Generations Ruination Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Deluxe, Generation One, Generations, Wreckers

Generations

Ruination General Information:
Release Date: July 2013
Price Point: Sold separately, average of $12-14.99 each figure
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-mart etc.)
Accessories: All Wrecker weapons & parts

Images:

Way back in the early 2000's, the Japanese Car Robots toy line brought the focus of the "Transformers" toy line back to vehicles (with some beasts tossed in) after years of focusing on the "Beast Wars" era. When Hasbro brought many of these figures to the United States, they included a redeco of Valdigus named "Ruination". If you've been reading my various Wrecker team member reviews (see links below) you'll know the color schemes of the "Ruination" characters have played a role in the Wreckers team's deco choices. Their combined form is a different incarnation of Ruination, this time a giant robot formed from five Autobots instead of Decepticons. It's a circular and rather meta reference since the Wrecker sculpts were all redecos/retools of Combaticon sculpts who in turn were based on the G1 Combaticon characters who were themselves repurposed and given new decos as the characters that formed Valdigus. If you've ever questioned whether Hasbro has an awareness of some of the lesser known aspects of "Transformers" history, the existence of this figure should put that question to rest!

Since this is a redeco/retool of a previous set of figures, I'd recommend checking out my review of Sand Diego Comic-Con Bruticus and the Wreckers (listed below). This review will focus on the differences between this version and Bruticus.

Like all the Wreckers, Ruination himself features a new head sculpt. This isn't a retool of Bruticus' head, it's a whole new one. It has similarities to Bruticus' head sculpt with long antennae on the sides, a crest in the middle and vents on either side of the head on the helmet section. However, the lines on this head sculpt are a lot more curved on the back. The rest of the detail is influenced by the character of Emirate Xaaron, the leader of the Autobot underground resistance in the Generation One comic book by Marvel Comics. One of the first appearances of the Wreckers involved Xaaron, so using his head as the Combiner's makes sense. The top of his head looks a bit like a crown and his mouth has a distinct design with two "teeth" like bars set vertically in between the top and bottom "lips". The "vent" lines on the sides of his head are also directly inspired by Xaaron. To any fan familiar with the character it's instantly recognizable and honestly, I never thought we'd see Xaaron in toy form in any way.

The new head is cast in gunmetal grey with silver details on the face and vents. His eyes are painted light blue. A majority of the parts here are orange with dark blue patches of detailing. Overall it looks great and since it's one of the first things your eyes will be drawn to, it provides an instant visual impact that differentiates this figure from its predecessor.

In terms of configuration, I have found that the one seen in my photos above is the best one overall. Traditionally Bruticus had the aerial members of the team as the arms and the ground based ones as the legs. Unfortunately while Whirl makes for a fine arm, the Topspin sculpt does not. This is largely due to the arm mode being disproportionately longer than all the other limbs, giving Ruination a fairly uneven appearance in this mode. However using the reverse, having the aerial members as legs and the ground based members as the arms works perfectly. First, I love the bulkiness having Roadbuster and Twintwist as the arms provides to the upper body. As for the legs, since Topspin is kind of long, being a leg that can be matched in length by Whirl. This helps him look tall. The combined effect is a tall, powerful looking combined form for the Wreckers!

In terms of colors, it isn't often that Combiners have colors that are coordinated with one another. The G1 Constructicons for instance are one example. More often than not, each individual character has their own distinct color scheme and they wind up looking like a mash-up of colors. This is the case with Ruination, but this isn't a bad thing. The colors work well overall since many of them are darker in tone. This includes the dark blue on Whirl, the green on Roadbuster and the gunmetal grey parts on Impactor. The silver and gunmetal tones found on many of the figures does a great job of giving the Combiner an industrial appearance. Despite their differences, the orange plastic and paint sections on all the limbs help offer a color continuity from section to section. This is least evident on Roadbuster but it makes up a heavy part of the torso, thighs and Whirl's deco.

A lot of the more intricate details on this figure are carry overs from the individual Wrecker decos. This includes the row of blue lines with an orange border on the leg and the "Wrecker" symbol right in the middle of Ruination's chest. Overall he looks great and winds up being surprisingly cohesive in color.

Ruination has at least seven points of articulation. I say "at least" since the limbs have some limited articulation in their limb forms - but this varies from figure to figure. At the very least the figure has five points of articulation, one for each limb and the head. While the Combaticon tools have been used quite a few times already, everything feels perfectly tight and well put together in this mode. I don't get any sense that pieces have become loose or that there is mold degradation going on.

For those curious, you can still combine all the weapons that originated with the Combaticons into one super weapon. For those who want to get meta, it is fun to note that Valdigus (and hence RiD Ruination) could also combine all their weapons into one "super" weapon. But what of the "extra" weapons included with the Wreckers? Have no fear. The Wreckers themselves all have enough holes on them (such as on Twintwist's legs or Whirl's skids) that you can find a place to attach all those weapon, making Ruination look even more badass!

Final Thoughts:
Ruination is a cool Combiner overall. I admit a part of my appreciation is just how meta the figure is. However I also think he is a solid looking figure on his own. The new head sculpt looks fantastic and I'm very glad you can use the extra Wrecker weapons in this form as well. Recommended, but keep in mind there's no boxed set of these guys out there (as of the writing of this review anyhow) so you're going to be hunting them down individually or finding retailers with sets.