Series: Universe I strike fast and I strike hard.
Striker is a frontline one-robot wrecking crew. When called into battle, he uses the inherent strength contained within his lumbering form to strike methodically and deliberately. His hide is constructed of specially treated poly-alloy armor, and plates across his back serve as secondary energy receptors. These plates on his spinal assembly can collect and store electrical energy and can be discharged at any opponent located within a 500 meter radius. This energy can also be channeled and used as a short range attack, fusing a target's circuits. His tail can be used to cause low level earthquakes near his immediate vicinity. In robot mode, the grappling rocket assembly in his tail can be used to penetrate most armor plating. Rumored to be a missing member of the first generation of Dinobots, Striker had, in fact, been abducted by the monster planet, Unicron, in his bid to regain dominion over the universe.
The Beast Wars Neo figures and their repaints (more on that see below) strongly adhered to the high Beast Wars standard in terms of articulation and detailing. Striker is no exception. He is superbly detailed, very nicely painted, and very well-articulated to boot. He pulls off a Native American look with a fancy headdress and a buffalo skull adorning his chest. The most outstanding thing about this robot can be found on the back, though: a long “braid” made of the beast mode’s spine. Does it make sense for alien robots to have braids? Probably not, but it sure looks cool.
For a weapon Striker carries the tail of his dinosaur mode, which can open up into a kind of claw / grapple, possibly with a gun in the center. It follows the Beast Wars tradition of fully integrating the weapons into the beast mode and is strongly reminiscent of Dinobot
’s tail weapon, but overall I don’t really like it much. Too unwieldy. That’s just about the only negative thing here, though. To sum it up, a very nice robot mode.
Striker transforms into a Stegosaur and does a very good job of it. The animal shell, mostly made from the two ‘wings’ of his robot mode, folds together very nicely and there is very little trace of the robot to be seen. All four dino legs can move, only the neck and head remain immobile. The detailing on the skin of the dinosaur looks pretty fabulous, so no complaints on that front, either. All in all, a very nice organic-looking dinosaur mode.
Like many of the Beast Wars Neo figures (and their repaints) Striker has a kind-of third mode or trap mode. It is... are you ready for this? It is a dead stegosaur with a big carnivorous flower growing out of it. Yes, you read that correctly. In reality it’s the stegosaur with the tail split open to (badly) simulate a flower with three petals. This third mode went unmentioned in the figure’s two non-Japanese releases and with good reason.
This toy started life in 1999 as Saberback, a figure from the Japanese-exclusive Beast Wars Neo series. He was a bad guy there, part of Magmatron
’s troops. Like many of the Beast Wars Neo figures (at least those with dinosaur beast modes) he was first recycled for the Beast Machines series (the Dinobot subline, to be exact) and later on for the first Universe line. He appeared in the Universe comic books from 3H Productions as one of Unicron’s brain-washed minions, but his profile strongly suggests that he might well be the G1 Dinobot Snarl
, famous for being missing from the 1986 Transformers movie. Either way, he’s a very good figure, whether he’s named Striker or Saberback, and any fan of beast formers or Dinobots won’t go wrong with this one.