Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Commander Class Predaking Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Commander, Cyberverse, Predacon, Predacons, Prime

Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: January 2013
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Tail/missile launcher "Cybervenom Missile Launcher", Missile

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
The monstrous PREDACON tyrant was created for one purpose - destruction! AUTOBOTS beware, because this PREDAKING figure is the leader of the PREDACONS and he’s ready to lead a fierce assault! His Cybervenom Rocket launcher gives him the long-distance firepower to hit his enemies from afar. But when he can’t get the job done in robot mode, he’ll convert to terrifying dragon mode and wipe out whatever’s in his path. Keep converting him back and forth so his enemies can’t keep up!

Includes figure and accessory. Commander Class Series 3 002 PREDAKING PREDACON Overlord. Ages 5 and up.

PredakingIn the "Beast Huntersa" series, clones of ancient Transformers have been created to find the Autobots who have been in hiding on Earth. This new iteration of "Predacons" are part of the "Predacon Alliance", a whole new faction of Transformers borrowing a name from the "Beast Wars" era. The leader of this faction is Predaking who has been described as the Predacon "Overlord". He is also the main character featured on all the "Beast Hunters" packaging in his dragon form. He is also part of the first wave of "Beast Hunters" Commander Class figures released in early 2013.

Robot Mode:
"Beast Hunters" has not aird on television yet, so the only look at the character of Predaking so far is his beast mode, but not really his robot mode so this particular review of the robot form will focus on the merits of the figure on it's own instead of comparing it to its animated counterpart.

Much of the Predacon designs are based on dragons (or monstrous creatures inspired by dragons). Predaking is the prime example of this, and his beast form is heavily reflected in his robot mode design. His outline is sharp and angled, looking fierce and dangerous. This includes his head, which comes to sharp points on the edges, his shoulder armor which does the same and his legs which have spikes on his knee armor and claws on his feet. Even some of the armor pieces on his forearms have sharp angled shapes. It looks like you could get sliced up just by brushing up against him by accident! This appearance continues when you look at his details including claw shaped armor on his torso and a beak like mouth on his head. Completing this "beast shape" are the huge wings on his back which fan out wide behind him and give him a grand appearance. The wings themselves look like they're made of up layers of blades. Overall the figure has a striking appearance that looks regal and fierce all at the same time.

Predaking is cast in black, orange and silver plastic. The black color makes up most of the body with orange mostly found on the upper body in the form of his wings, shoulder armor and forearms. His feet, upper arms and thighs are cast in silver. Yellow, orange, silver and black paint are used to provide detail on the figure. Yellow is used for the eyes, his mid-body area and the lower legs. Orange is used on top most layers of his torso armor and on the crest on his head. Silver is used on his face on the "beak" detail. Finally, a Predacon Alliance symbol is painted in black on his left shoulder armor. It's a cool color scheme overall and it even pays homage to the Generation One Predacons by using three of their primary colors: orange, black and yellow.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes ball joints on his shoulders, hips and wings. In a rather unusual touch, his head can be turned from side to side. Most Commander Class figures don't have this, but it's part of his transformation so it works out perfectly. His primary weapon is a missile launcher that becomes his tail in beast mode. Thus, the weapon looks every bit as much like part of a "creature" as the robot itself. It has a layered look with claws at the end. The missile is fired by a "pressure marble" system. Push the end of the missile and when enough pressure builds it will launch. The missile is long enough that you could actually have Predaking hold it as a melee weapon, almost like a mean looking club.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Turn the robot head around.
  3. Swing each of the robot hands out to reveal the front beast mode claws, then rotate the forearms so the claws face forward.
  4. Swing each of the shoulder panels down.
  5. Swing the back piece up, then rotate the dragon neck/head halves and connect them together before swinging the entire piece forward, covering part of the robot head.
  6. Swing the wings up.
  7. Rotate the robot arms/front legs so the claws face forward.
  8. On each robot leg, swing out the beast mode legs.
  9. Swing each robot foot so it points down.
  10. Swing the lower legs up.
  11. Using the tab on the top of the missile launcher, create the tail by attaching that tab to the open rectangular gap in between the two legs.

Beast Mode:
Predaking is a dragon in beast mode. He's built like the vision of dragons most people have in their minds nowadays: a long neck with a pointed head, large wings, clawed feet and a tail. From what I'm seeing in early images on the official Transformers web site, his overall shape is right and perhaps his most distinctive feature is his head. The head is really narrow with lots of sharp looking points from the jaw (with a mean looking underbite) all the way to the back. Layers of armor run down the back of his neck and details from the robot feet give him blade like protrusionsa on his back. No pun intended, but the look is rather erm...sharp and gives him a cool, dangerous appearance.

All the colors featured in the robot mode appear here with most of the center of the body being black and the outer parts cast in orange. This includes his wings and legs. Some orange paint is used to provide detailing along the neck and at the top of the chest. Silver is also used for sections of the beast mode head. Some of the yellow paint is visible on his back. The neck/chest area is the nicest section color-wise. I also appreciate the way the Predacon symbol still appears prominently on the shoulder.

There are eight points of articulation in this mode. This includes four points in the front and two in the back. When I first broke out the figure, I thought that his wings had 3mm connection points for Cyberverse weaponry. Amazingly, it turns out that isn't the case despite there being distinctive circles on the edges of each wing. This was a disappointment to say the least. I mean, it doesn't kill the entire mode, but I had gotten so used to Cyberverse Commander Class figures connecting to extra weapons that it seemed odd. That said, you can connect other Cyberverse weapons to the peg sticking up in the back from his missile launcher, so it's not a total loss.

Final Thoughts:
Predaking is a cool figure overall, but there are definitely some shortcomings. I think if your'e restricting yourself to smaller versions of the characters or you're a completist this is for you. However if you only want one version of the character, you're probably better off with one of the larger ones. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun toy but I think with a couple of changes it could have been much better.