PREDAKING BEAST FIRE
Series: Prime Beast Hunters With the power of the Infernum Blade his to command, Predaking will crush or conquer all who are foolish enough to oppose him - even the legendary Optimus Prime!
Predaking is a tall and powerful-looking robot in black with orange and silver highlights. Compared to the character we saw in the Prime TV series he might be missing a few more coloured highlights, but I’m not sure. Anyway, the combination of colours, lots of spiky bits, and the dragon wings on his back leave little doubt that this is not your average car Transformer, but rather something dangerous and beastly.
Articulation is good, though short of very good. He can move his legs and arms more or less freely, but there is no hip articulation and while he can turn his head, it can’t move up or down, either. He does have wrist articulation, though, so he can easily hold his big sword in all sorts of poses. Some limitations here, too, though, as the wrists aren’t quite strong enough to support the full weight of the sword, so you need to take that into account. Dynamic poses are still easily possible, but not all of them.
Apart from the aforementioned sword Predaking also has two missile launchers that kind of look like crossbows. He can store them on the back of his wings or attach them to his forearms. He can hold them in hand, too, but to me that looks kind of silly, those big claws of his clutching those relatively tiny crossbows. What doesn’t look silly at all is his huge wings, which can unfold to an impressive wingspan. Very nicely done and sufficiently evil-looking.
Bottom line: a very nice robot mode, though a tad more coloured highlights would have done him good.
The transformation into dragon mode isn’t terribly complicated. Predaking basically goes down on all fours, flips the dragon head from his back over his robot head, and his rear legs are modified a bit. That’s it. The result is a pretty cool-looking dragon, though, with a big wing span, a long (if static) tail, and a vicious-looking head. Sadly said head is stuck in position, more or less, as it features a spring-powered gimmick. When you push down the lever on the side of the neck, it goes down and forward and – assuming you have put batteries into this guy – activates his light and sound effects. I’m going to try and remove the spring to give the dragon a bit more freedom of head and neck movement, because as things stand the head always snaps back into its up-position.
Not that much else to write here, to be honest. Predaking’s wings can move up and down and unfold, the front legs (the robot mode arms) are still fully articulated, and the rear legs, while not quite as nimble, can also move. So bottom line, a very scary and good looking dragon mode. And once I got the neck slightly modified, he’ll be even better.
Predaking (initially just called “the Predacon”) was billed as the main bad guy of the third season of Transformers Prime, called “Beast Hunters”. Short version: he wasn’t. He started out as Shockwave’s secret weapon and despite being pretty much invulnerable and unstoppable didn’t really achieve much in battle against the Autobots. He eventually gained sentience and the ability to transform into robot mode, along with the ambition to recreate his own race / faction, which... yeah, didn’t happen, either. It might yet, given that there is going to be a Transformers Prime movie called “Predacons Rising”, but as far as the third season of TF Prime is concerned, he was little more than a heavy hitter who achieved little.
Toy-wise there are quite a few Predakings to choose from in the Beast Hunters line, but given that he was a truly gigantic dragon (and a somewhat less-gigantic robot) in the series, towering over pretty much anyone else, I went for the biggest version, which is Beast Fire Predaking. From what I’ve seen in pictures he’s somewhat less intricate than the Voyager-class version, but for me, I’m pretty happy with this guy. He’s not a classic for the ages and you can tell that he was built more with playing and having fun in mind than satisfying the adult collector, but still: I like him. He does have some minor problems, but overall: pretty much what I expected and wanted. So while he might not be for everyone, I do recommend him to all those who want their Prime toys in scale (or as close to it as possible).