Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Decepticon Berserker (Transformers: The Last Knight)

Not every toy collector collects the same things. In fact, if you look around, you’ll find that pretty much every major reviewer has certain favorites, and certain lines that did not make the cut. For me, it’s Transformers. I don’t collect Transformers. Why? Well, there are five reasons: – cost, space, cost, space, and cost. My budget is stretched thin enough as it is, and the last thing I want is to get sucked down yet another money sink. And then I went ahead and bought some Transformers because AH HA HA HA HA HA HA help me please.

So anyway, there’s a new movie coming up, The Last Knight. And with it, new toys! See this Chevy Suburban? It belongs in the third movie, not this one. Hey, wait a second!

In Dark of the Moon, just before Sentinel Prime betrayed the Autobots (uh, spoilers?), there was that freeway chase with Bumblebee, Sam, Ironhide, and (wait, were there other Autobots? Haven’t seen the movie in a while). The three Decepticons, nicknamed The Dreads, all had similar Predator-esque facial designs and dreadlocks. And their leader, Crankcase, is this guy. Or this guy is Crankcase. ook, Berserker has the same face, the same build, the same shoulder-mandibles, and even the same weapon. They all transformed into Suburbans, too. I don’t know if Berserker is a re-use of the design in the new movie, or if it’s just a weird way of rereleasing Crankcase with a new sculpt (he isn’t a repaint, at least), but there you go.

Berserker is a Deluxe Class figure, so he’s in the 6″-or-so scale range. And eh, it’s a better-looking figure in robot mode than Crankcase’s toy, and I like the design. So, let’s take a look – is Berserker more than meets the eye? (bad pun bad pun bad pun)

 

PACKAGING: ****

Berserker comes in a window box which shows the figure off wonderfully – you can compare paint jobs without any difficulty. It’s also easy to store, if you like keeping stuff mint on card.

 

SCULPT: ***1/2
Yeah, those dreads make Berserker look like the Predator, don’t they? His mandibles certainly don’t help… but anyway, Crankcase called a stag beetle to mind, particularly with those shoulder spikes/mandibles. Berserker’s are smaller, lowering hat comparison and bringing out his Predator effect a little more. Even though it’s a total reuse, I like the basic design – Berserker is pretty bestial, and certain things about his monstrous, four-eyed face resemble the Decepticon logo just a bit.

Berserker certainly has kibble, though – car doors on his arms, and the folded-up shell of that Suburban on his back. It compacts reasonably well, but viewing him from the back kills a lot of the mystique. At least it folds away in segments, keeping him from turning into a shellformer.

Grimlock-VsPacificRim

An issue with movie Transformers is that, although there are supposedly no “cheats” in the CGI, they do transform in ways that toys can’t. But Berserker manages to look enough like his card art (and I assume his CG model) by hiding the kibble, and keeping his proportions decent. He’s not bad posed on a shelf, and it’s even possible to ignore or obscure the kibble, leaving you with a pretty fearsome alien robot beast.

 

PAINT: ****

Transformers actually have very little paint as a general rule, usually opting to mold various parts in diferently-colored plastic. Considering their construction, this makes sense. Less paint means less paint scuffing. Berserker exists in various shades of gray, some metallic and some more brownish, with black and blue for his alt mode. It’s a ver common color scheme for movie Decepticons – and actually somewhat of a probem when it comes to telling them apart. But it’s also fairly appropriate to the designs, and works well for Berserker.

Yes he’s got some paint apps, particularly on his face and chest. They are quite clear and clean, applied well without any slop. Berserker’s face is fantastic.

 

ARTICULATION: ****

Berserker has lots of ball joints, hinges and swivels – yes, enough to accomodate the transformation, but he can also take a lot of great and varied poses! A nd, what’s more, his pieces pop off harmlessly rather than break, so have fun!

As a Chevy Suburban, the wheels move, and you can “crumple” the car pretty simply. that’s… all he needs to be.

Bersrker’s transformation isn’t overly complex – you basically line up his limbs and fold him in half – but it does have a few inherent difficulties in that the Suburban shell parts aren’t perfectly fitted. Theyalmost are, but they have a tendency to pop free, not locking in place. it’s very difficult to keep him transformed, even if it’s easy to put him there. The alt form does look amazing considering the monstrosity inside, but it isn’t very sturdy in the long run.

 

ACCESSORIES: **

No, he doesn’t come with John Cena! Berserker has two spiked clubs, which formerly came with Crankcase. They can fit in his hands, hang off his arms, and plug underneath the Suburban’s undercarriage. They are tiny, and not terribly needed.

 

VALUE: ***

$20 isn’t bad for a Transformer, and that’s what this costs.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Thankfully, Berserker is not fragile. Pieces will pop out harmlessly rathee than break, but still show some care with it.

WHERE TO BUY:

As Transformers are mainstream and tied into a big summer blockbuster, you can find these everywhere.

 

OVERALL: ***1/2

Well, there you have it. Potentially a no-show in the new movie (or maybe just a henchman from an olderone), Berserker is still one of the inaugural Last Knight figures. And it’s a pretty cool transformer, especially with that really obvious Predator homage it’s got going on.

Well, even though he’s a complete redo of Crankcase, and the alt form doesn’t stay together well, this is still a good figure. He looks appropriately fearsome, matches the movie aesthetic, and is kinda cool overall.

Personally… display him in robot mode. It’s a better figure than Crankcase’s was, after all.

 

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