Friday, October 26, 2012

Holy Grails - Predaking Part I

All of this talk about Encore Fort Max has really had me thinking about my collection. I've seen, on various sites, people talking about how Fortress Maximus has been something of a holy grail for the average collector. This hasn't been the case for me since I still have the one I got when I was 11, but I'm by no means stating that I'm not the average collector. My collection is far too small to claim otherwise. Since I still have my Fortress Maximus, I had another holy grail - Predaking.

There's an old phrase from when I was a kid - "You're a liar!" It was primarily used whenever someone tried to brag about a toy that they owned, but no one else had ever seen. I used this a lot whenever kids would talk about how they had a Unicron or Spike and Sparkplug action figures. Tit for tat, it's been used on me as well. The last time I had ever called someone a liar over a Transformer was on a kid who claimed that he had Predaking, 1986 I think. Naturally, when prodded, the kid produced Rampage, but nothing else.

My cousin had a Tantrum that I confiscated a few years later from him for neglect, but other than those two examples, I had never seen any other Predacon in person. Since he was never featured in the comics, save for issue #25 of the Marvel run, I promptly forgot about him.

Fast forward to the Dreamwave comics and his appearance in two issues and I all of a sudden had an appetite for him again. Searching eBay, I knew I couldn't get him just yet. But luck was on my side when I saw a preorder for for a reissue! If memory serves, BBTS had him for $175, so that was a definite purchase. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the order, so I missed out on him. I tried to find the reissue after that, but by then it had skyrocketed to $500! I just can't stomach paying that much for something so recent on the secondary market.

Thankfully, Takara decided on a New Year's version of this massive guy. This time, there wouldn't be a cancellation of an order. There were differences between this version and the others. The main differences being the changing of yellow to gold and the addition of metal flaked paint. Still, holy grail attained.

I've decided to break Predaking into several posts, focusing first on the individual Predacons and then on Predaking himself.

First up is Divebomb, Predaking's left arm. There's a lot about Divebomb that I don't know. Character development on the cartoon was not exactly a thing for combiners back then. Everyone knew that the combined form was the real draw. Sure a line might be uttered by some team members now and again, but it was rare for Predacons to get any real dialogue.

Divebomb got most of his character development fiction-wise in the Marvel UK run which I've never read. I knew that the issues existed as a kid thanks to the Marvel US run's letter pages. I have yet to read a UK issue. Thanks to the TFWiki, I've come to understand that Divebomb took his name from Swoop. That right there tells me more about Divebomb than I had ever known about him based on 16 years of fiction that's he been a part of. As an aside, I find it pitiful that the comics always focus on the same few characters with so many others out there. Thankfully, this has changed recently with the great More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise series. Skids is all of a sudden cool!

Divebomb transforms into an eagle according to his wiki entry. Honestly, I could've sworn it was a condor before I found that out. I know the head is all wrong for a condor, and that eagles are actual predators, but condors are cooler.


Divebomb's eagle mode is pretty great. Well, it's pretty great standing up. Once you try to put him into a standing position problems arise. I can't seem to get him to lay flat.  Looking at him, his backpack/wings just look too big to me. It just seems out of proportion to me. I realize that it's a design thing, since the wings come off for Predaking, but I'd still like for them to have a thinner profile. However, the wings have articulation, which is awesome, as does the head.

The eagle head forms a type of helmet in robot mode. I actually like the chin strap look on Divebomb. It reminds me of a knight's helmet. Combined with the wings, he's very impressive in robot mode. I'd dare say that he's the best looking Predacon. And at least his name wasn't reused for a crab.

Eat it, Swoop

Well, that's it for this post.  See you soon for the post on Rampage.


  1. Very cool. I'm digging the gold and metal flakes. Part of me likes it when they make subtle changes to re-issues such as this. 1) It isn't a carbon copy of the original for all the "purists" out there. 2) Gives the collector another reason to buy the toy when it has new packaging or a new updated paint scheme.

    IMO, I almost have to say that I like these colors better than the G1. That may be sacrilegious to some fans, but oh well...

    Can't wait to see the rest!

    1. Thanks! I only have the original Tantrum to compare for colors, but I really like the metal flakes as well.

  2. Oooh, this is going to be awesome!!