Tag Archives: Lazerback

Beast Hunters: Vertebreak

Vertebreak is a repaint of the earlier released Lazerback.  This is one of the cases where a repaint is better than the original.  The tiger stripes and color scheme are right on!  I love the silver accents on his beak and tail.

He is lookin’ hard core with his stripes.  I have to say, his name is a little more hard core too.  Vertebreak.   As is breaking your vertebra, as in break your back!  Come on, what Decepticon does not want to have a name that sounds like inflicting painful, permanent harm on an Autobot?

It is guys like this that make me wish there were more Beasts in the work.  There were quite a few that were pretty bad, but this guy is GOOD!

These two look like a couple of Hell Hounds ready to do anything that Predaking asks of them.

Beast Hunters Deluxe Series 2, Wave 2: Starscream, Ripclaw, Bulkhead, Smokescreen

Wave 2 of the second series of Prime has begun to hit the stores.  It is an interesting wave.  Some good, one bad, and a couple just plain awesome.

005: Starscream

The Beast Hunters version of Starscream is pretty nice looking.  We get lots of colors out of this one.  He has a lot more of an angular design, and a pretty good transformation.  First look, you know this is the Prime Starscream.  You can see it in his face, and general build.  Take a closer look and you can see that this is an all new design for Starscream.  PS, don’t ask about the giant antenna sticking out of the back of Starscream.  I don’t know what it is, or what its purpose is.  Hopefully we will find out when the new season starts.

Compared to the first version of Starscream, he is a bit smaller.  You can see he has everything from the wings, to the knee points, to the shoulder shields.  All of it has been updated and changed.   He stands a lot better than his Prime counterpart.

And here you are thinking “My that is an awfully big weapon Starscream has there.”  Then you remember, “Oh, that’s right.  Starscream often gets himself into trouble with weapons that are way to big for him.”  Somehow, Starscream always manages to get a hold of big weapons, thinks highly of himself, and then gets them taken away.

Fear not!  He can carry it Giant-Anime-Sword-Style.

Vehicle mode is where I felt Beast Hunters: Soundwave got into a little trouble. Starscream has no such problems.  He kinda looks like his old self in the fact he has wings.  Other than that, he looks nothing the same.  He does borrow the wingtip design from Soundwave, so they have something in common.  I really like his transformation.  It is always hard to get Starscream’s legs tucked in with the skinny jet body, but this one is okay.

Where Soundwave totally failed was attaching the extra Beast Hunters weapon.  At least with Starscream, it tucks up under his body really well, and hangs in tight.  It looks like an external drop tank that actually has some aerodynamics to it.

006: Ripclaw

First off, check those directions.  They have to do some finagling to get him into the packaging.  A few parts are a bit out of whack to tuck him all in there.  He is a really nice sized Deluxe figure.  I do have a couple of worries about him.   Like with Lazerback, there are a few rubber parts.  One is on Ripclaw’s upper head.  The whole piece is rubber.   The other is the center of his tail.  This is the part I really worry about.  Left in the heat, or if kids play with him too much, or are too rough, he will be loosing that tail and everything on it.   Maybe this would be a good one to invest in and hold onto a packaged copy for a few years.   You know people will be searching for “Ripclaw with intact tail.”

He has great coloring, and of course he comes with a gimmick weapon.  Unlike all of the other weapons so far  that are shooting weapons (except for Starscream’s), Ripclaw has a really neat weapon which is a claw that grabs when the middle pin is touched.   It has a pretty good grip, and it is removable from the tail to be held in the hand.

He is not as bulky as Lazerback, but with that tail, it does give him some height.

He has a sweet looking robot mode.  There are some great transformations in his legs, hands and head area.  He looks like he better designed than Lazerback, with equal thought put into his robot mode.  His wing move in this mode, and he still has that tail.  There is no doubt he is a dragon in his other mode, but he is definitely a robot now.

Beware the Claw!  On his tail or in his hand, this is a great weapon.  I think it is a little better as a tail weapon rather than a gun type weapon, but he looks like he is going to kick butt in the new season of the show.

007: Bulkhead

I love Bulkhead.   Always have, always will.  That is probably why I HATE this Bulkhead.  I knew there was going to be a problem when I saw Bulky was going to be released under the Deluxe line.  That means a smaller figure.  NO NO NO!!!!   And he is:

A head and chest shorter than the Series 1 Voyager figure.  That does not bode well for Bulkhead.  He is without his bulk.  The overall design is well and good, giving Bulkhead a knight look.  But he is so small, and he feels so flimsy, that his design does not make up for it.

Vehicle mode?  Not much better.   There are a lot of colors here.  It looks like he was wrecked and put back together with pieces from differently painted cars.   His side windows are not even close to his front window color.   Don’t they make a darker blue?   The front end hangs down almost to the ground.  The front wheels fold in on themselves.   His hands hang out of the bottom of the chassis.   So no, there is not much going on here that works.   I do like the front hood scoop though.  Pretty aggressive and cool.

008: Smokescreen

Out of the box, this is how he looks.  That blue thing around his head is pretty damn stupid looking.  My fingers were crossed when I bought him that this could be fixed.

Apparently it is supposed to be pulled back and hooked into little hooks on his shoulders.  Okay, that is a little better… but not what I REALLY wanted.

AH HA!!!  WOO HOO!!!  That is what I wanted.  A Prime Smokescreen.  Take off all of the Beast Hunters stuff, and you get a base model Smokescreen.  Tomy tried to pass off a repainted Knock Out as Smokescreen back in Japan.  I guess they did not really like it all that much, since it pretty much looked like a white Knock Out.  I was sad we did not get Smoke before the first series of Prime ended.  I am glad I have him now.  No Beast Hunters gear required.

Transform him, and you have his awesome vehicle mode.   By far the best vehicle in the wave, and gives Wheeljack a run for the best race car.   He has wrap-around windows, clear glass over the headlights, and look at the details down along the front bumper.  Outstanding.  He is really tricky to transform at the end.  Mostly getting his arms folded just right since they become the roof and hood of the car.  Kids are going to find this part a bit tricky.

And, because I have it.  With the Beast Hunters accessories.   Pretty nice across the front.  Looks like he is ready for Death Race.   I don’t know if they were thinking of going Bublebee’s way and giving him extra missiles on the side, but he has little ‘c’ clamps on both sides that look like they should be holding something.

There we have Series 2 Deluxe Autobots in all their glory.   3 great cars, and a clunky (tiny) truck.  Sorry Bulk!

I am starting to think they would have been a little more accurate calling the show “Dragon Hunters.”  Ah well, this is starting to look like a tough team of Predacons.  Just wait until I unleash Predaking.  He is on his way soon.

As always, go to my Flickr page to see more pictures.

Transformers: Prime, Beast Hunters – Bumblebee, Soundwave, and Wheeljack

Ah, Beast Hunters.  Can’t wait to see what the show is going to bring us as we move into this new chapter.  We are definitely moving away from the whole “disguise” aspect of Transformers.  Earlier I posted a review of Lazerback, our first full new character and design for the Beast Hunters line.  Tonight I am going to look at the rest of the Deluxe figures: Bumblebee, Soundwave, and Wheeljack.


What to say about Bumblebee.  It looks like he locked himself in a closet and found every sharp object he could and welded it to his body.  6 missiles and a crossbow to launch them as well as his original blasters.  He has some major firepower going on now.  Add in a variation in his transformation, and and a better overall paint job, and this is not such a bad Bee.  I was really hoping for this Bee to be based off of the First Edition Bumblebee, but no luck there.  Thankfully, the changes they made to this one were really good, and I think the only thing that really bothers me is his head not always sitting down on his shoulders very well.

His crossbow folds up and can be attached to his back, the same hole it fits into when he is in vehicle mode.  I wish the color of the crossbow matched the rest of the yellow, or was an entirely different color all together.

Once in vehicle mode, he is a very dangerous looking variation of his former self.  The black blades all over are quite menacing. I like the bit of red mixed in with the yellow for the body mold.  It gives a unique look.

The added crossbow and blasters are really giving Bumblebee a run for the top Beast Hunter.

The comparison.  There are quite a few parts that are reused between the first version and this new version of Bee.  There are also a lot that have been retooled, or changes all together, especially in the chest area.


Soundwave comes with Ravage this time around.  Aaaaaaaaand that is about the only good thing about this version of Soundwave.  His colors are all over the place.  Yellow paint over blue body parts makes for fairly muddy yellow paint.  His additional “Beast Hunter” parts don’t really do much for him like they did for Bumblebee.  And he has a giant grappling hook that is way too bulky.

Old verses new Soundwave.  I am going to have to stick with the first version of Soundwave.  His uniform colors work so much better.  The extra wing extensions on his arms are way too long.

In vehicle mode, he is all over the place.  I don’t know.  Some of the original blue, some that is way too purple.  Yellows, and gold.  And it doesn’t stay together too well.  The front end of the plane wants to pop apart all the time.


Best figure by far.  I thought the original version was great, but this one is better.

Take Wheeljack, pump him up with armor, blades and a great color scheme related to his original color scheme.  Then give him some wings, and you have one great figure.

They took Wheeljack and changed just about every part of his body, keeping the same basic design, and most of the same transformation, but he is all new and all pumped up.  I would have loved to see the inclusion of his blades like how Bumblebee got to keep his blasters, but we can’t have everything.

Transforming into vehicle mode, and he is him, but different.   A beefed-up, “don’t touch me our you gonna get cut” kinda vibe.  I could see him saying that too.   The back end has been changed to allow for the wings to go back there. I like it.

A little more of the mixed plastic colors to give a bit of a camo look.  Can’t be too white when hunting beasts.

So, there you have it.  The first 4 Deluxe figures.  Lazerback is good, but is lacking in robot mode since he still looks like a beast.   Bumblebee is great looking with all the blades and weapons.  Soundwave is not as good as his first version, but he does have Ravage.  And Wheeljack, Perfection in plastic.

As always, click on any picture to be taken to my Flick page and see more shots of these figures and many others.

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters – Lazerback

Is it just me, or is it harder to figure out what we are going to call this show now?  We are still in the Prime Universe, but we are going to go hunting for beasts now.  That Shockwave can really put a damper on a Universe.  Anywho, we are not even up to the new season of Prime yet, and already we are seeing the toys hit the shelves.  Sporadically of course, but that is to be expected after the stores are once again shell shocked from a little holiday called “Christmas.”   As the toy aisles sit more empty than a Nevada ghost town, we wait with anticipation for the return of the toys.

In this all new line of Beast Hunters, the Autobots are going to have to hunt down some dastardly beasts that have been created by the crazy Shockwave, whom we get a little taste of in the later part of Prime Season 2.   I was a little hesitant to get on board with this concept, because that means dinosaur/dragon type figures.  And as far as I am concerned, when you try and take animals and transform them into robots, you get robots with a lot of animal parts hanging off.  And then you get animals with robot parts showing.

In the first wave of Beast Hunter figures, there is only one “Beast,” Lazerback.  He falls prey to the not really an animal or a robot problem, but I had to get him to see for sure.


We get our first look at Lazerback in his beast mode.  In order for him to fit in the packaging, they had to bend him in a bunch of ways that his beast mode should not be able to take, so be prepared to take a few minutes to have to try and figure out what on earth they did to get him transformed in all the wrong ways.

Here at the front, you can see him in all his technicolor glory.  Boy does he have a whole lot of color going on.  More than anything, I would have liked to see his head color match his feet color.  Tie those together, and he would have looked so much better.

Lazerback is a pretty tough looking guy, with all the armor plating all over.  He is quite posable with all of the leg joints he has.  The poses are a little off since his head is in a perpetual downward angle.  He looks like he is always bowing down.

Generally with figures like this, we get some sort of weapon that we either have to leave off in animal mode, or attaches to an appendage somewhere and looks silly.  This is a really great design.  The cannon is actually part of Lazerback’s back.  Guess that is where we get the name.  I like that it can not only be able to be raised into a firing position in beast mode, but it can also handle having the missile loaded and ready to go in that mode as well.

There are a few rubberized parts on him.  The back of the gun opens, I guess to make it look less like he is holding his back when in robot mode.  His tail is also rubberized for the last 2/3.  I don;t know why they did that, but oh well.

Once in robot mode… he looks like he is just an upright version of his beast mode with a robot head. Gah!  No real feet, and his beast hands are tucked in behind his robot hands.  How annoying would that be if you were trying to do something with your little hands and your big hands were always in the way?  I do like how his beast head becomes his chest, and the torso wraps around it, making it virtually unrecognizable.  Too bad there is so much that is still there from his beast mode.

Weapons.  Long and short range, like every good soldier should be prepared for.  The laser cannon mounts to his back or it can go into his hand.  He can also use his tail as a weapon.

I was able to attach his tail to his back in one of the many ports back there.

In all, not a bad figure.  He has some good points.  I am a little biased since I went in knowing that transforming from beast to robot would leave something out.  This ain’t no Dinobot.  By the way, how cool would a Prime version of a Dinobot be?  The rest of the wave is going to be heavily retooled versions of characters we already know, Bumblebee, Wheeljack, and Soundwave.  I am pretty excited to see what those guys are going to bring.  I am sure we will get some pretty interesting designs there, especially since we are going to be loosing the whole “in disguise” thing.

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