Series: Planet X
Whatís in a name? Depending on who you ask (and in what language) he might be called Deszaras (with various different forms of spelling) or デスザラス (Desuzarasu) or Deathsaurus or, in the case of a certain third party company that is in no way affiliated with Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, Ismenios. Drakon Ismenios being a spawn of the Greek war god Ares, a dragon that guarded the spring of Ismene and was killed by the hero Cadmus, who then planted its teeth in the Earth, from which sprung the Spartoi, fully grown warriors. Alternatively he is also called Destron Emperor of Destruction, owner of the Planet-Destroying Fortress, Breastforce Warrior, and Robot Space Chicken (never to his face, though). Officially, of course, he is Planet X Ismenios and this is his review.
Two things I want to mention right at the get-go: one, Ismenios is based upon Deathsaurusí appearance in the IDW comics, not the original version from the Victory cartoon. There are some marked differences, such as the shape of the wings, the head design, and the breast animals (more on that below). If you want a Victory-based Deathsaurus, youíll either have to wait for the Planet X upgrade for this figure, or instead look at Mastermind Creationsí Continuum version. And two, Ismenios is about the size of a Leader-class figure, so he is a bit too small to properly square off against Masterpiece Star Saber
. Planet X has announced their own (IDW-based) Star Saber figure, which I assume will be of compatible scale.
With that out of the way, letís look at this gorgeous robot mode. Ismenios is a very broad, powerful-looking robot who is partially made from metal, which gives him a nice, heavy feel. The detailing work is very, very good, the blue and gold colors giving him a very regal look. This is amplified by the wings on his back. I really like winged robots, I must say. The wings can be moved in just about any direction and can separate into four separate struts, the space between them to be filled up with blue extra pieces that are probably meant to simulate energy fields. When fully extended Ismenios has a truly impressive wingspan that easily breaks the boundaries of my photo studio. It sure looks very cool, though.
Ismenios is also highly articulated, right down to individual fingers with multiple joints on each finger. He can pose very well, though I must say that some of his joints are very tight. His shoulders are on a double-jointed extra piece where they connect to the body, so he can easily move his hands together in front of his chest despite the big chest piece, in order to hold his sword two-handed or evily steeple his fingers. Speaking of the sword, itís Ismeniosí main weapon and looks very gorgeous, though once again very different than it did in the Victory cartoon. He lacks the Metal-Eater-Cannon the original toy had, which will apparently also be part of the upgrade set. Additionally Ismenios can combine the three big wing pieces from either wing into a shield, which he can then attach to his forearm. If you want you can even give him a shield on each arm, though that looks a bit strange.
Finally Ismenios chest plate can unplug and become a separate figure (see below), leaving him with a gaping hole in his chest. While I like the gimmick, Ismenios sure doesnít look good without his chest plate, so Iím going to leave it there. So bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. Just about the only negative things to say here are that he doesnít look like Victory Deathsaurus much, but that was never the intent anyway. Two thumbs up for a gorgeous robot mode.
Ismenios actually has a transformation sequence that will be familiar to everyone who has ever owned a Grimlock figure, at least those based on G1 Grimlock. Ismenios might not become a T-Rex, but he does become a two-legged monster with tiny little arms and a long neck. The monsterís legs are the robot arms, the tail is the robot legs, and the monsterís head and tiny arms were on the robotís back. The result is supposed to be some kind of traditional Japanese Kaiju monster, some kind of dinosaur bird thing. It has been called robot space chicken a lot of times, though the Planet X version doesnít look quite as chicken-y as the original G1 figure did.
Overall I really like this mode. The demon chicken is almost as well-articulated as the robot, unsurprising given that he uses mostly the same limbs. The tiny little arms have individual finger claws and elbow joints, so you can pose them quite well. The neck is articulated, the mouth can open, and of course you have the wings, either folded together or spread out, your choice. So while itís somewhat questionable why a robot would even want to transform into a robot space chicken, Ismenios does so very well. Just about the only downside here is that there is no way to store his sword in this mode. Otherwise, though: thumbs up for the space chicken!
The original Deathsaurus toy came with two Breast Animals, robotic animal partners that transformed into Deathsaurusí chest plate. Ismenios foregoes one of the partners (Eagle Breast), instead focusing on the other (Lion Breast). The big chest plate detaches and four tiny little legs unfold from below it (being on very tight joints, so getting them to unfold requires a bit of carefully applied force). And thatís pretty much it. The resemblance to an actual lion is miniscule at best, but itís a very good likeness to Lion Breastís various appearances in the Victory cartoon, so weíre good. If you are feeling nostalgic and want Eagle Breast, too, the upcoming Planet X upgrade for Ismenios will supply him. Personally I like the gimmick for its nostalgia value and silliness (Breast Force? Really?), but I doubt I will detach Lion Breast all that often, as he doesnít offer much play value by himself.
Deszaras / Deathsaurus was the leader of the Destrons (Decepticons) in Transformers: Victory, the third of the Japan-exclusive G1 sequel series. More recently he appeared in the IDW comics as the leader of a band of rogue Decepticons, who joined forces with Tarn and his Decepticon Justice Division in order hunt down and destroy Megatron, who they felt had betrayed the Decepticon cause. This led to a huge battle on the world of the Necrobot. Seeing his warriors slaughtered in droves as Tarn was using them as cannon fodder, Deathsaurus eventually called off the attack out of concern for his troops and fled.
As for the toy, I have to say it depends. If youíre looking for a G1-like Deathsaurus to match up against your Masterpiece Star Saber, then this is not the figure youíre looking for. This is IDW Deathsaurus, who fits nicely with MMC figures like Kultur and Carnifex and stands ready to demolish your Generations Autobots. He is a very nice-looking figure with no flaws, so it really comes down to whether or not you like his IDW-Comics styling. Me, I like it very much. Still wouldnít mind a G1-like Deathsaurus for my MP Star Saber, but that is an entirely separate matter. So bottom line: Planet X Ismenios is a solid, fun, and stylish figure. Fully recommended!
Tags: - Animal: Monster/Mythological - Breastforce - Decepticon - Planet X - Third Party
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