Release Date: October 2023
Price Point: $54.99
Retailer: Amazon Exclusive (with limited quantities sold on Hasbro Pulse)
Accessories: Blaster (Orion Pax), Ammunition Drum (Orion Pax), Axe Handle & Blade (Orion Pax), Fins (Shockwave)
Official images and text in italics are from Amazon.com
- RISE OF TYRANNY 2-PACK: Experience the early origins of the Decepticons with these two Transformers Voyager Class collectible action figures. This 2-Pack comes with Miner Megatron and Senator Ratbat toys for 8 year old boys and girls
- INSPIRED BY IDW COMICS: This 2-pack is inspired by the IDW comics, where Senator Ratbat exploits the miners of Cybertron, prompting the miner Megatron to rise up and fight the corrupt politician
- 2 EPIC MODES: Miner Megatron Transformers action figure converts from robot to Cybertronian tank mode in 16 steps. Senator Ratbat Transformers figure converts from robot to Cybertronian hovercraft mode in 17 steps
- AWESOME ACCESSORIES: These Transformers toys for 8 year old boys and girls come with blaster, drill, and pickaxe accessories. Accessories attach to the figures in both modes
- EXCLUSIVE PACKAGING ART: Packaging features a piece of exclusive artwork. Collect all pre-Cybertronian war packs to piece together the full scene (each sold separately, subject to availability)
Experience the origin stories of legendary Cybertronians before the war with the Rise of Tyranny 2-Pack! When Ratbat exploits the Energon miners of Cybertron, one miner, Megatron, rises up and rebels against the Senate’s tyranny. The Rise of Tyranny 2-Pack comes with a Miner Megatron action figure and a Senator Ratbat action figure. Both Transformers action figures convert from robot to Cybertronian vehicle mode and come with blaster, drill, and pickaxe accessories. This 2-Pack of Transformers toys features exclusive packaging artwork! Collect all pre-Cybertronian war action figures for boys and girls to piece together the full scene (each sold separately, subject to availability). Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Hasbro and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro.
The original Transformers cartoons and comic books largely focused on the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. Occasionally there would be stories focusing on flashbacks to the eras before the war, but it would not be until years later that comic books would focus on that era. The most recent examples were seen in the issues of the IDW Publishing comic books. Two of the characters seen in the comics were Orion Pax, the Cybertronian who would become Autobot leader Optimus Prime and Senator Shockwave, who would go on to be one of the most powerful Decepticons under Megatron's command. The 2023 capsule program for Amazon was based on this time period, featuring characters many fans know in their "pre-war" forms. The "Humble Beginnings" two pack featured "Data Clerk Orion Pax", a redeco and retool of Siege Hound while "Senator Shockwave" is a redeco and retool of the Seeker sculpt that was used for figures such as Siege Starscream, Thundercracker and Red Wing (among many others). Check out those previous reviews for my original thoughts on the base sculpts. This review will focus on the changes made to these figures for this release.
This two pack comes in a box made of nice, thick cardboard (compared to some recent releases which use very thin cardboard). The artwork on the front is beautiful, featuring Shockwave and Orion Pax. This artwork is meant to connect to the artwork on the "Rise of Tyranny" two pack featuring Megatron and Ratbat. The complete scene shows Ratbat on the other side arguing with Shockwave. In the background off to the side is Nova Prime in shadow. The back of the box shows both figures in both modes. Shockwave has a 20 step transformation called out while Orion has fifteen. Both figures are inside a tray in the box with their accessories wrapped in tissue paper so please be careful as you take everything out.
Orion Pax includes four accessories (two of which form his axe weapon):
- Axe: The axe weapon is actually two pieces - the handle and the axe blade that you assemble yourself. The design of this weapon is based on the one included with the Thrilling 30 Orion Pax figure with a distinct asymmetrical blade design and a relatively short handle. The handle features two 5mm pegs on either side of the handle and one at the bottom. These pieces are made of blue plastic with a lot of paint. The blade is painte dorange while the handle is painted gunmetal grey. The weapon looks great and I appreciate the addition of the 5mm ports on the sides of the handle which allow for multiple weapon storage possibilities.
- Blaster: Orion's blaster is the same one included with Siege Hound. This piece is gunmetal grey plastic with no paint applications. The weapon features a 5mm peg at the back and bottom with a smaller peg in the front to fit Blast Effects.
- Ammunition Drum: This small, round piece was partly inspired by the spare tire originally found on G1 Hound. Now it looks more like an ammunition drum you attach to the back of the blaster. This piece is gunmetal grey and features a 5mm port.
There is a ton of retooling on this figure, and I'll be going into detail in the robot mode review below. Suffice it to say that these retooled parts largely carry over to the vehicle mode including the front end and the sides. What surprised me was that this mode also features some minor retooling! Specifically, the windshield piece has been replaced. On Siege Hound, this piece was a thin, flat, translucent grey piece. This time out it is a piece that extends outward a bit at an angle and it is painted light blue. This is also inspired by his appearance in the IDW Publishing comic books. While this vehicle certainly looks like it is in the same "family" as Siege Hound's Cybertronian vehicle mode, it still stands as a distinct vehicle on its own.
This mode mostly shows off blue colors around the edges with red in the front. The "cage" on top and engine at the back are silver plastic and pop nicely against the blue. Each wheel is gunmetal grey with silver painted on the sides. Even though this is not a truck alt-mode, the colors instantly make this recognizable as some incarnation of Optimus Prime (or the character who will become him) and it looks great.
Orion Pax has two 5mm ports on either side and two on top of the vehicle to attach accessories. You can also still attach his ammunition drum to the peg on the back of the "engine" section towards the rear of the vehicle.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Lift up the rear "engine" section on the back of the vehicle.
- Separate the front wheel wells from the center of the vehicle.
- Split the rear section of the vehicle mode and swing those sections out.
- Swing the robot foot pieces out.
- Swing the sides of the vehicle in and then wrap them around the rear wheel wells to form the robot legs.
- Swing the forearms up, then swing the arms out to the sides at the shoulders.
- Swing the front of the vehicle down to form the chest.
- Push the shoulder sections of the arms in, clipping them against the blue part on the chest.
- On the back piece, swing the engine in and clip it against the back.
Orion Pax features an interesting design. The use of Siege Hound may not seem intuitive but the relatively stocky silhouette of that figure makes sense for the robot that would one day become Autobot leader. There has been extensive retooling for this release. Here's the rundown:
- Head: The new head sculpt is inspired by Guido Guidi's design from the IDW Publishing Spotlight: Blurr issue. It has many classic Optimus Prime design notes such as the discs on the sides of the head and the central crest but his face is a younger looking one featuring a mouth instead of the traditional Optimus Prime mouthplate.
- Chest: The new chest piece is based on Orion Pax's appearance in IDW Publishing's "Chaos Theory" Part 1 comic book. It has a distinct chevron type pattern in the middle with rectangles that look like they could be headlights (or a callback to Optimus Prime's windshield windows). It also has small designs on top that look like they could be lights for the vehicle mode, another callback to Optimus Prime's design.
- Legs: The legs are based on the Orion Pax design seen in "Spotlight: Blurr". They feature a distinct knee armor with an indentation in the middle and his feet have very Optimus Prime-inspired details such as two small horizontal lines on top.
With all these parts redone, this really looks like a brand new figure. Since the arms, thighs and smaller bits like the panel behind the head are so generic they work perfectly for Orion Pax.
This figure is mostly made up of red, blue, silver and gunmetal grey plastic. A lot of the plastic is blue, including much of the upper body so red paint is brought in to do a lot of heavy lifting on the chest section. Silver, yellow and light blue are also used to paint in details found on parts like the grille, waist and chest. It may seem at first that the arms and legs are a bit plain since they are unpainted, but this is fairly consistent with the various portrayals of Orion in the comic books.
All twenty two points of articulation on this figure are nice and tight. Since the base sculpt has been used multiple times this is a relief. Including the fists, there are eleven 5mm ports to use on this figure. Six are on the arms, two on the legs and two on the shoulder area.
Final Thoughts on Data Clerk Orion Pax:
I have always been a big fan of the Siege Hound design and every reuse of that base sculpt has been fun (including the recent release of Detritus). This figure is no exception. I am so happy to see such extensive retooling. The designers could have just done the head and chest and stopped there, but doing the legs and including the axe weapon was going the extra mile and I really appreciate it.
Senator Shockwave includes two accessories: a pair of "fins" that attach to the sides in vehicle mode (and the arms in robot mode). These are new pieces that (sort of) take the place of the wings from the Seeker sculpt since they have been removed and replaced with two large engine/booster sections. The wings are loosely based on how the character appeared in the IDW Publishing comics, but he never transformed as "Senator Shockwave" so there is a bit of speculative design happening here. These fins (or wings if you prefer) are small, thin and made up of teal plastic. The angled sections are painted light grey with red stripes. The base is a 5mm peg so it is unpainted. In theory you can attach these to Shockwave's hands as small blade weapons but really in robot mode they're meant to just attach to the arms as decorative pieces.
Shockwave's vehicle mode features simple yet significant retooling. Instead of having wings that sweep downward on the sides, those pieces have been replaced with giant booster engines. Like the rest of the figure these booster engines have tons of greebles on them and they feature a small fin on top. Honestly, after so many uses of this base sculpt with wings sweeping down at the sides this vehicle form looks rather strange. Even with the tiny wings on the sides, something just looks missing to me. That said, the new booster engine parts look very cool, I just feel like the wing pieces should be larger. Meanwhile, the rest of the vehicle sculpt is the same as previous releases.
This mode mostly shows off blue plastic with some light grey parts. Paint colors include red and light blue. Senator Shockwave changed colors from comic to comic so the designers decided to settle on this particular scheme which offers heavy contrast to Shockwave's future purple colors. Including the 5mm ports you attach the wing accessories to, there are four 5mm ports in this form. The boosters in the back still allow you to attach Blast Effects like previous releases.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the wing accessories and set them aside for now.
- Pull the top half of the vehicle up.
- Pull the thruster engine section on the back out and swing it back.
- Swing the booster engines up.
- Split the front section of the vehicle in half and swing each half back.
- Separate the arms from the legs.
- Swing each lower leg down and swing the foot halves out.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Swing the chest plate down and press it in.
- Swing the robot head up, and swing the panel behind it down.
- Connect the slots on the pylons formed from the front of the vehicle into the tabs on the back of the robot.
- Extend each arm.
- Swing out the lower arms and rotate the fists around. Then swing the panels back into place.
- Attach the wing accessories to the forearms (or shoulders if you prefer).
There are three main parts changed in this mode (apart from the engine boosters on his back):
- Head: The head is a heavy contrast to Shockwave's head design in G1 inspired lore. He has a very distinct helmet section with circles on the sides and angled panels. The face is a regular one with two eyes, a nose and mouth, symbolic of the character's expressiveness in the comic book.
- Torso: The panel that folds down to form the torso is largely based on Shockwave's appearance in the comic books. The thing is, the appearance changed between issues so it's hard to say it is "comic book accurate" but it is definitely heavily inspired by the comic books with layers of angled detailsbut he lacks the giant circle on his chest seen in some of the issues of the IDW Publishing comic books.
- Waist: The waist piece has been replaced with a new one featuring a triangular detail in the center. This is based directly off the art from the comic book.
Having the wings attached to the forearms is also a feature of the character in the comic books and having the giant booster engines on the back really helps differentiate the shape of this figure from its predecessors.
This mode shows off most of the same colors from the vehicle mode but the blue plastic is broken up by light grey plastic and parts painted light grey. Red and light blue paint is used heavily on the torso plate.
Final Thoughts on Senator Shockwave:
I will admit that the Senator Shockwave is the less thrilling of the two in the pack for me. That said, the retooling is very extensive and I do not envy how difficult it must have been to land on a final design for this retool since Shockwave's design changed from issue to issue and I think they did a good job.
When I was a kid, I remember often thinking about getting figures that represented the characters from G1 as the were on Cybertron before coming to Earth, and nowadays we have quite a wealth of figures like this and having these two figures add to that pile is fantastic. I love the Orion Pax figure and I like Shockwave, but I feel he is a bit less thrilling. Overall this is a good two pack but it's not cheap (it is $54.99 USD as of this writing). I'd recommend trying to get a discount on it if you can.
- Excellent retooling and deco on Orion Pax.
- Nice retooling on the Seeker sculpt for Shockwave.
- Fills in a nice niche of "pre-Earth" characters that is different than Siege.
- IDW Publishing comic fans will be thrilled with this two pack.
- I would have preferred different wings on Shockwave and a bit more color to break up the blue plastic.