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Series: TFC Toys
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2014

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. Nemean is not a figure released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. He's from third party company TFC Toys and clearly meant to be a homage to G1 Razorclaw, but for legal reasons he can't be called by that name.

Robot Mode: Nemean is a pretty big figure, about Ultra-class size, and easily towers over his G1 predecessor, whom he strongly resembles. He is tall, he’s relatively slender (for his size) and he’s got a big lion head on his chest, which just looks awesome to me. Not to mention he’s got big shoulder cannons. I’m a sucker for shoulder cannons and these here are especially well done, seeing as they are plug-in and sit on a multi-jointed strut, meaning they can point up, down, forward, sideways, whatever direction you want. Very nicely done.

The figure itself is fully articulated, no complaints on that front at all, it can pull off all sorts of poses. Detailing is also done very nicely. I especially like how they added some details to Nemean’s mouthplate, making it look like a predator’s jaw. As additional weapons Nemean carries a big orange sword and a red whip, really his beast mode tail.

Only two slight downsides to this figure I can see. One, the fists tend to pop off easily. You can put them back on just as easily, but it gets a bit annoying when you want to remove the big sword from his hand. And second, Nemean’s upper body is designed to slide upward for both the lion and combiner torso transformation (see below). Which tends to happen every time you pick him up because it doesn’t lock down tightly at the waist. Again, not a big thing, just a bit annoying.

So bottom line: probably the best Razorclaw-based robot mode you can come up with. Great figure, great weapons, no real flaws except two minor things. So two thumbs up for the robot mode.

Beast Mode: Nemean transforms into a pretty big robotic lion. The transformation isn’t that difficult, he basically goes down on all fours and the lion head on his chest flips forward to cover his robot head. It’s a bit more complicated than it sounds, but not much. The result is a truly scary-looking robotic beast big enough for a Voyager-class figure to ride on (as Springer can attest). The level of detailing here is quite nice, especially the back with the robotic spine on it. All four legs are fully articulated and you can tilt the head and open the jaws. Very nicely done.

Nemean’s big shoulder cannons remain in place in beast mode (or you can remove them if they bother you), supplying the lion with the same amount of firepower as the robot. No place to stash the big sword in this mode, but that’s a pretty small price to pay in my book. So bottom line: a great beast mode, no complaints on my part at all.

Combiner Mode: Nemean forms the torso of the Ares combiner. I will do a separate review on him once I have all five members assembled.

Remarks: The Predacons were introduced in the third season of the original Transformers cartoon and have remained fan favorites ever since, generally being considered the most bad-ass combiner team of them all (that the toys were the biggest combiner team of them all may have something to do with that). Despite their popularity, though, we’ve yet to see an updated version of them. Sure, Razorclaw’s name was used a couple of times for Repaintsexclusives, or new characters, but that was pretty much it. Not so on the third party market, where no less than three different companies have undertaken the project of bringing the Predacons into the 21st century.

TFC’s version dips into Greek mythology, naming the combiner Ares (the God of War) and Razorclaw gets named after the Nemean lion, a vicious beast impervious to mortal weapons which was slain by Heracles as one of his twelve labors. Does that bode ill for Nemean’s relationship with fellow TFC combiner Hercules? Only time will tell.

Final verdict: yeah, you’re gonna buy this figure in order to assemble Ares / Predaking and not because it’s a kick-ass toy on its own. It is, though. Nemean is the first of the various TFC combiner figures I’ve held in hand where I can honestly say I’d think about buying him even if he wasn’t part of a combiner. He’s a great robot, a great robotic lion, and the requirements of becoming the combiner torso don’t hinder the figure much at all. Yeah, it still carries a steep price like most third party products, no doubt. But apart from that, fully recommended.

Rating: A-
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