Release Date: July 2020
Price Point: $59.99
Retailer: Amazon Exclusive
Accessories: Arm Blasters x 2 (a pair for each figure)
Images and text in italics below are from Amazon.com
- DISCOVER EARTHRISE: The siege is over, but the War for Cybertron has just begun. The Autobots and Decepticons have left Cybertron, but their battle rages on as they speed through space in pursuit of the Allspark
- BUILD THE BATTLEFIELD BEYOND: Earthrise figures allow fans to build out epic space battle scenes, featuring figures that can convert into Modular Battle Station modes (each sold separately, subject to availability)
- COMPLETE SEEKER ELITE COLLECTION: Ramjet and Dirge are two members of the Seeker Elite trio (WFC-E26 Thrust sold separately, subject to availability)
- AUTOBOT ALLIANCE VS. SEEKER ELITE: The art on the Autobot Alliance and Seeker Elite packs depict two halves of the battle! Collect both to complete the battle scene (WFC-E31 Autobot Alliance sold separately, subject to availability)
- G1 EARTH MODES AND WEAPONS: Ramjet and Dirge toys convert into jet mode in 23 steps and come with 4 blaster accessories. Mount blaster accessories on wings in jet mode or on back in robot mode
Build the Battlefield Beyond -- The siege is over, but the War for Cybertron has just begun. The Autobots and Decepticons have left Cybertron, but their battle rages on as they speed through space in pursuit of the Allspark. It's the Autobot Alliance versus the Seeker Elite! The art on the WFC-E31 Autobot Alliance and WFC-E27 Seeker Elite packs depict two halves of their epic battle after the Ark crash lands on Earth. Collect both to complete the battle scene (WFC-E31 Autobot Alliance sold separately, subject to availability) The aerial warriors, Ramjet and Dirge, convert into jet mode in 23 steps and come with 4 blaster accessories. Mount blaster accessories on wings in jet mode or on back in robot mode. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
During the Earthrise era of figures, Hasbro decided to fill out the ranks of the Decepticon Seekers. As part of that they released an Amazon exclusive two pack featuring the "Conehead Seekers" Dirge and Ramjet. Both figures are heavy retools of Earthrise Starscream. I previously reviewed one of these retools which was also used as Selects Sandstorm so you'll want to check out those reviews before this one. These reviews will focus on the changes made to the base Seeker sculpt for this release.
Packaging & Accessories:
The box used for Dirge and Ramjet is a thick cardboard box, rectangular in shape with an angle on the left side (if you are facing the box). The illustration on the front is a beautiful image of the two Seekers in vehicle mode flying into battle with weapons blazing. The tone of the background matches the blues and greens of the other Earthrise boxes and it looks great! The back of the box shows both characters in their robot and alt modes, calling out a 23 step transformation. The part of the "map" included with this set features the bottom of the Cybertronian colony, Gigantion.
This set features four blasters using the same sculpt as Earthrise Starscream's Null Rays. This time out however they are made of black plastic instead of grey. Both of course feature 5mm pegs on the side and attachment points at the end for Blast Effects. I do wish that they had created new, larger weapons for Ramjet to match the G1 action figure, but these blasters do match how he appeared in the G1 cartoon (and it saved cost) so I'm good with them.
The designers could have easily just swapped out a head and wings and called it a day, but the changes from the Starscream sculpt to this one go a bit further. Here's a rundown:
- The "standard" Seeker head has been replaced with a "conehead" head. This piece is about the same width as the standard Seeker head, but the top is longer, intended to look like the nosecone of the jet mode. I say "intended" because this does not actually form the nosecone of the jet mode. That piece is still on the back of the figure. Unlike Sandstorm or Ramjet however, this head features the mouth wide open in a "yelling" position. Maybe he's screaming out a song to match his name?
- The chest panel design is different than the one used on Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker. It looks very similar however, featuring turbines on the either side of the chest, but the smaller details are different including the rectangular sections underneath the turbines.
- The front panels on the legs are a bit more flat than the ones on Starscream and company. This is particularly true at the knees, which only have a very slight angle compared to the first three Seekers using this base sculpt.
- Each lower leg now has a large hinge on the sides to attach the jet mode wings.
- The hinge on the back of the figure does not connect to the wings on the back, rather they connect to smaller forward wing segments.
Dirge is made up of dark blue, black and translucent orange plastic. The layout of colors is very close to his G1 incarnation with the black on the torso and air intakes flanking his head as well as his forearms and fists. Other smaller black sections include his feet and thighs. Paint colors include light brown, gold, black, red, gunmetal grey, purple and white. None of the colors are used heavily. The most heavily painted sections are his knees, which combine the purple, gold, red and white into patterns similar to that of the stickers on G1 Dirge's knees. I also love the gunmetal grey on his face and how the red eyes contrast against the dark color. The light brown color is mostly used on the wings, offering a bright color contrast against the darker tones on the rest of the figure. The deco is spot on for the character and it looks great.
All twenty one points of articulation on this figure are still tight. The Null Ray weapons can be attached to his arms or held in his hands. He also has 5mm ports on his legs and the wings on his lower legs. I don't get any sense of mold degradation even though the base Seeker tool has been used multiple times.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the fists up and push the forearms up into the elbow sections.
- Push the two halves of the feet together.
- Swing the front panels on the legs forward.
- Hold the front torso panel and then pull the back half of the torso section back.
- Swing the nosecone section up over the head, then pull the cockpit section up and rotate it around.
- Push the robot arms in and then push the back and front halves of the torso together.
- Swing the lower legs over the back of the thighs, then push them together and up against the tabs on the middle section.
- Push the front panels of the legs up.
- Push the wings down.
- Swing the smaller hinges back, then push the ends of the wings down.
- Attach the weapons to the wings.
*Ramjet transforms the same exact way so I won't repeat these instructions below.
While you can see Dirge's new wings in robot mode, it is really in this mode that they shine. Taking a cue from G1 Dirge's design, the large wing portions sweep back and the ends angle upward. I appreciate the way the designers made the sides of the wings sweep up at an angle instead of going completely vertical like G1 Dirge. It adds a nice, modern touch to the figure and it looks very cool. The smaller front ends of the wings stick out to the sides just a bit, similar to G1 Dirge's wings (but those were just one giant piece instead of two separate pieces). Overall I really appreciate the work that went into changing the wings. It really does change the look of the vehicle mode dramatically.
In terms of deco the blue really stands out in this mode, contrasting nicely with the light brown wings. Each wing has a purple Decepticon sticker on it, another callback to G1 Dirge's design.
Ramjet utilizes the same sculpt as Selects Sandstorm. The main differences between Ramjet and Dirge are the face and the wings. Ramjet has the same head as Sandstorm, with a closed mouth and grim look. The wings on his legs really do give him a different silhouette than Dirge and I appreciate that given the rest of the figure designs are pretty much identical.
Ramjet is made up of white, black amd translucent orange plastic. The white makes up most of the figure with black breaking it up on parts like the torso, the weapons, waist and feet. Like Dirge his face is painted gunmetal grey and he has red eyes. White paint is used to fill in some details on the torso and feet. Red and gold details are used on his knees. While that does fill in detailing, it sadly does not match the knee stickers on G1 Ramjet. Dark red paint is used on his wings, which contrasts beautifully against the black and white plastic colors. Black paint is used on smaller bits including the cone on his head and the thrusters on his lower legs. Overall Ramjet looks great by himself and as a contrast to Dirge (and of course, Thrust).
All the joints and connection points on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. So no worries from me about mold degradation.
With the retooling emphasis on the wings, this figure really shines in vehicle mode. Like Sandstorm, he features wings that angle back severely and then sweep downward at an angle. The wings have giant thrusters where they connect to the leg hinges. Overall he looks great and distinctive from either of the other two Coneheads.
Color-wise the white plastic gets most of the emphasis in this mode. The red wing pieces come together beautifully and the red color is nice and rich. Like Dirge, each wing has a purple Decepticon symbol on it.
This set is fantastic. I really appreciate both Seekers getting new wings and Dirge getting a new face sculpt. Both figures are also in good shape, with no loose parts or bits breaking off easily. Also, for those who may be curious, my Ramjet has yet to show any signs of the infamous "yellowing" that has happend to some figures in recent years. The only problem with me whole-heartedly recommending this set is that the aftermarket prices are insane, up to three times the original retail price on ebay. I really like this set and it is recommended if you can get it at a resonable price. Your best bet for that is probably to look for loose figures on sale online from trusted sellers. If you do hunt for these, I wish you luck!
- Tooling is still good with no loose parts or parts falling off.
- Newly sculpted parts on both figures including beautifully designed wings and even a new face for Dirge.
- Very nice decos.
- Fun and intuitive transformations.
- Excellent detailing on the base sculpt.
- This set sold out fast and is going for very high prices on the aftermarket.
- I would have liked a bit more "toy sticker homage" on Ramjet.