Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Vertebreak Toy Review

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

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: August 2013
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hyena Cannon, Missile

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
The powerful Vertebreak wants nothing more than to smash the Autobots and all who stand with them! Autobots beware, because this Vertebreak figure is a Decepticon with a grudge and a beastly weapon in his arsenal! He'll fire a missile from his Hyena Cannon at unsuspecting Autobots when he attacks in robot mode. When he converts to beast mode, his Autobot enemies won't know what to do! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies dish out!

Text from instructions:
Hyena Cannon

  • Emits a disturbing sonic alarm before firing that can cause some robots to involuntarily flee in terror.
  • Missiles deliver circuit-scrambling shocks that cause targets to attack their allies.
  • Secondary short0range blast can permanently reduce a target's intelligence.

VERTEBREAK can't sense much from the murky interior of the Hyperevolution Chamber in which he waits, half-awake, to be reborn. But he knows that he is being moved. The steady flow of information into his mind from the data connections installed by SHOCKWAVE ceases first, and then there is a sensation of lightness as the chamber is lifted. He cares little for any of this. All he wants is to be free of the little chamber-to be free to hunt, to fight, and to destroy. He longs to feel the rush of battle. Luckily, he doesn't have long to wait. After a short time in darkness, the chamber opens and VERTEBREAK smells the familliar air of Cybertron.

Continued in Chapter 22 Voyager SHARKTICON MEGATRON (sold separately)

VertebreakThe Predacon army grows! Late summer 2013 brought about a new member of the Predacon horde: Vertebreak! This figure is a redeco of Lazerback, so check out that review for details of the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Interesting note: perhaps in an effort to distinguish Vertebreak from Lazerback, he has been packaged in his robot mode, which is not how most Predacons have been packaged. Most of the time they are packaged in beast mode. I'm thinking this was done in part to differentiate Vertebreak from Lazerback but also to perhaps make the bubble a bit thinner to fit in the cases better.

Robot Mode:
Vertebreak does not feature any sculpt changes, so all the colors are the only changes.

Vertebreak makes a huge impression on first glance. His primary colors are a combination of yellow, two shades of orange with some brown parts thrown in for dark contrast. The yellow and the orange really make quite the impression. The yellow plastic is interesting as it has some orange color worked into it. It's note painted on, the orange appears to be worked into the plastic before it was fully formed. It's a similar type of "blending" that was used on Skylynx. The brown is important as it adds a dark contrast so he isn't a total eyesore. Thankfully, there are orange parts that are a dark orange including his tail whip weapon, the middle of his chest and the panel in the middle of his torso.

The paint details on this figure include black and silver. The biggest details are stripes on his shoulders and legs. Silver is found on his face and chest. A black Predacon symbol isprinted on the left side of his chest with the middle filled in by silver and black. You'll see a bit of orange paint in the center of his chest and on the "frills" behind his head. At first I thought his color scheme was based on some kind of tiger, but the name of his weapon the "Hyena Cannon" gives us a clue. Vertebreak's color scheme is inspired by the animal of the same name. You might be familiar with hyenas that have spots on their fur, but there is a kind with stripes instead. Vertebreak's name also seems to allude to a specific kind of hyena that once existed, the "bone crushing" hyena. Most of this is speculation on my part of course, but it seems to fit.

All of Vertebreak's joints are nice and tight. His weapon (now cast in brown and orange with orange and yellow paint applications) fires its missile without a problem. Functionally there are no issues with the figure.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach both weapons if attached.
  2. Rotate each hand around, with palms up.
  3. Swing the hands back to form the front claws.
  4. Pull the sides of the chest and the arms out to the sides.
  5. Pull the "frills" section up along with the chest to form the beast mode head.
  6. Swing the rear legs forward.
  7. Pull the rear legs out to the sides a bit.
  8. Swing the tail back.
  9. Attach the whip weapon to the end of the tail.
  10. Attach the missile launcher to the back.

Beast Mode:
In beast mode Vertebreak concentrates his colors into assorted "zones". The dark orange for instance winds up running from the tail all the way to the head. The sides are where most of the yellow winds up with the brown focused on his four lower legs and claws. The black stripes from the robot mode have been emulated with yellow paint on the dark orange plastic parts. Silver is used on the tip of his beak and claws as well as the end of his tail. Orange paint is used on the spikes on his back and the frills at the back of his head. Make no mistake folks, this is not a subtle color scheme. While there is balance between dark and light the light really wins out here. There is nothing about the appearance of this figure that can be labeled as "subtle". Whether or not that is a good or bad thing largely depends on your personal taste. I think in terms of acting as a contrast to Lazerback and doing something off-beat, Vertebreak definitely fits the bill.

The joints in this figure still hold up nicely in this form. The crouched position Vertebreak is in forces the joints to work in different ways, but he still holds up well. His missile launcher can still extend on the joints built into the back to fire over his head.

Final Thoughts:
Vertebreak is a pretty crazy redeco, and he's not going to appeal to everyone. If you like wacky redecos this will appeal to you. If not, then definitely skip it. I also like having a new character to add to the Predacon army. Recommended, with the above caveats.