Revenge of the Fallen Ransack Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: May 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Back in the distant past of CYBERTRON, when flight was a new technology, RANSACK was first of the flying aces. He was a ruthless combatant, blasting his opponents out of the sky, and then strafing the helpless troops stuck on the ground without cover. He may be past his prime and equipped with outdated weapons now, but there was a time when RANSACK was the most feared name on CYBERTRON. Launch a surprise attack on the good guys with this RANSACK robot-to-vehicle figure. March into battle in robot mode and then quickly convert him to biplane mode to swoop down on his enemies. Add this RANSACK figure to your collection and give the AUTOBOT forces a fight they'll never forget! Detailed DECEPTICON figure converts from fearsome robot mode to high-flying biplane mode--and back again! Ages 5 and up.

When photos of a bi-plane based Transformer appeared online, I was excited. The concept of Transformers from eras earlier than the 1980's is one fans have speculated about for years. Takara once planned a combiner made up of vehicles including a steamboat. I myself tried to start up a fan fiction series years ago based on Transformers set in the 1890's. Hasbro at the time felt the concept would never sell, only to publish "Hearts of Steel" by IDW years later. In "Revenge of the Fallen", the concept appeared again when several old vehicles were identified as older Transformers. One of the major characters from the film would later be found in the Air & Space Museum: Jetfire. However, the Autobot was surrounded by other aerial vehicles, and it's fun to speculate that one of them could have been a Decepticon in disguise!

Robot Mode:
Ransack's tech spec drives the point home that he is an older Transformer who's prime has passed. His physical appearance is a reminder of that. When you look at Ransack, you see hints of his old, sleek flier form, but you also see elements that show his age. Many of the sleek parts come from the wings and tail of the plane. A bulk of the plane wings are on his back and look like a cape split up into two parts. His legs have some solid panels formed from the back of the plane. The parts which make Ransack look "older" are his arms and head. His arms are basically tubes connected to thin lower arms.

The tubes are shaped much like bones, making him look thin as if he were at death's door. The head design looks a lot like a skull, complete with a rounded face area, a hole where his nose is and a visible row of teeth on the upper jaw. The top of the head has has a helmet section on it with a circle on top that looks like a light you'd find on a miner's helmet. That too suggests an older design without the jagged angles or sleek lines of more modern Transformers such as Bumblebee. Aside from looking old, there is another effect to these parts: Ransack looks evil. If you showed me the sculpt without any deco or profile and asked me if he was an Autobot or Decepticon, I'd say Decepticon in a heartbeat. Like "The Terminator", using the skeletal form of a human for a Transformer suggests something sinister or dangerous.

Despite having a relatively simple alternate form, Ransack is quite detailed. His head sculpt is rather intricate, with line details and a row of raised details on either side of the light on top of his head. His arms have lines etched into the tubes that make up his upper arms and part of his upper arms are sculpted to look like springs. Each of his lower arms has a weapon mounted on it. The right arm has a machine gun weapon comnplete with weapon clip and rectangular details on the barrels. His left arm has two small bombs complete with fins sculpted on the ends. His chest is made up of the front of the plane mode, complete with an engine piece and propellers. The back also has some nice detailing in the form of a circuit pattern right under the back of his head.

Ransack is cast in grey, beige and maroon plastic. Paint details are done in silver, gunmetal, metallic green and red. The Beige plastic forms a bulk of the wings while the grey plastic makes up most of his arms and legs. The maroon plastic is mostly found on his torso and on the legs. The red and metallic green colors are used for detailing on the plane mode, and much of that carries over to the robot mode. In particular, I like the way the patterns from the plane mode break up on the legs but still look nice and symmetrical. His head is painted silver and the beady eyes are red, giving even more of a "Terminator" impression that the sculpt alone would. His legs have some gunmetal on them towards the bottom which is nice to see since they could have easily just left it grey.

There are sixteen points of articulation in this form. This includes three in each arm and four in each leg. His arms are connected to the main body by ball joints, but due to the thin design of the arms, they are rather easy to yank off so be careful. I find the landing gear on his chest gets in the way of the arm articulation if you have the gear up, so I generally prefer to have them down to allow the arms to move freely forward.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Move each arm up and swing the elbow hinge down. Attach each hand to the pegs on the wing pieces.
  2. Rotate each weapon forward.
  3. Swing the chest up against the engine piece, then swing the robot head forward and down.
  4. Connect the legs together in the middle.
  5. Adjust the robot feet so they form horizontal stabilizers on either side of the single vertical stabilizer.
  6. Swing the armor panels on the upper legs up and together.
  7. Swing the wings on the back up.
  8. Swing the rear section of the plane up and rotate it around so the vertical stabilizer points up.
  9. Swing the sections with the robot arms attached out to the sides.
  10. Swing the robot wings forward and connect them to the grey pieces on either side of the cockpit.
  11. Swing the small beige pieces on grey hinges out and down, connecting them to the lower wings.

Vehicle Mode:
To say I love Ransack's vehicle mode would be an understatement. It just amazes me that this design could be turned into a nicely sculpted, well articulated robot without a ton of undercarriage junk. The only parts on this plane that look a bit like undercarriage junk are the robot arms on the undersides of the lower wings, but they're so thin you barely notice them. The overall shape is just what you'd expect from a bi-plane, complete with the two levels of wings, the curved stabilizers in the back and the propeller in the front. The cockpit section contains the robot head, so it's not open as one might expect but to me that's a minor detail.

Speaking of details, Ransack is not lacking in that department. The biggest details are found on the wings, which are sculpted with indentations and raised sections that indicate fabric over a frame. he also has sculpted lines running down the back of the plane and raised panels on the sides of the engine section. He's not heavily detailed, but there's just enough considering the type of plane he is.

In plane mode, Ransack's colors consolidate a lot more, with the maroon and beige forming a bulk of the colors. His wings have a really beautifully painted fading pattern on them, solidifying the feel of "fabric" wings. On both sides of his wings are huge Decepticon symbols painted in black with jagged line details on either side of them. On the tail, you can now see how his red and metallic green details come together, with green forming the edges and the red covering about half of each panel.

You can turn Ransack's weapons on the undersides of his wings and the propeller spins freely when you push it. While the landing gear is not made up of rolling wheels, it does allow stability when you display the figure in this mode.

Final Thoughts:
My only reservation about this figure are the rather delicate arms that can be pulled off his shoulder sockets too easily for my tastes. I think I would have preferred ratchet joints, but those might have complicated the transformation a bit. Other than that, I love this figure and hope to see more in the future from "past eras". Recommended!