Review: Transformers The Last Knight Premier Edition Berserker

“Critical acclaim” and “the Transformers film series” are two phrases that are rarely associated with each other, but one aspect (perhaps the only aspect) of the movies that is regularly applauded is the CGI used for the Transformers themselves. Optimus Prime’s transformation in the first film was magical, Devastator’s rendering reportedly melted several computers, and I still remember being blown away by Sentinel Prime’s animation in particular. These robot models are incredibly impressive, and therefore incredibly expensive. As a result, reusing CGI models is very common practice for these films, going all the way back to the protoform Autobots in the first film. It’s typically used to fill out the Decepticon ranks (since they aren’t really characters anyway), and The Last Knight looks to be following that tradition with Berserker, who appears to be almost identical to Crankcase from Dark of the Moon. He at least gets his own name and a brand new toy in the first wave, so maybe he’ll actually be a character, right? … right?

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Vehicle Mode

Surprise, surprise, Berserker turns into a Chevrolet Suburban, just like Crankcase. He looks alright aside from the grey hinges on either side, and the painted blue windows make him look a little cheap (especially compared to Crankcase, who just had black windows). There’s nothing wrong with it, and it nails the “ominous black government SUV” vibe, but he is kind of… dull. He’s also pretty small for a deluxe-scale SUV, but that’s mainly due to the nature of his conversion (his robot mode is decently-sized).

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One issue that is worth mentioning is that due to Berserker’s compact alternate mode, his robot bits have to be crammed together very tightly, and all his panels have to be aligned just right in order to come together cleanly. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible, and typically his rear panels just won’t stay together. Crankcase had a very similar problem, and despite the improvements that Berserker made on that toy’s engineering, it seems like this transformation is just hard to pull off in plastic.

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Robot Mode

Just like in vehicle mode, Berserker is virtually identical to Crankcase, but he does have some notable color differences. While Crankcase was primarily black with silver and gold highlights, Berserker is primarily shades of grey with some red accents. These differences are kind of what won me over on the reuse of this model, as it shows that some effort was made into making Berserker look visually distinct compared to his CGI model progenitor. Sadly, the grey plastic does make him look extremely unpainted, but I think the different plastic shades help out a little. (Mine is missing the red paint app on his right knee, but since I’ve never seen that on any other copies of the toy, I don’t think it’s a running problem.) 

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Like Barricade, Berserker’s articulation is decent. Ball-jointed shoulders and hips, bicep and thigh swivles, single-jointed elbows and knees. His neck is technically double-jointed with a ball joint at the base, but since it’s angled horizontally, he can’t really look left or right very well. On the up side, his shoulders have an additional “shrugging” joint, and you can technically use his second knee as another hinge, though it can’t really accomplish much without ankle articulation. Basically, he’s got solid arm posability, but everything else is merely passable. Oh, and his shoulder spikes are ball jointed, if you want to wiggle them around. 

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For accessories, Berserker comes with a pair of weird spiked clubs/grenades/stabby weapons that he can hold. They’re made of soft PVC plastic, but they don’t seem to be easily deformed. They have molded clips to store on his back kibble (which are also used to store on his underside in vehicle mode, which is excellent), but it’s a very loose grip on mine, and they get very easily knocked off. So, I found a better solution…

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… like so. The rectangular ports on his hips that the vehicle mode panels are meant to peg into happen to be perfectly-sized for the edges of the clips on his weapons, so he can also store them on his legs. It’s a much tighter connection and doesn’t deform the plastic at all, and I think it looks a lot cooler. 

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Overall

I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking Berserker. His vehicle mode is kind of bland and lining up panels is frustrating, but his robot mode manages to have so much distinct character, despite being a design reuse of Crankcase. Stuff like the goofy red “X” on his chest and the dumb spike weapons make him very endearing to me, and his sculpt is a much better rendition of the CGI model than the Crankcase toy. I would totally recommend Berserker… if he wasn’t $20 retail. I would hesitantly recommend paying $15 (which I believe is Walmart’s price), but he’s not really worth much more. Which is a shame, because Berserker is a really neat toy with some nifty engineering, bogged down by being a “Premier Edition” release.

Where to Buy

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Comments
One Response to “Review: Transformers The Last Knight Premier Edition Berserker”
  1. Deshra says:

    I believe Berserker is crankcase. In the last movie they never really said his name he was just referred to as one of “The Dreads”. I do find I love his look mainly because it’s like cybertronians or even just deceptions met with the race of aliens known as “Predators” as Berserker’s face is almost a complete predator clone, 4 tusks, dredds and all.
    Lastly the figure, I’ve noticed many have the same flaw mine does, though I’ve seen some without it. The door panel in his left arm in robot mode is molded bent. I’m contacting hasbro to see if they can send me a non bent replacement. (Tried returning it and got the same bent panel again, although the newer one’s back wasn’t as bent out of shape). That one bent panel is all that prevents mine from looking right in his alt mode. Trust me take both panels off his arms and compare, the one on his right arm is usually perfect, he’s left looks like someone put their thumb on the hot plastic forming a dent.

    Like

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