Dark of the Moon Rav Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Generation One, Mini-Con, Mini-Con

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: September 2011
Price Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Big Bad Toy Store, Limited Exclusive (Ollie's etc.)
Accessories: None

When Hasbro creates toys for the retail market, there are different segments. You have the "big retailers" such as Toys R Us and Wal-Mart who order tons of stuff. They generally get the main line stuff. However, there are other store chains which may not be as gigantic but still want to carry "Transformers" items on their shelves, but competing with larger stores would be quite difficult so they ask Hasbro to create smaller, cheaper toys for them. The solution often time takes the form of exclusive redecos of smaller figures in these markets such as last year's Mini-Con releases including Brake Neck and Swashplate.

For "Dark of the Moon", redecos of several Classics Mini-Cons were put out in limited release (initially as a Big Bad Toy Store exclusive). Each of these were beast based Mini-Cons with their colors based on the Generation one Dinobots! One of these releases is Rav, based on Swoop from the Dinobots Mini-Con team. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Like Dualor, I suspect the naming of this figure had more to do with holding onto a trademark than giving the figure an appropriate name. The name "Rav" first appeared in the "Beast Machines" toy line as a bird that could transform into a weapon, sort of a large scale version of a Targetmaster. In that context, giving the only aerial member of this team the name fits, except that as we'll see the deco more closely matches Swoop - which was the name of the figure in its first release several years ago!

Beast Mode:
Similar to Dualor, Rav has an instantly recognizable deco to any G1 Transformers fan. His plastic colors are silver, gold and blue. The blue in particular stands out quie a bit and shows how careful of a homage the designers were going for. In the days before the G1 Swoop toy was part of the Transformers line, there was an iteration of the toy with blue deco on it. While the Transformers Swoop figure itself had red in place of the blue, the blue made it into the animated series. The blue piece at the center of this figure pays homage to that history. The colors are nicely distributed, with the head, feet and part of the wings done in silver and the rest in a metallic gold color.

Tying Rav closer to his G1 counterpart are the paint colors used on the figure. The crest on his head is painted red and his eyes are blue. A bit of gold paint makes its way into the figure in the form of his feet. Some white color has been added to the back half of each wing, adding a welcome splash of bright color. Of course, Rav has to proper represent his Mini-Con sub-group and to that end a silver Mini-Con symbol is painted on the blue piece in the center. Altogether this deco looks absolutely awesome.

All of the joints on Rav are nice and tight, and in fact I found the wing joints a bit more tight than my original Classics Swoop!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Separate each front half of the wing from the back half.
  2. Swing the blue piece up.
  3. Swing the gold parts of the wings down and connect them to the tabs on the blue piece.
  4. Swing the end of each wing to form the feet.
  5. Rotate the silver part of the wings forward to form the arms.
  6. Push the beast mode head back to reveal Rav's face.

Robot Mode:
Rav's robot mode continues to pay homage to G1 Swoop and his toy's history as well as the animation model. Here, his upper body has most of the silver plastic. His shoulder joints and legs have metallic gold plastic. The chest piece winds up being the blue piece from the beast mode, which works out perfectly to pay homage to G1 Swoop.

Paint decos are done in gold, silver, white, red and blue. The gold is seen on his hands while the silver is used for the Mini-Con symbol that winds up in the center of his chest. White and blue are used in combination for his face while red is used on the crest of his head. These colors all come together and form a wonderful set of callbacks to Swoop.

All of Rav's joints are nice and tight so no worries about that. For those who love paying attention to the minute details, you can look under the right arm to see both the Hasbro and Tomy logos there, something the original version of the figure did not have.

Final Thoughts:
Rav is a beautiful Mini-Con homage to Swoop and the G1 Dinobots. I think it's super cool his pre-Transformers/G1 animated colors were used as well. I think it's fantastic and well worth adding to your collection!