I’ve been looking forward to completing the ‘limb-bot misfits’ Combiner team for a while. Rook, Alpha Bravo, Off Road and now Blast Off are a great set – and rich for narratives. Underdogs bonded through their rejection. But the question has always been which voyager to unite them under.
After what felt like an eternity without any incoming bots, there has recently been a bit of a flurry. Following Crackup and Predaking already this month, an additional four bots have now rolled into town!
Combiners are perhaps the best example of the trade-off a design team has to make. Every Transformer is a delicate balancing act between robot, alt-mode and transformation. Whether you prioritise the look of the robot on your shelf or the feel and enjoyment of one in your hands is always the determining factor (aside from finances, perhaps) that what sort of collector you are.
On first impression Hasbro’s new Power of the Primes Predaking appears to prioritise play. Robot and, in particular, beast modes are fairly basic – a bit Fisher-Price, even. Razorclaw, in particular, looks like he was designed to “awwwww CUTE!” the Autobots to death. It’s a bit absurd, really.
Then you get to the combined mode and suddenly… you understand.
I caved and got the first of the Power of the Primes Dinobots when the second restock appeared on Kapow. It’s mad that they didn’t pack Grimlock with a weapon (here I’ve repurposed the sword from the ZhanJiang OS KO).
Grimlock’s probably the weakest of the three, especially in dino mode. But it’s easy to forget just how blown away our childhood minds would have been with a set of Dinobots that are so well articulated and authentic to the G1 models.
I will complete the set for sure (Slash aside), even though I’m going to be picking and choosing when it comes to POTP. I’ll grab the leader Optimus as soon as I’m able, and possibly Rodimus. But that may be the extent of it – providing I can resist Predaking!
Finally got my hands on an RiD Soundwave. Nice figure. The arms a little fiddly in bot mode but he’s got a pleasingly interesting transformation and I like his unconventional (for Soundwave, at least) alt mode. Certainly puts the somewhat disappointing Starscream to shame. Man, what a fall from grace compared to the incredible First Edition Deluxe TFP mold that was. Not to say he’s without credit – the bot looks very sleek indeed, but the tolerances on the legs are all over the shop and those shoulders like to pop out far too easily. Neither compares to Megatronus, OBVIOUSLY, who is one of the best deluxes in recent times are arguably the high point of the RiD line? Although there’s some fine competition – Fracture, Drift, maybe Optimus and even the humble Bumblebee are all fine bots.