Semi-Retro Review: Armada Predacon

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    Prelude: His name is Predacon, yeeees! And while he is not Megatron from Beast Wars, he shares his excellent mold, yeeees! So with TransArt having announced a Masterpiece-scaled version of Transmetal Megatron from Beast Wars, I wished to take another look at the original mold. And given that the original figure is liable to shatter into tiny pieces of gold plastic sprinkled with chrome flakes if looked at too hard, I decided to review the Armada version instead. So let’s say go, yeeees!

    Robot Mode: Predacon is a Mega class figure (today’s Voyager class) and while he isn’t that much taller than your average Deluxe figure from that time, he is very broad and solid. The figure itself is mostly unchanged from when it was Megatron in Beast Wars, but apart from the different colors (mostly green and brown), there is also a decided lack of gold plastic and chrome paint. Very good. Also, Predacon has Mini-Con ports added to his body, so that his accompanying Mini-Cons can actually powerlinx with him. They don’t activate any gimmicks, naturally, but they can dock on his shoulders or on the turbines on his back. Also, and this seems to be utter coincidence, the detailing on his legs allows him to attach Energon stars there.

    The figure’s articulation is what you’d except from a Beast Wars figures, meaning very good, though of course not quite up to today’s standards. For a weapon he carries the tail turned cutlass he also sported in the TV series. The tail is awesomely well-articulated, by the way. In the TV series Megatron was also able to use the T-Rex arms on his shoulders as machine guns, but while the arms can me moved to point forward, they can’t be flipped sideways as they did on TV. Another slight limitation when compared to the TV figure: the flight turbines on his back can flip out, but they can’t swivel around to point downwards.

    None of that takes anything away from an otherwise brilliant figure. And for that extra touch of mid-90s craziness, simply unfold the roller skates from his feet to have Predacon skate around the base. So bottom line: a very good robot mode with all the trimmings. Very nicely done.

    Alternate Mode: Predacon transforms into a robotic T-Rex, of course, unchanged from the beast mode of Transmetal Megatron except for the colors. Articulation in this mode is restricted, naturally, but still better than quite a few other beast-formers I could name. Predacon can move his legs below the knees and the tiny little arms are ball-jointed. The T-Rex’ mouth can open and close and the tail is as nimble here as in robot mode, of course.

    Like all Transmetals, Predacon has a semi-third mode. In his case the T-Rex unfolds the flight turbines from its side, switches out the claw-feet for roller skates, and then flies (and rolls) away. Definitely one of the better (and more fun) third modes among the Transmetals. So all in all, a pretty nice beast mode. Still holding up well after all these years, in my opinion.

    Partners: Predacon comes with not just one, but two Mini-Con partners. There is Skid-Z, a brown car that’s a repaint of Spiral, and Sideburn, a red car that’s a repaint of Backtrack. The Armada Mini-Cons are among the best small Transformers ever created in my mind, but apart from that there is little new I can say about these figures. Nice add-ons, but little more than that.

    Remarks: With Armada toys selling so much better than anticipated, Hasbro had to scramble to meet the increased retail demand and recycled several older figures, including nearly the entire Transmetal line-up from Beast Wars. Thus Predacon entered the toy line. He never appeared in the cartoon nor the Dreamwave comics, but Dreamwave’s guide book gave him an interesting story. He was the leader of a small cult-like group within the Decepticon ranks who wished to make their race more bio-mechanical, adding organic parts to their bodies. Could have been an interesting take, given that it’s basically the absolute opposite of Megatron in Beast Machines. Sadly, it was never to be.

    The Transmetal Megatron mold from Beast Wars remains one of my absolute favorites from the line and its Armada version has two distinct advantages over the original: one, no flaking chrome paint and two, no Gold Plastic Syndrome. The disadvantage is, of course, that he is not Megatron from Beast Wars, one of the coolest villains of all time, but rather a no-show character from Armada, but that is really just a minor thing (at least for me). So bottom line: an excellent toy still and well worth getting if you’re up for a little 90s era craziness like a metal T-Rex with roller skates. Fully recommended.

    Rating: A-

    Source: Transformers-Universe.com
     
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  2. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    This is a figure I randomly search for on eBay sometimes in hopes of finding one for a decent price.
     
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  3. aey103

    aey103 Well-Known Member

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    Ooof, this review opens up old wounds. Had this figure ordered from Bill's Toys and Games and got the shaft.
     
  4. Fallout

    Fallout Well-Known Member

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    i remember my dad getting this for me on sale at k-mart cuz it had a fucked up box and telling me if it was broken it was getting returned lol

    i got him home and wondered why he was so small next to the deluxes but i have fond memories of using his tail weapon as a worm-drone-thing to terrorize my other toys
     
  5. Warpshard

    Warpshard Well-Known Member

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    I got this guy after a fruitful eBay pickup of the other 4 TM repaints, and he's easily the best of the five (Although they're all pretty nice figures). While I can't deny that the mold wears the original TM Megatron colors far better than it does the grey and green, it's still an interesting color scheme, very at-home next to his brightly-accented comrades, not to mention the new molds. I still think the Street Speed mini-con molds are the weakest of those I've handled, but the two Predacon got are easily the better of the 3.
     
  6. Racer_J

    Racer_J Permanently logged out . . .

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    I had forgotten all about this not-Grimlock repaint.
     
  7. Malancthon

    Malancthon Kyūkyoku Hakaishin

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    Predacon does make a blink and you miss him cameo in the last Dreamwave Energon comic.

    This was a good figure that I missed out on. I’ve long wanted to grab one to retire the TM1 Megatron. The recolor of the Cybertron deluxe Megatron seemed to homage this figure.
     
  8. fraenhawk

    fraenhawk Well-Known Member

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    I still always remember the Four Horsemen bios for that set of repaints: The Four Horsemen of Unicron
    If it wasn't for those, I probably would have sold them.
     
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  9. Warpshard

    Warpshard Well-Known Member

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    That's why I picked them up in the first place. They went from really forgettable, albeit interesting, remolds during the Unicron Trilogy to a set of figures I gotta have for a Unicron collection. I just headcanoned Predacon as a 5th Member, Conquest.
     
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  10. Racer_J

    Racer_J Permanently logged out . . .

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    I think I sold mine off but, I don't recall. I do know that I only bought them and kept them for any length of time due to the tie-in with Unicron and being fairly sure nothing like Unicron nor heralds would ever happen again. I would want more cohesive colour palettes though (e.g. how "Death" TM2 Airazor's colours looked really good in beast mode but the all pink chest was garish since the pink should have been spread out as an accent) and less colour clashing (e.g. "Pestilence" TM2 Cheetor's colours were a hot mess that didn't invoke the role) if they were to redeco new molds.
     
  11. Zylly103

    Zylly103 Well-Known Member

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    Having missed the mold during BW (I wasn't really in the hobby at that point), I was happy to be able to pick it up during Armada. Really, really great toy.
     
  12. _Flashback_

    _Flashback_ Well-Known Member

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    Picked this up new when it was released and hung onto him. I’m glad I did. He was my TM Megs and hung out with the Fox Kids repaints. I never got TM Megs until I scored one loose at a toy show during the Unicron trilogy era, when BW figs were still very affordable. It soon broke on me and I tossed it.

    I actually prefer these colors to TM Megs, show accurate or not. I miss random, original repaints like this. Didn’t like that he was named after the faction, but it fits with the weak names Hasbro was applying at the time.

    I sold most of the Fox Kids and Armada TM repaints years ago. Glad that this guy survived the purge. Now if only Hasbro would reissue in TM colors without crumbling plastic
     
  13. Mister D

    Mister D Bloosh Compatible TFW2005 Supporter

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    One of my all time molds. Personal TF Hall of Fame without question. I like him so much more than Barneytron and Dragatron. . Honestly, other than making him bigger and minor sculpting changes, I can't see how Hasbro could make a version that would be a significant improvement.I do prefer the original colors, mostly because I am easily enchanted by shiny things, but this is a solid redeco with the added benefit of minicon ports on the shoulder pads.
     
  14. rikkomba

    rikkomba Fishmonger Supreme of TFW2005

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    Excellent review, from one of my favourite reviewers.

    That's a name I thought everybody had forgotten. Bill's Toys and Games is the only retailer who ever made me beg to send me the figures I had already paid.

    You can find a boxed or complete one for $30-$60.

    Yeees.

    Armada Terrorsaur
    Armada Cheetor
    Armada Rhinox
    Armada Airrazor
    Armada Predacon
    Universe BIAB Crystal Widow

    [​IMG]
     
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