Release Date: January 2020 (planned, it is possible some limited release may occur in December 2019)
Price Point: $5.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Fire Blast accessories (blue) x 2
Note: I received this figure during Hasbro's 2019 unboxing event. Unfortunately the packaging was tossed out and official photos are not on any major retail sites associated with BWTF yet so I will post those images once they are available. Special thanks to Hasbro for this unexpected surprise!
In 2018 the "Power of the Primes" line finished off the "Prime Wars Trilogy" which had begun with "Combiner Wars". To kick off a whole new G1 inspired series of "Generations" figures, a new line known as "War for Cybertron: Siege" started in late 2018 (with a planned wide release in 2019). This line introduced new Classes of Transformers figures into the mix seen the last three years. In place of the "Master" price point at $5.99 USD MSRP, Titan Masters and Prime Masters have been replaced with Battle Masters. G1 fans will remember these as "Targetmasters", figures that transform from a robot mode into a weapon! Each Battle Master also includes a soft plastic "Fire Blast" effect that can attach to the weapon modes, bringing the figures to life in a new way in "Generations".
Unlike other Battle Masters in the Siege line, Rung is not based on a Targetmaster or Action Master partner. Instead, this is the first toy representation of the popular IDW Publishing character (who you can read all about on the TFWiki). The character was originally introduced as a therapist for the Autobots and in time his role grew much bigger than that (pun intended for those in the know). I'll be dancing around some spoilers for the comic book in this review to focus on the toy itself (though in all honesty one of my photos gives it away). This figure is an example of how Hasbro tries to squeeze in fan favorite characters where they can even if they don't have flashy alt-modes or tons of gimmicks.
Similar to the Titan Masters and Prime Masters, Rung is packaged on a small bubble card. However, Hasbro has stepped up the artwork to deliver a stronger visual punch. The card itself has artwork for the individual characters against a Cybertronian backdrop. Rung's art features him standing on a battlefield with Autobots in shadow behind him. The name "Rung" and his rank symbol appear in a vertical chevron on the left. The figure is packaged in robot mode. His "Fire Blast" effects are on the right side. Under him is the package insert featuring the word "Siege" in giant letters and the "War for Cybertron Trilogy" logo under it. The "Transformers" logo is on top in a much smaller font. Under all that is the term "Battle Masters" next to the age recommendation and Hasbro logo. On the right is a black strip with the vertical "Transformers" logo seen on most "Generations" packaging, the "Generations" logo above it and the Takara Tomy log above that.
The back of the card features the figure in both modes indicating a 4 step transformation. It also calls out his Fire Blast Effects. Interestingly there are no cosells (even though he ships with Singe) but there is a ton of legal information in several languages, a sign of things to come with packaging perhaps.
Rung's robot mode is based on his comic book appearance. However, over the years different artists have drawn him in slightly different ways. Some give him more exaggerated panels on his head, some give him blocky shoulders versus rounded shoulders and so on. I think it is fair to say that this figure leans towards the representations of the character as drawn by Jack Lawrence and Alex Milne. Going off that artwork, Rung carries over the following features:
- The head sculpt features vertical panels on the top of the helmet section, "goggle eyes" and a small antennae like protrusion on the left side of the head.
- The center of his chest has a circle embedded in it.
- The side panels on the chest stick out and feature distinctive vertical line designs that look like an "L" with an extra line at the end.
- The shoulders are round, featuring a raised, circular area in the middle.
- The knee armor is a rectangular, vertical piece.
- The lower legs are blocky with armor sections sticking out a bit on the sides.
There is an additional detail featuring gear-like details on the sides of the thighs which is a nice visual callback to the age of the character. Not all artists included these details but they were drawn in by James Raiz in at least one issue of the comic.
Rung is cast in orange plastic. Grey and blue paint are used to fill in details. However, he does not have quite enough grey to be "comic book accurate". In order to achieve that distinction he would need to have grey painted ont his arms and feet, but both are left unpainted. One quality note: on my copy of this figure the goggles are not painted quite right, so some of the blue paint winds up outside the goggles. Your mileage may vary. That said, this is a Battle Master and the lowest price point in Siege so he's not going to have a Masterpiece (or even Deluxe) Class level deco.
There are five points of articulation on this figure: the shoulders, the hip joints and the waist (which was a surprise).
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- Detach the Fire Blast accessories if attached.
- Swing the back piece up over the head.
- Swing the arms up and connect them to the back piece.
- Push the legs together.
It is a rather significant spoiler to point out what this mode was actually meant to be in the comic books, so for the sake of this review I'll just call it his "weapon mode" since that is how he fits into the play pattern of Siege.
Rung's weapon mode is based on his comic-book alt-mode. For the most part this alt-mode was drawn in the comics as him condensing his body with the chest portion seemingly becoming the top, forming the distinctive circle on one end while the "front end" was basically just a rectangular section. The designers took this design and ran with it, modifying it somewhat so that it could serve as a weapon mode. This design includes the circlular section at the top, the panels from the chest in the middle and the gears on the sides call back to circular sections on the sides of the alt-mode as seen in the comics. While this sculpt is not 100% accurate to the comic book model, it is close enough that there is no mistaking who this is meant to be.
The only newly revealed part in this mode is the back piece with the circle at the top. Unfortunately the distinctive orb in the middle of the circle is unpainted whereas it is blue in the comic books.
The design of the character was modified from the comic book model so the ends feature connection points for Blast Effects. He comes with two unique Blast Effects cast in light blue, rubbery plastic. They attach without a problem and look great.
Rung is a fan favorite 'bot and I love the way Hasbro has found a way to work him into the toy line, especially since this is a very unique sculpt that is unlikely to be repainted over and over again in the future. The deco could have been better but I am very happy to have him as part of my collection. Recommended!
- Good sculpt based on the IDW Publishing comic books models.
- Creative way of turning his alt-mode into a "weapon".
- A fan favorite character and unlikely addition to the line.
- Could use more deco in both modes.