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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's Review: PRID Rumble

Name: Rumble
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Prime Robots in Disguise (PRID) Deluxe Class

I had thought that I’d be passing on the Prime toys – I wasn’t a fan of the style of Animated, and thought that Prime would be similar. How wrong I was! Prime features a hybrid design style, with both the complexity of the live action film transformations but with anime style streamlined robots. The high quality of execution in the toys lured me in and I have found myself hooked as never before on a Transformers toy line. (Confusingly there were two Prime toy lines – First Edition [FE] which was short-lived and featured extremely complex engineering, and Prime Robots in Disguise [PRID] which is a much larger line with generally simpler engineering, but frankly, both have superb figures to offer.)

Many of the Prime characters (in fact, almost all) have their roots in G1, which in some ways is a shame as the series has reinvented them so much in some cases they would perhaps have been better off as new, unique Transformers. In fact, in some cases a radical rethink of a G1 character for Prime may serve as a deterrent to collectors.

Regardless, I’m always more interested in the toy design than the character, and so have gotten over this hang-up fairly easily on almost all occasions.

Rumble is such an example, although he does not appear in the Prime TV series itself. The G1 character transformed into a red and black cassette, and was one of Soundwave’s minions. As far as I can gather, Prime’s Rumble is also one of Soundwave’s minions, but now finds himself transforming into a blue car, taking his cues from G1 Frenzy – Rumble’s twin. There are definitely nods to the G1 design (such as the optional pile drivers), but he’s really radically different in most respects.

He’s also rather hard to come by, and commands high prices online. I was lucky enough to come by him at Sainsbury’s at a discounted price, so he has less to live up to for me. Fortunately, he proves to be a really nifty wee Transformer…

Alternate Mode:

As already noted, Prime Rumble does not transform in to a cassette like his G1 counterpart. Instead, he transforms into a souped up compact car, which reminds me rather of a NED’s Vauxhall Nova, which seems appropriate for a hyper troublemaking mischievous Decepticon.

As noted previously, Rumble takes his brother Frenzy’s G1 colours in Prime, and is a rather intense pale blue. It’s initially off putting, it must be said, but it grows on you… The windows are clear red plastic, which is quite a contrast, while paint picks out the front grille and lights in black and gunmetal is used for the front bumper. Nothing else is treated to paint (the rear looks rather plain, as the rear window is unpainted blue, as are the lights). A Decepticon logo is painted in purple on where the car company insignia would normally be on the front and rear. However, the front insignia is printed on the black grille, so does not stand out well. It leaves me pining for the days where Hasbro would outline the tampographed faction symbols in white, but budget cuts mean this is a thing of the past.

Rumble measures 4 ½” in car mode, making him rather small. But, like many Prime figures, he unfolds remarkably during his transformation.

It’s also worth noting that there is nowhere unobtrusive to store Rumble’s pile drivers in car mode – but that shouldn’t come as a surprise because they’re huge! They can be plugged into MechTech sockets on the sides of the car (moulded to look like fuel caps), as Gatling guns, though. This looks cooler than you’d think, but would have tied together better had the pile drivers been painted with blue as in the stock photos…

All in all, though, Rumble’s car mode is good fun.

Robot Mode:

Rumble has a simple but unique and extremely satisfying transformation – I can’t help but pick him up and play around with him when he’s on my desk. The front of the car folds into his lower legs perfectly, too – well worth noting. Oh, and it’s not as simple a transformation as you’d expect looking at photos of the robot mode…

The result is a design which has nods to the G1 design, but is largely new. Still present and dominating is that blue, but now more black is revealed (upper arms, hands, thighs, feet, head) solid yellow (shoulders, knees and crotch), red (waist) and two shades of silver pick out details. Two eye shapes are picked out in red light piping on Rumble’s chest, which hark back subtly to the G1 cassette. The shoulder pillars also evoke the cannons that could be stored on the G1 character’s back. Of course, Rumble has half a car hanging off each arm, which on the face of it would seem rather kibble-tastic, but in fact this ends up looking rather cool, and the halves can be adjusted to suit your preferences – of course, this is a major departure from the G1 design, but hey, this is Prime, not G1.

The head sculpt bears zero resemblance to the G1 character, but is really neat, with simple angles cast in black and a face mask picked out with gunmetal paint. The eyes and crest have gorgeous red light piping. The result gives Rumble a rather impish character.

Rumble comes complete with optional pile drivers. Unfortunately, these do not have the blue painted sections shown on the box, and are plain black plastic. However, they have been designed to fit neatly into each hand, and looks as if his arms have converted when in place. You can pose him using the pile drivers, although they are a little on the short side, meaning he has to over-extend his arms and splay his legs just to touch the ground with them. It does look rather cool though, and he generally remains in this pose when on display on my shelves. When Rumble’s not using his pile drivers, these can be stored unobtrusively on his shoulders. The pile drivers can also be used as Gatling guns, and can be combined into a single über cannon if you’re so inclined – pretty versatile accessories!

Standing upright Rumble is 5 ½” (14cm) tall, but even when crouched to use his pile drivers he stands 5”(13cm). Combined with his bulk, this makes Rumble an imposing Deluxe Class Transformer who will dominate your display (unlike his master, Soundwave, who is extremely slight by comparison). He’s also very well articulated (with 17 meaningful points), and has great balance, meaning there are lots of display options. His transformation design does mean he is missing a waist joint though (in fact, it’s the ‘Revealers’ gimmick which prevents it – I’m not convinced that’s a worthwhile trade-off myself).

All in all, PRID Deluxe Rumble is an awesome figure, and well worth picking up if you can find him at retail.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 10 – PRID Deluxe Rumble has a really fun and satisfying transformation which is also unique. It provides two perfect modes, and uses no false parts even. I can’t fault it at all.
Durability: 8 – Rumble seems to be made of sturdy plastic, but I worry slightly that those shoulder pillars could snap off. The pile drivers also fit a little too snugly into his hands, meaning the pegs could feasibly snap.
Fun: 9 – PRID Rumble is great fun – but could have been improved by having slightly longer pile drivers, allowing for more dynamic pummelling action!
Aesthetics: 9 – PRID Rumble has a really cool design, but the solid primary colours (and the shade of blue!) are not ideal.
Articulation: 9 – Rumble is well articulated, although the poses with the pile drivers are limited by their length. Due to his transformation design, he also lacks waist articulation.
Value/Price: 8 – If you can get PRID Deluxe Rumble at retail, he’s certainly worth the £12.99 GBP. He’s most definitely worth the £8.65 GBP I paid on sale in Sainsbury’s – a real bargain! I would struggle to recommend him at the inflated prices online, but he is a good figure.
Overall: 9 – PRID Deluxe Rumble is a really neat, well designed Transformer. He’s let down a little by his colours, which do border on horrendous. There are nice but subtle nods to his G1 namesake, but ultimately PRID Rumble is a unique and very different design, even if he is rocking the old pile drivers. One of the better offerings of what is an excellent toy line (Prime).
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