I just found the second wave of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters at my local Walmart. I passed on Smokescreen (for now), but decided to pickup another Predacon. Lucky for me, I’m much happier with Ripclaw than my two previous Predacon purchases.
One of the more interesting details about this character is that Ripclaw is actually a female robot. It’s pretty difficult to tell just by looking at her though. Her body does have that slight hourglass shape, but it’s mostly hidden under a ton of blue armor. And unlike Arcee, her head really doesn’t have any feminine features.
She’s still a nicely designed toy with plenty of sculpted details. Her wings are probably the most obvious with their various panels and fake joints. The blue skin of her dragon mode becomes plate armor for the robot. This really gives off the strong impression of a knight, or even a heavily armored space warrior like Samus. She’s also got smaller details like the protective collar around her shoulders, a spine, and jet-like exhaust ports beneath her wings.
Her robot head is an interesting piece. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t really look female. They way it’s designed with her mouth and eyes separate red pieces, it really gives off the impression of a helmet more than a face. Either way, it’s still nicely designed. Its wing-like horns and bared teeth really give off the strong impression of a demon bat. The one thing I do find odd is the circle design in her mouth. I have no idea what that’s supposed to be.
Transformation on Ripclaw is easy, but there are a couple of engineering that I really liked. In dragon mode her upper torso is bent back and you have to straighten it for robot mode. I don’t know if many other Transformers figures do this, but I’d never seen it before. I also like the placement of her armor. Her chest and neck fold down and behind her to give her those shoulder pads, while the pieces on her thighs fold down to cover the ankles.
One thing on this figure that I am concerned about is the use of a very soft and rubbery plastic on her dragon head and tail. The head is the most frustrating part since the lower jaw is a regular hard plastic, while the upper jaw and rest of the head is rubber. It doesn’t quite look right stylistically.
The tail is entirely different. It’s a long rubber cord with hard plastic pieces slipped over it. The cord can be stretched to lock into place with the gold tailbone, or it could be left unhooked and floppy. I’m assuming this was created for play value, while the upper head was done for safety reasons. Unfortunately I don’t see either piece aging very well. Rubbery plastic degrades much faster than hard. Plus, both pieces have joints and are that much closer to ripping or breaking off entirely the more the figure is played with. Continue to page 2…