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When TRANSFORMERS PRIME returned to The Hub for it’s third season last week, The Autobots were slapped with the return of an evil force that was brought back from extinction thanks to Shockwave’s tinkering in his Decepticon Lab. There, in very JURASSIC PARK fashion, Shockwave used fossilized CNA (Transformers’ DNA) to clone one of the great Cybertonian Beasts that once ruled the metallic landscape of the Transformers’ home planet. The mighty PREDAKING was quickly sent by his new masters to hunt down and destroy any Autobot that should cross his path. As a kid that grew up on the G1 TRANSFORMERS of the 1980s, I love exposing my little ones to the world of things that are “More Than Meets the Eye,” so I was thrilled when the folks from HASBRO had one of their new “Voyager Class” Predaking figures delivered to Rock Father HQ.

What a lot of people don’t know about The Rock Father is that I happen to own a one-of-a-kind TRANSFORMERS Movie Chrome Optimus Prime that I scored back in 2007 (before becoming a parent) for doing a funny little video for G4 (soon to be THE ESQUIRE NETWORK). Yes, I have Transformers “gold” in my office, and if that doesn’t solidify my geekiness, perhaps the Autobot “symbol” on my Scion will do the trick… or the dual appearance of both Autobot and Decepticon crests on my B.C. Rich Warlock Guitar. So how’s this Predaking?

Bonus Feature: Crank up this fantastically thunderous music from the late TRANSFORMERS-themed band, Shockwave
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It’s been awhile since I’ve owned a “new” Transformer, and I’ll be honest – with a few exceptions (Grimlock, Ravage), I’ve never been a big fan of Transformers that turned into something other than a vehicle. I completely avoided “Beast Wars” (“Optimus Primal” – an ape? No thanks.), so the “Beast Hunters” concept didn’t grab me  straight away. Thankfully, it’s presented alongside more “traditional” bots, and that I can appreciate.
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Predaking becomes a multi-headed Dragon – a “hydra” of sorts – in his “Beast” form, while maintaining a somewhat “vampiric” look in his robot mode. He’s sinister (especially on the show), but the Voyager Class figure lacks some of his detail, which will later show up in an “Ultimate” figure later this year. A prime example is on Predaking’s wings, which are pictured on the box (the old “product may differ slightly from packaging” comes into play here) with black accents on the “bones” (think bat wings), which are unpainted on the actual figure. The end result is that the Voyager Class Predaking looks a lot more “orange” than he looks on TV.

Lomogram 2013-03-28 10-44-3Being old-school, I still miss the days of the beefy, die-cast Transformers, so it’s no surprise that in the interest of cost and safety, Predaking is plastic. Certain pieces are quite rigid, while others feel soft – almost rubbery – which made me cautious in handling him initially. Don’t worry, Predaking is plenty-sturdy, but I wanted to be sure. He’s also listed as an “Intermediate” figure in terms of difficulty, but I was still a bit surprised at how many steps were needed to complete his Transformations. In reality, once you do it, it’s easy to play with an the 30-ish-step instructions are no longer necessary.

As for the harshest critic in the house, Rock Daughter #1 LOVES Predaking. She’ll even happily show you how “he flaps his wings to fly!” If she’s a fan, then so am I. Ya know, I do think she’s fully aware that Predaking is shady and up to no good…
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TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS Toys are available in-stores now.

TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS airs Friday Nights at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT on The Hub

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The Rock Father Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

FTC Disclosure: As noted above, a Predaking Figure was provided to The Rock Father for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn with input from his children

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