"The Last Knight" 1 Step Changer Berserker Toy Review
Release Date: June 2017
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
In the third Transformers film "Dark of the Moon" a group of Decepticons known as the "Dreads" were introduced. These savage looking characters
reminded fans of the title character(s) from the "Predator" series of films. After "Dark of the Moon" the Dreads kind of vanished. However in "The Last Knight" there is a scene were we are introduced to several Decepticons, one of whom is a Dread named Berserker! The previous Dread figure was Crankcase. Now as part of the Turbo Changer assortment, Berserker is a 1 Step Changer.
The new One Step Changer packaging for "The Last Knight" actually takes a design cue from the 2017 One Step Changers in "Robots in Disguise". Instead of a flat card and a bubble, the new packaging is cardboard which has a plastic tray attached to it. The figure is tied to the tray and then cardboard wraps around it to provide additional graphics. The background features a close up of the character art (roughly from the neck up). The figure is packaged in vehicle mode and the part of the card that folds over the front shows off part of the robot mode. This line introduces a new sub-category of figures, the "Turbo Changers" which seems to include anything that falls under the 1-5 Step change category. So in this case this is a 1-Step Turbo Changer figure. On the right side of the card (if you are facing it) is the vertical Transformers logo used since "Age of Extinction" and on the front is the logo for "The Last Knight" set against a black background. The back of the packaging features the figure in both modes, emphasizing its One Step transformation.
In "Dark of the Moon", Crankcase transformed into a Chevrolet Suburban. However in "The Last Knight", we never see Berserker's alt-mode so what he transforms into is left open to the audience's imagination. Since using a Chevrolet Suburban as a vehicle mode would require licensing, the designers decided to give Berserker a vehicle that looks like it could be related to a Suburban but not necessarily a real life vehicle. Instead, this vehicle looks like a hardcore off-road pickup truck. The front has a sleek, angled design that angles back towards the front wheel wells. The center is somewhat "Suburban-like" with two windows on either side. The cabin section leads to a small truck bed in the back with a spoiler that raises up in the rear. The wheels are big enough that they raise the vehicle up more than the average vehicle. This does two things: It makes the vehicle look like it can handle rough terrain and it gives some clearance room for the robot mode bits on the bottom of the vehicle. Interestingly a light bar is found on the top of the cabin section, indicating that Berserker's disguise is some type of emergency vehicle!
Berserker is mostly cast in black plastic in this mode. You can see a bit of gunmetal grey sticking out on the bottom and rear of the vehicle. White paint is used for the headlights and a Decepticon symbol on the left side door. Red paint is used on the light bar. This is a very simple color scheme, and I do find myself wishing there were a couple more paint apps (such as silver on the grille) but really, considering this vehicle is riffing off the Chevrolet Suburban the mostly black color works out fine even if it is not ideal. If you look closely at the hood, you'll see a faint Decepticon symbol on it. This is part of the light-based gimmick activated by having Dragonstorm shine his lights onto the vehicle. This will reveal "additional secret deco" on the vehicle.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Lift the front end of the vehicle and pull it back and lock it into place. This will unfold the robot head, swing out the sides/arms and raise the spoiler section up.
The Dreads had a very unique looking design in "Dark of the Moon", and many of those features carry over to this sculpt. Perhaps the most striking of these features is the head. While Berserker is a mechanical being, some of his details look downright organic (or techno-organic if you prefer). His head has horns on the top (and sticking out from the neck area). He has four eye slits with two pupils inside each and his mouth has upturned fangs that come up to his upper lip. Sticking out the sides of his head are dreadlocks. This is where a lot of his "Predator" appearance comes from, and it is hard not to see this design as a homage to that classic movie creature. The rest of Berserker's design features designs like those found on Crankcase. This includes the torso having three pointed segments on each side, the knee armor coming up to the thighs and feet that feature clawed toes instead of flat foot pieces.
Of course, being a 1 Step Changer, there are going to be design sacrifices. In Berserker's case, he winds up with a severe case of "car on my back" syndrome. Almost all the vehicle mode bits wind up folding away to his back. Since the doors swing out to the sides, they almost look like a cape on his back. Also, two of the vehicle mode wheels wind up featuring very prominently on his ankles. To me this is not big deal. With 1 Step Changers you always expect a certain amount of design sacrifice, and the vehicle mode bits are out of the way enough that I can ignore them. I also love the level of detail on the robot mode parts, so that helps a lot.
Most of Berserker's robot mode is gunmetal grey, which looks great on its own. His eyes are painted a copper color. His dreadlocks and the claws on his feet are painted dark brown brown. Red paint is used for a distinct "X" on his chest (which unfortunately overlapped onto one of his dreadlocks on my copy of the toy). There is a really nice spray op of red on each forearm that starts strong at the top and fades towards the wrists. For a 1 Step Changer, this is one nice paint job.
There are two points of articulation this figure: the arms. Each can move up and down. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing Berserker to hold weapons from other figures.
Berserker is a fun figure. He looks cool in both modes but the robot mode parts really stand out in terms of sculpting. I also like the robot mode paint job quite a bit. Since the Dreads are kind of a sub-group, this figure is perfect for troop-building Dreads without breaking the bank. Recommended if you do not want to shell out the cash for the Deluxe Class figure.
- Nice sculpt in robot mode.
- Nice deco in robot mode.
- Fun "auto transform".
- Could use more deco in vehicle mode.