Laserbeak thumbnail 1
Laserbeak thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Laserbeak

Transformer
1984-1985 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Laserbeak is a Decepticon spy, the toy was developed from Takara’s Microman Micro Change line of 1983, in which the character was named ‘Micro Cassette Robo Condor’. Laserbeak’s unusual transformation from vulture to audio cassette mode can be explained by his partnership with the Decepticon Soundwave, who transformed into a cassette player. In the cartoon, Soundwave stored his cassette-minions inside his chest, ejecting them to undertake special tasks as required. The other cassettes were Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage and Ratbat. Laserbeak and Frenzy were sold as a two pack.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Transformer
  • Weapon
  • Weapon
Titles
  • Laserbeak (manufacturer's title)
  • Decepticon (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Injection-moulded plastic; die-cast metal, painted; printed paper
Brief description
Transformer (Decepticon), 'Laserbeak'; Takara/Hasbro; Japan; 1984-85
Physical description
Transforming toy, a robotic vulture that transforms into an audio cassette. Its wings are made from black plastic, although the upper part of its body is die cast metal, painted red. It has coloured paper decals. The marks are located under either wing. The silver plastic weapons/thrusters fit into the holes on the bird's 'shoulders'.
Dimensions
  • Width: 7.2cm (cassette mode)
  • Height: 3.3cm (cassette mode)
  • Depth: 1cm (cassette mode)
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
  • '© TAKARA CO. LTD. 1983 JAPAN' (Moulded under left wing)
  • '© HASBRO 1983' (Moulded under right wing)
Credit line
Given by Jermaine Dacas
Object history
Bought by the donor between 1985 and 1987. Mr Dacas was born 17/10/73 and saved his pocket money to buy the toys.
Historical context
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron, all of them are capable of assuming an alternate form, usually a vehicle, through a series of folding movements. They are typically divided into two factions: Autobots and Decepticons. The Autobots are heroic, peace-loving and curious about humanity, they are led by Optimus Prime, who typically transforms into an articulated truck. The Decepticons are evil, authoritarian and contemptuous of other life-forms, they are led by the maniacal Megatron, who originally transformed into a realistic-looking handgun.

Initially, the franchise was essentially an American rebrand of two toylines already produced by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy: ‘Diaclone’ and ‘Microman’. Hasbro had purchased the distribution rights to these lines in the early-1980s. Transformers was launched in the United States and Europe in 1984-85. The enormously popular toys inspired many spin-offs, including several animated television series’, a feature-length animated film (1986), multiple comic books series (including by Marvel, who had co-operated with Hasbro to produce GI Joe comics) and, inevitably, subsequent lines of toys. A series of big budget, live-action films have been produced by Warner Brothers since 2007.
Production
Made by: TAKARA CO
Japan
Subject depicted
Summary
Laserbeak is a Decepticon spy, the toy was developed from Takara’s Microman Micro Change line of 1983, in which the character was named ‘Micro Cassette Robo Condor’. Laserbeak’s unusual transformation from vulture to audio cassette mode can be explained by his partnership with the Decepticon Soundwave, who transformed into a cassette player. In the cartoon, Soundwave stored his cassette-minions inside his chest, ejecting them to undertake special tasks as required. The other cassettes were Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage and Ratbat. Laserbeak and Frenzy were sold as a two pack.
Bibliographic reference
Toy Trader; November 1985; April 1986; August 1986
Collection
Accession number
B.112:1 to 3-1994

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Record createdApril 17, 2000
Record URL
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