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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Detective Barricade's review: Tripredacus

Name: Tripredacus
Function: Battle Master
Sub-Group: Beast Wars Ultra class

The ultra beast Tripredacus mounts itís attack on the Maximal fortress in the dead of night, calling upon Cicadaconís plague like destruction, Ram Hornís tenacity, and Sea Clampís crushing power. Emerging from the bowels of the earth, Tripredacus summons itís forces to form an incredible weapon of destruction. Sea Clampís concealed linkage system connects Cicadaconís chopping rotor blades to Ram Hornís powerful driving motor, creating a mega-missile launcher the Predacon team uses to slash its slimy way into battle. With power and lethality multiplied three times over, Tripredacus prepares to overtake and rule the robotic jungle.

Beast Wars was an adventurous time for Transformers. Ball joints became standard. Instead of vehicles, organic beast modes were used. And, two of the first fully integrated combiners appeared in this series, one for each side. Here we look at the Predaconís combiner, Tripredacus, whom may or may not be tied to the Tripredacus Council from the cartoon. Iíll review each component, including their individual ratings, and then the big guy himself.


Beast mode:
In beast mode, Cicadacon is a cicada, as per his name. He does have an attack mode, but as with most Beast Era attack modes, itís kind of silly and best ignored. Each wing is on its own ball joint, allowing for various in flight poses, but not much else otherwise everywhere else. But aside from the folded up robot legs in the abdomen, and the arms not really trying to hide on the underside, he looks fairly realistic.

Robot mode:
Transforming Cicadacon to robot mode is pretty simple, but clever. The rub symbol for him is on the panel behind the robot head, revealing him as a Predacon. Not that bugs are very common among Maximal ranks, but itís nice to know where the guy stands. Speaking of which, heís got a total of 13 points of articulation not counting the wings, most of them ball joints. His weapons, a pair of swords, can be removed from under his main wings to be held, and he looks quite sinister with them! Be careful though as the handle-scan cracks and breaks if youíre not careful. Overall, he stands out quite nicely on his own, with barely any hint of him having to combine with his buddies, unlike most of the G1 combiners.

Transformation: 4 Easy, but clever.
Durability: 7 The clear parts can be a bit fragile. Just donít do anything too crazy with them.
Fun: 8 A neat little swords-bot. May be the best of them individually.
Overall: 7 Great on his own, but you shouldnít be getting him alone.

Ram Horn

Beast mode:
Ram Horn becomes a beetle. I believe itís a rhinoceros beetle. Again, he has an attack mode, and again, itís best ignored. Interestingly, most of Ram Horn is translucent plastic, aside from the legs. The forelegs are ball jointed, as is his head, but thereís nothing else of play value in this mode. He does look very realistic though, which is always a plus.

Robot mode:
Ram Horn is a little trickier to transform than the other two, but not much more. This time , the rub symbol is on the right side of where his slashing claw weapon, which I really like, is stored, also revealing Predacon. His face is kind of creepy, and can laugh maniacally, or chew. Whichever you prefer. He's got about as much articulation as Cicadacon, but is a bit back heavy. Still, he looks like he can take a pounding and give some back. Overall, he too stands out nicely on his own, and also doesnít hint too much that he combines.

Transformation: 5 Slightly trickier than the other two.
Durability: 7 The robot legs like to pop off on mine, despite the hips feeling secure enough. Otherwise pretty solid!
Fun: 7 Decidedly not boring.
Overall: 7 Nice on his own as well, but he shouldnít be bought separately.

Sea Clamp

Beast mode:
Here, Sea Clamp is a lobster, and a pretty convincing one at that. Like the other two, he does have an attack mode, but this time itís actually kind of neat. Simply open the claws and flip out the blades from within. Itís small, out of the way, and looks intentional. The antennae and the claws can be adjusted to suit your fancy. Heís got a pretty strong grip too! Like Ram Horn, Sea Clamp is cast mostly in translucent plastic. Heís also the most detailed of the group.

Robot mode:
Sea Clamp is the easiest to transform of the three. His HUGE arms and shoulders give him a very intimidating appearance! The rub symbol is behind his weapon, which to no surprise reveals Predacon. Unfortunately, he canít hold his weapon, so Ram Horn has to hold it for him. Sea Clamp has a whopping 20 points of articulation, with most of it focused in his arms. He even works in a waist, something his cohorts couldnít. Overall, heís not bad as an individual, but he hints slightly more than Cicadacon and Ram Horn that heís supposed to combine.

Transformation: 3 A breeze.
Durability: 8 Despite the translucent plastic, heís quite solid.
Fun: 8 Lots of play value to enjoy.
Overall: 7 Again nice on his own, but again you shouldnít have to buy separately.

Now we get to the main event! Cicadacon forms the head and body, Ram Horn forms the arms, and Sea Clamp forms the legs and back. The result is something thatís both very cool and very creepy at the same time. The mold is quite villainous, befitting a Predacon. Everything kind of flows together into one large robot, instead of a few smaller robots slapped together. All three componentsí weapons combine to form one lethal looking weapon! Heís also fairly pose-able as well. Overall, this monster is worth the effort to pick up.

Transformation: 7 Cicadacon and Sea Clamp are easy, but getting Ram Horn to work is more guesswork than anything.
Durability: 8 Surprisingly solid.
Fun: 9 Three great robots into one very impressive monster.
Price: ? The price can vary by quite a bit, so it depends on how much youíre willing to pay and where you look for it.
Overall: 9 If you can get a good deal for the set in good enough condition, jump on it.
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