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Series: Last Knight Premier Edition
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2017

Prelude: Remember the Knights of Cybertron? Those guys from the Last Knight movie who ended up on Earth in the Middle Ages and were so impressed by one group of humans’ ability to kill other humans that they joined forces with them? Oh, and gave a magical staff to drunk Merlin because... well, because they like drunks? No idea. Anyway, in the movie the knights never got individual names and were basically just there to combine into Dragonstorm, but the toy line went the extra mile and gave us a few individual knights, Steelbane among them. Here he is!

Robot Mode: Just in case there was any doubt, let’s dispel them right now: Steelbane is a knight. He’s got the medieval look down pat with big armor pieces on his shoulders, thighs and arms, plus a head that strongly resembles a crusades-era helmet. He also comes with a sword as his only weapon, because naturally we couldn’t have alien robots wielding actual firearms in the middle ages. Might have ruined the disguise aspect of these 30 feet tall armored knights. Anyway, Steelbane is clearly designed to look like a knight. Mission fully accomplished.

He also transforms into a dragon, though, as is evident by the dragon wings on his back. Very nice engineering here, as you can either fold out the wings or fold them in until they are almost unnoticeable from the front, looking more like a cape. Kind of reminds me of the Gargoyles a bit, which is a definite plus. Steelbane is very nicely articulated overall and the detailing is very nicely done, giving the impression of slightly rusted armor. He can attach his sword to his hip when he needs his hands free.

Just about the only downside of this robot mode is that it doesn’t quite hold together properly. His transformation requires him to basically come completely apart and not all of his parts click together all that solidly. It’s not a big problem, but be careful when posing him. Overall, though, I must say that I really like Steelbane’s robot mode. Nicely done.

Alternate Mode: Steelbane transforms into a four-legged dragon with the wings attached to the forelegs. The design looks nice overall and it’s a refreshing change from the usual four-legged dragon who has extra wings on his back. That said, Steelbane’s dragon mode is plagued by quite a few problems. There are clearly recognizable robot feet on the back of his neck and tail and clearly recognizable robot hands on his hind legs. His back is basically a single thin panel. And while all four legs are nicely articulated, putting him anything but a normal standing pose is almost impossible without him toppling over. Don’t ask me how long it took to put him in that pose where he stands on his hind legs and spreads his wings.

So bottom line for the dragon mode: looking good from certain angles, but offering little beyond that.

Remarks: The Knights of Cybertron in the Last Knight movie were a strange bunch. They took a scepter that could apparently revitalize their dead homeworld and hid it because apparently Quintessa was so bad that they’d rather leave their home dead. Okay. Then they gave it to Merlin for some strange reason and when he died, they interred it with him at the bottom of the ocean. Then they initiated the classic trope of the heroes trying to find a magical McGuffin before the villains can, but leading the villains directly to it in the process. I mean, the scepter was hidden at the bottom of the ocean in a ship no one knew was there, so... why not just leave it down there? Anyway, the Knights actual reason for being in the movie was to add King Arthur to the already confusing and contradictory timeline of Transformers on Earth and then serve as the newest mighty steed for Optimus Prime in the movie’s final battle.

Steelbane, who might or might not have been in the movie (the knights kind of all looked alike) is a mixed bag as far as the toy is concerned. I really like the robot mode and the dragon mode doesn’t look half-bad, either. Sadly once you go beyond looks, the dragon is a rather loose collection of parts and while the robot mode holds together better, it’s still not exactly solid. Add the fact that it portrays a barely-present character from a really bad movie, there aren’t that many reasons to buy him. Worth getting if you like the look, but don’t expect too much in terms of play value.

Rating: C+
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