Friday, 19 April 2013

Review: Beast Wars Ravage (Jaguar)

Today (as of starting writing this, though probably at least a week ago by the time anyone reads this) in the post I received my final Transformers: Beast Wars figure. Not to imply that I have all the Beast Wars figures released, but it's the final one that appeared in the cartoon (minus a proper toon-accurate Blackarachnia, which despite several attempts, neither Hasbo nor Takara have yet made).

Ravage turned up in the 3 part episode The Agenda. Taking full advantage of Beast Wars now definite sequel-ness to the original 80s Transformers series, Ravage is the exact same character as seen in that show, now rebuilt as a Predacon (aka 'Beast Wars baddie').

Ravage (technically 'Jaguar', his Japanese name, since he was a Japanese-only release) is a heavy retool of Transmetal Cheetor. The changes are basically to ensure that Ravage has the animal-head as seen in the show instead of the robot-head of Cheetor. As part of this he gets new hands with some spring-out pistols. There are barrel extensions, which can be stored on his rear legs (in a very G1-like manner), to make the guns more rifle-like, but I prefer them in their shorter form.

His chest opens up to reveal a Predacon image, which can be replaced (i.e. another supplied sticker can be stuck on top) with either G1 Megatron or a Decepticon logo. Odds of anyone actually doing this? Yeah, I doubt anyone would either.

Poseability is good, with articulated bits everywhere - including an articulated jaw! (Got to love articulated jaws - they're in the same league as removable helmets.) His appearance, despite the now much larger head than originally intended for the mould, is fab and very close to his on-screen counterpart. From front-on the gun-holding hands look a bit odd, due to the hand not being closed around the hilt. A necessary evil due to the need to have the guns flip back.

Though it's a good question whether we really need the guns to flip back. Regular hand-held ones would probably have done just as well.

Ravage's alternate mode is (almost) exactly the same as Cheetor's was (not a cassette as in the show!), although with the alterations there is an issue as to where exactly to store his arms. My personal preference goes against the instructions as I think it hides them slightly better, but it's still far from perfect. But look at it another way - is anyone actually going to have Ravage in 'cat' mode? He never used it in the cartoon.

As with all the Transmetal-series toys, it's wise to be careful with Ravage's vac-metal parts. Chipping is easy to do and impossible to reverse.

There's no denying that Ravage is pricey - both due to being a Japan-only release and also a much loved (and thus demanded) character. He's definitely worth it, however. He was cool in the 80s, again so in the Beast Wars cartoon and this toy is a lot of fun. With both him and Transmutate now in my hands, I can now say my Beast Wars collection is complete.

...Until someone does a proper Blackarachnia.

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