After a lackluster year in ‘Straya of very few Hasbro toys turning up at retail (even less than previous years) it looked like I had no chance in hell of owning Power of the Primes Predaking – the one toy I wanted more than any other from the entire line.
Entire Waves of Power of the Primes didn’t reach here, of if they did were in such small numbers you had almost no chance of finding them in your own state. It was piss poor all year round, the worst retail showing of mainline toys in years.
Importing from foreign stores at first release was a no go as the prices were outrageous. But right at the end of the year I found a seller on ebay, who shipped directly from China for considerably less than other sellers.
I ordered my Predaking and hoped for the best. A few weeks later he turned up super well wrapped and from the moment I took out the toys I knew he was the Predaking for me, and I’ve since bought other stuff from the same seller such as the awesome Ju-Jiang CW Oversized Superion
I don’t dislike any of the 3P Predakings, they all have their strengths – but each one turns me off more than on. The Unique Toys version I was considering buying this year as it was heavily discounted. But I thought “wait and see” what the Power of the Primes version is like first.
Sure enough, it was great fun to combine – but a grueling pain in the ass to sticker – took me three hours and a lot of swearing out loud in pure frustration.
Some people complain that the Hasbro Predaking is a bit skinny, and I see what they are on about. But my counterpoint is: The King of the Jungle is the Lion, not the Elephant and the King of the Ocean is the Shark, not the Whale.
I love all the animals and wish them no harm. It’s just an example. A predator animal (or animalbot) should be lean and mean, not bloated with blown-out bodybuilder non-functional proportions, that’s what makes sense to me. Give me special forces Predaking physique over ‘roid chomping Blimp King any day of the week thank you.
The simple cartoon-ish deco means it keeps in style with the previous Combiner Wars Devastator. I’m not an MP collector, and I mostly don’t care for realism in fantasy toys. The exceptions being odd McFarlane toys and NECA stuff like Aliens – there movie accuracy is desirable.
A good cartoon deco goes a long way for me. So what turned many others off POTP Predaking were pluses in my book. I love the combined mode, and the robot modes I’m happy with too.
The worst mode by far is the animal/beast modes, which are severely compromised for the sake of the combining gimmick. I have no intention of displaying them in that mode, so it doesn’t matter to me. Big old Predabling poses great and is well articulated and one of the most well balanced larger scale combiners I’ve handled.
However I would like to pick up a reissue of Generation One Predaking at some stage, to display in alt mode – as I still prefer the animal modes of that version, over any version out there. I’ve owned two of the original release Predacons before, but never the set so that’s another collection goal I still look forward to.
I had to order online late in the year for the majority of the Dinobots and Terrorcons, and it was great to have all three teams completed in the same week when Predaking arrived in the post.
The downsides for the Hasbro POTP set are the lack of weapons and accessories. Sure there are overpriced 3P kits already out there for that, but I’m not going to waste money on those. Another kick in the teeth was just days after my toy arrived, a China exclusive set was announced with a gimpy sword.
I can look past the lack of individual weapons, but not getting a sword at all from Hasbro is pretty shitty for the price point. And a repeat of what they did with their Fortress Maximus. Same shit, different day. Would it have KILLED them to include a sword for a toy of this price and scale? I actually like the orange sword, would love to have one. *Even though it has a stupid pen inside it for no good reason
For a character that doesn’t turn up much in Transformers fiction – Predaking really gets by on looking menacing and cool. His cartoon appearances fighting Sky Lynx are so brief that they are easily missed, but he did feature a bit more in the Marvel Comics.
In the comics Predaking was hired by Shockwave as a sort of space bounty hunter to kill Megatron, and they have a series of clashes and really it’s just an excuse to post this wicked bit of art when Megatron stands up to Predaking like a total bad ass. Also, back in the Headmasters Japanese cartoon Predaking and Bruticus briefly had laser swords (aka lightsaber) for no reason other than “it looks cool?” I would not mind one for my Predaking, probably could make one if I re-purpose something else suitable
It’s hard to find places for large scale robots, so of course he’s off to the top of the closet with other giant robots like Classic Playmates Voltron and Fans Toys Omega Supreme.
The stickers were a total bitch to apply, but I’m happy with his final look, the little stickers really highlight things nicely like that poor unfortunate Spider-Friend. My only gripes with the toy are the lack of weapons, lack of a sword and his hands are a bit shit.
He does come with his back cannons that look very cool and swivel about. And two of the smaller guns combine to make a gun that clips onto the side of his arm. If some company comes up with a cheaper sword I’ll grab it, but i don’t want a $50+ upsell of useless kibble just to get that damn sword. But for what it is, I love it to bits. It looks much better in person than in stock photos, and overall I’m pleasantly surprised how awesome he turned out to be.