"Generations" War for Cybertron Covert Agent Ravage Toy Review

10/19/21

General Information
Release Date: November 2021
Price Point: $52.99 (originally intended to be $44.99)
Retailer: Hasbro Pulse Con 2021 Exclusive
Accessories: Blasters x 2; Rocket launchers (non-working) x 2

Note: Hasbro provided this complimentary set as part of their promotion for Pulse Con 2021. BWTF thanks Hasbro for its generosity.

Official images and text in italics are from Hasbro Pulse
Decepticons forever! From the iconic animated series Beast Wars: Transformers, this 2-pack is inspired by the scene where Ravage joins the Predacons, converts into his original Decepticon mini cassette mode, and leaps into the Transwarp Cruiser’s tape recorder. Ravage may have been reformatted into a Predacon, but after watching a secret message from his long-dead Decepticon leader, he realizes where his allegiances lie.

This pack features 2 versions of Ravage figures from the iconic scene: Covert Agent Ravage and Decepticons Forever Ravage, with 2 pistol weapon accessories and 2 blast effects. Covert Agent Ravage figure converts from robot to jaguar mode in 20 steps. Decepticons Forever Ravage figure converts from jaguar to mini cassette mode in 4 steps and comes with G1-inspired stickers to decorate the cassette mode. Pose out the figures in the scene with package art inspired by the command deck of the Transwarp Cruiser that Ravage captains.

Includes: 2 figures, 4 accessories, and instructions.

  • After the Great War, Ravage is reformatted into a Predacon, Covert Agent Ravage, and tasked with terminating the rogue Predacon, Megatron. But after the Golden Disk reveals a secret message from his long-dead Decepticon leader, he realizes where his loyalties lie. Decepticons forever!
  • This pack is inspired by the scene from the Beast Wars animated series where Ravage joins the Predacons, converts into his former mini cassette mode and leaps into the Transwarp Cruiser’s tape recorder
  • This pack includes Covert Agent Ravage and Decepticons Forever Ravage figures. Includes 2 pistol weapon accessories and 2 blast effects
  • Convert Covert Agent Ravage figure from robot to jaguar mode in 20 steps. Convert Decepticons Forever Ravage figure from jaguar to mini cassette mode in 4 steps
  • Package art is inspired by the command deck of the Transwarp Cruiser that Ravage captains in the Beast Wars scene

*Note: The product description above suggests that this figure includes blast effects and stickers. However, none of the official photos show these blast effects or stickers nor did the set actually include any stickers or blast effects.

In 1998, three of the most well remembered Beast Wars Transformers episodes aired. Titled "The Agenda" Parts 1-3, this season ending trio of episodes was notable in part for featuring a new incarnation of the popular G1 character, Ravage. Instead of the snarling feline from the G1 cartoon, Ravage had been given a new form by his new Predacon masters. Bipedal and now speaking with a Russian accent (an allusion to the Cold War), Ravage's appearance became a pivotal point in the Beast Wars series. On a personal note, this figure brings up a lot of nostalgic and fond memories. I had served as a "Transformers Consultant" on several episodes of the Beast Wars Transformers series, and I was actually credited as such in "The Agenda" episodes. I consider it one of my proudest moments as a Transformers fan.

In Japan, Takara (not yet Takara Tomy at the time) would release an action figure representing Ravage in Beast Wars, but that "X-9 Ravage" figure was never released outside of Japan. Over twenty years after his debut as a Predacon, Ravage finally gets a release outside of Japan in the form of a Pulse Con 2021 exclusive set! Originally planned as a San Diego Comic-Con set, this set was officially revealed back in July, but it was not released until late October/early November 2021 via Hasbro Pulse. In Asia however it had come out much sooner.

This figure is a retool and redeco of the Kingdom Cheetor figure, so you'll want to check that review out as well. This set also includes a re-release of the G1 Ravage reissue. The G1 Ravage sculpt was first reissued a few times post-G1 era including releases in 2005, 2006, 2009 and most recently in 2019 as part of Wal-Mart's Vintage G1 series.

Packaging:
Being an event exclusive figure, Hasbro ramped up the packaging for this release. The box is rectangular with a beautiful blue pattern that looks like metal plates welded together. The front features a huge plastic window featuring the two Ravage figures inside. To the right is both the small Generations logo and a vertical, beveled Transformers logo complete with a "wear" pattern. The lower section says "Covert Agent Ravage" in white letters while the "Transformers War for Cybertron Trilogy" logo is off to the left. The back of the box features a gorgeous painting showing the famous scene where Ravage transforms into his cassette form after declaring "Decepticons forever!". There is also the classic Beast Wars Transformers logo off to the right. Interestingly the top has the names "Covert Agent Ravage" and "Decepticons Forever Ravage" side by side. I speculate "Covert Agent Ravage" refers to the Predaco Ravage while "Decepticons Forever Ravage" refers to the G1 version.

Inside the box is a cardboard insert with artwork representing the bridge of Ravage's ship. There is a slot in the control panel open that allows "Decepticons Forever" Ravage to fit inside. The idea here is to "replicate" the scene where Ravage transformed from his Predacon form into a casette during the events of the "Agenda" episodes! The designers did a fantastic job with this packaging and I am very happy with it. It feel special and well thought out.

"Decepticons Forever" Ravage

Cassette Mode:
The G1 Ravage reissue uses the same tooling as the original Ravage toy, but it gives him a very different deco. The original 80's Ravage figure had both deco and a sticker on one side and on the other he would eventually get a heat sensitive rub symbol, but it was unpainted. Like the original Ravage, this one is made up of black plastic and silver metal parts. However, the silver is much lighter in color than the silver on my copy of G1 Ravage (though it is possible wear and tear over time has dulled its color). Silver paint is used for deco on both sides of the "tape", borrowing elements from the original Ravage's deco including indicating which side is "A", a length of 60 minutes, "MC" for "Micro Cassette" and even the word "Japan". However, there is no sticker in the middle. Instead, silver paint is used to paint in tape drums. On the other side are similar details, but there is a small purple Decepticon symbol on the upper left hand corner.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Swing out each half of the top of the cassette to form the head and tail.
  2. Swing out the silver bottom sections and swing out the individual paws.
  3. Attach the silver rocket launchers.

Note: On my copy of this figure the hinges on the rear feet were tight. They moved but required a tiny bit of force (which made me quite nervous).

Beast Mode:
Ravage's most well known form is based on this beast mode. Representing a robotic jaguar, he has lots of details you'd expect including a distinct nose, fangs, eyes and some lines representing his ears. I always appreciated the way the legs and paws were sculpted to have some curves, a visual callback to the creature his form is based on. All the joints on my copy of this figure are just as tight as those on my original Ravage (which has not been played with much since the 80's). The weapons also hold nice and firm on the sides.

Color-wise most of the paint details are done in silver, including the eyes. This is significant because his eyes were gold on the original toy and were sometimes drawn as yellow in the comic books.

Final Thoughts on "Decepticons Forever" Ravage:
Including this Ravage in this set was a brilliant touch. Having the "cassette slot" for him to fit into was also very cool and I appreciate the amount of thought that went into including this figure with "Covert Agent" Ravage.

 

Covert Agent Ravage

Robot Mode:
Covert Agent Ravage is based on the Kingdom Cheetor figure but features some major retooling, especially in this form. Here is a rundown of what was changed:

  • Cheetor's head has been replaced with the animal-like feline head seen in the cartoon. The head has two eyes in front with a very organic looking noise, mouth and "fur" on the sides of the head. In a nice attention to detail, the top of the head has a white oval on it.
  • The arms are completely new pieces featuring rounded shoulders, squared off biceps and curved forearms.
  • The torso has been reworked heavily from Cheetor. Instead of having a beast mode head on the chest, this chest looks more robotic, featuring distinct chest panels, "abs" and waist panels leading down to a "belt" area with an oval in the middle. The top of the chest features a wide "V" shaped design and the middle of the body features a curved "C" shaped design. This also means the way the beast mode legs swing back are different. Unlike Cheetor Ravage does not have two panels behind the shoulders. Instead, the beast mode legs are attached to smaller panels and swing against the back. This redesign also includes a "collar" behind the head.
  • The tail piece is attached to Ravage's rear and does not detach as a weapon.
  • The thighs feature all new pieces, designed to look like Transmetal Cheetor's thighs, which makes sense since the Transmetal Cheetor CG model was reworked into Ravage in "The Agenda".

I really love how much work went into retooling this figure. He looks freaking awesome. Sure you can still see the "bones" of the Cheetor sculpt here, but it looks very different when you put the two side by side. That said, I do wish the designers had found a way to collapse the parts that form the legs on the back together. As they are they just dangle there and it looks a bit odd.

Ravage is made up of black and silver plastic, the iconic colors of Ravage going back to G1. Paint colors on the figure include silver, gold and red. The color placement matches his animated appearance and it looks great. A wonderful finishing touch is found on his left shoulder: a purple Predacon symbol!

There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure. This includes six in each arm and five in each leg. His tail is hinged and if you are curious, his head can move side to side and the mouth opens! All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. Ravage includes two blasters based on the designs of the weapons he wielded in Beast Wars. The blasters each have a large barrel with a smaller laser sight underneath. These have 5mm pegs that fit into his hands and they have tabs on the sides that allow you to attach them to the sides of his thighs as seen on the TV show. Even better, the ends of the barrels are designed to accommodate blast effects for extra pew pew fun!

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the chest forward.
  4. Swing the beast mode head up.
  5. Rotate the fists so the fingers face upward (this lines up the "fur panels" on the forearms with the fists).
  6. Rotate the arms out to the sides, then swing the forearms up, attaching the tabs on them into the slots on the biceps.
  7. Swing the arms in behind the torso panel, then swing that panel up, tucking it behind the section with the best mode head.
  8. Swing the beast mode legs on the back forward, forming the front beast mode legs.
  9. Swing the rear beast mode leg sections down from the lower robot legs.
  10. Swing the robot feet up into the opening at the back of the lower robot legs.
  11. The blasters can still be attached to the sides of the thighs.

Beast Mode:
Ravage's beast mode is not based on one from the Beast Wars cartoon since he only transformed once into a cassette. Sure he may have had a beast mode like this, but we never actually saw him transform into it, so it is more of a speculative design. Most of this beast mode looks organic, with lot of fur detail worked into the beast mode including the front half of the beast mode and parts of the rear legs and the tail. Mechanical bits show through mostly at the thighs. It is a neat, alien looking design and I really dig it.

Ravage is mostly black in this mode with some silver towards the back. His eyes carry over from the robot mode so they are red.

In an interesting choice, the paws on this mode are different pieces than those on Cheetor.  These are slightly wider and the front ones have "pads" sculpted into the bottom.

There are eighteen points of articulation in this form including three in each front leg and five in each rear leg.

Final Thoughts on this set:
This set is everything I want in a convention exclusive. It features a very specific theme and character(s) based on a piece of fiction that could be considered somewhat niche. It has awesome packaging and a figure that has been extensively reworked. It also fills a nice niche in one's Generations collection since it is being released while Kingdom is still on shelves. It's not perfect of course, but I can look past its weaknesses and enjoy it for what it is. That said, this set is expensive for what it is. You're getting one Deluxe Class figure and a reissue cassette for $52.99, which is about $15-20 USD more than one may expect. You have to really love this moment or these sculpts to get it at full price. Recommended, but to a very specific audience of Beast Wars fans.

Pros:

  • The packaging insert is a really fun way to call back to a popular scene in the Beast Wars cartoon.
  • Lots of retooling on the Kingdom Cheetor sculpt to introuduce some nice show accurate detailing.
  • Very nice deco on both figures.
  • Excellent articulation on Covert Agent Ravage.

Cons:

  • I would have liked the beast mode legs on the back of Covert Agent Ravage to have collapsed more and not just dangle there.
  • It would have been very cool if the feet were retooled to feature "clawed feet" like the animation model.