Categories: HasLab Project
Function: Emperor of Destruction
Prelude: The Destron Emperor of Destruction from Transformers Victory is a bot of many names. In the Japanese series he was called デスザラス (phonetically “Desuzarasu”), which was somewhat anglicized into Deszaras (with various different forms of spelling) and eventually became Deathsaurus, the name of his latest release, the 2023 HasLab project. So, while it might be fun to debate the proper naming of this character, I would much rather take a look at this new toy here. So be sure to feed your Breast Animals, lock and load the Living Metal Destroying Cannon, and let’s say go!
Robot Mode: I have written this sentence relatively often as of late, but for this figure here it certainly fits: Deathsaurus looks as if he had just stepped off the TV screen. A robot that so strongly resembles his Transformers Victory animation model, it’s almost surreal. Deathsaurus appears as the quintessential late 80s anime robot. Big, chunky, winged, robotic animal parts, sword, the works. A very tall and slim robot with barely any kibble, Deathsaurus looks glorious in robot mode.
Deathsaurus is pretty tall, larger than Leader-Class, and easily able to look HasLab Victory Saber in the eye. Which fits with how he was portrayed in the cartoon, slightly bigger than the already quite big Star Saber. He is somewhat smaller than Masterpiece Star Saber, but given that he is supposed to be CHUG scale, that fits quite nicely. In terms of articulation Deathsaurus leaves almost no room for complaint. He has just about every joint imaginable, including an ab crunch and articulated fingers (though only two at a time). The wings, too, are articulated, as he can move them back and forth and spread them, too. Miniscule complaint here: the beast mode head on the back does not tab in, it just lies against the back. So when handling the figure, it tends to move up a little.
The Emperor of Destruction also comes with a veritable truckload (or should I say throne load?) of weapons. Pretty much everything he ever used in combat in the cartoon is present here as well. First, he has a large saber (to better fight someone called Star Saber with, of course), which solidly fits into the palm of either hand. Deathsaurus uses the larger rectangular ports and pegs for his weapons, btw, instead of the standard 5mm ports. He also comes with a large morning star weapon, a shield he can hold in hand or clip to a flip-out port on his right shoulder, and an arrow he can fire by way of his Tigerbreast bow (more on that below). Finally, there is the “Living Metal Destroying Cannon”, a large rifle, the end of which clips into Deathsaurus’s shoulder to enable him to hold it steady. And one last bonus: the wingtips of Deathsaurus’ wings can be removed to simulate his “Death Wing” attack from the cartoon. Wow, that was a lot.
Apart from his many weapons, Deathsaurus is also a member of the Breast Force (more on that below). Which means he can detach his breast plate, which unveils that his chest is basically hollow. The red square inside the chest is another detachable breast plate. There is a finger-sized hole on Deathsaurus’ back (hidden underneath the beast head) where you can push out the red breast plate. Both breast plates become separate figures (again, see below).
So bottom line for the robot mode? Looks? Check! Articulation? Check! Weapons? Check! Flaws? Barely worth mentioning. So all in all, a superb robot mode. Two thumbs up!
Alternate Mode: Deathsaurus transforms into… a dragon? A griffin? An angry space chicken? Not quite sure, some kind of robotic beast. The transformation is rather similar to that of G1 Grimlock, meaning he folds in his legs, the robot arms become the beast legs, the beast head flips up from the back, and tiny little arms emerge from the chest. The finished beast is just that: a beast. Still not sure what it’s supposed to be, but it looks big, scary, and dangerous (and a bit cute, too).
Deathsaurus’ beast mode suffers a bit from having “thunder thighs”, but personally I am not bothered by that. The beast’s tail is immobile, being formed by the folded-together shield from the robot mode, but the legs are fully articulated, the clawed feet can spread their toes, and the tiny little arms are poseable as well. The chicken’s head can nod, turn, and open its beak, too. You can plug a blast effect into it to simulate it spewing fire (or laser blasts, rather), if you wish to.
It’s even possible for the beast to wield the Living Metal Destroying Cannon despite its little arms, as the gun can plug into the shoulder for stability. Nicely done and a really weird image, too. Giant space chicken wielding massive cannon. Nice! With the help of the flight stand (see below) the space chicken can also adopt a flying pose and you can plug blast effects into its feet to enhance the visual.
Deathsaurus’ breast animals can stay inside his chest (now on the back of the chicken), no problem, though it’s no longer possible to push them out, because the hole is now inaccessible (this sounds like the basis of another cheap joke). So bottom line: a weird but fun alternate mode. No complaints.
Partner / Accessories: Deathsaurus comes with no less than four other, smaller Transformers figures. Two of them are Micromasters, Boater and Pipo, whom I will review separately, as they are the missing half of the Rescue Patrol Team, the first half of which came with HasLab Victory Saber a year earlier.
The other two are Deathsaurus’ Breast Animals (or Chest Animals, as the instructions call them. Not sure if that is better or worse). The original Deathsaurus, along with the team that formed Liokaiser, all sported a gimmick called “Breast Force”. Yes, no kidding. And believe me, every conceivable juvenile joke about that name has already been made at some point during the last 30+ years. The gimmick involved detaching their breast plates, which would then become robotic animals that also doubled as weapons. Deathsaurus is a special case, as he is the only robot with two Breast Animals.
The first breast animal is Tigerbreast (or Tigerchest these days), who transforms from a breastplate into a winged tiger. The tiger has an articulated head, complete with opening jaw, and all four legs are at least somewhat poseable, too. The wings can flap, so to speak. Tigerbreast also becomes a bow for Deathsaurus, plugging into his forearm. You can then plug in the arrow, too, and make Deathsaurus adopt a bowman pose. Weird, but looks pretty good and completely faithful to the cartoon, too. Very nice.
The second breast animal is Eaglebreast (or Eaglechest), who – appearances to the contrary – is not Laserbeak. Eaglebreast becomes a robotic eagle (or nondescript bird of prey, rather) with articulated wings, black feet, and a head with an opening beak. Eaglebreast can flip out two guns on its shoulders. He also becomes a handgun for Deathsaurus, basically transforming back into breastplate mode, only unfolding a handle and leaving out the two gun barrels. Not quite as elaborate a weapon as TIgerbreast, but also looking cool.
Deathsaurus also comes with a flight stand and a throne, as well as several blast effect parts. Starting with the throne, Deathsaurus can sit solidly on it, the back has a hole where his beast mode head fits and it leaves ample room for his wings. All of his weapons and the shield can be stored on the back of the throne, so (almost) no parts are left over and there are pegs on top where Eaglebreast’s feet can plug in, so he can perch on it. The throne is plugged into a base, which is also the base of the flight stand. The throne can stand by itself, too, but then the Living Metal Eating Cannon no longer fits onto the back, as the barrel would scrape on the floor. The flight stand is pretty much standard issue, able to support Deathsaurus in both robot and space chicken mode.
So bottom line: Deathsaurus has lots and lots of partners and accessories, pretty much everything you’ve seen him handle in the cartoon. Nicely done.
Remarks: Deathsaurus was the new Emperor of Destruction (the Japanese term for Decepticon leader) in the Transformers Victory series, the follow-up to Headmasters and Super-God Masterforce. His main goal was to collect enough energy to revive his massive space fortress, which had been sealed inside the Dark Nebula ages ago by Star Saber. Oh, and he really, really wants to kill Star Saber, too. So like most Anime villains he spends most of his time sitting on his throne, berating his underlings for their many failures, and usually only gets up when the main hero himself is within striking distance. He did come pretty close to killing Star Saber at least twice during the series’ run, but in the end he was defeated by Victory Saber and left to die within his crumbling space fortress.
Deathsaurus was originally slated to be a Leader-class figure in Legacy (an extensive retool of Studio Series 86 Leader-Class Grimlock), but after the massive success of HasLab Victory Saber, he was quickly earmarked to receive the same treatment. Side note: I have yet to do a gallery and review on Victory Saber. Not sure why, but I will try and get on that. Where was I? Oh yeah, HasLab Deathsaurus also marked the first time that fans in Europe were able to back a HasLab project directly via HasbroPulse instead of having to go via an online store or an American proxy. We still got our Deathsaurus quite a bit later than the US and Asia, but to me personally it was an improvement, as I got my Victory Saber very, very late last year.
So what’s the bottom line for this figure? It’s Deathsaurus as you saw him in the Victory cartoon. He is big, he is Geewunny, he couldn’t be more late 80s Anime boss if he tried. If that is your thing, then Deathsaurus is definitely worth the money of a HasLab figure. Well, if you are one of the original backers. If you missed out and now want to buy him on ebay, be prepared to pay at least twice the original price. Personally, I am very happy I backed him and he will definitely get a place of honor on my shelves. In direct comparison I’d say he is even better than Victory Saber.