One of Generation 1’s most enduring legacies is the combiner conept. 1986 included a big expansion of this concept, mostly previously unused “Scramble City” Jizai Gattai designs. The largest set was a totally new design, using various menacing animals each scaled larger than the other combiner team’s leaders. Razorclaw is a black, orange and yellow Panthera leo (lion).
Razorclaw was designed by Teruo Kitamura. His US Patent, titled Reconfigurable animal toy lion (aka Transformers G1 Razorclaw) was filed on December 13, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD298559 S).
Razorclaw transforms into a primarily black robotic lion with an orange hard rubber mane, yellow head, and red legs. He is decorated with gold foil stickers, often patterned to look like riveted armor plates. His large double-barreled cannon can attach to a hole on top of his hips, and he features two molded gun barrels on either shoulder (an attempt to disguise or utilize the protruding combination ports). His transformation entails folding the lower rear lion legs up into the thighs, then extending the robot legs and feet. The arms pull out to the sides, and the fists extend by sliding tabs, allowing the front lion legs to fold up the robot’s back. Lastly, the lion head rotates and slides on a track to the robot’s chest, and the robot head flips up. His robot mode is stocky, with a disproportionately large torso and short arms. He does not feature any detail not seen in his lion mode other than his red-painted face. His large double-barreled cannon can plug into either shoulder via the combination socket, and he can wield his gold sword. He can form the torso of Predaking by folding up his robot legs and fists, and rotating his hips around to reveal the Predaking waistplate. The hips also widen to accommodate the large leg team members, while the arms plug into the circular sockets on his shoulders. Divebomb’s wings plug into a square port in his back, and his double-barreled cannon transforms into a long single-barreled arm cannon that can attach to Divebomb.
Despite his blocky design, Razorclaw is prone to a number of damages. The most common is heavy sticker damage resulting from the lion head sliding over the gold stickers on the lion’s back. His fist retractor tabs are also more prone to breakage than average. Finally, the rectangular posts on his legs that connect to the Predaking leg members can break clean off, wedging irretrievably in Headstrong or Tantrum’s socket. The post looks sturdy, but the large size and weight of the teammates (especially the metal-body variants) can easily generate enough leverage.
Razorclaw has two primary variations, like most 1986 toys. The earlier version has a die-cast metal waist, and the elongated raised area on either side of his sword blade was sharply defined by a sculpted indentation. At some point, the raised area was blended smoothly into the blade surface, and later in 1986 production switched to an all-plastic waist. All versions of Razorclaw feature a rubsign on the the lion’s back.
Razorclaw was available worldwide (except the United Kingdom) in 1986. In Japan, he was available in a Predaking gift set in 1986. He was available in the US again in 1987. Razorclaw was re-issued in Japan in 2004, nearly identical to the 1986 metal-bodied giftset version. He recieved a second Japanese reissue in 2010, branded with the “Welcome to 2010” logo. This version again uses the metal body, and features a redesigned sticker sheet, a gold face (instead of yellow), and metallic shades of his plastics. This version had a symmetrical connector socket to facilitate attaching as either Predaking leg. A similar version was released in the US in 2013’s Platinum Edition Predaking.
Redecos & Retools
Razorclaw’s mold has not been re-used.