Cliffbee.com: BotCon Laserbeak Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Laserbeak
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Eagle

Thanks to kup for loaning me Laserbeak, making this review possible. I should point out that kup actually acquired a production sample of this figure - while it's still a Takara produced toy (confirmed by Hasbro) there are some colour swaps compared to the mass released version.



EAGLE MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 23cm Width: 9.5cm

   That's pretty much his maximum wingspan, by the way, making him reasonably big for a basic. He's a red repaint of Energon Divebomb. The legs, back and joints at the base of his wings are black - but grey on this one - while the upper legs, wingtips and core of his body are black (and black here). His beak is a nice gold colour, which really suits this homage. There are some transparent purple feather-elements on the back of his wings. There also has two big blade like purple hooks that can attach into the sides of his neck and sit underneath the wings. They look good and can be removed, which is good since they limit the wing articulation. The colour scheme works well as Laserbeak, despite the addition of purple. I quite like the grey on kup's toy, also - it alludes to the silver guns on the G1 toy.

   This is a very robotic and angular bird, but I don't mind since it's clearly a robotic beast - not some weird thing passed off as being "technorganic" and they've got the main bits right - the beak, headshape, wings and claws - so it's clearly an eagle. In fact the only part that's disappointing is the tail, which is narrower than a real eagle tail, since it's the robot head facing downward. Mind you, it's not like the original Laserbeak had a prominent tail hanging off the back.

   The poseability is pretty good for a basic beast mode. The wings flap, even further if you remove his Energon blades, and the can also retract somewhat (which they do completely for robot mode). The knees are hinged, and he has ball jointed hips, so when you combine this with rear claws that fold forward, the leg poseability is quite impressive. The head doesn't move, although the mouth is moulded open, and looks pretty good there.

   Adding to the play value are the transparent purple Energon bits. These blades look decent enough as attachments to the bird mode, they're not the "how can we add clear bits to this thing?" that some Energon era moulds seem to sport. You can attach the Energon chip to the spark crystal on his rump, also. I really like the spark Crystals on the Energon toys, and Laserbeak's is no exception. It's clear plastic with a Decepticon logo moulded into it - and is the only allegiance symbol on the entire toy.

   Aside from the malformed tail, this is a pretty decent bird. The colours are nice, and the homage is more successful than the concurrently released Buzzsaw. The articulation is pretty good and the overall aesthetic is very eagle-like, with good proportions and a well moulded head that has kept me happy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   You can remove the blades if you like, and although whilt it might make this transformation a little easier, you don't have to. Lift the wings up and collapse them down. Split the head and swing teh two backs back to form the robot arms, Fold the robot legs and groin back and peg the groin and chest together. Swing the robot arms down, fold up the bird legs now hanging off the back of his shoulders down, and turn his head around.

   This is a fairly simple transformation, but it's a good one. It's taken the "legs from wings" idea that Beast Machines Buzzsaw started and improved on it, meaning there's less kibble than he's entitled to as a basic, and the bird head into robot hand thing works well.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 12cm



   Leaving his blades attached makes Laserbeak taller and wider than he would otherwise be, and since they look fairly impressive, the dimensions above are for the fully armed robot.

   This mode has a fairly similar colour scheme to the eagle mode. He's red with black shoulders (grey on this one), kneecaps and feet while his face is black with a purple mouthplate and bronze eyes. There's a distinct bird of prey feel about the face, although it doesn't come out that strongly since Laserbeak's face is so dark. Again the tribute is fairly obvious, although on kup's toy there's not too much black visible.

   The purple is limited to optional the giant blades hanging off his wrists and the optional sunburst over his spark crystal. The blades look really good, the sunburst looks much better than those found in Energon, since the purple is quite subtle. It does cover up the Decepticon spark crystal in his chest, so you might want to leave that exposed, but I like the fact that both options work well enough.

   The blades can unclip, and attach to each other in a sort of giant S shape, so that a larger Decepticon can hold them. But this big ass slasher also fits in Laserbeak's hand, and really suits him. He has giant black kneespurs, which not only help make the giant slasher look appropriate, they also mean this is one Decepticon you don't want to charge front on! He has bird-head claws instead of hands, but they can hold the blades (or slasher) quite easily, so the lack of hands isn't a negative at all. They look clawlike, so not only are they still functional, they don't detract from his visual appeal.

   Laserbeak's pretty well articulated. His head turns, the shoulders are have hinges and swivels, so combined with the ball jointed elbows, they give him full arm movement. The hips are ball jointed and the knees hinged. The waist does not turn, but his feet can fold back, allowing him to stand upright in leaning back poses - which is a really nifty feature that's no doubt helped by the counterweight of the kneespurs.

   There's very little wrong with this robot mode. The kneespurs and birdhead claws are nice, the weapon suits, the play value is excellent for a basic and the colours work. I suppose if I have to fault it, he has bird claws hanging off the back, but they're barely kibble, and don't get in the way of anything. The colours are good, and do a pretty good job of portraying the character in a humanoid form.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of as such. Laserbeak was available exclusively at BotCon 2006, and was most likely limited to a single production run. I'm not going to count this figure I'm reviewing, since it's likely to be one of a kind (or close to it).

OVERALL

   It's a good mould with fun play value in both modes and cleverly designed weaponry. The colours work well and while there are some differences in colour, he still manages to tribute the G1 toy well. I think Laserbeak works better than Buzzsaw, both as a tribute and in pure colour terms - 9/10

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