Power of the Primes Predaking Gallery and Review!

Destroying first and asking questions later in the Allspark Studios this week is perfect Decepticon fighting machine, Predaking! Will he truly find no equal on your toyshelf, or will he make eternal peace with his  Autobot rivals?  Tune in after the break to find out!
I always wanted to complete Predaking as a kid, but I never did.  My great aunt Faye gave me Tantrum (NOT Torox) and she gave my brother Razorclaw for Christmas in either 86 or 87.  These were the last toys she ever gave us for Christmas, as we had apparently reached the age where people start to think kids want clothes instead of toys….but I digress. These guys were HUGE compared to most of the figures I had (Minibots, Flipchangers, etc.), with slightly better articulation and badass weapons and powers, so needless to say, they quickly became my favorites. I think I even took Tantrum on trips with me.  He was one of the last Transformers from my original figures that I lost track of, by means of my soon to be nephew wanting to play with it and my inability to say no to my soon to be wife (love you baby).  I was super excited to get the reissues (all 3 times), but I never expected to get full on updates to my favorite combiner team until they were announced this past year.

My Initial Thoughts
Before I get into the full review, I want to share my initial reaction to Predaking.  When I first opened the box, I took the figures out as they were packed, and just took a hard look.  I was…conflicted.  I think I was expecting them to have great beast mode articulation.  They did not.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not horrible, it’s just not a huge improvement over the original figures.  I thought to myself, “Hasbro has achieved the impossible of making something simultaneous better and not better than the original version.”  Then I took them all, transformed them, fidgeted with them, gave Razorclaw wings (Tigerhawk/Universe Razorclaw repaint please, Hasbro!), and went to bed.  I waited well into the next day to make the combined mode.  That was when I knew Hasbro had seriously delivered on a phenomenal Predaking update.
Combined Mode
Sculpt – Predaking has all the right shapes.  Sharp, angular lines, curves on the parts where the curves should be.  The original had some “tech greebles” on the panel surfaces, but not many.  There were a lot of smooth surfaces.  The update breaks the smoothness by adding a lot more tech detail, but HasTak found a way to strike a nice balance, and it does not feel overdone.
Proportions – This is where things start to get interesting.  One of the worst things about the G1 Predaking were the proportions on the combined mode.  He was (relatively) tall and bulky, but he was kind of squat in a way that was…less than imposing.  Power of the Primes Predaking takes his proportion cues more from the cartoon.  This means his torso and appendages are stretched out to a more realistic, “comic book heroic” look.  It really makes him look power and imposing.

Joints – Like Devastator, Predaking employs a different join system from that of the other combiners in the Prime Wars Trilogy.  The shoulders, hips and upper legs are contained in the appendage bots’ bodies, with allows for a smaller but aligned scale Razorclaw and a Tantrum (NOT Torox) and Headstrong with a large backpack built into their bodies.  The arms slide onto posts in Razorclaw’s body very solidly and make for nicely secure shoulders.  The hips also slide into slots on what was part of Divebomb’s tail in such a fashion that the legs and lower half are extremely solid.

Articulation – Now that we have covered the potential problem spots, the rest of the articulation is as follows:

  • Ankle tilts
  • Rotating calves
  • Knees
  • Rotating thighs
  • Forward and outward rotating hips
  • Rotating waist
  • Forward and outward rotating shoulders
  • Rotating biceps
  • Elbows
  • Rotating wrists
  • Single jointed, folding knuckles
  • Rotating neck (a full ball joint would have been nice)
  • Two-jointed wings

All in all, the articulation is great.  Hell, it’s phenomenal.  The only things I would have changed would have been more range of movement in the elbows and the previously mentioned neck.  The neck issue is one of the few issues the current design team has yet to get right.  If they could improve the neck articulation in their designs, they would take things to the next level.

Posing – Due to the superior articulation, Predaking can pose extremely well.  He can get into numerous action poses, and because of the balance of the figure, he holds them well.  This is definitely a result of the ankle tilts and extra joints, and it will place this set high on your list of favorite Transformers to pose dynamically (or with which to play).

SDCC news brought the great revelation that Hasbro will not be using stickers on the next line of figures.  Personally, I won’t be using the stickers included with this set for two reasons beyond my well documented distaste for stickers that aren’t made with the quality of those from ToyHax.  First off, Hasbro did a very good job with the paint ops that are included on Predaking.  There is enough detail that I am not sure I need to mess with it, as it’s close to perfection.  Second, the DNA Design DK-07 Upgrade Kit that is scheduled for an October release will include new wings, likely painted, so no need for stickers.

I won’t give you a detailed run down of all the transformations of all the component parts here.  Overall, Predaking is easy to form, but not too easy.  Younger fans might need a little help the first time around, but mostly due to getting some of the parts to tab into place.  Older fans will find the translation possible without reading the instruction, but just challenging/unique enough to be enjoyable.

I rate Predaking a 9.9/10.  He is close to perfect.  The articulation, sculpting, poseability and proportions really make his combined form one of the best official Transformers figures ever made.  He is solid, fun and way more than the sum of his parts, whom I will likely review in the coming weeks, but will vary in terms of scores.  Predaking is going to be your favorite combiner, of this I am sure.  If you have a younger fan in your family, consider buying him for them as a way over the top birthday or other major event present.  His mid-range level of transformation and imposing looks will ensure he will be loved by old and new fan alike!