"Reveal the Shield" Demolition Rumble Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Reveal the Shield, Scout

Reveal the Shield

General Information:
Release Date: Unreleased, originally intended for release some time between 2010-11
Price Point: $5-7.99 (Original intended price point)
Retailer: Intended for General Release
Accessories: Cannons x 2

Rumble

Back in 2010, a small line of Generations style figures were released under the banner Reveal the Shield. The idea revolved around the use of heat sensitive stickers on each figure, but really it gave Hasbro the chance to use the line as a "bridge" between the Classics era and what would become Generations.

Unfortunately, Reveal the Shield ended prematurely, and with that end some figures were left unreleased. One of these was a (then) new version of the Decepticon Rumble. Named "Demolition Rumble" (likely due to trademark reasons) the base sculpt for this figure would go on to be used for a Rumble/Frenzy two pack in Japan as part of their United line in 2011. Fun Publications would also use the sculpt (with a new head) as Rewind and Eject in 2014. The following year, Takara Tomy would release the sculpts again as part of their Transformers Adventure toy line.

Believe it or not, after all these releases I never had the chance to review this sculpt. However thanks to the wonders of the online collecting community, I have been able to obtain a pre-release sample of this figure to review! This was the copy of the figure sent to Hasbro for approvals before its intended release.

Robot Mode:
Demolition Rumble (or just "Rumble" if you prefer) represents a new take on the character. During this time period Hasbro was experimenting with changing up the forms of many classic characters. Some were inspired by their G1 counterparts, but others were reimagined. In Rumble's case, he was given the alt-form of a tank. Given such a dramatic change in alt-form, you would think that his robot mode would look very different than his G1 form and in some ways it does, but in others it looks a lot like it. Here's what carried over from the original Rumble figure and animation model:

  • Head: The head sculpt is based right off the head from the Rumble/Frenzy animation model. It features panels on either side of the head, a crest in the middle of the head and a face with visor eyes.
  • Chest: Rumble's chest armor features the same designs as G1 Frenzy and Rumble. They are meant to callback to his cassette drums, looking like two thick letter "I"'s on top of one another with wires running between them.
  • Legs: Each leg features a distinctive pattern from the knees to the feet. Some of these details come right from the stickers on G1 Rumble's legs, especially the series of horizontal lines on the front of the lower legs.

A lot of this figure also represents a new form for Rumble. His arms and feet are new designs. The arms have the tank treads on them while the feet look like they have claws sculpted into them. He also has what appear to be rocket launchers on either side of his head. The tank turret is mounted on his back. This gives him a much bulkier form than G1 Rumble and it actually looks pretty cool. I would argue half the treads hanging off the back of the arms is a bit much, but he balances fine so I'm good with them.

As you looked at the figure images in this review, you probably wondered if I had made some mistake in calling this figure "Rumble" when his colors are based on the G1 Frenzy action figure. However, I believe the intent was to give a nod to the never ending online FIRRIB (Frenzy is red, Rumble is blue) debate. And let's be real, if you get your hands on this unreleased figure, you can call it Steve if you want to, no one will stop you.

Rumble is cast in three shades of blue that run the spectrum between dark blue, a lighter metallic blue and an even lighter blue on the turret. Black plastic is also used for smaller parts like parts of the pile drivers and treads on his arms. Paint colors on this figure include gold, silver and red. The gold is used on the chest and lower legs. The silver is found on the face and legs. Red is used to paint his eyes and the area under his knees. It is a cool looking deco and it does a nice job of calling back to the original G1 Frenzy toy. Another callback to that figure are his weapons, which are painted gold like some versions of G1 Frenzy.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three in each arm and leg. Given that this is a pre-release sample, I am impressed by how tight all the joints are. This figure was released in the era when Hasbro was experimenting with the use of "C" clips for attaching weapons, so there are no 5mm ports here. Instead, the blasters attach to his arms using these clips or you can store them on the turret in the back. But wait, there's more! Rotate the arms around and swing the back of the arms down. This points his pile drivers down towards the floor like he would do in the G1 cartoon. Press the parts painted silver on the sides and this activates the spring loaded mechanisms to extend the pile drivers! This is super fun and a really cool feature.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the blasters and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the feet up.
  3. Swing the pile driver section of each arm up.
  4. Rotate the forearms inward, lining up the treads on the forearms with those on the other half of the arms.
  5. Swing the chest plate up.
  6. Swing the robot legs and mid-body up, tabbing in the bottom of the feet against the back of the chest panel.
  7. Push the arms in against the middle of the tank mode.
  8. Swing in each robot forearm and hand to form the front of the tank.
  9. Attach the blasters to the tank turret.

Vehicle Mode:
Rumble's vehicle mode is a tank featuring some serious firepower. The tank body is fairly standard, with a rectangular shape and the treads on the sides (lined by armor panels). The turret features two large cannons and a smaller machine gun in the middle. The tank looks really cool and while it is not Rumble's traditional form, it suits the character's destructive personality.

This mode mostly shows off blue and black plastic. The two main shades of blue show up here, with the darker blue focused on the main body of the tank and the lighter blue on the turret. The gold blasters look great contrasting against the blue. Fitting in with the theme of Reveal the Shield, there is a heat sensitive sticker on the top of the turret. Apply some heat and a Decepticon symbol shows up.

In this form the turret can turn, but sadly due to being "C Clip" weapons, the cannons cannot swing up. There is a bar on the back of the turret that allows you to attach additional "C Clip" weapons. The only unfortunate design flaw in this mode involves the pile drivers. In this mode they wind up towards the back of the vehicle. If you hold on to the sides, it is really easy to accidentally press the buttons and activate them. This winds up extending the treads so they can wind up out of alignment.

Updates (10/31/19):

  • Twitter user @warcabbitMWM has pointed out that this vehicle mode is really a SPAAG (Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Weapon).
  • You can turn the cannons up. The "C Clips" lead to ball joints, so if you turn the weapons upside down they can turn upward.
  • The black section of the turret can also turn, adding a bit of play value to the vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
Unlike most of my reviews, this is not one where I can recommend you run out and purchase this specific figure since only a few examples are floating around out there and they would easily cost you $100+ USD on the aftermarket. That said, you can find versions of it on the aftermarket via the Transformers United or Transformers Adventure releases. The pair will typically run you anywhere from $60-75 USD. Less common are the Transformers Collector's Club exclusive Rewind and Eject figures, and even when they are available they will cost you a pretty penny.

Pros:

  • Cool interpretation of the character that suits his personality.
  • Offers an "official" blue Rumble figure for fans of the FIRRIB debate.
  • Fun play features including the piledrivers.

Cons:

  • The buttons to activate the piledrivers are very sensitive.
  • I would have preferred 5mm pegs and ports over the "C Clip" style weapons.