As I’ve stated a dozen times before, I’m generally only interested in Generation 1 (G1) Transformers. G1 Transformers are what I grew up with in the 80s; only back then they weren’t called Generation 1, they were just called Transformers. The G1 title only emerged after Hasbro revived the Transformers brand in the 90s after it had been dormant for a few years. The 90s Transformers were mostly just repaints of the 80s stuff and the packaging labelled them “Generation 2”, thus retroactively dubbing the 80s stuff Generation 1. The term G1 has evolved to mean anything Transformer related that ties into the original 80s story. Comic books published by IDW today take place in the G1 continuity. G1 is a term used by Transformers fans all the time. Oddly enough the term “Generation 2” didn’t amount to much and subsequent generations of Transformers have not followed suit with that naming pattern.
I’ve also stated a dozen times that when it comes to Transformers I always preferred the ones that transformed into animals over the ones that transformed into vehicles. The Decepticon sub-team known as the Predacons consisted of 5 bots who not only transformed into beasts but could also merge to create the combiner, Predaking. I loved the Predacons but I only owned two of them as a kid, Razorclaw and Rampage, so I was never able to build Predaking. As an adult collector I considered tracking the 5 of them down (I no longer even have the two I had as a kid) but they’re quite expensive on the secondary market.
Luckily I was able to satisfy my Predaking fix by purchasing a cheap Japanese knock off which I reviewed not too long ago. It’s smaller, less detailed, and of poorer quality than the original but at least I finally had a Predaking to put on my shelf. Ideally, Hasbro would’ve released a whole new set of Predacons based on their 80s designs but that hasn’t happened yet and seems unlikely to happen anytime soon based on Hasbro’s track record.
The most recent animated incarnation of Transformers to grace the small screen was a series called “Transformers: Prime”. I only ever watched an episode or two of Prime but I’ve heard good things. Stylistically the character designs were an amalgamation of G1 and the live-action movies. The plot also seemed to draw from various generations of Transformers.
Even though they weren’t strictly generation 1 I found myself drawn to a couple of the Prime figures because of the G1 influence. I bought the Prime Soundwave, even though he was very far removed from the original visually, because he was neat looking and had a unique alt mode. I figured I could display him on my shelf as a separate character than my G1 Soundwave. I bought the Prime Cliffjumper for basically the same reason. I bought the Prime Arcee not so much because I liked the look of her but because to date there is no G1 version of her available (which is a crime but there’s finally one coming later this year). I bought the Prime Ratchet because he looked fairly close to the G1 design and I don’t have a proper G1 Ratchet. I bought Hardshell just for the hell of it (I like bugs). So as you can see there’s some wiggle room in my stance on collecting strictly G1 Transformers.
The second season of Prime was given the subtitle “Beast Hunters”. It focused on the Autobots doing battle with a group of Decepticons with monstrous alt modes known as the Predacons. These new dragon-like Predacons were a far cry from the Rhino and Eagle Predacons I grew up with but I can’t fault Hasbro for re-using the name, it’s a good one. The leader of the Prime Predacons also had a moniker lifted from the G1 days, Predaking.
The new Predaking is big, black, and orange like the original but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. This Predaking is a single bot as opposed to being a combiner made up of multiple smaller Transformers. He transforms from a robot into a large dragon. The original Predaking didn’t transform into anything, he just broke apart; only his component pieces could transform. It would actually be pretty rad is Hasbro could pull off a transforming combiner.
This new Predaking has been released in multiple scales. I’ve seen the various versions in stores a bunch of times and have considered picking one up because of the name association to one of my G1 favorites. But, each time I considered it I managed to conclude that this character was too different from the Predaking of old and that I didn’t need him in my collection. But then I was at Winners earlier this summer with my Dad. It was father’s day and I wanted to buy him something so he suggested we go to Winners so he could check out their selection of golf hats. For those of you not familiar with it, Winners is a large discount department store. I rarely venture into Winners but when I do I often find good toys at really good prices. Dad didn’t find a hat he liked but I found this fella here for a mere $9.99.
At 10 bucks there was no way I could pass him up. Judging by the size of this thing I would’ve guessed that he usually sells for about 40 dollars but I actually spotted him in Wal-Mart recently for $59.99!! He’s pretty tall in either mode but it’s his 21 inch wingspan that really makes him stand out. I don’t really care for his robot mode and intend to keep him in his dragon mode for display purposes, I believe the dragon mode was Predaking’s primary mode in the Prime cartoon anyway, kind of like how Grimlock was always walking around in his dinosaur mode for no particular reason in the 80s cartoons.
There’s plenty of articulation on this figure so he can be posed all kinds of ways. I actually think he may be too posable as it can be tough to “lock” him into any one position. Evey time I pick him up his legs and wings flop into a new position. I like the dragon mode face on this figure, it’s more alien than it is traditional dragon. It actually kind of reminds me of the Godzilla villain Destroyah. There’s an action feature on this toy where if you press down on a lever on his neck his head lunges forward and his “fire breath” lights up. In an odd move for this day and age Hasbro didn’t include a battery so I haven’t actually seen the light up feature in action.
I never even bothered to transform my Predaking into his robot mode so I can’t tell you much about it. However I swiped a pic of it from another website and posted it below so you can check it out. It kind of me of Megatron’s look from the live-action movies. I do like how he uses his tail as a sword. It makes for a pretty grisly blade.
I’m still holding out hope that Hasbro will produce a set of G1 Predacons one of these days. If they do, I think that this Predaking would make an excellent addition to the team. He’s pretty cool. 7 out of 10.