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with Sideburn & Skid-Z

Series: Armada
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Maxcon
Year: 2003

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-


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