Transformers Generation 2 1994 Toy Reviews: Ransack

in 1994, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation 2, Rotor Force

Transformers Generation 2

General Information:
Retailer: General (Toys 'R' Us, K-Mart, Bradlees etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Rotor launcher, Rotor Blades x 2

Images:

*Tech Specs courtesy of the Hartman brothers at The International Tech Specs Archive.

As Generation 2 moved along, more and more new molds were introduced along with more new sub-groups of Transformers. One of these sub-groups were the Rotorforce, a small group of Transformers (two Autobots and two Decepticons) whose gimmick involved their weapons. Each weapon had a spinning disc that you could turn a few times, press a button and launch, spinning like a blade. Ransack was one of the Decepticons in the Rotorforce. It is interesting to note that the initial, very limited, run of Rotorforce Decepticon figures had black discs, but the later (more common) run had red discs.

Vehicle Mode:
While their colors are fairly unrealistic, many Generation 2 vehicles were largely based on real life ones. Ransack is no exception. In his case, he is based on a Chance Vought F4U Corsair. For the most part, the design is dead on. It has the rounded main body with the raise cockpit at the center and the familiar gull winged design. What he does have that most Corsairs (as I understand it) didn't have are bombs attached to the wings. Of course, in reality these become the robot arms, but here their cylindrical shape seems likely that these were meant to be bombs (or really weird pontoons). Either way, the feature does not look intrusive or out of place at all.

Detail wise, the sculpt is simple, yet effective. The front nose has fans sculpted into it to resemble those in the turbine that turns the front propeller (here one of the rotor discs used as a weapon in robot mode). Line detail on the wings and main body give the illusion of metal panels all over the plane. Interestingly, Ransack only has a gun on the left wing (whereas the real life one could have six guns in all). Another nice little detail can be seen if you look in the cockpit window. Inside you'll see a seat for a pilot!

Ransack is mostly purple, with the bombs/robot arm pieces being green. Paint applications include arrows on his tailfin (a detail that real life Corsairs did sometimes have) along with some lines on the wings. Stickers are sparse, but present. On either side are stickers saying "DC" (standing for Decepticon presumably) and the left wing has a G2 Decepticon logo sticker on it (shaped similarly to the "star" detail seen in this picture of a real Corsair). The cockpit cover is dark, translucent red plastic, which looks fantastic against the purple that makes up most of the vehicle.

Overall, a very nicely done vehicle mode featuring a very classic vehicle.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the disc and the front of the plane.
  2. Detach the "bombs" from the wings and swing them down.
  3. Flip up the top panel of the vehicle mode and swing it forward.
  4. Swing the middle tail fin down to the left.
  5. Flip up the middle layer of the vehicle's central body and swing it back.
  6. Twist the back piece around (so the "DC" stickers are now upside down)
  7. Swing the rear section you just created down.
  8. Swing the section with the wings on it forward to form the robot's back.
  9. Swing the wings back.
  10. Raise the panel with the cockpit on it up to complete the robot back.
  11. Flip the robot feet out.
  12. Attach the rotor weapon to the robot fist and attach the disc to the weapon.

Robot Mode:
What I like most about Ransack's robot mode is that it does not look like what you would expect from the vehicle mode. His head isn't just the front or back of the plane turned around, his legs aren't just part of the plane split in an awkward half. His transformation is quite original (and really has yet to be repeated as of 2004).

Starting from the top, Ransack's robot head has a nice, fierce look to it. His eyes are "visor eyes", but angled to look mean. His simple mouthplate/crest head design betrays no real emotions other than grim determination, just the way I like my Decepticons looking. The arms start regular sized at the shoulders, but wind up big on the lower arms since they also double has bombs. At the ends are fists molded into the lower arms with some nice lines etched into the thumb to give additional detail. The main body is the rear of the plane, and this the right and left tailfins form a bit of a wide set of hips, or if you prefer, some type of armor. The legs are unseen pieces in the vehicle mode, which is great since they have details all their own including rather long rectangluar knee guards. Though in general the plane wings are supposed to be swept all the way back, they look better brought to the front a little, adding the illusion of bulk to the toy.

No real color surprises here. Ransack's eyes are made of translucent red plastic and most of his body is purple except for the arms which are green. However, on interesting note is a bit of a white spray op used on the parts that would have been the underbelly of the vehicle mode. Here they translate visually onto his upper body and parts of his wings. I'm not really sure what the spray ops represent, they make the toy look less plain, but they're so light they really don't
do anything revolutionary.

Of course, this toy isn't just about the transformation and sculpt. He has an action feature! Or rather, the weapon does. With the disc on, twist it a few times, then press the button on the top of the weapon to see the disc fly! This works rather well and can be fun to use in your battles with Autobots. It's hardly a new toy concept to have a spinning/launching disc, but it was never quite used in this way for a Transformer until this point, so it's neat to see an old toy technique used on a "modern" toy.

Ransack is not the most posable Transformer in the world, but he's not horrible either. He has six points of articulation, three in each arm. While by modern day standards this seems almost anemic, but at the time, this was a small step in the right direction.

Final Thoughts:
Ransack has a neat sculpt, and is a rather unique Transformer in terms of transformation scheme. He's fun and looks good in both modes. Recommended.