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ElectricGecko
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Post by ElectricGecko » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:16 pm

numbat wrote:I really love the Volt, and Jolt's robot design is nifty - if maybe not so well executed in the toy. Still, he was a figure I was meaning to pick up. However, he has appeared on shelves near me at 15 GBP (another price hike against the previous wave priced at 13 GBP on the same shelves), which I really can not justify for a Deluxe figure - and especially not one which does not seem to deliver brilliantly in robot mode.

Maybe he'll appear somewhere for less...

(A lot of the later Universe waves appeared on sale at the beginning of this year here...)
Is it just me, or are these things getting more expensive as time goes on? I started out the summer all impressed by the Canadian prices. Walmart was selling deluxes for 10 bucks, and selling Leaders for 50 bucks! That was way cheaper than the 2007 releases (15 for deluxe and 60 for Leader) but now the prices are HIGHER than the previous release! What gives?

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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:47 pm

Detective Barricade wrote:I think having the doors sticking out behind his shoulders makes him look a little more accurate to the two scenes he actually appears in the movie. Hard to tell. Blink and you miss them...
Unless you're a raging Jolt fanboy who goes through his scenes play-by-play.

Managed to get the feet the correct way without completely buggering his legs, anyway... It's kinda cool that he has optional feet.


It kinda says something that the attached are about the best bits you can find for him. I think I'm going to adopt the poor guy.
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jolt-2.jpg
jolt-1.jpg
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ROTF Voyager Long Haul [has photos - PROOFED]

Post by numbat » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:36 am

It's a start at least...

It's finished at last!

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Name: Long Haul
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Transport
Sub-Group: Constructicon / Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Voyager Class


Tech Spec: – Strength: 9
- Intelligence: 3
- Speed: 3
- Endurance: 9
- Rank: 3
- Courage: 8
- Fireblast: 9
- Skill: 2

Long Haul is too bitter to be an effective soldier on his own. Despite the fact that he is part of one of the most destructive and terrifying Decepticon squads of all time, he is too often treated as little more than a cargo hauler. Other Decepticons sling their gear into his bed without a second thought, and order him to carry it around for them. Rather than confront them, he’d rather grumble about it privately, then stop on the way and destroy whatever he’s been given responsibility for.

Long Haul’s movie design was circulating the net at a very early stage prior to any official announcements of the Constructicons’ inclusion in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (although there were rumours). It seems likely that this design was merely a superb piece of fan artwork in the rough style of a Bayformer. Rough, because in some ways Long Haul looked a bit too traditional for a Michael Bay Decepticon.

As it turns out, the designs flying around were fan art, created by Josh Nizzi. However, in a uncharacteristic moment of sanity, Michael Bay hired Josh to design ‘bots for the film, and used the Long Haul design! (And thanks to this decision, we also have Jetfire and the new Megatron design, amongst others.)

So, as unlikely as it seems, this excellent design made it into the actual film, albeit for only a few minutes of action. And, unlike Bonecrusher from the first film, who also had only a fleeting appearance (but did fight Optimus Prime!), Long Haul has received a decent scale figure (although he did not fight Optimus Prime…).

And this is also the only Movieverse Constructicon to be G1 Constructicon Green.


Alternate Mode:

Long Haul has always been a dump truck, and Michael Bay has not changed this. However, Michael Bay has made him a huge dump truck. But, that is one of the reasons Michael Bay is the right man to bring Transformers to the big screen in live action – he is a master of cool machines, massive action sequences and big explosions. And he chose some of the biggest constructions vehicles in the world for the Constructicons. And for the component parts of Devastator. What a guy. What a guy…

Anyway.

Long Haul transforms into a Caterpillar 773B rock truck (i.e. very big dump truck). Measuring 6” (15cm) long and 3 ½” (9cm) wide puts him at 1/62 scale, and makes him a very chunky Voyager Class figure. But, to put this into perspective – Demolishor’s Terex steamshovel can fill this truck with a single shovel-load, and still have rock to spare! (Take-home-message – Long Haul is big but Demolishor is huge!)

I saw these trucks being transported in Botswana this summer, and they moved them in halves – and they were big!

Enough of that. We get the point.

The dump truck mode is highly detailed, with rivets, bolts, panels, ladders, railings, metal walkways, pistons… It’s awesome! As mentioned, he is Constructicon Green, with black details and a red stripe, ‘1214’ printed in white, a red stripe and a Decepticon insignia in black on the left-hand side. The windows are clear plastic, as are the various headlights. Unfortunately, the green of the bed does not match the rest of the figure, but this is a minor issue.

No robot parts are obvious in rock truck mode, but his hands are folded in plain sight above the rear wheels, and, while blending in at a distance, do not stand up to closer scrutiny.

However, that can be forgiven when you realise the bed can be tipped, with ‘realistic’ functioning pistons! That really does make up for anything (if you’re a fan of industrial construction machinery, like me!).

The alternate mode is simply awesome!


Robot Mode:

Long Haul’s transformation is not complex, nor particularly special. However, it is satisfying and fun, rather than annoying and frustrating (as many of the ROTF figures are becoming…). However, some very minor changes would have resulted in a far more film accurate robot mode, while still allowing for a comparatively simple Transformer, as we shall see. Why these were not incorporated, I have no idea – especially considering the handful of subtle and unnecessary touches already in place.

Standing 8” (20cm) tall (excluding shoulder wheels which may be positioned as desired), he’s a decent sized Voyager figure. However, unlike his blocky alternate mode and chunky Movie design, the figure is rather lanky by comparison. While many of the fantastic design elements are in place, the overall effect is one of a stretched or starved version of the hulking film character. However, there are some nice touches, such as the way in which the kibble from the front of the truck folds around each thigh, recreating the detailing on the movie design nicely, or the way in which the front wheels reposition to be in a more film accurate position – two relatively subtle and unnecessary design elements. While the Mech-Alive spinning gear in his chest is rather unimpressive (indeed, I didn’t even notice it for a week!), the pistons in the arms, and springs in the legs are perhaps the most fun gimmick in any ROTF figure. Detailing really is amazing, and dull gunmetal metallic paint brings out much of this, with a few dashes of silver, and plenty of green, black and red. The head is superb – the best ROTF sculpt I own (although there is no light piping – instead solid red blocks out the back of the head).

There is some weird fibble on the chest, with the front of the truck recreated on either side, with the number ‘1214’ printed twice even though it is only present on one side of the truck. This is made stranger by the fact that the real truck front is fully visible on each thigh, number and all! (I think the toy designers may have been confused by the concept art, which shows the front of the bed forming these bars, with ‘CATERPILLAR’ split between each side. If this is what the designers were trying to recreate, you’d have ‘12141214’ printed in the centre of the bar at the front of the bed in truck mode – which would be weird. So, I conclude, they were confused.)

Articulation is pretty good, and the figure has good balance – even with the top of a dumper truck hanging off his back! However, the panels hanging off each arm tend to restrict posability, and the lack of rotation at the wrist makes for very awkward looking poses. The rear wheels have a degree of posability themselves, and can be positioned as desired – so long as your desired position is not the same as in the film… You can get close – but not quite. The addition of a simple hinge in the bar supporting this assembly would have gone a long way to resolving this, as would have additional articulation in the wheel assembly. Two relatively simple options, yet ignored, just like the wrists.

While lacking these simple features, Long Haul does possess a spring-loaded swing-out blade in the panels on each arm. While I don’t recall Long Haul having these in the film, or engaging in close combat (doesn’t he just launch missiles at folks from a distance, and take a pummeling from human artillery?), they are nicely detailed with glyphs and other features – not that you’d be able to tell easily as they’ve been cast in totally clear plastic…

So, overall, Long Haul has a mediocre robot mode with a few really nifty features and some superb detailing, but nothing overly special. He could have been so much better with just a couple of minor tweaks, and still come out far simpler than most ROTF figures.

Despite all this, he has great charm, and is, conversely, one of my favourite ROTF figures. My recommendation is to grab him if you’re a fan of construction machinery, or to check him out in person before committing the 25 quid they’re after for Voyagers these days.



Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 5 – Relatively straightforward and more traditional than other ROTF figures. It won’t take you long (even the first time), but in this line, that’s refreshing in itself.
Durability: 7 – He is generally solid – however, the various railings feel brittle, and he came out the package with stress marks on some. They seem to be of the same ilk as Voyager Mixmaster’s mirrors – and my Mixmaster came missing a wing mirror! So, I don’t hold out much hope for the long-term survival of Long Haul’s more fragile components.
Fun: 7 – Fantastic fun in dumper mode (the bed works guys, and has moving pistons!), but the robot mode is nothing special (but has cool moving pistons!). A few tweaks would have allowed for a more film accurate robot mode and better articulation.
Price: 5 – I don’t know if it’s just my area, but ROTF Deluxe figures seem to continue to increase in price. Thankfully this is not the case for the already overpriced Voyager figures. The average shelf price seems to have dropped from £24.99 to £22.99. Not that I have seen Voyager Long Haul anywhere in the UK though. I believe US prices are more or less similar in numerical value (i.e. around $25), which is only good value if you live in the UK. I’m very thankful Long Haul was send over the pond by Clay!
Overall: 6 – Objectively, Voyager Long Haul probably deserves a ‘6’. He’s nothing spectacular, but he does deliver on traditional values. He is overpriced, and there are more exciting ROTF figures to spend your money on (and no shortage of choice!). I personally would award him an ‘8’, as I love construction vehicles, and I like the fact they’ve not tried to be too clever with the transformation sequence for a change – plus, despite lack of articulation, the robot mode looks cool!

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:37 am

Robot mode - I'll take a photo of the dump truck later.
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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:13 am

I love my Long Haul. It's nice to have a humanoid transformer now and then, and one like Long Haul. He's blocky but Bayformer rolled in one neat package! If only the Voyager and Deluxe Constructicons could combine... -sigh-

Still, he haz BLADES.

Haven't gotten Mixmaster myself. Not really impressed by the gangliness of his design on the toy. And in any case, I want the G1 colours repaint.

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:24 pm

Mixmaster is interesting. He is quite a mess, but good fun. Although he is gangly, his armour plates can be arranged to bulk him out, and make him look far more menacing (like the concept art).

I do intend to take photos if the review here is still missing them.

He is quite weird, but I'm glad Clay convinced me to get him. He looks really cool in robot mode (despite kibble - he has no fibble! ;)), has a good alternate mode and a really really really amazingly cool transformation!

However, for good solid delivery, you can't beat Long Haul.

(But Demolishor remains the best Constructicon by far - although I am awaiting a red repaint of Rampage before picking that mould up.)

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Post by Paul053 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:43 pm

I like my Mixmaster, too. His alternate mode is quite solid and nice. His robot mode is fun but some times frustrating. There are many pieces on the arms and legs and fold them differently will have different look. The canon mode is a mess. I still cannot get it quite right. Link below is another review (with photos) of him.

http://sites.google.com/site/pttfcollec ... /mixmaster

Rampage is quite interesting in the beginning but then he became my shelf warmer. So I sold him on ebay.

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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:20 pm

Don't know how I missed proofing this one... Regardless, it's proofed, and it's excellent work, as always.

I assume you meant 'cannon arm' instead of 'canon arm', though. ;)

Little tidbit... according to Transformers the movie universe (one of those hardcover book with character profiles and stock pictures) as well as ROTF's comic adaptation, Megatron actually retains his original first-movie gunship mode, and is supposed to have both jet and tank mode, and the movie universe actually describes him as being a triple changer. Obviously, this idea didn't work out.

I like MP Megatron...

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Blackjack
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Encore 17: Ratbat and company!-[PROOFED]

Post by Blackjack » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:21 pm

Encore 17: the Cassettes

To be honest, I never cared much about this set. Until I saw it, anyway. Ratbat is what caught my attention, and is undoubtedly the star of this set. Slugfest and Ramhorn are interesting as well, and Steeljaw I could care no less about. So I was nosing around the toy aisle, when I caught sight of a shelf of Japanese toys, namely Alternity Megatron, Encore Combaticons and Encore Cassettes. The Combaticons look past their prime (mold degradation and all) while I can't justify buying another Megatron. I was about to walk away when my little brother picked this thing up.

In retrospect, I'd rather have only Ratbat and Slugfest.

Name: Ratbat
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Fuel Auditor; Decepticon Leader
Accessories: Free-electron lasers (2)

"The road is my dinner plate."

Ratbat is the unquestioned star of the set. He's the only one among the four to receive any kind of in-depth characterization. Not in Sunbow's animated series, of course. In the animated series, Ratbat first appeared in 1986's movie, among the cassettes that Soundwave unleashed to attack Blaster. He would later appear throughout season three, replacing Laserbeak as the Decepticon's resident scout/spy. After all, new toy and all that. His characterization was limited to squeeking and being your basic attack bat.

In the Marvel comics, Ratbat had a much, much more detailed characterization. Instead of a mere animal, Ratbat was a very talkative Decepticon, and one of the major characters in the story, managing (under Bob Budiasky's stories) to suceed Shockwave as Decepticon leader. Notorious for being fuel-efficient, Ratbat is officially the best Decepticon leader ever. Under his command, the Decepticons nearly slaughtered every Autobot, rescued their comrades, stranded the Autobots on the moon and manages not to have any casualties at the same time. In fact, if Blaster and Grimlock hadn't intervered, the Autobots would've died.

Of course, his other schemes (Club Con and the Car Wash of Doom) ain't actually shining. Still, Ratbat led the Decepticons until Scorponok's crew from Nebulos arrived and managed to be an enjoyable character. After a short Civil War, the two entered a joint leadership to fight the Autobots, and later against Starscream in the Underbase Saga. Ratbat escaped Starscream massacring the transformers, only to be shot from the back by Scorponok.

Ratbat has appeared in other reincarnations of Generation One. In Dreamwave comics, he appeared in Furman's second War Within arc as a full-sized transformer that transforms into a batplane-like thing. Leading the Decepticon splinter-faction of the Ultracons, Ratbat was portrayed as an intelligent and cunning Decepticon like his Marvel incarnation. However, later, much later, in the War and Peace series, Ratbat is reduced by into his cartoon beast self. It was retconned that Shockwave placed Ratbat in a smaller form out of job security. IDW's Megatron Origin portrayed Ratbat as a Senator who unwittingly sparked the War, before being placed in a cassette body by Soundwave. But then, Origin seems to be retconned out. When we see Ratbat next, it was in Devastation and he transforms into a CD player, a modern form of his microcassette mode. He can speak. AHM for some reason, uses Ratbat's original form and doesn't give him any dialogue. The authors say the retro-design is to make new readers more familiar with the transformers mythos. Because Ratbat's really easy to mix up with other purple robot bats in comics. No, really. Not because Soundwave wants another minion or somesuch.

Aaaanyway, Ratbat's toy first appeared in 1986, as a bat that transforms into a microcassette. He can fit into the chest cavity of Soundwave (or Blaster). For a long time until very recently, Ratbat disappeared from toys. 2008's Universe Classics 2.0 repainted Cybertron Sideways to represent Ratbat's Cybertronian mode. Transformers: Animated, being so caring to us transfans, included its own version of Ratbat, who transforms from bat to Keytar. Prime used him to beat the crap out of Soundwave. Ouch.

BEAST MODE

So, anyway, Ratbat's an adorable thing. He is a purple bat, and has quite a range of articulation. The head is on a hinge joint that only allows him to look down, with the ears on hinge joints as well. As anyone who had owned Ratbat before, his ears are extremely infamous for snapping off very, very easily. Ratbat's wings unfold from his microcassette form, causing him to look much larger than, say, Laserbeak. The wings have two separate winged joints, and the two legs are able to fold in and out, as well as point down. Those claw-things on the wings can move. Overall, a nice set of articulation for a G1 toy. Compared to Laserbeak, at least.

Ratbat's eyes are golden instead of the traditional Decepticon red. His face has a few fangs molded in, but not painted. Unlike his more famous Marvel incarnation, Ratbat's ears point away from the head. In Marvel comics, they point up like a crown. There is a rubsign in the center of his black-blue chest, which reveal the Decepticon insignia when rubbed, in case you mix up Ratbat with some other bloodsucking bat in the Autobot troops.

Like most other G1 toys, Ratbat comes with additional weapons, in this case two large free-electron missiles/launchers which peg nicely into the cassette holes on his back. While the original Ratbat (packaged with Frenzy) had two weapon variations, silver and golden, this toy came with golden weapons to match his fictional appearances more accurately. The weapons point forwards, in the same direction that Ratbat's face is facing, but there are what looks like afterburners on the back of his weapons, probably there to help Ratbat fly.

Ratbat's wings are not as 'pointy' as his character model/fictional appearances (bar the toy-accurate Dreamwave comics), and the wings are on a right-angle, instead of the sharper curves that he has in other fictional appearances. Also, there are these molded pistons and whatnot in his bat wings, giving Ratbat a more... alien feel. His feet have a small groove, that might be there to represent claws.

Now unlike, the wafer-thin Cassettes (like Ravage or Steeljaw) the humanoid Cassettes, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw and Ratbat really look like their cartoon/comic incarnations, and Ratbat manages to look realistically like a real bat instead of a wafer-thin figure that only looks like an animal from the side. Ratbat displays nicely, perched on the back of a big Zoids toy in my room, possibly complaining about the inefficiency of batteries in those toys.

Also, unlike some of the more... oddly coloured transformers in G1 (Skyquake, Quickswitch, the Seacons, the Firecons, Skullcruncher and the Pretenders come to mind), Ratbat's colour scheme looks great on him, even 23 years later. As cool as the Universe version is, the original Ratbat has that ironic bat feel to it. Overall, the best transformer in the set.

CASSETTE MODE

Ratbat transforms into a cassette, with grooves molded into it. There is two seams where the wings and body meet, but what else can you expect? There are molded spokes on the rims of the holes, and the paint is simply amazing. A lighter shade of purple upon a silver finish, bordered with black and having fake spools, with words 'METAL POSITION', 'A' and 'MC 60' enhancing the disguise.

Overall, Ratbat makes a pretty convincing microcassette, unlike the likes of Ravage or Overkill, who blatantly look like a folded animal.

Oh, and he fits inside Soundwave's or Blaster's chests. In case I forgot.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Durability 6/10 The ears can snap off. The wing seem to be able to get damaged easily. Oh, did I mention that the ears can snap off? As with all other Encore toys, watch for chrome wear on the weapons. Also, the ears can snap off.
Transformation 4/10 Easy enough, but the ears can snap off mid-transformation if you give him to a five-year-old.
Fun 10/10 Hey, he's Ratbat, Decepticon leader! And he looks decidedly awesome on display. He looks right at home alongside Classics/Encore toys. Also, if you have Soundwave, it's a bonus.
Overall 10/10 I'll be writing Price and Overall sections for the entire set as a whole, but Ratbat would easily get a 10 among my collection. Compared to other cassettes (Slugfest, Ravage, Steeljaw and Ramhorn), he's more sturdy and looks better. Compared to Laserbeak, he has more posability. Among the cassettes Laserbeak's still my unquestioned fave, though.

********************************

Name: Slugfest
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Messenger
Accessories: Solar powered vibro-cannons (2)

"Expect betrayal and your friends won't disappoint you."

Next up on the set is Slugfest. He's a Cassette, he's a Decepticon, he's a dinosaur. Instant favourite of mine.

Slugfest first appeared in the episode 'Call of the Primitives', where he appeared for all of four seconds, jumping out of Soundwave's chest alongside his partner Overkill, before disappearing for the rest of the episode. He never appeared in any other fiction, other than MTMTE profiles, and probably small cameos, I'm not really sure.

Slugfest, in contrast to Ratbat's calculated streak, is a complete and utter dimwit. His profile describes him as someone who follows orders, but it paranoid, watching for anyone who's talking about him behind his back. Of course, this had more than once caused the destruction of any message recorded in him when he thought the played message was talking about him. As well as the destruction of small towns as well, but who cares?

The name Slugfest, as awesome as it is, had not been reused again, probably due to trademark reasons.

BEAST MODE

Slugfest is a stegosaurus. Mainly green, with lavender-ish fins and legs. Like most beast-mode Cassettecons, Slugfest is wafer-thin, and has cassette markings on one side of his body. However, this is not noticeable because of the large and wide 'solar-powered vibro cannons' attached on his side. These cannons are as long as Slugfest's main body, and are chromed silver. Actually, I am really fond of Slugfest's weapons. What looks like solar panels align the upper part of the weapon, and the barrel looks like one of those funky alien/mad scientist death-rays. Well, what did you expect a vibro cannon to look like?

From the left side, he looks silly with the cassette decals, but from the right side he looks decently like a stegosaur. His stubby (and clawed) feet help him to balance properly, and he has yet to topple over, unlike his other animal-mode compatriots.

Slugfest's eyes are red, he has molded fangs and there's a tiny horn on the tip of his angry snout. Stegosaurs are supposed to be herbivores, and last I recall, they don't have horns. So I'll assume Slugfest's just misinformed. There is a rubsign on his side, just under the plates on his back.

Ah, yes, plates. These are spring-loaded, and if the bio is to be believed, are like teeth on a chainsaw. No idea how they could be used against an enemy, though. The tail is fat and stubby, like the head, and has two tiny blunt spikes on it.

Overall, Slugfest manages to look delightfully cute.

CASSETTE MODE

Slugfest's alternate mode is more obvious than Ratbat. Firstly, because anyone with eyes can see the legs and face tucked in, pretending not to be there. Still, detailings are still there on Slugfest. Orange and silver decorate the cassette, with the same words as those on Ratbat's (A, MC60 and Metal position). Not a good disguise, but then he's not likely to hide anyway. Like all other cassettes, he can fit in Soundwave or Blaster.

Compared to Ratbat or Ramhorn, his cassette mode is below-average.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Durability 9/10 What can I say? He's a brick with stubby legs. The worst that can happen to it are broken paint or missing accessories. Also, chrome.
Transformation 2/10 A no-brainer, although transforming into cassette is a bit fiddly due to the sail being on springs.
Fun 7/10 Surprisingly, I've taken a liking to Slugfest's colour scheme and character after buying his toy. Regardless, he's another minion for my Soundwave to boss around. "Slugfest, sit!"
Overall 8/10 Surprisingly, Slugfest is a well-designed toy with an awesome name, a cool profile and is an actually good toy. Now if only he wasn't such a wafer-thin figure...

****************************

Name: Ramhorn
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Accessories: Missile Launcher pod (2)

"Flee before me or else you'll fall before me."

Ramhorn is the first Autobot in the pack, and he's a rhinoceros. He was released in 1986, and was portrayed as a loyal, territorial Autobot. He had a bad temper. Ramhorn was first introduced to us in the 1986 Movie, appearing alongside Eject, Rewind and Steeljaw among Blaster's new minions allies, defending the communications room from the Decepticon cassettes. He had more major roles later on throughout season 3, usually called upon by Blaster to beat bad guys up. He totally owned a Dark Guardian in one episode. I think he spoke a couple of lines too, but my memory's not as good as it used to be. Ramhorn appeared in the UK-exclusive Space Pirates arc, but had a minimal role, fighting the Quintessons under Arcee's command while Hot Rod reactivated Metroplex. I don't think he appeared anymore in the Marvel series.

Ramhorn did appear in Dreamwave's third War Within series, which unfortunately went unconcluded. He had a one-panel cameo in War and Peace (and looked as thin as his toy, by the way) and appeared in MTMTE profile books as well. IDW haven't found a use for Ramhorn yet, but he had appeared on the cover for Spotlight Blaster in cassette mode (the artist was too lazy to give him a Cybertronian redesign, perhaps?). G1 Ramhorn's toy was packaged with Eject.

Unlike Ratbat and Slugfest, the name Ramhorn had been reused once in transformer-dom. In Beast Wars, Ram Horn (with a space) was a member of the Predacons' Tripredacus Council, who transformed into a rhinoceros beetle (see? He has a consistent alt mode. Always a rhino) and could combine with Sea Clamp and Cicadacon into the gestalt Tripredacus.

BEAST MODE

Ramhorn is an impressive Cassettebot. His sculpting makes him a pretty realistic (if tall) rhinoceros. Scratch that, a rhinoceros with two massive badass weaponry latched on to his sides. Ramhorn's main colour is brownish-orange, with golden eyes. His giant missile racks are chromed golden, and the joints on his legs are chromed silver. He has a rubsign pasted on his left shoulder, which of course reveal an Autobot insignia.

Ramhorn's two large horns on his snout, his tail and his ears really make him look adorably threatening, like Slugfest. It certainly won't be hard imagining him barreling through a wave of Decepticon cassettes. Ramhorn has a rather impressive set of articulation. His neck and tail are on fold-out hinge joints due to transformation. Each leg has three joints, on the knee, ankle and hip. That makes Ramhorn the most posable among the group.

His overall look is a bulky, powerful barreling machine, and with his large body it's not hard to imagine him trotting around the Autobase, ready to ram any intruder first without asking. He looks powerful enough to ram whole tanks over. And with G1 Brawl, it's possible. I mean, he totally ransacked a Dark Guardian (essentially a black Omega Supreme) with one blow. One blow.

Ramhorn's weapons deserve a mention here. They are golden, although silver chrome would've suited the paint scheme better, methinks. Ramhorn carries sqaure-ish missile racks, each seemingly carrying three warheads and having some sort of targetting device on top. Ramhorn's missile racks look powerful and threatening, unlike his set-mate, Steeljaw, who looks seriously outgunned standing next to Ramhorn. I mean, Steeljaw has these flimsy things, while Ramhorn looks for all the world that he could charge through a battalion of enemies... truly Ramhorn was made for crashing through enemies in the battlefield.

Like most G1 toys, Ramhorn's sculpt has non-painted details of fake panels, rivets and pistons. Ramhorn's paint job is not in any way garish, yet he does not look plain either. Also, he has big guns, a factor that many recent Autobots (save movie Ironhide) neglect. A nice toy and a good troop builder to anyone's Autobot forces.

CASSETTE MODE

Remove his weapons, flip his head and tail into concealment, and fold his legs into position. Bam, you have a cassette. Like Ratbat, Ramhorn really looks like a cassette. There are some telltale piston details that reveal he's more than meets the eye, but unlike Slugfest, nothing too revealing.

Unlike his Decepticon case-mates, Ramhorn doesn't have 'Metal Position' tampographed, only 'A' and 'MC60'. He still has the painted fake spools, as well as molded grooves.

Ramhorn's main paint is silver, white and vermillion borders. Helps his chromes feet to blend in. Overall, a better cassette mode than most other cassettes I could mention, and this includes universal favourites like Laserbeak and Ravage.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Durability 8/10 Nothing that could break off, although Ramhorn's tail seems fragile. Ramhorn's legs and weapons are chromed, so watch those.
Transformation 1/10 A most simple flip-out transformation.
Fun 5/10 He's alright, I guess, but I don't have a Blaster. If I had, he would've gotten a 7 or 8.
Overall 7/10 Ramhorn's a decent toy, fairly posable with a rather realistic sculpt. The cassette mode is excellent and weapons are amazing. He is, surprisingly, an interesting toy, and looks good on display next to my Autobots. At the very least, he looks like a rhino with heavy duty weapons slapped onto him, which is what he's supposed to be. He's one of the better cassette molds, even if he's not iconic. Yet.

****************************

Name: Steeljaw
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Tracker
Accessories: Solar-powered pellet guns (2)

"What the eyes don't see, the nose knows."

Last but not the least, we have Steeljaw, the lion. Basically, he should be Ravage's nemesis. Ravage's a cat. So's Steeljaw. Ravage excels in disappearing, Steeljaw's a tracker. Sadly, the two never came to blows other than during TFTM, I think.

Like Ramhorn, Steeljaw was first introduced in the Movie when Blaster called on his cassettes to battle the Decepticon cassettes. Steeljaw would later appear throughout season 3, although it's usually alongside Blaster, Ramhorn or the other cassettes. In the Marvel comics, Steeljaw appeared in UK's Space Pirates arc alongside Ramhorn. He had a rather major role in G2 comics, though, and he was part of a team sent to stop a rebuilt Megatron. Megatron killed Steeljaw with one shot. But then, everyone who faced the new Megatron died, so Steeljaw wasn't that bad.

Steeljaw appeared in Dreamwave's unresolved War Within 3 and had a one panel cameo in their second miniseries. Like Ramhorn, Steeljaw's yet to appear in IDW comics, though a full shot of his Cybertronian lion mode had appeared in the cover of Spotlight Blaster.

In Transformers: Animated, there's a Steeljaw who appeared in a cameo.

BEAST MODE

Steeljaw is the one that fails to shine in this set. Sorry lion-fans, but I'm just not impressed with Steeljaw. Comparing him with his fellow Autobot Ramhorn, or with his Decepticon counterpart Ravage, or with any other Cassettes I've seen, Steeljaw must rank really low. First of all, his paint job isn't that flattering. He's coloured pale orange, very pale lemon-y yellow, and has silver chrome in between his legs. It's a very... neon paint job. Not as bad as the likes of Skyquake and Quickswitch, but he fails to deliver. I mean, Ramhorn is practically almost a single colour and he looks great. The likes of the gestalts, or G1 Spinister, or G1 Scorponok, or Slugfest, has neon paint that should make them look like candygram, but they manage to look great. Steeljaw doesn't. It looks bland, and pretty ugly.

This is worsened by the lack of detail to emphasize his beast mode. From a distance, anyone could tell that Ramhorn's a rhino. Buzzsaw and Laserbeak are birds. Slugfest's a stegosaur. Ravage's a jaguar or a puma. Ratbat's a bat. Okay, so Ravage might look like a dog, but still, you get the idea. Steeljaw... I can't even tell he's supposed to be a lion until I read his MTMTE profile. For all I know, you could call him a tiger or a winged creature and I'd believe it.

I mean, he has the basic feline face but his body design fails to deliver. He has a stern face, a 'Lion King' nose (Steeljaw came out way before Simba did, though) and his ears. Beyond that, his legs and tail look like any other four-legged animal, and his mane, represented by molded grooves, isn't really eye-catching, especially not with the two wing/guns obstructing it. As with the other cassettes, molded machinery details can be found around Steeljaw's body.

Steeljaw's profile never stated what weapons he uses, instead emphasizing on his smelling skills. After a quick search, I found (was it on a Universe profile or an instruction sheet? Can't remember...) that Steeljaw's weapons are solar-powered pellet blasters. Or something. Whatever they are, they look more like undersized wings with gun barrels attached to it.

Steeljaw's neck and head has articulation but it's very basic. The legs are posable like Ramhorn's or Ravage's, but the upper leg parts (the pale yellow ones) are... awkwardly sculpted and make posing... odd. The legs don't move as fluidly as Ravage and Ramhorn. And the tail's posable. That's about it. His mouth can't open and close. Very, very ironic for someone named Steeljaw. By the way, the jaw's plastic. Not chrome.

Of course, there's a silver Autobot rubsign on his left side, although in my opinion, it would've worked better if it were on his back, on top of his hind legs. Still...

Overall, a mediocre lion mode. I actually like Steeljaw's character if not his paint job, so...

CASSETTE MODE

Steeljaw's cassette mode is a virtual mess. Ratbat and Ramhorn look brilliant in cassette mode, and the likes of Eject/Rewind, Frenzy/Rumble, Laserbeak/Buzzsaw and Ravage has passable microcassette modes. Even Slugfest and Overkill has a considerably plain colour scheme, although those two don't make really good disguises.

Steeljaw's orange and yellow form is painted with a weird sunshine pattern, with orange, tangerine, vermillion and black going all over each other. Worse, the spools are painted red, unlike his case-mates' more realistic brown. There's 'MC60', 'A' and 'Metal Position' on his form. No A, though. However, Steeljaw's haphazard parts break up the paintjob too much, causing in a very... garish cassette mode.

When Steeljaw is viewed from his cassette side, he looks really silly indeed.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Durability 7/10 As with Ramhorn, Steeljaw's legs and weapons are chromed. Also, his tail seems fragile as well.
Transformation 3/10 An extra step compared to Ramhorn, which is pulling the body to make him longer. Still, a kid could do it.
Fun 7/10 Come on, he's a winged lion! He's Ravage's antithesis! And he also happens to not look like a real lion...
Overall 5.5/10 A mixed bag. Not the worst toy I've seen per se, but compared to Ratbat, Slugfest and Ramhorn, Steeljaw's my least favourite in this set. The other tree did a decent job of looking like what they're supposed to be, and they had weapons that looked effective. Their paint job helps, too. Steeljaw's the worst of the group.

*****************************

OVERALL: 8/10 for collectors, 3/10 for most people. Let's face it. These guys may feel nostalgic, but they are strictly only for collectors. Mainstreamers won't love these guys... they look outdated! The only one who I can recommend for the price we have to shell out for this set is Ratbat, and even then he's very fragile. The toys themselves are not bad per se, but it's more of the problem of price, really. In retrospect I'd rather have the money. But still, I really enjoy playing with these four, and it's cheaper than shelling out cash to buy the original G1 versions. I'm perfectly happy with what they are, and I'm waiting for more reissues. I want Overkill and the Cassette combiners!

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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:47 pm

Pictures:
1) Cassette modes + weapons
2) Beast modes
3) Ratbat, the new and the old
Attachments
Encore3.jpg
Encore2.jpg
Encore1.jpg

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Cliffjumper
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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:28 pm

He really is crap, isn't he? I might have been more tolerant of the guy's failing if it wasnt for all the fools going "ZOMG TOSTER ROBOT SO COOL!!!", but when you think about it, he turns into a box with a string on the end. The robot mode's crap as well - too big to be cute (Legends size, or even Minicon size might have worked), can't stand up properly most of the time... Shit figure.

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Post by RID Scourge » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:55 pm

I like him on account of the fact that he was in that Mountain Dew commercial when the first movie came out. :up:

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Cliffjumper
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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:06 pm

Congratulations, you're the reason we get served up shit like this.

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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:28 am

I have to agree with Cliffy. Everyone keeps thinking that a toaster would be soooo cool. Including myself, before I got the toy. In person, Ejector looks like shit. His face's the problem, really. It follows an early concept art instead of the movie's more Bayformer-ish design... and then made it worse by giving him weird eyes and bulges.

Could be much better.

EDIT: Don't know how the Overall section was '6'. It's supposed to be four.

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burnitall
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Pics

Post by burnitall » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:33 pm

Pics? Here you go.
Attachments
ROTFicecreamtruck_robot3.JPG
ROTFicecreamtruck_robot2.JPG
ROTFicecreamtruck_robot1.JPG
ROTFicecreamtruck_alt2.JPG
ROTFicecreamtruck_alt1.JPG
Image

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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:42 pm

Thank you sooooooo much, Burnitall! You're awesome!

I've added some more details into the review.... Not sarcastic enough, IMO.

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ROTF Blazemaster Deluxe Review-[PROOFED]

Post by ElectricGecko » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:22 pm

Here's my review. Read 'em and weep. Pics to follow shortly!


ROTF Movie Deluxe Class Blazemaster

Name: Blazemaster
Function: Autobot Nutjob

Technical Specifications:
Strength: 5
Intelligence: 8
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 6
Courage: 10
Fireblast: 5
Skill: 9

“There are a lot of Autobots who think Blazemaster is a little haywire. He likes to hover over Decepticon squads and when his targets notice him, he drops his payload of corrosive gel right on their heads.”

The Autobots have always been short on air support, so the ROTF line comes to the rescue with Blazemaster: the Autobot news helicopter cum gel-flinging psychopath. In concept, what’s not to like? So what if he didn’t actually appear in the movie (Is it really any better than Jolt, who appeared in the film for under ten seconds?)? So what if this figure is grossly out of scale with almost all other toys in the ROTF line? Some of us wanted an Autobot helicopter, and we got one (The 2007 release of Evac – a sad redeco of Blackout – didn’t count). But the moral of the story here is to be careful what you wish for.

The Blazemaster name originally graced a little known and little loved G1 Micromaster, so this dude’s low on the nostalgia appeal. His absence from the movie also removes yet another selling point. If you’re buying him, you’re probably picking him up because you think the very concept – an Autobot news chopper – is vaguely cool, and the box art tempted you … just like it tempted me.

I hereby seriously suggest you resist the temptation.

Vehicle mode:

Blazemaster’s vehicle mode is a news helicopter of unknown make and model. It bears a strong resemblance to a Bell 407, only with a spiffy shrouded tail rotor. On the body (painted quite an attractive gold and blue) are the words “Channel 7 Action News” and the requisite Autobot insignia. Apparently there really is a Channel 7 Action News in Detroit, but I digress.

The helicopter mode is this toy’s best feature. It looks nice, has a great paint job, and its blue tinted windows really add a certain touch of class. If you look closely, you can see Blazemaster’s face staring out from the inside of the cockpit; it’s a nice touch. The one downside is the rotor assembly: it’s made of white, unpainted PVC plastic and looks very cheap and bulky when juxtaposed with the highly detailed copter.

Now, Hasbro seems unable to release a Transformers helicopter these days without giving it a push-button spinning rotor function – often at the cost of articulation or appearance. Well, there’s a little button on the side of Blazemaster that you can press to spin the blades, and for once, I’m happy to report that the blades actually spin! For those of you that had the misfortune of purchasing the 2007 Blackout figure, you’ll remember that internal friction in that mechanism made those blades stop spinning the second you stopped pressing the button. Here they spin freely long after you’ve pressed, and it’s a nice little feature.

So all in all, I have little to complain about with this vehicle mode. It’s got little flip-down wheels for easy display and looks nice on a shelf.

When you think about it, Blazemaster is actually one of the largest Autobots in the movie universe. This toy’s 1:75 scale means that Blazemaster would actually stand 37 feet tall in robot mode, dwarfing even Optimus Prime. Maybe that’s why his tech specs are so high.

And now for the bad news.

Robot mode:

Oh dear, sweet Lord Almighty. What a mess. To begin with, the transformation from vehicle to robot is confusing and convoluted. The instructions are full of poor visual aids, and the finished transformation doesn’t totally match the robot mode on the box art. In short, I’m still not sure whether I’ve transformed this guy correctly. He never fits together quite right, and if the instructions are that vague, you know you’ve got a problem.

Speaking of box art, take a look at the photo once more. Notice the large amount of spiffy gold paint on the robot mode? Well, take most of that and replace it with cheap, white plastic. I can’t help but feel seriously cheated here. This isn’t like the recent case of deluxe Jolt, where some of the paint detail was scaled back due to cost-cutting measures on the part of Hasbro. No, this robot looks totally different from his picture on the box – different in a very, very, very bad way.

Once you manage to get him into robot mode, you’ll notice that his articulation is extremely limited. He has giant arms that can’t really move – and pop off frequently – along with a teeny tiny body, and thin little bird legs. If you can get him to stand up, you’re doing well. I give full marks to Hasbro for trying to break away from a strictly humanoid robot, but this bird-man is really one to be avoided.

There are other irritations, of course. The whole helicopter tail assembly is supposed to fold over and attach to the robot’s back, but there’s no way to click this component into place. It just sits there, ready to fall down at a moment’s notice.

Nothing can compare, though, to the terrible travesty of the ‘combat blades.’ The helicopter’s rotor component just sits on top of a peg when in vehicle mode, and thus pulls off freely. (That means that you’ll probably remove the rotor before even attempting transformation.) Once you’ve gotten to robot mode, however, you split this rotor component in two and attach each half to either arm to form ‘blades.’

The problem is that the one blade has no effective way of really attaching to the robot. It loosely fits into a semicircle hole in the arm, and falls out with ease (You really have to see this to believe how poorly it’s been executed. All it would have taken to fix the situation would have been a plastic peg to fit the rotor on, but no such luck). The other set of blades, meanwhile, stays attached to the push-button spinner assembly. In robot mode, the button is supposed to spin the ‘combat blade.’ It doesn’t. It wiggles the combat blade a bit. And Decepticons everywhere run in fear.

The worst part about this whole situation, though, is the fact that this spinner mechanism on the one arm is totally loose, meaning that the blade just hangs down limp when you’re not trying to spin it. This makes the pose on the box (where both blades stick out parallel to the arms) utterly impossible without hand support.

I suppose you could just remove the blades entirely, but it’s a shame because the designers could have fixed this problem easily with only a few slight design modifications.

Is there anything positive to say about the robot mode? Well, the head looks great. The paint job’s decent on the face, and the light piping in the eyes sort of works when you hold the figure directly up to a light bulb. Blazemaster’s head is mounted on a ball joint, but I’m not sure why, because his head’s movement is severely restricted by the large plastic panel right behind it. At least the thought was there.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 10 Transforming Blazemaster is fiddly and difficult even when you know what you’re doing – which is kind of hard, because the instructions are clear as mud. There’s a good kind of complicated (ROTF Leader Prime, for instance), and a bad kind of complicated. This one’s firmly in the latter category.

Durability: 3 Hah. This guy’s held together with a whole bunch of very thin, jointed plastic pieces just waiting to snap. He’s not quite as fragile as Scalpel, but whatever you do, don’t drop him in mid-transformation.

Fun: 2 I had a little bit of fun with the helicopter mode, but the second I started the transformation process, all I felt was the sharp bite of defeat. This guy is negative fun. He sucks all the fun out of the room; he’s like an anti-toy.

Price: 1 I got this guy at half-price and I still want my money back.

Overall: 2 The two points here come from the nice vehicle mode, but really, if you wanted a model helicopter, you would have bought a model helicopter, right? No, I bought a transformer, but all I got was a letdown. I didn’t really expect the robot mode to be highly poseable, but I at least expected it to look cool and function adequately. Instead, I get an ugly toy that falls apart when you stare at it wrong. Along with Ejector, this is one of the worst toys to come out of the ROTF line thus far.

And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Post by numbat » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:44 pm

I finally caved and bought Jolt, and I am very glad I did!

While I knew I loved the car mode, I am amazed by how great to robot mode is as well (and equally amazed at how bad the Hasbro photographers manage to make it look - it's not the most complex transformation ever by a long way, and he's so poseable!). Jolt shines as a fantastic figure in this line.

I could provide photos, if I get a chance to snap some later.

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Cliffjumper
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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:03 pm

Yeh, that Hasbro image taken from bang in front of him has a lot to answer for. I've even got the hang of the feet now; probably my favourite Movie deluxe (Bonecrusher loses out on this largely because it's so damn frustrating he isn't three inches taller). My only slight quibble is the eyes perhaps need to be a bit bigger, what with the light piping being blocked off.

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Post by numbat » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:38 pm

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the feet - I have mine so the rear halves are vertical. That looks quite nice, and clumpy, but does mean he's standing on the peg of his right foot... Does't seem to present balance issues though - Jolt is solid! I have got the shoulder-wing-things so they stick out the back, like in your screenshots - thanks for those! Although the wings do look nice folded to stick aboce the shoulders, it's not accurate, and I like the sense of all these spiky-bits pulled out Jolt's back - seems to go well with the name (and very nicely with his more rounded front - he looks a bit like his torso is a comet!).

I know what you mean with the eyes - I don't think they need to be bigger, but less ROUND and perhaps brighter blue (I mean, come on, it's not as if they were restrained with their use of bright blue on this guy!), so they wouldn't contrast so much and look so bugeyed. Still, only a very minor gripe. The designers have done a top-notch job on this guy (shame the photographers didn't make use of it - this line is seems to be suffering more than usual for awful photos - Mixmaster is another prime example that springs to mind, but the fellows can be forgiven with him - I had to study the concept art before getting him to look good!)

I'll be taking a closer look at his robot mode when I get the film on DVD, for sure! (But I always planned that - you don't get a chance to see the guy in the film! Such a shame!)

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