Cliffbee.com: TFU Ramjet Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ramjet
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Jet Fighter



JET MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 21cm Width: 24cm

   A white fighter with some tasteful blue accents, a splash of red here and there and some silver and grey - with the silver pained often applied in a rather haphazard fashion. For some reason they've painted canopy yellow, which looks terrible. For some reason the moulded Decepticon symbols on the wings are left unpainted. While on Starscream and Thundercracker they were painted badly, for Skywarp Hasbro got them right and now they've gone two steps back, which is not only strange but disappointing. A repaint of Skywarp, Ramjet contrasts sharply with the black toy, and has a different paint mask. Sadly, the changes aren't always for the better. The white, silver and blue could have worked, but the application of silver is strange in places, the unpainted Decepticon symbols looks bad and the yellow canopy is an eyesore. The potential of this colour scheme is largely wasted, and the things that bring it down are avoidable.

   Along with the unpainted logos on the wings, Ramjet has another set, also unpainted, below the wings on his undercarriage. Only Thundercracker has paint on these logos, so this isn't a regression from Skywarp. Speaking of undercarriage, he has no front undercarriage as such, but below each wing is a block with wheels, and there are wheels at the back. Despite having no nose wheel, he stands up okay, and rolls along about as well as you'd expect.

   Thunderclash can attach underneath the cockpit, and looks really good there since he resembles a weapons array. Adding to the play value are twin missile launchers, that flip forward when you attach Thunderclash (or another Minicon) to a live hardpoint on top, near the tail. They're big and heavy with powerful springs so it's a fun gimmick. Thunderclash tends to catch the missile launchers if he's there, so to activate this you're best plugging him in and removing him again, which will release the launchers. Thunderclash's grey doesn't quite match the silver paint on Ramjet, although he matches the grey missiles.

   There are four sound gimmicks on this toy. Pulling back on the hardpoint on top will produce a swooping sound, holding this trigger back will create a whirring sound that's meant to be some sort of flying sound - not that jets have propellers. Pressing down on the cockpit produces the sound of rapid gunfire, and if you do this with Thunderclash stowed underneath the cockpit, it'll make the sound of a bomb exploding.

   None of the sounds are really that impressive - they're all rather muffled and indistinct - and are identical to those used on the previous toys. Despite the rather underdone sound gimmicks, this is still a fun toy. The missile launchers are very cool, and the missiles will shoot over a metre. Aside from the two spots already mentioned, you can attach Minicons to the two wheel blocks under the wings, giving him four attachments points, although Thunderclash can't attach to those on the sides, and only Minicons designed for this mould will fit under the cockpit. It's possible to attach the four Minicons Ramjet comes with in this mode, although the rear hardpoint will only work with Thunderclash or Thunderwing, and since can't attach anyone else under the nose, Thunderclash will slot in there with the throwing star Minicon on the back.

   A good mould with a lot of play value, and while the Minicons add play value to the mould, some really poor colour choices make this an ugly vehicle mode. The VTOL fans and well-integrated Thunderclash aren't enough to save this plane mode's look.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   The rear wheels fold out to become the robot legs, the wheel blocks underneath the wings fold out to become the arms. The head pops out when you clip the groin into place (and it's possible to leave it out in jet mode). The wings rotate to form robot mode wings, and the left wing can detach to form a sword, something I strongly recommend _not_ doing. I've left the clear elastic that holds it together in transit on the wing, in fact, and I've done the same with my Thundercracker. The nose folds down to become the robot chest, and the missile launchers can deploy over his shoulders in robot mode. It's a fairly involved transformation, although not a difficult one. You're likely to activate the canopy button several times during transformation - I've already removed the batteries from my Ramjet.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 21cm

   A fairly tasteful white, blue and grey is ruined by the yellow canopy prominent on his chest and a bad choice of red for his helmet. The red VOTL winglets on his knees work better than they probably should, and the blue is used well here. The random silver paint mask on his wings isn't as prominent as on the jet mode but still looks back, and the black face only serves to highlight that the red helmet looks dumb. Had they painted the Decepticon logos on his wings, done the head in grey or white and done the canopy in silver, this robot mode would actually look pretty good - but it doesn't thanks to choices that are awfully random and unfocused.

   The wings now sit behind his shoulders, which works well aside from the non-event moulded logos. You can attach two of his Minicons to hardpoints on either arm - I recommend Gunbarrel in weapon mode and Terradive in jet mode. Thunderclash is unable to clip on to his forearms, incidentally.

   Ramjet has two ways to arm himself in this mode. Firstly, you can attach Thunderclash to his backpack and deploy the missile launchers on either side of his head, which tend to overwhelm his head, although they wont reduce his field of vision anyway since the air intakes act as blinkers anyway. The missiles, as previously mentioned, will fire over a metre away, which is cool. The second way to arm him is to detach the right wing and unfold it into a sword. I'd recommend against this since the hinges loosen very easily, and will quickly become floppy to the point where the wing doesn't hold together. Thunderclash is unable to clip onto the hardpoints on his arms, which is a real shame since he's make a great arm-mounted weapons array. It's a pretty strange looking sword anyway, since it's little more than three strips of plastic, and it leaves Ramjet with a single wing on one side only.

   Despite the poor sword, Ramjet has pretty good play value. He can't wear the Thunderclash gunrack on his forearm as mentioned, but you now have a choice of four Minicons to attach anyway. Three of the four sounds can be activated - Thunderclash wont fit under the cockpit now. Sure, the sounds aren't very good, but it's nice that they're accessible. The holes in Ramjet's hands are too small to hold the Star Sabre, but he can hold his missiles as clubs, and the holes are just right for Energon weaponry.

   Ramjet's shoulders rotate out to the sides and hinge allowing him to lift his arms forward, but he can't lift them above horizontal, since they attach underneath his wingstubs. His elbows are double hinged, so overall the arms are quite poseable. The hips swing, the knees both rotate and bend, so his leg poseability is pretty good. The electronics are stowed in his considerable backpack, so it's a good thing he has big feet and heelspurs, giving Skywarp stability in a wide variety of poses - including standing normally.

   Most of the colours in this mode are good, but some stupid choices ruin the look. There's a lot of play value, and it's enough to save this ugly robot mode from being a total loss. Sure, he's a bit of an eyesore but he's a lot of fun. Still, this robot mode could have - and should have - been a lot better.


Name: Thunderclash
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Bomber Plane

CAR MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 7cm

   A grey futuristic bomber that's wider than he is long, Thunderclash is unusual amongst Minicons in that he's not meant to represent a real vehicle. The nose is painted black, there's an unpainted cockpit just behind the nose, and at first glance he looks like a drone. The cockpit and wingspan vaguely remind me of a Star Wars X-Wing fighter - which may well have been the inspiration for this plane mode. The wingtips are blue as are giant cannons on the front of the wings, that can independently swing up and down for targeting.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   The legs fold down from the undercarriage, while the nose swings down to become the torso and the groin folds down. The wing cannons become the arms simply by folding down. Thunderclash's transformation bears a rather amusing resemblance to Skywarp's, although it's a lot simpler.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 7cm



   A grey robot with blue arms and thighs, giant wings across his shoulderblades and a largely black torso, Thunderclash is rather scrawny, although he looks beefier than he is thanks to the wingspan. He has a grey head with an orange eyevisor. He has no hands, just pointy cannon tips.

   His arms swing up and down at the shoulders, his hips swing and his knees bend. He can stand in various poses despite the wingspan, thanks to big heelspurs. It's an interesting robot mode, and the blue plastic on this version looks a lot better than the lilac on the version that came with Skywarp.


VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Ramjet is a repaint of Skywarp as mentioned. None of the Minicons have been renamed.

   The three "extra" Minicons in this set are almost unchanged when compared to their Air Military Team incarnations, despite radically different colour schemes showcased on the back of the box. Terradive is metallic purple where previously blue, and the cockpit is orange instead of silver. Gunbarrel is a darker grey with a deep red rather than rust paint on his wings and is almost identical. Thunderwing's grey is significantly darker and his blue plastic has also been replaced with metallic purple. For more detail on these guys, refer to my Air Military Team review.

OVERALL

   While there's potential in the white, blue and silver paint job, some ridiculous paint application choices and a hideous yellow canopy ruin this rather unfocused repaint. It _is_ a good mould, but Skywarp is easily superior. Thunderclash is actually better than his namesake that partnered Skywarp and the set is full of gimmicks and play value - the Minicons really add to Ramjet's play value. I'd recommend Skywarp (or Thundercracker) and the Air Military Team over this set, but if this is the only version of the mould you can find, there's a lot of fun here. As a set I can only give 5/10, and that's factoring in the play value and improved Thunderclash

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