Cliffbee.com: Classics Ramjet Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ramjet
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Modified F-15 Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 17cm Width: 12cm

   A white F-15 fighter in the spirit of the original Ramjet toy, with copper coloured swept back wings and dark grey trim. Ramjet is a repaint and retool of Starscream, just as in G1. There's some copper paint across the fuselage and some gold just in front of the thrusters, but otherwise this colour scheme is a straight copy of the original. Ramjet's copper is lighter than the maroon of the original, and the grey lighter than the black used in 1985 - but the idea is the same. Ramjet's a closer match to his G1 counterpart than Starscream is to his, which makes this jet more memorable despite it being released as the retool. Ramjet wears a rubsign just behind the portside air intake, the same spot the G1 seekers had their rubsigns (Classics Starscream actually has his on the portside wing). The canopy is a smoky transparent plastic and the nosecone is dark grey, rounding out a good G1 match. The colour scheme itself is quite attractive, with the brighter copper paint contrasting with the simple white and grey plastics.

   Starscream was a fairly realistic F-15, and forms the basis for Ramjet - the modifications here invariably affect this realism. The wings are vastly different, tapering to the back of the jet like a space shuttle rather than sticking out to the sides. Ramjet's tailfins protrude from the back of the wings rather than the sides of his engines while the bombs under his wings are thicker than on Starscream's. Both of these changes are carried over from G1, although the bombs aren't quite as impracticably large this time. The other change here is new - the nosecone is shorter than Starscream's, which is a by-product of the robot mode being designed as a conehead (unlike G1 Ramjet).

   The bombs underneath his wings are actually missile launchers, the missiles fire about a metre, and aren't susceptible to popping out the moment you touch the triggers, which I appreciate. The launchers detach for his transformation, but I'm happy to report that the wings and tailfins do not - fuselage-only G1 Seekers are far too common, but this guy won't be ruined by a missing tailfin. There are four pseudo-tyres underneath - moulded lumps rather than wheels, and while Ramejt sits flat on the table, rolling would have been nice. The missile launchers are the same mould as Starscream's although the missiles are heavier - to match G1 Ramjet's bombs, and the added mass actually helps the missiles in flight.

   A great reproduction of the original and one of the better retools in recent years. The jet mode is pretty good, although the shorter nose does look a little odd. I like the fact that there are few detachable parts - the bombs do detach but don't fall out as easily as the bombs did in G1. The colour scheme actually works slightly better than in G1, and while there are some changes to the paintmask, they're relatively minor.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the missile launchers, extend the rear to form the boots. Flip over the wingstubs attached to the torso (most of the wings stays attached to the boots). Fold down the feet and stow away the front wheels. Stand him up, swivel the wings up. Fold out the chestplate, rotate the canopy and pivot down to form the centre of his chest, rotate the nose to reveal his face. Flip out the arms and fold the chestplate back into position. Flip out his fists, give Ramjet his weapons, either on the upper arms as traditional arm bombs or as handheld missile launchers.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 11.5cm

   A white robot with extensive grey on his forearms, chest, shins, boots, weapons and the wings hanging down off the side of his boots. Ramjet has a grey face with red eyes, a silver groin and gold highlights on his shoulders, knees and the air intakes now on his shoulders. The canopy is integrated into his chest, as on the original, although there's no copper paint visible here - the underside of his wings is grey plastic (as opposed to the maroon on the original). Despite the loss of the copper colour, this really feels like G1 Ramjet - specifically the cartoon incarnation. Perhaps the only downside visually is the fact Ramjet's allegiance is no longer visible.

   There are several improvements in this design compared with the original seeker design. For starters, this Ramjet has thighs. He's also more poseable - the head turns, the shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. The wings are no longer detachable - and hence can't be lost. The hips are ball jointed and the knees have both hinges and swivels. The waist is fixed - but I don't mind. Adding to the play value of this improved Ramjet are the missile launchers, which not only fire missiles but can be held in his hands. It's worth mentioning that the slightly slimmer bombs look far more natural on his arms than the huge things he carried in G1. The conehead - which is now by design rather than retro-engineering, looks much better than the (unofficial) conehead of the original, since it's not quite so tall. This does impact on the jet mode, but I'd rather a slightly shorter nose than a Ramjet who looks like he's part of the KKK.

   As with most Classics figures, Ramjet lacks any true gimmicks - instead the toy focuses on being a good Transformer. The added poseability, solid build, hand weapon option and thighs are enough for me. We do of course get firing missiles - and these weapons look much better than the originals, but they don't really qualify as an added gimmick.

   While it's simple in many ways, this is a solid robot mode without any significant flaws. The poseability is good, with the tailfins on the back doing a good job as heelspurs. The weapons are very nice, the conehead actually looks good and the G1 tribute is fantastic. This figure screams G1 cartoon Ramjet - moreso than G1 Ramjet.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Classics Dirge is a repaint of Ramjet.

OVERALL

   This is probably the best Ramjet toy we've ever seen - and that includes the original. There have been a few unfocused tributes and vague matches in recent years, but nothing comes close to this toy as far as G1 semblance goes - to the point where it matches the cartoon character better than the original. The play value is great, from the poseability to the useful missile launchers. I actually find this toy more rewarding that Starscream, which it's based on, since Ramjet hasn't been done as many times and he's more faithful to G1, with more drastic improvements - 10/10

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