Vault Review: Transformers
Dark of the Moon Laserbeak

I haven’t been too impressed by Transformers: Dark of the Moon toys.  That may have something to do with the fact I haven’t seen the movie yet though.  Two designs did stand out to me in the toy aisle:  the terror dog Hatchet, and the overgrown chicken dinosaur that is Laserbeak.

To be honest, I didn’t even care about Laserbeak when I first saw him.  He was just this odd gangly looking robotic chicken that looked like he had a touch of mange.  But then people started finding him in stores and reviews started popping up online.  But what really got me was the random pictures people started posting.  Laserbeak may have a freakish design, but he made for one awesomely articulated robotic chicken-thing.

Laserbeak’s vehicle mode is a VTOL aircraft.  The design itself is a bit futuristic and reminiscent of something you might see on GI Joe.  The red rotors on the wings are able to spin, while the wings themselves swivel forward and back.  There’s also an interesting design painted on the nose that resembles a very stylized version of Laserbeaks head.  I guess he’s not only artistic, but vain.

Laserbeak’s aircraft design is mostly convincing, but there are a few organic bits that stick out here and there that can break the illusion.  His tail stands out the most for me.  Even when transformed correctly, which the instructions do not tell you how to do, the underneath still resembles chunks of vertebrae.  There are also the spikes that line his back, which are never completely covered.  Last are the feathers on his legs, which just get flipped forward and don’t quite blend in with the mostly gray and black vehicle.

But I don’t really mind those issues with his vehicle mode since I bought him for his robot/animal form.  Laserbeak has an impressive ten inch wingspan with some really interesting sculpting that gives them a techno-organic feathery appearance.  His body doubles in on itself to become bulkier, while his tail and neck extend out.  Even his skeletal feet and backwards shins extend from his pudgy thighs.  All of these details work together perfectly to give him great bird-like proportions.

Aside from his wings, what I love most about Laserbeaks sculpt is his head.  His large bulbous eyes are in a perpetual slanty glare, giving him the perfect look of a bird that’s studying his prey.  This dangerous look is only enhanced by his articulation (which I’ll get into in a minute), and his large sharp beak and tusks.  My only complaint is that his head doesn’t match the one on the instructions, which looks even more predatory and menacing. Continue to page 2…

26 thoughts on “Vault Review: Transformers
Dark of the Moon Laserbeak

  1. Good review as usual Vault, but even you can’t save the mess that is DOTM and it’s misbegotten toys for me. The cheapness of that grey plastic just kills any peripheral interest I would have in this being a kinda-Beast Warsy type thing.

    1. Thanks. I guess I just don’t expect gray plastic to look like realistic metal anymore. I have a much lower expectation for mass retail these days.

  2. I suspect his head may be a tribute to The Giant Claw, an old monster movie with a giant vulture chicken thing. Heck, maybe his whole design, now that I think of it.

    1. Yeah, I saw some references to that movie in other reviews. I wasn’t really sure if it was a real allusion or just coincidence though.

  3. Good review. Of all the DOTM figures I own, Laserbeak is easily one of the best.

    Personally, I always thought this Laserbeak looked like a cybertronian turkey-vulture.

  4. I’m with you on this one–I passed up Laserbeak originally, but every review I read of him makes me want him a little bit more.

    I made observation to a friend of mine–the first two Transformers movies had great toys, and the movies were okay; Dark of the Moon is a better movie, but the toys aren’t that hot. Funny how it works that way.

    1. Yeah, I couldn’t pass him up anymore, and I’m glad I didn’t. He’s just so expressive.

  5. WOW! hating almost all of the designs of ANY of the Transformers movies…all the decepticons are jsut masses of gray whyyyyyy? I dont even look at Transformers anymore but thsi lazerbeak looks pretty freaking cool!

    1. You might want to pick him up. His vehicle mode is kinda meh, but his bird mode more than makes up for it.

  6. Seen this once or twice, jut me but it looks a bit too far off the track, the guns bug me a slight bit and I am not sure why but the head is something I don’t like. Might be just me.

    1. The guns are ridiculously huge. I don’t even use them. The head takes a bit of getting used to, but the eyes have this great squinty expression.

  7. i like this fig, he looks cool and beasty… and while that’s a far cry from the lazerbeak i grw up loving, he’s one funky chicken, there’s just no way to deny it.

    1. Yeah, my biggest hurdle was getting over how different he was from the G1 Laserbeak. But this guy definitely has his own merits.

  8. Excellent review, as always. Glad to know I’m not the only one who would’ve preferred the “prototype” head shown on the instruction sheet. The only reason I got this was because of my Soundwave focus, but it ended up being a cool enough toy on its own. However, there is one thing beyond the “Baysplosions”-style Cybertronians that make this figure hideous to me: it’s the resemblance to an actual bird. Not a predator or a scavenger, but a welcome songbird and harbinger of warmer seasons.

    I remember grwoing up in Ohio and seeing loads of American robin nests crammed with baby robins. Ever see those thigns when they’re babies? Hideous pink-and-grey blobs of tenuous life, translucent skin paper-thin and wrinkly over bloated guts and skeletal limbs, tufts of whitish hair sprouting at weird angles and in irregular patches, with stubby beaks agape over pinched-closed eyes, black and bulbous and unseeing on the sides of their flattened heads.

    That’s what this Laserbeak is to me: The Baby Robin of Death and Destruction.

    They should’ve gone with the prototype head.

    1. Cripes, my keyboard dyslexia is bad today. Either I should type slower or proof-check better.

    2. lol, I totally agree on both counts! I would have preferred his original head, and baby birds are entirely creepy.

  9. I saw someone on the Buzz post their “custom” with a dark metallic look. I thought he looked cool and figured it had been piecemealed from other TFs. Then theyy said he was at retail.

    About a week late, I saw him and wasn’t that impressed and passed him by. Second guessing myself, I managed to grab him a few days later. The bird vaguely looks like what you see in the movie, but the “VTOL” or whatever alt-mode he’s supposed to be is never seen. He actually transforms into different alts during the course of the movie, which is cool, but I already knew they were NEVER going to pull that off in toy form.

    I guess it was because they went the “lazy” route and had him compress into the VTOL and still keep his general form that is the weakest part for me. I mean, how many Ravages are still clogging pegs for that same reason? Cool mecha, SUCKAGE alt.

    plus, as you show, the dude dwarfs every other Deluxe range and only looks good with the Leader and higher ranges of TFs. Ironic, since in the movie, while larger than those “toy”/mini TFs (Wheelie?), he’s also smaller than Shia and Jeong except for his wings.

    random thought: they should have called him Sky Lynx….and now I want another one to custom him into sky! D’OH!

    1. lol, you know what the sad part is? As I was doing this review I couldn’t help but think how much I should have picked up a Ravage.

  10. I’m still on the fence about Major Lazerbeak… if I was going to buy a DSOTM figure, this would be it. That or Shocky. I’m not sure yet about the HA Soundwave. My thinking tho is if I pick up HA Wave, I don’t need TurkeyBeak here.

    1. I haven’t seen soundwave in this line yet. Is he cooler than the last movie one?

      1. I know there’s a Japanese version that’s coming out (which I’ve “pre-ordered”)*, but I didn’t know a Human Alliance Soundwave was in the works! Gotta keep my eyes peeled, methinks.

        * The more I think about it, the term “pre-order” makes no sense. Even if something isn’t in stock yet, you still order one. “Pre-order” implies you haven’t made up your mind and haven’t added it to your cart yet. I’d like to find the person who coined the term “pre-order,” get him together with the person who came up with “bromance,” and introduce them to the island of Komodo after dousing them in goat’s blood. Heeeeeere, dragon, dragon, dragon . . . .

        Human Alliance Soundwave. Thanks for the tip, P.T.!

  11. The head featured in the instructions should be out by the end of the year, or early next year, assuming this is a similar case of the “repaint preview” we’ve seen in lots of the Generations/Hunt for the Decepticons instructions recently.

    I’d bet it’s called Buzzsaw. Another cool thing is that the head looks like it was pulled from Laserbeak concept art. I thing Laserbeak turned out much cooler than I had imagined! I don’t know if I’d buy him again in a repaint, though.

    1. I really like that other head. If he has a good color scheme then I’ll probably pick him up. Then I can have a Cybertronian cock fight…

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