"The Last Knight" Deluxe Class Decepticon Berserker Toy Review
Release Date: April 28, 2017 (US Street Date)
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Club weapons x 2
In the third live action Transformers film "Dark of the Moon" a group of Decepticons were introduced known as the "Dreads". These Decepticons looked like terrifying monsters complete with sharp teeth, claws and yes - dreadlocks (on the nose? I'd say so). Among these characters were Crankcase, Hatchet and Crowbar. In "The Last Knight", the designers took the basic Crankcase model and tweaked it a little to create a new character: Berserker. It was never said one way or another whether Berserker is a Dread. I personally like to think he is a Dread given how the "Dark of the Moon" Dreads shared some features and all transformed into Chevrolet Suburbans (the toys are another matter).
Previous to this review I took a look at the Berserker One Step Changer. Between this, a Legion Class figure and a Tiny Turbo Changer Berserker has received a lot of attention in the toy line for a character who never appears again after his initial introduction.
Berserker is one of the first Deluxe Class "Premier Edition" figures. The "Premier Edition" label separates this sub-line from the other parts of the series such as the Knight Armor Turbo Changers. This also meant the price point for the Deluxes went up for this line, averaging $19.99 at most retailers (though there was word Walmart dropped the price temporarily to around $16 when the figures were first released). The packaging was one of the methods Hasbro used to make the figure look like a premium item.
Instead of being carded, Berserker is in a plastic tray inside a box. The figure is packaged in robot mode. The box itself basically wraps around the tray. On the right hand side (if you are facing the box) is the vertical "Transformers" logo. Above that is the "Premier Edition" logo. On the left is Barricade's package art, which actually wraps around to the side of the package. The top features artwork of the Decepticons in a group shot. The back shows the figure in both modes touting an 17 step transformation. On the left are his cosells: Deluxe Bumblebee and Barricade who are also in this wave.
Berserker includes two spiked club weapons with a spear like end. To allow the weapons to have actual points they are cast in dark grey soft plastic. The ends have 5mm pegs that you can use to attach them to his hands. The weapons also have angled tabs on the sides that connect to the sides of the vehicle mode. Berserker himself looks really brutal and dangerous, so these are the perfect weapons to go with him.
In "The Last Knight" movie Berserker appears briefly in restraints inside a Decepticon prison. He never appears after this scene, so this brief sequence was the only time fans got a good look at him. From what I can see, this figure manages to replicate a lot of the details seen on the CG model. These include:
- The head is shaped a lot like the Decepticon symbol, with a central crest, then two pointed sections that rise up over the head. There are four eye slots with two individual "pupils" inside the slots. The mouth shows very "Predator" like teeth and jaw arrangements. There are the trademark "dreadlocks" hanging down on this figure (in the film they are pushed back). Overall the head sculpt is super creepy looking.
- Behind the shoulders are two curved blades that rise up higher than the robot head. This figure has these blade details but proportionally speaking they are smaller on this figure than what you see in the movie.
- The chest features several layers of armor including a "collar" piece on the top section of the chest.
- The legs angle forward and then sweep back, similar to a Minotaur's legs.
- The feet have claws at the ends instead of the more traditional flat foot pieces on Transformers.
Overall Berserker's appearance lives up to his name. He looks super creepy and dangerous and quite different than the other figures in this wave.
Berserker is mostly made up of black and gunmetal grey plastic. Soft dark grey plastic is also used for the "dreadlocks" on his head. The gunmetal grey makes up most of the figure, with black filling in smaller details like the blades behind his shoulders. The paint job on this figure is really great. Red is used for the eyes, torso, forearms and knees. The torso in particular gets a should out for having a giant red "X", a detail seen in the character's scene in the film. The red on his forearms looks almost sprayed on and it is really beautiful. His claws have orange paint on them. Bits of silver paint can be found on his head, and the claws on his feet are painted metallic brown. Overall I really like the deco on this mode. Berserker looks fantastic in this mode.
There are fifteen points of articulation on this figure. Four of these (the shoulders and hips) are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. With his angled legs and claws Berserker looks absolutely fierce when you pose him. His hands have 5mm slots, allowing him to hold his spiked club weapons. Technically you can attach them to his forearms too, but they do not hold particularly well. They can also hook onto the panel on his back (see the official photo above to see this done).
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the heel pieces up.
- Swing the panels on the forearms out.
- Swing the blades behind the shoulders down.
- Swing each hand down.
- Swing the back section out, and unfold the top and back panels of the vehicle mode.
- Push the top half of the body forward and down.
- On each leg rotate the lower legs so the side panels of the vehicle mode face outward.
- On each leg, swing the black panels forward.
- Rotate the arms around, then swing the arms up, forming the bulk of the vehicle mode's rear section.
- Connect the rear wheel well panels to the side panels on the legs.
- Swing the panel that forms the top and back of the vehicle down, then use the rear wheel well panels to tab in and hold the piece in place.
- Swing the panels on the sides forward. The tabs on them fit into slots behind the front wheels.
- Push the hood/windshield piece down.
- Push the front grille/headlight panel in against the hood piece.
- The weapons can fit into the slots on the sides above the rear wheel wells.
Note: During transformation the panels on the robot arms can fall off very easily. If they do just push them back into the forearms.
Like the other Dreads from "Dark of the Moon", Berserker transforms into a Chevrolet Suburban. Like the vehicles seen in the film, this is a long SUV with three windows on the sides, two light bars on top and a distinctive air intake on the top of the hood. Both the front and back feature the Chevrolet logo. The front also has the distinctive grille sections with a thin strip on top and a wider one on the bottom. There are also small, round lights under the headlights.
From a detail perspective the vehicle looks great and matches the Suburbans seen in "Dark of the Moon" very well. The main issue I have with the figure is its construction, and I am honestly hot sure how it could have been done better. The issue is that there are so many distinctive panels coming together to form the sides of the vehicle that you wind up seeing lots of seams and gaps. Also the panels can easily be shifted out of position as you handle the figure, which I found a tad frustrating. However if you mess around and get the panels in place, it displays nicely if you leave it alone.
This mode is mostly black plastic, which matches the look of the vehicles used in the "Dark of the Moon" film. Red paint is used on the light bars and the rear lights. There is a purple Decepticon symbol on the side, which calls back to the small Decepticon symbols near the front wheel wells on the real life prop vehicles from "Dark of the Moon".
The weapons can be attached to the slots above the rear wheel wells. They hold well enough for display but they can be popped out pretty easily if you shift the vehicle around a lot.
Berserker is one of those figures that leaves me conflicted. I love the robot mode. It's creepy, unusual and dynamic looking with fantastic detail and a good deco. The vehicle mode also has some really great sculpted detail but the panel-forming is rather unstable. If you can get this on discount it is worth it (he is currently $11.35 on Amazon as I write this review) but not at full price.
- Fantastic screen accurate sculpt in robot mode.
- Really nice deco in robot mode, especially the red paint.
- Vehicle mode details are screen accurate.
- Panels on arms fall off fairly easily.
- The panels in vehicle mode do not hold together very well.