Cliffbee.com: Ramble Toy Review

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Name: Ramble
Series: Galaxy Force (Cybertron)
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Reconnaissance
Alternate Mode: Walking Tank

Note: While the Japanese name is pronounced "Rumble" and the homage is fairly pronounced, the name "Ramble" is printed on the bubble in English, so I'm calling this toy Ramble for this review - both Rumble and Ramble are correct in different ways. This toy was sold in three colours in Galaxy Force - I have the red version. The three primary colours substitute, so whenever I discuss red, blue or yellow could apply.



TANK MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 14cm Width: 8cm
All dimensions are estimates - will depend on pose

   A red and black quadrupedal vehicle with a grey cannon on the back, Ramble looks vaguely ant-like thanks to the angular legs and black cockpit at the front. The cockpit features transparent red plastic and there's a Destron logo behind it on a grey panel. While I didn't choose Ramble to co-ordinate with Rumble (I grabbed what was available), the colour scheme is a fairly good homage. The black and grey compliment the dominant red well, and from pictures I've seen, it seems to be a similar case for both blue and yellow versions.

   The cannon on the back has a bulky base, which I suppose qualifies as a turret. The main body of the vehicle is a smallish affair and is a mix of pieces that come together in robot mode - but with the giant cannon on the back, limbs and head-like cockpit, the body is the last thing to grab your attention. The turret itself has both a hinge and a rotator at the base, making Ramble's cannon easy to aim. There's a slot at the back of the turret for the Planet Key, and I'm happy to report that the key can rest in the slot without activating the gimmick.

   The key gimmick is simple but effective - the central spine of the cannon flips out to form a transparent red sawblade, complete with teeth on the bottom. The key itself is colourless plastic with metallic blue detailing around the edges and a big Destron logo in the middle - which is painted purple on the raised parts. The saw can of course rotate and lift up and down with the turret.

   All four hips are quite poseable - the knees and hips are all ball jointed, while the knees are the highest part of the legs (which is a big part of why I think the toy looks ant-like). The feet themselves are narrow and pointed, and while they can fold, the joints are for the transformation. The legs give as much poseability as any quadrupedal Transformer out there - in fact Ramble's legs hold his weight off the table better than a lot of Beast Wars toys managed (even sextupedal ones). Walking pose are possible, along with some fun climbing poses (Ramble is currently scaling my iPod).

   As you can probably tell from how much of this review is dedicated to action features, this is a fun vehicle mode - one which puts many larger Transformers (even many beasts) to shame. Ramble is a fun little walking tank, and from what I hear there are heaps of fan modes out there - which doesn't surprise me when he has so much articulation. Good colours and a useful gimmick are icing on the cake.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A complex yet easy transformation that I'm not going to describe, since without seeing it things wont make much sense. The rear legs become the arms and the front legs the robot legs, while the cockpit becomes his chest. The Destron symbol panel becomes the left shoulder panel, while the turret becomes a right shoulder cannon. The transformation is both elegant and clever, which is fitting for such a versatile toy, really.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8.5cm Width: 12cm
(again with some room for error depending on pose)

   Again mix of red and black, with the black cockpit on his chest. Ramble has a grey head to go with the grey shoulder panel and cannon, while there's a G2-style transparent red face, with a successful lightpipe. Below the transparent centrepiece is a small mouth, which along with his rounded eyes gives Ramble a face that's vaguely reminiscent of Waspinator. The Destron logo on his shoulder is visible from the side, the cannon on the other shoulder is immediately obvious. The colour scheme again works, in fact it's more unified now (not that it wasn't previously), and from pictures all three versions look cool.

   Remember all that articulation the tank had? Well it's back for more. His head turns along with the shoulder cannon - which retains the hinge at its base. The shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball jointed and have free movement, although the right arm can only lift up so far since the cannon sits above it. There's a great range of poses available - Ramble has hinged ankles and heelspurs, running and crouching poses are available. The key gimmick still works, and the blade is again useful, this time it's actually more useful since it's no longer on top of a spread out vehicle.

   But wait, there's still more. The fists, which had standard sized fists, are revealed when you fold out the spines that are the rear feet of the tank. But Ramble will happily have spines instead of the hands, and you can swing the spines forward to bring pounders into place. This is probably the coolest G1 homages we've seen in the recent lines, and the pounders are specifically included for homage reasons. Of course, with both red and blue versions available, Frenzy doesn't miss out on the action! Groundpounding poses are possible thanks to the leg jointing, which makes the pounders useful as well as impressive.

   It's easy to overlook, but the torso is quite solidly formed. The cannon on his shoulder provides a built in countermeasure for more ambitious poses, and you can add/remove the key or extend the blade as needed. About the only thing this guy can't do is stand on one leg - and even then it's probably possible if you're patient enough.

   Good colours, great engineering, a good lightpipe, fantastic G1 homage - Ramble has everything in this mode. The articulation is great and the gimmick works. I can't fault this robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   As I've stated Ramble comes in red, blue or yellow versions. From pictures that I've seen, the blue looks the nicest, but I'm happy with my red one (which, in toy terms, makes the most sense as a Rumble homage anyway). The Cybertron version, Scrapmetal, comes in red or yellow only.

OVERALL

   Ramble has great articulation, a worthwhile key gimmick, and good colours - you even get a choice of three primary colours. Both modes look good and have oodles of play value. The groundpounders in robot mode make him a great homage toy, especially alongside some of the homages Hasbro managed to ruin during Energon. Ramble is one of those rare Transformers without any flaws. Buy this toy - 10/10

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