No road is rougher than me!
Toyline: Beast Machines
Strika's presence on the battlefiled often turns the tide in favor of the Vehicons. Holds a personal vendetta against all Maximals, especially Blackarachnia. In combat, will lure enemy into rough terrain to give herself the advantage. Equipped with reciprocating laser cannon that shreds anything caught in its field of fire. Can wreak havoc with one sustained blast from her cannon. Alloy-plated armor deflects many types of Maximal ammo. Capable of high speed bursts on any terrain and has amazing endurance in close combat.
Like many Beast Machines figures, Strika's resemblance to the character we saw on TV isn't the best ever, but she did get something right that most other Vehicon figures failed at: In the series Strika actually walked around on her wheels, just as this figure does. She can assume a kind of skater-mode, too, but for the most part she walks. The colors are off, though, and while the bulky body design bears some similarities, it isn't exactly close.
Resemblances aside, Strika strikes a very impressive figure in robot mode. I'm a sucker for shoulder-mounted weapons and Strika's not only look good, but they feature a kind of pow-pow gimmick, activated by pressing the spark crystal behind her head. No spring-launching missiles here, but I'm not a big fan of those, either. Oh, and for another pet peeve of mine: Strika features well-sculpted hands, but sadly they are rather out of proportion and sculpted to the insides of her forearms. Nice to look at, but completely useless for holding stuff.
In terms of posability and detailing Strika has nothing to worry about at all. She can bend with the best of them, assume all sorts of poses, and the detailing on her body (while not faithful to the TV series) looks very good. The combination of silver, gold and black looks very good on her. Whether you for the big, bulky look Strika has is, of course, a matter of taste, but I like it. So bottom line, a very good robot mode with no flaws worth mentioning except for the useless hands.
Strika transforms into a futuristic all-terrain tank vehicle of some sort. It bears some resemblance to the Turbo Tank
we saw in the Star Wars Prequels; can't think of a real vehicle it might be based on. The overall look of the vehicle is pretty good. It looks powerful, it looks military, and the big guns on top retain their pow-pow gimmick from the robot mode, of course.
The resemblance to the vehicle as seen on TV is actually a bit better here than it is in robot mode, but only marginally. Still, a very nice-looking vehicle mode with just one tiny flaw I can think of. The cockpit sits very loosely up front, probably so it can move up and down, as the Vehicons were prone to move their 'vehicle heads' in the series. Still, a solid fixture would have been better here in my opinion. Apart from that, though: Very nice.
When Megatron realized that recycling Beast Wars characters for his Vehicon generals wasn't cutting it, he used the sparks of "the greatest generals in Cybertronian history", Strika and Obsidian. Now it was never quite clear how they earned that title and in what "thousands wars" they fought and won together (seeing as the last Cybertronian war covered more than 9 million years), but whatever. Strika and Obsidian fought hard against the Maximals before being shot into space, never to be seen again on TV.
They made a brief cameo appearance in the "Wreckers: Finale" text story, which was set directly after the Beast Machines season finale. Here they helped save Cybertron by reactivating the planetary defense net just in time to shred the retreating Quintesson armada before it could bombard the planet from orbit. Strika was recolored into Nemesis Strika for the Universe series and, more recently the Strika character was brought back for Transformers Animated, where she led a Decepticon battle group, which pretty much wiped the floor with a team of Autobots. She never appeared again after that one episode (a two-parter, technically).
Strika suffers from the usual Beast Machines problem of lacking resemblance to her TV counterpart, but apart from that this Vehicon general might just be one of the best BM figures of them all, at least to me. Cool look, good vehicle mode, good posability, no flaws except the hand thing. So all in all a definite recommendation among BM toys.
Other Versions of Strika:
Universe Nemesis Strika (2005)
Strika was recycled for the original Universe toyline and given a 'Nemesis' prefix for no easily apparent reason.
Beast Wars Returns Strika (2005)
The Japanese version of Strika came with a slightly different paint job, not all that much more show accurate than the American one.