Review by Gazbot
Abridged character (animated) history from the tfwiki:
"The Predacons debuted under the command of the Quintessons. Despite being constantly touted as the most fearsome and vicious warriors in the galaxy, the Predacons were beaten off fairly easily by a small band of Autobots. This would prove to be the start of a trend: more than most gestalts, Predaking would rarely be the given the chance to do anything useful before being driven off in a hail of gunfire soon after combining. Inexplicably, the Predacons' allegiance to the Quintessons was never referred to again. They were later shown serving Galvatron appearing in many of his schemes."
It is important to note that this is specifically a review of the 2013 Platinum edition, I have never owned another version so any comparisons or differences I mention are the result of internet research. That being said, here is some info regarding the different releases of Predaking over the years:
- The 1986 Predaking's components were released in both plastic and metal versions.
- My understanding is that the 2004 re-issue was faithful to the original 1986 metal version. The sword accessories had their sharp points reduced due to safety concerns.
The 2010 version differed from the original in a few ways:
- Graphics on some of the stickers have been changed, (an improvement to my eyes).
- The yellow parts were changed to gold and the orange and red seems to be a slightly different shade the G1 supposedly is a bit lighter colored with more of a matte finish.
- It had a new sticker sheet with red eye stickers for all animals and robots, and the plastic eye areas were painted gold.
- The sword accessories are more gold and less bronze colored than the original.
The 2013 Platinum version is very similar to the 2010 release with a few differences:
- Predaking gets a gold version of BH Voyager Optimus Prime's Star Saber as a main weapon.
- Tantrum is named Torox now.
- It does not include the red eye stickers.
Now, with all that out of the way on to the review!
The shipping box from Amazon did not have much padding but it arrived OK.
The box is VERY nice with a dynamic illustration of Predaking aggressively looking at us.
When you open the box you find Predaking assembled in Gestalt mode. He is on a 1-sided plastic tray attached with a million twist ties. So as far as the packaging goes; great outside garbage inside.
The accessories that are not currently attached come in a baggie on the side. Some weapons were a little unclear as to which figure was supposed to use them.
Ditto the stickers and instruction sheets:
The stickers are not marked very clearly, but if you refer to the pictures of the toys you can figure out which sheet is for each. Also, I found the Japanese writing interesting considering it was an English release.
So here he is right out of the box.
He is big and heavy for sure, but before we mess with the king, let’s check out the individual Predacons. They come apart easily, and were fairly easy to transform into their robot modes.
At this point I applied the stickers to each. I have heard some people advise against it, as there was some issue with past release stickers degrading quickly even without being handled. However, I think these guys sorely need every bit of extra detail they can get and the stickers add some nice metallic touches. Hopefully this newest release fixed the sticker problems of the past.
First up: Razor Claw the Leader
His gun is almost a cannon to him, since it doubles as Predaking's weapon as well. His sword is also used for Predaking, but is more scaled for Razorclaw.
He has one of the better robot modes of the bunch. He has tight joints and stands very well without any support. Articulation is very limited, but hey he's a G1. He has a decent beast mode as well except for the hollow back legs and robot mode head, which is still clearly visible from most angles.
His cannon is made to mount on top when he is in lion mode. At first it was so tight I wasn't sure I could get it on, and mounted it to the side.
Eventually though I did force it to work up top, and it looks pretty cool.
Overall Razorclaw is decent for a later G1 figure. If he was not part of Predaking, I might still get him if I found him at a reasonable price.
Next up: Dive Bomb
He stands OK, has tight joints and looks pretty good in bot mode from the font.
Although he does slouch forward a bit.
His back looks like his alt mode, but I kind of like it.
I love that his guns can be wing mounted
His bird mode is not as good, from a certain angle it looks cool, but overall it's awkward and clunky. The robot feet don't really become bird feet. I also wish he had a bomb he could drop.
If I could just look at him from certain angles he might be my favorite of the group.
Next up: Headstrong
His bot mode is terrible! A big blobby brick of suck, and he stands awkward.
The back looks a bit weak but otherwise his rhino mode looks much nicer.
I had trouble getting his shoulder stickers to lay flat for some reason.
Predaking's foot becomes a back cannon that is pretty bad ass.
When I was transforming him I thought his bot legs were tough to push in to the body. Then I realized I needed to fully pull out the rhino legs to make it easier. Not a flaw, just a derpy thing I did that might bug you as well.
From there we go to: Torox nee Tantrum
His bot mode is the tallest, it's kind of lanky and doofy looking and there is something almost charming about him. But, he is supposed to be a Predacon, and as such he is only 1 notch above Headstrong in bot mode.
His beast mode looks nice enough though.
One side has much more noticeable screw holes than the other this is true of most these guys so if you display as them as beasts make sure to get their good side.
Last up: Rampage
His bot mode is my personal favorite looks the least goofy and most well proportioned to me.
Though not without his flaws, like the weird half-head...
...and the gaping holes in his arms. Razor claw had this too but it was not as noticeable.
There was a sticker that I believe was meant for his chest/waist area, but it would not fit without cutting it up or covering up the reveal the shield sticker so I left it off.
His cat mode is OK at best. It's funny the two worst bot mode Predacons, (Headstrong, Torox), have the best beast modes.
His eyes, shoulders and head really meld together in one color blob at certain angles. Terribly hollow back legs.
Also, one back leg will not lock into place quite right, I have read this is a common problem.
By the way, I realized after I took the photos I neglected to flip out his tail, apologies for that. Overall the individual Predacons are a disappointment. I remember thinking how awesome it would be to have full-sized "real" transformers instead of the dinky Aerialbots or Constructicons. Not so, on average these fall short on many levels of the average sized transformers of the time. They are even show up by many of their smaller combiner counterparts.
The good news is, I don’t really care. The reason I got them is to form Predaking!
This is the original sword he is supposed to use.
Compared to the new one included in this set, it’s dinky, the new one is a much better scale.
At first, I was struck by how much more articulated Predaking was than other combiners. But I quickly realized most of that extra articulation wasn't really helpful in setting up stand able poses. The wrists can move a bit but too much and they detach, the elbows are really the main addition over other combiners. The left arm (Dive bomb) doesn't rotate up and down in the socket properly and it also is very loose and comes off easily and often. I have read that this is another common problem.
Camera angels help a lot. For example, these two pics are of the same exact pose:
I went ahead and added some extra guns from the set to make him more menacing looking.
I find this semi-transformed version oddly appealing.
Size party time!
I am happy I have him. He is a legendary piece I always wanted, the Preda-"King" of combiners! Oddly, I think I am glad I got him as an adult collector rather than a kid. I think the kid-me would have been disappointed in his lack-luster component bots, and arm issues. As an adult who will mainly keep him as Predaking on a shelf, he is everything I would want him to be, huge, eye-catching, imposing, beastly, and taller than every other combiner by far. The price of this set is great and what you get even with the flaws is well worth the money. If you are a Transformers collector, you pretty much have to get a Predaking. This is the most reasonable priced one by far and you aren't sacrificing much other than the yellow/gold swap. While I would have almost preferred the yellow because it was so crazy and garish, it's not worth it to me to pay hundreds extra for it. The gold is nice and looks more "realistic" and more like his modern comic version.
Now he lives with his fellow Cybertronians, comrades and sworn enemies alike.
|Posted 26 January, 2014 - 11:12 by Gazbot|