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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Ultimate Weapon's review of: Predaking

Name: Predaking
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Decepticon Warrior
Sub-Group: Predacons
"Destroy first, ask questions later."

The closest thing to a perfect fighting machine that the Decepticons have. As a warrior he has no equal; as a weapon he has no restraints. His actions result from seemingly savage, animal instinct. Can lift 500 tons; reacts to any movement he sees within .002 seconds. Can generate protective electric field. Wields powerful X-ray laser cannon. Each foot houses twin mortar shell launchers. No known weaknesses.

Name: Razorclaw
"All good things succumb to those who wait."

All business. Hates waste in any form... won't burn an extra drop of fuel unless he's certain the results will be worth the effort. Long stretches of inactivity often mistaken for laziness. Explodes into furious, ferocious action when it's time to strike. As a lion, can leap distances as long as a football field. Claws can rip through foot-thick steel. Has twin concussion blasters and sonic sword. Combines with fellow Predacons to form Predaking.

Name: Divebomb
"Conquer the skies and what's below you will fall."

He's like a kid at a candy store - always delighted by all the targets he has to choose from. Builds mecha-nests atop tall buildings and mountains; composed of late Model sports cars, wings of jets, theater marquees. Back-mounted rocket thrusters allows speeds of 300mph, 2000 mile range. Can see a dime from 10,000 feet. Has particle-beam rifle with infra-red sight, and laser-guided sword. Magnetism inhibits flying ability. With fellow Predacons, forms Predaking.

Name: Rampage
"Those who conquer, act; those who are conquered, think!"

Barrels through life with an uncontrolled fury. Has difficulty talikng coherently for more than a few seconds before violently lashing out at anything near him, friend or foe. TV calms him... stares at rock music videos for hours. As tiger, can leap 300ft. in height, 500ft. in length. A kick from his foreleg can crumble a cinder block. As robot, carries 60,000 volt lightning rifle, 5000 degrees Farenheight thermo-sword. Combines with fellow Predacons to form Predaking.

Name: Headstrong
"The best advice is not to listen to advice."

Doesn't listen to anyone, particularly his friends. Smug, arrogant. Puts up a stubborn front to hide deep-rooted insecurities. More vulnerable to psychological rather than physical attacks. In rhinoceros Mode, his horn can puncture 3-foot thick steel, release corrosive acid. Uses plasma-sphere shooter that emits explosive energy balls; has light distorting diffraction sword. Combines with fellow Predacons to form Predaking.

Name: Tantrum
"Anger gets me running better than any other fuel."

Prefers brute force over reason. Steam comes from his nasal ducts when he's enraged. Smashes head-first into highway trestles and small buildings to relieve his aggression. Always feels better afterwards. Carries 4 exterior fuel tanks, capacity: 1600 gallons, as a reserve for himself and his comrades. His horns shoot bolts of 20,000 volt electricity. Carries a catalytic carbine that shoots destructive chemicals, and an electro-sword. Combines with fellow Predacons to form Predaking.

Takara continues its release of Generation 1 figures this time in the form of a Gestalt gift box, with the Predaking reissue. Takara have gone to great lengths this year to ensure a quality product is delivered to fans for the 20th anniversary of the Transformers toy line. Predaking comes in a large box with a handle on the top for carrying. Original artwork for the Predacons (Animatrons in Japan) displays on the box next to the combined image. Inside you will find all five Predacons inside of a clear plastic holder. Along with the figures are the weapons, 5 swords, 8 guns, one large laser cannon, 2 feet, head, and fists. Inside of the grab bag are the 6 tech spec cards, also each individual sticker decal sheet. Takara also included a checklist for the collection reissues and the Binaltech releases thus far.

Predaking was originally released in Japan and America in 1986-87. Created by toy designer Akitaka Mika, who would later go on to work for Bandai explains how he was almost sued for the likeness of a previous character already in existence in the Japanese market: "Well, in Japan at the same time as Predaking came out, there was a robot toy called Dartanius with a lion head on its chest that was manufactured by Bandai. Bandai said, 'You stole our idea' and Takara got sued."(ex.org) Predaking however went on to have great success in America with phenomenal sales. The figure remains one of the most sought after of the Generation 1 line.

Alternate Mode:
Predaking has no alternate mode of his own; only the individual team members do. First up is Razorclaw, for no particular reason. Razorclaw is the Predacon commander, and a lion. In this mode, it can turn its head to give you an awkward look before tearing out your innards. The front legs only move back and the hind legs have limited mobility. Razorclaw looks nice in this mode, but can be rather dull to play with on his own. The large laser cannon can be attached for his attack mode. The diecast metal is located in the hips.

Next up is Divebomb, the hot dog (Old joke). This mode represents an eagle, typical of a Predacon aerial assault function. The wing span is quite impressive, with weapons attached at the wing joint. That's really all that happens in this mode. I don't really like the mouth option. A beak hat would have been cooler. The diecast metal is located in the hips.

Rampage is a tiger as far as I can tell and a gunner. Two guns attach to the sides for his attack mode. This mode is similar to Razorclaw in it's design, and has limited mobility and range of movement. Diecast metal parts are located in the hips.

Ground assault is Headstrong, or the Decepticons answer to a paper weight. Rather a rhinoceros. The head moves up and down and side to side. Well that's about it, other than the hind legs can kick back. However one has to see past their prejudices and love Headstrong for his charm. I particularly enjoy the fact that the entire saddle area is all die cast metal painted yellow. Here you can attach Predaking's foot for his attack mode. Too weird to live, too rare to die!

Last but not least is Tantrum the Decepticon fueler. Fueler? What kind of fuel, exactly, can you get from a male bull cow? I will leave it up to the minds of the viewers, although a scene from the movie Kingpin does come to mind. Die cast metal is located on the hip sides and shoulders.

Robot Mode:
Lets cut right to the chase here. Predaking is an awesome sight to behold. He stands approximately 12", wields a sword, is armed to the teeth, and sports a pair of biker eagle wings on his back like a gang member from the Warriors. Predaking is badass and the figure definitely delivers on an emotional level for me. Ever since I first saw it in the catalogs back in the 80's, I have wanted one. The fists can turn 360 degrees, and have spiked knuckles just because. The legs can swing forwards and back. The arms have a good range of motion, and can swing out for a clothesline move on the Divebomb arm. Like any Gestalt set you truly have to have them all to enjoy the toy to it's fullest potential. I could see how they would be lame on their own, having only owned Razorclaw and Divebomb for most of my life.

Some of the problems with the design are the sheer bulk of some of the members. Rampage in particular suffers because his front legs having no good hiding place. This can then hinder the movement of his arm. I guess you can say that Predaking is left handed, if there is such a thing. Getting the fist into the socket can be a pain on Rampage as well, though it's easier on Divebomb. Also the wings will fall off if you move him around a lot. More head movement would be nice as well. These small oversights by no means hinder the overall effect that is one of my favorite Transformer toys. I really can't say enough about how much I love this toy!

Razorclaw does not do much in robot mode. His arms are stubby, and don't do much other than hang there. He does have a good sword and a nice shoulder cannon. This helps make the toy value increase. Give a crappy figure a sword, and you get 10 points in the cool column.

Divebomb is not much different than the rest. He is probably my least favorite of the bunch. In fact I only really like him when he is attached to Predaking. That is where he truly shines through as the glorious arm that he was born to be! It's able to hold the laser cannon for his daddy. Eh, it's a living.

Rampage is another arm, though not as glorious as Divebomb. This is usually the arm that I use for the sword. The robot mode is not bad for this figure. Nice articulation and what not for when you are not displaying Predaking. Yeah like that's going to happen. Pssssh.

Headstrong is your typical G1 brick. He forms the leg of Predaking. In robot mode he can move his arms up and down at a double joint in the elbow. Also, because the backside is all metal, you might have problems with him falling over.

Tantrum is actually quite a nice figure for having no leg movements. The arm is attached to a 360 degree pivot and can move up and down. I also like the way the figure looks and he displays well when not holding up his fellow Preds.

Transformation: 1 - Nothing hard here, really simple and easy modes to change back and forth. The play value is increased because of the quick changing molds.
Durability: 10 - Built like a brick. Predaking is tough and will not break easily, unless you are prone to dropping things out of windows.
Fun: 10 - More fun than a barrel of monkeys! Predaking is great and can be the decisive figure to turn the tide in favor of the Decepticon army in battle. Not that I do that. Quit looking at me!
Price: 10 - Cheap as chips! I feel comfortable with a 10 rank given the fact that a Predaking giftset sells for well over $500. Depending on which dealer you use. I got mine for $125.
Summary: 10 - A must own. A collection just wouldn't be complete without one. This is truly a dream come true for me. So now that the opportunity has arisen, take advantage of it!

 
 
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