Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Lazerback Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Predacon, Predacons, Prime

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: December 2012
Price Point: $15.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Toxic Strike Blaster (missile launcher), Missile

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
Chaotic Predacon rebel whose only goal is to scour the Earth clean of the Autobots! Autobots beware, because this Lazerback figure is looking for a fight! This powerful robot comes with a missile-firing Toxic Strike Blaster that launches major destruction at the Autobots! When the battle calls for beast power, convert him to dragon mode, where his tail becomes a deadly whip. Keep converting him back and forth so his Autobot enemies can’t keep up! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Text from instructions:
Toxic Strike Blaster

  • Disintegrates and destroys most armor.
  • Double blast can melt massive targets in seconds.
  • Acidic fumes can cause unprotected circuits to short out.

Continued from Chapter 2 Deluxe Soundwave (sold separately)

Even as he floated helpless in the darkness of the Hyperevolution Chamber, Lazerback could hear what happened aorund him. He heard much fo what Shockwave said in his strange voice, and he knew before he emerged what his plan would be. Now, freed from the chamber, he is no longer interested in what the Decepticon scientist who cloned him has to say. Lazerback refuses to serve under anyone, not an overlord like Megatron or a conqueror like Predaking. Instead, he is determined to see chaos reign. Stealing a tracking device form the lab, he blasts off hoping to see chaos made king by the destruction of two tyrants who stand in his way.

Continued in Chapter 4 Deluxe Wheeljack (sold separately)

LazerbackOne of the beasts introduced in this series (no word yet on whether he is actually in the television show or not) is Lazerback, who actually has a unique/new name (not to be confused with Laserbeak). Of all four Deluxes in the first wave of "Beast Hunters" figures, this is the beast and a completely original sculpt making it the choice figure of the wave.

Beast Mode:
Lazerback transforms into a dragon in beast mode. The term "dragon" is being used in a liberal way with the Predacons of this line. Rather than the traditional winged creatures most western cultures are used to seeing, the Predacons in "Beast Hunters" use a more liberal definition of the term. Lazerback isn't a winged beast, but he does have a lot of designs normally associated with dragons. His head looks like a dinosaur's, specifically something along the lines of a triceratops with a beak at the end of its mouth, a long face and some flame like horns at the top on either side. There are dangerous looking details like spikes at the back of each front elbow and running along the back from the top all the way to the end of his tail. His tail ends in a claw which looks nice and dangerous. His front legs are significantly larger than his rear legs. Each leg has some really powerful looking claws. The front feet each have four claws in the front with one in the back. The rear feet have three claws in front and are slightly thinner with one in back. His front legs are thick and powerful looking, like they could tear apart an Autobot with ease. This is definitely not a creature you'd want to mess with if you didn't have to!

In general, since the days of Beast Wars I think there has been an overall tendency to make beasts look a bit organic and mechanical combined. Unlike say, Ravage from G1 who was clearly all mechanical, most bests nowadays have curved, fluid lines in addition to their forms making them look almost organic even if they are fully mechanical (such as those in Cybertron series. In Lazerback's case he does have a lot of mechanical details including angled lines sculpte dinto his head and legs. On the other hand, his back has layered plates that look like large armored scales and his tail curves at the end similar to an organic creature's tail. Open his mouth and you'll find rows of evil looking teeth as well. Overall I'm very fond of this sculpt. It's very different from anything we've seen in a while in the Transformers line and reminds me of the days of Beast Machines.

Some of his parts are cast in soft plastic, including his "horns", tail and the covers on the back of the beast. I was actually surprised he didn't have more soft plastic pieces given how some of them are "spike" shaped such as those on his tail. Coming from an age of Transformers toys when soft plastic wasn't generally used, it's nice to see that. Unfortunately soft plastic has a tendency to warp if you store it improperly or if it gets exposed to too much heat. Aside from the horns, most of the soft plastic pieces are thick enough that they'll be fine in storage. The horns are a bit thin.

Lazerback is cast in red, purple, black and yellow. Most of the figure is red, with the other colors distributed among his smaller parts like his feet and lower legs. Paint details are done in yellow, black, gold, purple and metallic green. These colors are distributed throughout the figure. The yellow is used on the end of his beak, the horns, lines on his arms and parts of his underbelly. Black is used on smaller details such as the Predacon symbols on his shoulders. Purple is most heavily used on the top of his head and the end of his tail. Metallic green is used for smaller details such as his eyes and circles on the sides of his rear legs. These details in particular are interesting as they bear resemblance to some of the "Spark Crystal" details found on figures from the Energon series. These colors are very much akin to the colors found on Bruticus from "Robots in Disguise" and bear slight resemblance to the colors used on the Generation one Predacons (mostly the red and yellow). Overall it looks great.

Lazerback has twenty two points of articulation in this form. That includes four points of articulation in the front legs and six in each rear leg. His head can go up and down at the base and his mouth can open and close. The legs are stable enough for the figure to stand up on its hind legs. Hold on to the sides of the weapon and pull it up to allow it to fire. You can also open up the red panels on the top of the weapon to give him an extra dramatic appearance. Press the yellow trigger on his back and his missile fires. The missile has a two pronged end that looks a prod. Interestingly, if you have the weapon raised up and push it side to side the head moves a bit.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Pull the tail out and set it aside.
  3. Swing the rear legs back and straighten out the lower leg/ankle sections as much as you can (they will still be curved).
  4. Swing up the hinged piece where the weapon was attached.
  5. Push the base of the tail piece up.
  6. Push the waist piece connected to the two rear legs together.
  7. Pull each front leg out to the sides, which will also move the chest panels out.
  8. Swing the beast head down into the waist piece.
  9. Swing the chest pieces up.
  10. Push the section with the horns back to fully reveal the head.
  11. Swing out each of the robot fists.
  12. Attach a weapon to each fist.

Robot Mode:
Harking back to the days of Beast Wars and the "Jungle Planet" from the "Cybertron" series, Lazerback is immediately identifiable as a "beast" character in robot mode, but still has some classic Cybertronian robot design elements in this form. Perhaps my favorite design aspect of the figure is the way the beast mode head literally disappears in the robot mode, tucked into the waist and behind the chest panels. Often time in the past the robot mode uses the best head as its chest/torso, but it is clearly identifiable (such as with Dinobot). In this case the beast mode head forms a chunk of the robot mode's chest, but the rest of the main body is made up of angled panels and armor that is mostly hidden in beast mode. The torso and waist sections have a similar design continuity, using "V" and "L" shapes and it looks great. It looks almost like an extension of his dragon mode armor.

Other design elements are a bit more "beast like". His head sculpt is a wide design with a pointed section near the chin on the bottom of the helmet section. It has two small points coming up from that area to the face, looking almost like the bottom jaw of a dragon's mouth. His face has a wide nose with small eyes, giving the character a brutish appearance. His feet legs are basically the beast mode legs straightened out a bit, so his "beast" nature is given away there, but it's balanced out by the designs of his arms which have curved pieces at the shoulder and thick forearms with ornate details sculpted on the top and bottom. It's a really nice sculpt and I like the way both of his modes are represented in this form.

All the same colors from the beast mode carry over here, but this time out we get a lot more continuous purple, gold and yellow details on his torso. A bit of the yellow paint on the lower part of his torso has rubbed off on mine, so keep an eye out for that when you get one. His head is cast in red, with the face painted purple and the edges around the helmet painted gold. I really like the gold outlines on his helmet, it looks fantastic. A bit more gold trim can be found on the forearms as well. With all the gold on red, he evokes the G1 Predacons who used similar colors.

In this form, Lazerback has twenty three points of articulation. This includes six in each leg and five in each arm. His wrists can turn, which adds to the articulation from the beast mode. Each of his hands are sculpted in an open palm position with the fingers slightly curled, but the gap between the thumb and fingers can accomodate a 5mm peg weapon. His own weapon can attach to the back, using the same hole as the beast mode. It can be raised up so the weapon goes over his head (you may have to move his horns out of the way). The instructions show the soft red plastic pieces on the top of the weapon folded open when using the weapon like this. The tail piece becomes a whip like weapon with a spiked claw at the end, giving him an extra weapon to wield even if his missile launching weapon is attached to the back.

Final Thoughts:
Lazerback is a cool looking beast and robot. He has good articulation and fun play features in both forms. I really like the aesthetic of both modes as well. Keep an eye out for possible paint job issues, but other than that this guy is recommended!