Cliffbee.com: Ramulus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ramulus
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Scout, Survivalist
Alternate Mode: Ram



RAM MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 13cm Width: 8cm

   A brown and light grey ram with chrome red on his face, shoulders and back, Ramulus is basically grey painted brown, which is most prevalent on his rump and head. The eyes are green and sit on the bottom of the head as he's in a heatbutting stance - I guess fighting makes this sheep more fierce or something. The colours combine reasonably well without really being interesting. Granted, i'd rather dull to garish, but grey and brown aren't really inspiring.

   The sculpt is fairly detailed here, although Ramulus is slightly below the standard of many other Transmetal IIs. The sculpt is slightly asymmetrical, which is accentuated by an asymmetrical paint mask. There's a gap in the head which bugs me, while there are further gaps in the rump, making this a slightly disjointed ram mode.

   The shoulders and hips are ball jointed while his knees and ankles are hinged, giving Ramulus decent poseability, and about as much limb movement as a sheep should have. There's a transformation hinge just in front of the rump which has a tendency to lift up when you don't want it to, and while it wont cause him to collapse, it still bugs me. Sadly there's no way to change the head pose - he's permanently headbutting, face to the ground. The long curved horns can move swing forward or down to the sides, but these functions are really meant for robot mode. The only gimmick accessible in this mode is the spark crystal (which isn't really a gimmick in itself), you can fold down the red face to reveal a green spark crystal. If you remove the horns (and the top of his head) you can swing the face up so the sheep is looking forward, which looks more natural than the proper stance, although the head looks a little more gappy.

   As you've probably noticed, I don't think too much of this beast mode. To be fair, there's not really anything awful here, but the colours are dull and the play value minimal. I suppose Ramulus being the first Transformer sheep counts for something, although I wish he wasn't stuck in pose.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the horns and set aside. Drag the arms out from his belly, swing out to the sides and rotate the front legs of the beast mode back. Rotate the chest into place, lift out the head and fold the ram's head onto his back.Fold down the groin and clip the torso together. Straighten the legs, swing out the heelspurs. Swing the horns down and give him the horn assembly as a cannon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 8cm

   Ramulus is again based on grey, with brown on his forearms and various spots on the lower half of the body. There's some blue detailing here and there while the eyes are orange. The outer sides of the torso are chrome red as are the shoulderpads. The colour scheme works better here, since the red is used well, and there's less brown.

   This robot mode is a mix of some nice elements - such as the shoulderpads formed from the sheep shoulders and blades attached to the outsides of his forearms, and some crappy ones - such as the feet which are quite obviously hooves. The head looks like it belongs on a bat, but has is well sculpted and has a paint mask which brings out detail. The cannon, which doesn't look like cannon at all, is a lowpoint in my opinion.

   The shoulders are restricted ball joints while the elbows are hinged with rotators in the upper arms. His head turns although the waist does not - in truth the waist has enough trouble staying together since that hinge that caused problems in beast mode is again loose. The hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged, but the leg poseability is minimal since the heelspurs are flimsy compared to the backpack this guy carries (which isn't that big, mind you). The "gun" has a pincher function that's activated by a small notch underneath. The idea is good, but it's hard to get at the notch while he's holding it, let alone overcome spring tension. Personally I think the gimmick is a waste of time, and I'm still working out how this thing calls itself a cannon.

   The robot mode actually looks nice than the beast mode, save for the goofy feet. His weapon isn't much more than a giant piece of kibble, although they did try to make it work. The colours are an improvement but I wish the spark crystal feature, which is a good idea, was accessible here. With better feet I'd actually like this robot mode, despite the joke of a weapon.

VARIATIONS

   There was a rare "test market" green version, while the mould was revisited in TFU under the name Longhorn.

OVERALL

   While he isn't the worst Transmetal II by any stretch, Ramulus has a few problems holding him back. It's a shame really since the choice of beast is refreshingly creative - 90% of beast modes we see are Carnivores, Dinosaurs or insects. The robot has some nice features but things aren't as stable as I'd like and the beast mode ends up quite uninspiring - 5/10

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