Review by Tobias H:
Series: Botcon Exclusives All good things do indeed succumb to those who wait!
Categories: Voyager Convention Exclusive
At the end of the Third Cybertronian War, the Decepticon army, at long last, was no more. With many Decepticons destroyed or in hiding, Razorclaw came to realize that if the Autobots were to ever be defeated, a new army must carry on the fight. A Predacon Army! In time the "Predacon" empire became the main opposition to the Autobots. They attacked Cybertron with a ferocity never before seen. The Predacons appeared to have a chance at achieving what the Decepticons never could... victory! However, just as with the Decepticons, treachery and deceit existed within the Predacon ranks... and the three who would become the Tripredacus Council assassinated Razorclaw... or so it was believed. Now, many stellar cycles after the reformatting of Cybertron, the Predacons have returned, with Razorclaw once again leading the army. What happened and how he returned is a mystery. What is known is that he is stronger and more determined than ever, and he will do what is needed to take back Cybertron and destroy every last Maximal!
The long success story of the Transformers consists of many series and toylines, which gathered a large fan following for the plastic figures. So it’s not that farfetched, that fan conventions would pop up, some of them pretty huge events, made by fans for fans, where one can chat with the like-minded about our favorite hobby. Die best-known and largest of these conventions is the Botcon, which takes place annually in the United States.
Not only do the fans get to see the newest figures, films and comic books here, there are also workshops, galleries and many other highlights, which elevate this event above most others. One of the most prominent features of Botcon, though, are the annual sets of exclusive figures, available only at the convention.
One might remember the 2007 “Games of Deception” set, which finally brought us a full set of Classics Seekers. The following year “Shattered Glass” showed us a dark mirror image of the long-established Transformers universe, where our favorite hero Optimus Prime was the bad guy and our favorite villain Megatron gave a very convincing hero. This role switch worked pretty well for both these characters.
This year we get “Wings of Honor”, which isn’t exactly a new theme. Because the background for this story is actually a tale told by Kup, a rather prominent character from G1, for the Dinobots during a Decepticon attack.
But let’s go back to the sets of years gone by. In 2006 the “Dawn of Fugures Past” storyline gave us the prequel to Beast Wars. The figure set included the well-known and –liked characters from the series, looking as they did before Beast Wars started. And this year’s set brings us, as a sort of goodie-come-lately, another figure that had a brief cameo in the comic from the 2006 set.
We’re talking about Razorclaw, the Generation 1 leader of the Predacon Combiner Team. What do the G1 Predacons have to do with Beast Wars? Well, it should be common knowledge that the bad guys in the series are also called Predacons. What’s not as well known, I think, is that – at least in the Timeline continuity – Razorclaw is the founder and original leader of that faction. It’s nice that, years after “Dawn of Futures Past” we’re finally getting this figure.
Razorclaw is a remold of Cybertron Leobreaker. Some people will probably think “Oh no, not that mold!” Normally I’d be one of them, because the Leobreaker mold didn’t really appeal to me in any of the versions I’ve seen so far.
I was all the more surprised when I saw that Razorclaw’s color scheme fits the figure really well. Just like it was with G1 Razorclaw, the dominant color is a deep yellow. He also carries lots of black and red highlights. This really brings out the many details of the figure, which were more or less swalloed up by the mold’s previous color schemes. So nothing to complain about in terms of color.
The real highlight of this is the new head mold. It looks very close to that of the first Razorclaw. When this figure was first announced, many people believed he’d get the same head mold as Lio Prime, another version of this figure set for release at the time. I was pleasantly surprised that they went to the effort of giving him a brand new head.
The new colors and the new head actually succeeded in turning a mold that I would have called mediocre at best into a very good-looking Transformer. Now the question remains whether or not the figure’s posability and balance can measure up to this improvement.
In terms of posability Razorclaw has very much satisfied me. He even features posable fingers. The head, the arms, the legs, everything is fully posable. Only the hip is immobile, but that’s due to the transformation design. So no cause for complaint here.
Concerning balance things look a little different. Razorclaw has rather small feet. As long as he’s standing upright, he’s very stable. No problems. Once you start putting him into dynamic poses, though, it takes some trial and error to get him to remain standing. It’s not impossible, but takes work.
What I like a whole lot is the figure’s weaponry. It’s nice and it fits well. For one thing he’s got that strange-looking sword formed from the beast mode’s tail. And then there are the claws, which are activated by the Cyber Planet Key. Both fit Razorclaw very well. Not only because of the name, but they also fit the body builder like built the figure has. Can’t really say anything further on the robot mode.
By way of a short but effective transformation Razorclaw converts into a mechanical lion. The color scheme doesn’t change from robot to alternate mode and still fits very nicely.
When it comes to posability I’m a bit torn about this mode. On the one hand Razorclaw’s limbs are very nimble and enable the lion to pull off quite a few poses. You can get some very nice effects, especially when you use the key to flip out the claws. The body and the head, though, are immobile. Which prevents some pretty cool poses which would have been possible otherwise. Maybe a better way could have been found here.
Does that make Razorclaw’s alternate mode good or bad? I’m tempted to call him pretty good. It doesn’t really look a whole lot like a natural lion, but this isn’t something the figure was trying for in the first place. Even back in the days of the G1 Predacons it was more about bringing across the ferocious nature of the animals instead of creating a natural-looking camouflage. So Timelines Razorclaw does get pretty close to his predecessor.
So all in all I only have a few small things to complain about here.
Razorclaw accomplishes the small miracle of taking a figure that was far from the best of its time and turning it into a great-looking Transformer.
Razorclaw’s robot mode is very well done and if he were just a little bit better in terms of balance, he’s be perfect. His body resembles a body builder which, along with his flip-put claws, perfectly fits the character of Razorclaw. So I’m very much satisfied here.
His alternate mode, though, could have been a bit better in my opinion. It’s not a bad one, mind you. But a few small changes to the mold’s beast mode chest so that it doesn’t look as “flat” and a moving head would have worked miracles here. Still, what we have here is a pretty good alternate mode with good posability.
So in closing I give the founder of the Beast Wars Predacons a well-deserved...