Cliffbee.com: ROTF Ransack Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ransack
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Biplane



BIPLANE MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 13cm

   A maroon biplane inspired by the "Albatross" (thanks to Silver Dragon for this info) with tan wings and charcoal mechanical elements, Ransack has a nice subtle dirty wash on top of the upper set of wings, a grey tail with some red elements and champagne gold on his nose below a silver engine. The colours are muted and vintage and the choice of a dull colour such as charcoal for elements such as the propellor, struts and wheels is a good one. While these colours are atypical for a Transformer, they have the vintage feel needed for a vehicle such as this, so they work well. There are black Decepticon logos on top of the upper wings, facing backwards.

   Ransack is the first Transformers biplane we've seen in 25 years - his G2 namesake was one of the rare times the lines ventured into old propellor lanes, but this alt mode is new. Considering he's the first attempt the lack of kibble here is impressive. Okay, we can see the charcoal robot arms tucker underneath the lower wings, but they don't stand out at all. The fact is that the fuselage is kibble free and the upper wings are kibble free - an amazing feat considering how slender this plane is. There are some poetic licenses, mind you - two bombs under the portside lower wing and a twin machine gun under starboard. While these weapons are perfectly credible on a WWII era fighter plane, I'm not sure that placing all your bombs under one wing is the best way to ensure you _return_ from a bombing missile. While the weight issues of firing the machine gun aren't as pressing, I doubt the kickback from firing would do the delicate wing any good. They should probably be on the fuselage, but they do look nice on Ransack all the same.

   The play value here is fairly minimal, but I can deal with that on such a good biplane, and it's hardly disappointing for a scout anyway. The twin blade propellor spins freely and the gun can swing from side to side a little - although moving it too much will cause the wing to come apart. The wheels under the front don't roll - they're moulded solid - while there's no wheel under the tail.

   A very impressive first effort, and the biplane itself is welcome simply for it's uniqueness. The lack of kibble here is a feature in itself - Ransack's alt mode is amazing at this scale. The colours do their job and the play value is enough at this level. The only real flaw here is the unrealistic placement of his weapons, but they look good anyway.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

I'm not going to document everything - it's a complex transformation and is quite difficult to describe, but it's impressive. I'll summarise.
   The upper wings and outside tips of the lower wings end up on his back as a cape while the lower wings end up on the sides of the torso, which is the front of the fuselage. The nose forms his chest while the engine is his head. The arms deploy from under the lower wings - the elbows swing far more than their appearance suggests, and the weapons end up on his wrists. The tail end rotates through 90 to become his legs, the tail itself splits and contorts asymmetrically, with one blade of the tail hanging off his left ankle. The wheels end up on his hips.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A maroon and charcoal robot with a tan cape, Ransack has maroon thigh armour and a maroon torso while the legs, arms and face are charcoal. His eyes are red and the silver engine forms a sort of helmet - there's also a silver grille element on his chest. Some of the red and champagne from his plane mode carries over here. He's quite dark and a little indistinct, but I don't think bright colours would work well here. The only allegiance symbols are those on the back of his cape - the wings.

   Ransack's very spindly and lanky, which makes sense considering his alt mode. There is some kibble here - that tail blade on his ankle and the cape, but there are more deliberately placed plane features here. The propellor sits on his groin while the wheels form hips and the feet are blades of the tail. The arms resemble the struts between the wings (which are actually on his back and within his shoulders). The bombs are on his left forearm and the gun on his right, and both can rotate to aim, giving him weaponry (something ROTF scouts generally lack). The spindly look, colours and old style grille on his chest give Ransack an elderly look, which is an interesting thematic choice, and one that makes sense given his alt mode. It fits in with his bio card, which shows that a lot of thought went into this toy.

   The play value is limited to his poseability, and the targetable weapons I've already covered. The shoulders, hips and neck are all ball jointed while his elbows, knees and ankles are hinged, and th right ankle is actually hinged in two planes of direction. The end result is a fairly poseable robot, but the range of dynamic poses is limited by lack of rotation in his legs - since they're quite close together. There is enough articulation to strike some nice poses, but he's no contortionist.

   A good robot mode, and while he looks quite unusual and has some limitations in poseability and kibble, this is a great effort considering the alt mode. The colours again work and there are some well placed plane elements. I would have liked a Decepticon logo and some more knee articulation, but Ransack's robot mode is still very impressive.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An excellent scout and a mightily impressive effort for the first Transformers biplane. The vehicle mode is amazing, with almost no kibble and a lot of attention to detail. The transformation is clever and intricate, giving us a robot mode with surprisingly little kibble. The colours work and the elderly theme works well and fits the alt mode. Aside from the limited knees, I have no reral complaints, and very much recommend this toy - 9.5/10

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