Release Date: April 7, 2016
Price Point: $399 in a boxed set with Primus registration, $299 for a bagged set (with General Ramhorn, General Sea Clamp, Predacon Tarantulas & Ravage)
Retailer: Fun Publications (Botcon Exclusive)
Accessories: Hand/foot/weapon; Blaster
The theme for Botcon 2016 was the "Dawn of the Predacus", riffing off the "Beast Wars" Combiner character known as Tripredacus. The story told the tale of the fall of the Decepticons and the rise of the Predacons, featuring many Maximal and Predacon characters in their "pre-Beast Wars" forms. Botcon had played with this theme before in 2006 with the "Dawn of Future's Past" set, featuring vehicular forms for many Beast Wars characters. Interestingly this year's set seems more aligned with Hasbro's mass release figures, being labeled as "Combiner Wars" instead of "Timelines". That places this set of figures under the "Generations" banner instead.
General Cicadacon is one of the three Predacon Generals introduced in "Beast Wars" during the epic "The Agenda" three part series. These shadowy figures were shown to be behind the machinations of the Predacon government. Though they looked nothing like the "Beast Wars" action figures of the same name, this boxed set takes inspiration from the concept of the three being able to combine, adding in Ravage and Tarantulas (two of the Tripredacus agents) into the mix to create a proper "Combiner Wars" giant.
The base sculpt for this figure is "Combiner Wars" Skydive. The sculpt was later extensively retooled and given a new deco as Air Raid. More recently the sculpt came out as the "G2" themed Skydive. Check out the first Skydive review for a more detailed look at this figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The Predacus set was available in two forms. The main packaging was a boxed set similar in style to those from past years. However instead of the "Timelines" label the set is under the "Generations" banner instead with "Combiner Wars" boldly printed on the front and sides. The right side (facing the box) has a list of "Special thanks" listing many names that have had a hand in Fun Publications over the years including Karl Hartman and Pete Sinclair. Inside the figures are in vehicle mode couched inside foam. Underneath are the tech specs, instructions and accessories. The cover features gorgeous box art by Marcelo Matere in the style of other "Combiner Wars" giants.
Pre-registrants could also order a "loose" set during the registration process. This set included all the figures, accessories and paperwork from the boxed set (minus the pin) sealed in a large plastic bag.
General Cicadacon includes the same accessories as Skydive. The weapon is a hand-held blaster with two barrels. This piece is cast in silver. The other accessory is the hand/foot/weapon piece which is cast in red. Both accessories have no issues with their pegs and the thumb hinge on the hand piece is nice and tight.
In "Beast Wars" Cicadacon was (not shockingly) a cicada in beast mode. This aerial beast mode serves as the foundation for using this sculpt as his "pre-Beast Wars" body. No sculpting changes were made to this figure so this pretty much just looks like Skydive in different colors. The main plastic color here is metallic red, the same color used on Ramhorn. The nosecone is soft grey plastic. There is also soft red plastic used for the vertical fins in the back.
To go along with the grey nosecone piece, grey paint is used on the fins, wings, the back and the area around the cockpit. This alone is a lot of deco, but the "cicada" influence comes in with additional details in silver. The wings and fins all have silver on them with a series of lines forming a pattern similar to the wings on a cicada. Silver is also used on the missiles on the bottom of the wings and the air intakes underneath the wings. Some small paint details include orange near the cockpit and black on the cockpit itself. The finishing touch are black and red Predacon symbols on each wing. This is an absolutely gorgeous deco and there is almost a dizzying amount of detail here. I'm very happy with the deco and the way it calls back to Cicadacon from "Beast Wars".
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Swing the robot arms up.
- Split the leg halves forward and back, then swing them down and push them together.
- Swing the nosecone up, back and forward, bending it at the hinge.
- Swing the wings and horizontal fins up.
- Swing the arms up at the shoulder hinges.
- Swing the arms up to the sides, then straighten them out and rotate them around.
- Rotate the robot head around.
- Attach the weapons to the hands or attach them to the wings for storage.
The Skydive sculpt was not retooled at all for this release. Cicadacon's head design in "Beast Wars" was kind of wide in the "helmet" section and a fairly generic looking robot face in the center. Skydive's head sculpt works in that context, though it lacks the two "mandibles" on the top of the head that were seen on the CG model. While I would have preferred a new head sculpt, I can get how this one is "close enough" to serve as Cicadacon's.
Like the vehicle mode this form mostly uses metallic red plastic. Silver is used for the Combiner connection piece in the center of the torso. Silver paint is used on several parts including the shoulders, chest, hands and lower legs. We're talking about a lot of silver here and it looks great. Grey paint is used on the forearms and feet, helping to offer some dark contrast with the silver. Black paint is used on the knee armor and yellow is used on the head (taking inspiration from the CG model).
The joints on my copy of this figure are in good shape, but not as tight as my original Skydive figure. In particular the elbow joints could be much tighter. Nothing is super loose however so he can hold his weapons up without a problem.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):
- Detach all weapons.
- Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
- Swing the horizontal stabilizer fins up.
- Swing each robot arm out to the side.
- Open up the halves of the robot legs and swing them down, then reconnect them together.
- Swing the cockpit section up and back.
- Swing each wing up.
- Swing the shoulder sections up, then fold the forearms up, bending the arm at the elbow. There are notches on the outside of the forearms that align with the tabs on the underside of each wing.
- Swing the robot head down to reveal the limb connection piece.
- Attach the hand to the bottom of the feet.
The red and grey colors on this figure fit the Predacus theme very nicely since the Tripredacus Council was primarily made up of red, grey and silver. While there is a lot of silver paint on this figure not as much of it as you would think actually shows in this form. Unfortunately due to how relatively loose the hip joints are the arm cannot hold up heavier weapons like Powerglide. The arm just droops down slowly. He can however hold lighter weapons such as the one included with Sea Clamp.
Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):
- Detach all the accessories.
- Take the fist/foot piece and push in the fingers (if they're out) and swing the thumb back to form the heel.
- Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
- Swing the head back and point the connector piece up.
- Swing each rear half of the legs back, then swing the legs up on the knee hinge and reconnect the pieces together (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
- Swing the shoulders down.
- Swing each robot arm down to the sides, connecting the notches on the forearms to the tabs on the sides of the legs.
- With the cockpit sections facing front, attach the foot piece so the rocket launcher details are facing the same way.
Unlike the arm mode much more silver paint shows up in this form on the back of the leg. We also get a bit more grey and orange via the top of the vehicle's front end. This mode has no issues from a functional standpoint.
Cicadacon is a bit of an old fashioned redeco in that nothing but the deco was changed and you had to use a bit of imagination to "buy" the toy as the character. In that sense I consider this a success.