Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ripclaw Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Predacon, Prime

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: March 2012
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Siphon Claw weapon/tail end

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
Unquestioningly loyal to the Predacon cause, Ripclaw crushes her enemies and leaves their circuits burning with her mech-venom!

Autobots beware, because this Ripclaw figure is just the beast to take any of them on! She’s sneaky and powerful, and they can’t afford to get caught by her snapping Siphon Claw! Convert her to dragon mode for major beast action. Keep converting her back and forth so her Autobot enemies can’t keep up with her!
Figure comes with accessory.

Deluxe Class Series 2 006 Ripclaw. Ages 5 and up. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

"Tales of the Beast Hunters" Chapter 8
Even before she fully shakes off the disorientation of emerging fresh from the Hyperevolution Chamber, RIPCLAW can hear the smooth, strange voice of SHOCKWAVE. "PREDAKING is alive," he says, "but in danger. Enemies known as AUTOBOTS have stolen weapons powerful enough to harm even the king of the PREDACONS." RIPCLAW needs to hear nothing else - she blasts out of the lab and into the sky, turning her ultra-sensitive snout into the wind, sniffing for any hint of the stolen weapons. Instead she finds LAZERBACK, smiling his cunning grin. "Whatever the DECEPTICONS told you is a lie, my dear," he tells her "PREDAKING is long gone. But that's no reason we shouldn't destroy the AUTOBOTS - and the DECEPTICONS along with them."

Continued in Chapter 9 Deluxe BULKHEAD (sold separately)

RipclawThe Predacons have been introduced in "Beast Hunters" as a new faction in the war between Autobots and Decepticons. As such their numbers have been growing as the "Beast Hunters" toy line continues to roll out. One of the newest characters introduced in the first couple waves of "Beast Hunters" toys is Ripclaw, who is also distinctive for being one of the few "female" Transformers in the toy line.

Beast Mode:
Continuing the theme of Predacons being based on some type of dragon, Ripclaw is based on the same type of dragon as Predaking, complete with a scary looking jaw, a head sweeping back leading to a body with four arms, wings and a long tail. It's a beautiful sculpt, impressing me more than the previous Deluxe Predacon Lazerback.

My eyes get drawn to the head first, which features a lower jaw that has huge fangs that go over the top jaw. The head sweeps back with frills showing distinct bone-like structures and narrow, scary looking eyes. Then the neck has nice curved armor pieces in layers. The legs have curved shapes, reminscent of figures seen in the "Beast Wars" and "Beast Machines" toy lines. The wings are definitely mechanical in nature with bolts, vent lines and layers of armor. The back has a long spine like details raised in the center leading to the tail. The tail ends in a three clawed end that looks super threatening. Overall I love this sculpt. It's a very classic looking dragon with a "scifi" twist. Perfect for the toy line and the theme of the TV show this season.

Ripclaw is made up of red, green and gold plastic. The three colors work nicely together, giving Ripclaw a vaguely organic appearance (mostly because of the green). The plastic used on the top of thehead is a soft plastic. Some more soft plastic is found in the tail mechanism at the base. Paint applications are done in yellow, green, gold and grey. The yellow is used for detailing like the top of the head and the sides of the rear legs. The green is used on the lower jaw while the grey is found on the armor on the rear legs. The gold is used on the claws and for small paint details here and there that look like some type of liquid dripping off of the dragon, as if it had just emerged from the "Hyperevolution Chamber". These are among my favorite paint details. Color-wise the figure looks fantastic.

In this form, Ripclaw has twenty one points of articulation. A lot of these are concentrated in the legs, which feature a mixture of hinge, swivel and ball joints. Among the more fun articulation is the ability for the mouth to open as if roaring and the tail's ability to swing forward as if striking an enemy. The tail's claws can be pulled back so they lock into place. Push down the spike in the center (as if "stinging" the enemy) and the claws lock in. It's an awesome action feature and matches the character's write up in the instructions. The tail can also be relaxed by separating the green section from the gold base piece, allowing it to drag behind the beast instead of being ready to strike.

This beast mode is a reminder of design elements and sensabilities from the "Beast" era of Transformers, moreso than Lazerback. That makes it pretty darn awesome in my book!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the Siphon Claw from the end of the tail and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out each of the rear legs, then swing down the armor piece over the lower legs.
  3. Swing the panels covering the chest out.
  4. On each front arm, swing back the large claws and rotate the forearms around.
  5. Swing the armor panels that make up the neck of the dragon out to the sides.
  6. Swing the beast mode had back and fold it up against the back of the figure.
  7. Pull the robot head out slightly so you can see the whole head.
  8. The Siphon Claw can be placed in either hand.

Robot Mode:
Much like Predaking's robot mode, Ripclaw still looks very much like a beast in robot mode. Sure she has the general humanoid shape of a head in the middle, two arms, two legs and feet. However, her features are all distinctly dragon-like. This includes the head, which looks like a condensed, rounded version of the beast mode head complete with frills on the sides, narrow eyes and scary looking teeth. Her hands have three claws on each with spikes on the sides while the robot feet each feature four claws in front. Having the wings on her back and the tail enhance the "robot-dragon" image. Far from looking like a lazy transformation/sculpt treatment, most of the detailing showing in this form doesn't get focus in the beast mode, including the torso, the front of the legs and head. The transformation is actually pretty good (not amazing, but good) and the robot mode is very distinctive looking.

All the colors from the beast mode carry over to this form. This time out however you get a lot more focus on the red color thanks to the torso, parts of the thighs, knees and feet. Green makes up most of the rest of the figure. Smaller parts such as the hands and spikes on the shoulder armor are gold. Gold, metallic green, grey, yellow and black paint are used for detailing. This includes metallic green on the head with grey on top. There's a black Predacon symbol in the center of the chest. The colors are laid out nicely, but no real color break up is needed since the plastic colors are nicely separated as well. Some of the "dripping" details show on the shoulder armor which I really like.

Ripclaw has seventeen points of articulation in this form, including four in each arm and leg. The head only has limited movement since it has a collar around it. It can move up and down but not side to side, one of the few drawbacks of the figure. The tail feature from the beast mode can be used in this form, or Ripclaw can just hold the weapon in her hand. The hand also accomodates standard 5mm peg weapons.

Final Thoughts:
The initial promotional photographs of Ripclaw were pretty bad. She didn't look that dynamic or interesting, but up close it's a really fun figure. The "dragon" theme runs through both forms beautifully and I like the colors. I really like this figure with my only concern being the soft plastic in the tail. I don't think there's a problem in the short term, but I could see that plastic stressing years down the line. Recommended.