Release Date: April 7, 2016
Price Point: $399 in a boxed set with Primus registration, $299 for a bagged set (with General Cicadacon, General Ramhorn, Predacon Tarantulas & Ravage)
Retailer: Fun Publications (Botcon Exclusive)
Accessories: Hand/foot/weapon; Shield; Weapon barrel
The theme for Botcon 2016 was the "Dawn of the Predacus", riffing off the "Beast Wars" Combiner character known as Tripredacus. The story told the tale of the fall of the Decepticons and the rise of the Predacons, featuring many Maximal and Predacon characters in their "pre-Beast Wars" forms. Botcon had played with this theme before in 2006 with the "Dawn of Future's Past" set, featuring vehicular forms for many Beast Wars characters. Interestingly this year's set seems more aligned with Hasbro's mass release figures, being labeled as "Combiner Wars" instead of "Timelines". That places this set of figures under the "Generations" banner instead.
General Sea Clamp is one of the three Predacon Generals introduced in "Beast Wars" during the epic "The Agenda" three part series. These shadowy figures were shown to be behind the machinations of the Predacon government. Though they looked nothing like the "Beast Wars" action figures of the same name, this boxed set takes inspiration from the concept of the three being able to combine, adding in Ravage and Tarantulas (two of the Tripredacus agents) into the mix to create a proper "Combiner Wars" giant.
The base sculpt for this figure is "Combiner Wars" Silverbolt. The sculpt was later given a new deco and retooled as Cyclonus. More recently the figure was retooled again and given a new deco as Scattershot. This figure is heavily based off the Scattershot sculpt, so it is technically a retool/redeco of a retool/redeco.
The Predacus set was available in two forms. The main packaging was a boxed set similar in style to those from past years. However instead of the "Timelines" label the set is under the "Generations" banner instead with "Combiner Wars" boldly printed on the front and sides. The right side (facing the box) has a list of "Special thanks" listing many names that have had a hand in Fun Publications over the years including Karl Hartman and Pete Sinclair. Inside the figures are in vehicle mode couched inside foam. Underneath are the tech specs, instructions and accessories. The cover features gorgeous box art by Marcelo Matere in the style of other "Combiner Wars" giants.
Pre-registrants could also order a "loose" set during the registration process. This set included all the figures, accessories and paperwork from the boxed set (minus the pin) sealed in a large plastic bag.
Sea Clamp includes the same weapon as Silverbolt, Cyclonus and Scattershot. The rifle is cast in grey plastic, matching the grey on the rest of the figure. Interestingly, if you purchased the boxed set you were also given an extra hand/foot/weapon accessory (specifically the one that matches up with Ravage). In a way this makes up for Terrorsaur not including a hand/foot/weapon piece.
Sea Clamp's "Beast Wars" form was a lobster, so...well, I've really got nothing in terms of how that connects to this vehicle form. Of course there's nothing to say that Sea Clamp wasn't a spaceship of some sort, but I guess if you really wanted to stretch one's imagination you could think of this vehicle form as some type of underwater fighter vessel.
This figure borrows Scattershot's vehicle mode and gives it a new deco. You would expect much of the detail on the figure to wind up on the wings but instead the folks at Fun Publications decided to put most of the deco on the middle and back. Silver paint is used on the top of the vertical fin and the thrusters in the back. Silver lines run along the sides leading to the giant cannon barrel in the front. Grey paint is used on the top and sides of the "nosecone" section and yellow paints the windows. I'm actually kind of surprised at how relatively simple this deco is. I would have expected say, the blasters on the wings to be painted. That said there is a lot of deco in the other modes.
The rifle still attaches nicely to the underside of the nosecone section. You can also attach weapons to the 5mm ports on the robot arms under the wings.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the rifle and set it aside for now.
- Push the vertical fin down to the side.
- Swing the cockpit section back.
- Swing the wings up and attach them to the cockpit section.
- Swing the robot arms up, and rotate them around.
- Swing the robot leg pieces out to the sides, then rotate the lower legs around.
- Swing the robot feet out, then swing out the heel pieces.
- Swing the panels on the back of the lower legs forward.
- Swing the chest panel forward and swing the robot head out, then swing the panel back into place.
- The weapon can be placed in either hand or the 5mm ports on the sides of the forearms. It can also be split into a cannon and shield.
Sea Clamp features a brand new head sculpt based on the CG model used in "The Agenda". It was a very distinct design that really is not what you would consider a traditional Transformers head design. Most head designs have a distinctive helmet section around a face in the middle. However this head design looks like one cohesive piece instead of having distinctive "helmet" and "face" sections. The design's most distinctive feature is a crest that actually starts at the nose and goes up the middle of the forehead and then to the top of the head. This separates a distinctive face with a pronounced chin. The design does a great job of duplicating the CG model and I'm very impressed with it.
The rest of the figure is the same body sculpt as Scattershot (which in turn is mostly made up of Silverbolt design elements). Most of this body is cast in red, grey and silver plastic. These three colors were the main colors see on the Tripredacus Council members in the "Beast Wars" cartoon so they fit Sea Clamp nicely. Red makes up most of the figure, with silver used on the shoulders, chest, fist and feet. Grey plastic is used on the upper arms, thighs and knee armor.
The paint colors used on this figure include red, yellow, silver and dark grey. The head is painted red with yellow eyes and silver teeth. Silver is also found on parts of the torso and the lower legs. Dark grey is used on the arms, thighs and the sides of the lower legs. The finishing touch is a black and white Predacon symbol in the center of the chest. The deco looks great, and you can see where a lot of the potential details from the vehicle mode wound up. I like the little touches such as painting the forearms and bits on the thighs.
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. Unfortunately the chest panel is a bit too tight and I had to use a bit more strength to open it than I had to with any other version of this sculpt. It's not just my copy of this figure. I tried this on another Sea Clamp during Botcon and it was the same way. It's not a dealbreaker, just something to be aware of.
Transformation to Torso Mode (Starting in robot mode):
- Detach all weapons.
- Swing the chest panel open, push the head in and then swing the panel back in place. It helps to turn the head to the side.
- Straighten out the robot arms and swing them up.
- Swing the robot hands back.
- On each of the lower robot legs swing the small panel in the back out.
- Swing the foot and heel pieces together, then push them back into the back of lower legs.
- Rotate the lower legs so the knees face each other.
- Swing the lower legs down.
- Swing the panel in the middle of the body up to reveal Predacus' head.
- Swing the small panel with the Predacon symbol on it up.
- Swing the two torso panel halves together.
- On each shoulder section swing the grey panels down to open up the Combiner slot.
The Predacus torso design features a brand new head sculpt based on the character's "Beast Wars" action figure. The head is roughly pear shaped with a piece that looks like the barrel of a blaster in the center of the head. He has narrow eyes, a prominent brow and a really creepy, toothy grin. The head sculpt looks fantastic. Despite the fact that this character is fully mechanical, the head design calls back to the techno-organic nature of the first "Beast Wars" Tripredacus action figure. I especially love the sculpted Predacon symbol on the back of the head. The designers did a great job on this one!
While the head is cast in red plastic, it is mostly painted silver. Several sections such as the "point" on the top of the head and a raised "X" shaped pattern on the head are painted a dark, blue-grey color. The eyes are painted orange and his teeth are white. Along the sides of the head are neon green details. All these color details are inspired by the original "Beast Wars" Tripredacus action figure and they look awesome!
The rest of the torso mode uses the Superion torso armor panels. The pointed blasters near the shoulders are painted silver along with the middle of the torso. The area around the silver is a combination of black and blue-grey paint. On top of that are orange details over the chest area. In the middle of the chest is a purple Predacon symbol. Silver is used on the mid-body area with a orange in the middle. Some black is used on the edge of the angled sections leading to the arms and blue-grey lines at an angle on the thighs. In a bit of a nod to the original Tripredacus toy the rectangular details on the hip section are painted neon green. The green is a nice callback to the original Tripredacus given that so much of the coloring here is red and silver.
There were not a whole lot of choices for the "torso" of Predacus from the "Combiner Wars" Voyager Class figures so out of all of them I think the Scattershot works pretty nicely (better than a truck). I really dig the intricate colors on the torso mode and the head sculpt is excellent. Overall this figure is a success even if the deco in vehicle mode is a little plain.