"Beast Wars Transformers" Ramulus Toy Review
Release Date: 1998
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Beast mode: Ram
Function: Scout, Survivalist
Ramulus' stasis pod crashed in a mountainous region of prehistoric Earth during the onset of the quantum surge. Isolated, damaged and forced to develop his own survival tactics, Ramulus trusts neither Maximal nor Predacon alike. He is reluctant to fight, but rash and impulsive once provoked. Characteristically calm and reliable when venturing through unexplored territory on his own. Relished adventure and argues that the Maximals' success depends on their continual repositioning and relocation. Longs to see Cybertron. Ramulus wields a double slagmaker cannon in robot mode and his fractured spark crystal generates disruptive ion pulses.
Ramulus is one of the first Transmetals II additions to the Maximal ranks. This is also one of the few Transmetals II toys that was created with a beast form different than that of any previously released Beast Wars Transformers toy: A ram. This and good design work make it a nice toy to have.
So what separates a Transmetal II from a Transmetal? For one thing, the third "alternate" vehicle modes are gone. In their place, a more striking design style, special features in each toy and a "Spark Crystal". The Spark Crystals are small marble type balls embedded into the body of the toys, each with the symbol of the character's respective allegiance.
Strength: 7.2 Intelligence: 8.3 Speed: 5.7.0 Endurance: 8.2
Rank: 5.0 Courage: 7.8.0 Firepower: 6.3 Skill: 8.1
As a ram, Ramulus appears very sleek and regal. His color scheme is a light lavender, brown and vacuume metallized dark red. His horns stretch out from his head all the way to the shoulders of the beast mode, looking very nice and dangerous all at once. Unlike other Transmetals II figures such as Sonar, Ramulus does not have a ton of small details in this mode. However, that does not detract from the appearance of the toy. Most of the body is molded with fur patterns. Exceptions are mainly on the legs which have more "mechanical" looking joints and tubes. Ramulus' Spark Crystal may be seen by opening up the vacuume metallized red panel on his beast mode head.
As a ram, Ramulus has fifteen points of articulation. One of the nicer points of this articulation is his ability to "rear up" as if he were attacking with his front hooves. This is a very nice pose for displays as well. Another interesting note is that if you take off the horns piece, he looks a lot like a Transmetal horse!
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Start by removing the horns from the top of Ramulus' head (along with the piece of the head that goes with it). His rear beast mode feet straighten out and the waist piece bends back and locks into place, forming the robot waist and legs. Next, his front beast mode arms fold out and the robot arms swing down and to the sides. The beast mode head flips back and the robot mode head pops up, and the chest piece folds down, locking into place via two pegs in holes that are located in the waist section. The front beast mode legs now fold up to his shoulders and then lower havles of those legs fold inwards. Finally, the ram horns are folded down, and then placed into his hand as a hand held weapon. This is a fairly complex transformation and please be careful with two small vacuume metallized red pieces near the waist, they are very delicate and can break off easily.
In robot mode, Ramulus looks just as sleek as he does in beast mode. His color scheme remains the same as the beast mode, but with added colors. Dark blue accents decorate his legs, body and arms. A bright neon green "ball" is right underneath his chest. The front beast mode legs forming "shoulder armor" is a very nice touch as one of the most common features of Transmetals are their "armor on the robot" type pieces such as those on the Transmetal Megatron.
In many ways, this is how one would picture a robot ram. His robot mode head has small horns on it, his lower arms each have small blades attaches to them and his legs are hooved and slightly furry. Those who may be picturing a robotic satyr pretty much have the right picture. Except this satyr is armed with a huge crossbow weapon!
In robot mode, Ramulus has thirteen points of articulation. This is a fine toy and may be one of the "sleeper hits" of the Transmetals II line. Highly recommended. A
Updated Thoughts (July 2017):
Looking at this sculpt in 2017, it is amazing to think it was released almost twenty years ago. The sculpting and design is top notch and it remains one of the most unique beast modes among all Transformers. In robot mode he has some fantastic techno-organic design that is largely avoided in modern day Transformers. I also love the expression on his face, borne of a time when the designers were working hard to give Transformers unique facial expressions.
Ramulus also represents something we rarely see nowadays: brand new characters. The current "Rescue Bots" and "Robots in Disguise" do this now and then, but most new toys nowadays are new interpretations of G1 characters. While I enjoy them a lot, it is cool to be reminded of a time when new characters such as Ramulus were coming out regularly. In another note, I am very happy that the vacuum metallized parts on my copy of this figure are holding up nicely. This remains a solid part of my collection and it was fun to dig it out and photograph again.