge enabling it to be rotated 360 degrees and can be lifted by 90 degrees too. The left are however is connected by a simple ball joint connector. The difference is because of Noble's gimmick in his right arm that requires his right arm to have gears inside it. The upper arms are connected to the lower arms by a pivot and hinge joint combination, which enables it to be rotated 360 degrees on the pivot and about 90 on the hinge (made to act as an elbow). Noble's hands are just his beast mode's claws folded into themselves. Whilst it looks good, it's unable to effectively hold anything. The Right arm's lower arm is able to rotate by pulling down on his Spark Crystal, as it is set up as a switch.
The upper legs are connected to the groin by a ball joint which in turn leads to a pivot joint that allows the leg to rotate fully. The lower leg is connected to the upper leg by a hinge that can be moved at a 90 degree angle, making it like a knee. This portion of the leg connects to an elongated foot that is again connected via a hinge joint, again allowing a 90 degree movement. The very tip of the foot is connected on a screw that has minimal movement and a fold out 4th claw on the back. The back of the legs have a long nodule sticking out, this is part of his beast mode tail, but doesn't really have a purpose in this mode.
Noble is able to have his beats mode wings attached to his back in this mode or not, it again depends on the owner's preferences. If you want him to be more screen accurate, then remove them, however if like me you like to have the toys fully intact and not remove any parts when transforming whenever possible then leave them on. I showed both versions in my pictures above.
Noble's beast mode (AKA Savage) is made to resemble an eyeless red dragon with gold and blue highlights. This mode only has 2 front legs and drags his body along the ground behind him. The limbs have the same amount of articulation as the wolf mode's arms.
Noble's legs become a pair of long red tails in this mode which can be positioned in whatever way you want (they can be individually rotated on a pivot joint near the point where they are connected to the torso
The wings aren't able to flap (aww) but they are sculpted exceedingly well, amking them look very convincingly real, with veins and missing segments as well as claws etc, so I'll forgive them for that small oversight in design.
The Head is designed to just basically be a large jaw, it's covered in ridges and horns and the mouth itself is able to open thanks to a small button on the side of the neck, revealing it's many, many teeth and a sculpted tongue.
This mode has a lot of sculpted scales over it, to better emulate a dragon, whilst also managing to hide most of the wolf mode fur (though not all of it). Savage's limbs can be positioned in whatever way desired as well, able to create a crawling pose rather than a standard standing one, as shown in my pictures above. The arm gimmick from the wolf mode is active in this mode too, but obviously would be hindered by being stuck on the ground.
Sadly Noble/Savage hasn't been used that much, and the whole beast-beast alt mode has been relatively unused as well, except in the Beast Era. I mean can you imagine ROTF Ravage being able to turn into DOTM Laserbeak or something? or even a vehicle based counterpart (as in a Car who turns into a Jet rather than a Triple Changer). Something of note however if that his wolf mode looks like it might have been influenced by G1 Fangry/Wilder's alternate mode (a a winged wolf). It's unknown if he was in the designer's minds when creating this toy.
In the Beast Machines TV series, Noble/Savage's origins/Back story are a bit different to what is said in his bio. He suddenly appeared after Megatron's death at the start of Season Two as a lost Maximal being traumatised by a dragon beast, later revealed to be his alternate mode, shocking everyone assembled. After a while however Noble is able to infiltrate Megatron's now inactive fortress and reveals that he's actually Megatron inside a purely organic body, which was culled from his original body when he died and his spark was just sent into it rather than a new purely mechanical body he had also built. Now Megatron is in his purely mechanical body he abandons his Noble body, which suddenly starts moving and living without a spark of it's own (however as a feral form).
Nightscream later finds Noble/Savage roaming Cybertron and befriends him, however the other Maximals don't trust the creature and treat it as a hindrance. Later on Megatron, in his new body is trying to kill the Maximals by eating sparks when Noble saves Nightscream from being killed. Megatron ends up killing Noble which angers Nightscream enough to be able to destabilize Megatron's spark, using his sonic screams, seemingly killing him again. Noble is later mourned as dead, it's unknown what happened to his remains however.
Noble's name was given in the series by himself (when Megatron was pretending to be him) and nicknamed as Savage in his dragon mode by some of the characters after seeing how savage he was in battle. An interesting thing to note is that the Beast Changer toy itself has a spark crystal, yet in the TV series he doesn't have a spark after Megatron's spark leaves his body, possibly meaning that this toy exists as the character from his first couple of episodes only, or he is just representing the character described in his bio. The Dragon half of this character is obvious a reference to Megatron's own Dragon mode, but his wolf half is a bit of a mystery whilst it's possible that he took that from another character, or he took on a wolf form before his original alternate mode and changed it for some reason, it's never been confirmed either way.
Is He Cool?
Noble/Savage/Beast Changer...whatever you want to call him is quite a cool toy because of his main gimmick, he has 2 beast modes! This is very unusual and is only really shared with the Mutants sub-line from Beast Wars and similar to that of the Animorphs line (Humans turn into Animals) However, like with those other lines parts of the other mode are very visible in both modes. In this case he turns from a wolf with a dragon's head and scaly back into a dragon with random pieces of fur over his body.
Another cool thing about this toy is his faction insignia which is basically a combination of the Beast Machines Maximal and Vehicon insignia's (showing his connection to Megatron despite being a beast mode Transformer)
I do like this toy, but he's a bit fiddly to transform and might not be suited for beginners, also, despite my liking of the toy's looks, even I have to say he's not that attractive. I can only really see people wanting to buy this figure if they are a completest (both toyline and on screen characters) or they just want a pet for their over sized Nightscream toy.