Release Date: April 7, 2016
Price Point: $399 in a boxed set with Primus registration, $299 for a bagged set (with General Cicadacon, General Ramhorn, General Sea Clamp & Predacon Tarantulas)
Retailer: Fun Publications (Botcon Exclusive)
Accessories: Hand/foot/weapon; Sword/Blaster
The theme for Botcon 2016 was the "Dawn of the Predacus", riffing off the "Beast Wars" Combiner character known as Tripredacus. The story told the tale of the fall of the Decepticons and the rise of the Predacons, featuring many Maximal and Predacon characters in their "pre-Beast Wars" forms. Botcon had played with this theme before in 2006 with the "Dawn of Future's Past" set, featuring vehicular forms for many Beast Wars characters. Interestingly this year's set seems more aligned with Hasbro's mass release figures, being labeled as "Combiner Wars" instead of "Timelines". That places this set of figures under the "Generations" banner instead.
In season two of "Beast Wars", the Decepticon Ravage appeared in the classic "The Agenda" trilogy of episodes which firmly cemented the connection between Generation One and Beast Wars. This time out we see Ravage in his "pre-Beast Wars" form with a vehicle form. This isn't the first time Ravage has had a vehicle form instead of a beast/storage device form. Many years ago there were two "vehicle Ravage" figures in the Alternators toy line including Battle Ravage.
The base sculpt for this figure is "Combiner Wars" Breakdown. It would later be given a new deco and tooling as Sunstreaker. The mold was then extensively reworked as Wheeljack. More recently the Breakdown mold came out as the G2 themed Breakdown. In 2016 the Wheeljack version of this sculpt will be repurposed as "Unite Warriors" Lightspeed.
The Predacus set was available in two forms. The main packaging was a boxed set similar in style to those from past years. However instead of the "Timelines" label the set is under the "Generations" banner instead with "Combiner Wars" boldly printed on the front and sides. The right side (facing the box) has a list of "Special thanks" listing many names that have had a hand in Fun Publications over the years including Karl Hartman and Pete Sinclair. Inside the figures are in vehicle mode couched inside foam. Underneath are the tech specs, instructions and accessories. The cover features gorgeous box art by Marcelo Matere in the style of other "Combiner Wars" giants.
Pre-registrants could also order a "loose" set during the registration process. This set included all the figures, accessories and paperwork from the boxed set (minus the pin) sealed in a large plastic bag.
Ravage comes with the same accessories as Breakdown. The smaller weapon is the sword/blaster combo. This piece is cast in black with blue-grey paint on the blade. Both pegs are nice and tight. The larger weapon is the hand/foot/weapon piece. This one is cast in all black. The thumb piece is nice and tight as well. In vehicle form this piece attaches nice and tight in both configurations (with the engine details facing up or down).
Ravage's vehicle form is a cast in all black plastic. It's a flat black plastic which goes with the character's shadowy nature. His windows are painted blue-grey along with the vent like details on the back. Red paint is used for the headlights in the front. Silver paint is on the sides of the wheels. A really fun touch are symbols on the sides of the car. On the right side is a Decepticon symbol in silver and purple. On the left is a red and white Predacon symbol. This represents the dual affiliations of the character as well as acting as a nod to the original figure representing the character back in the "Beast Wars" days.
In any form Ravage should look mysterious and dark and this vehicle mode fits the bill. The only deco point I would have liked to see added would be the rear lights, which are unpainted. If they were painted red this deco would be perfect.
Both weapons attach nice and tight to the vehicle. I do find after transformation you have to push the spoiler halves together to get them to connect properly but that's not a huge deal at all.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Pull out the halves of the vehicle's rear section and swing them back, then push them in to begin forming the legs.
- On each leg swing down the spoiler halves and foot pieces.
- Swing the windshield piece back.
- Swing the front of the car back.
- Swing the panel under the hood of the car forward, revealing the robot head.
- Swing up the sides of the vehicle to begin forming the arms.
- Swing down the forearms.
- Attach the weapons to the hands. The hand/foot/weapon piece can also be attached to the back.
Ravage features a new head sculpt in robot mode. The design is based on his appearance in the "Beast Wars" cartoon. That was in turn based on the armor worn by characters in the "Stargate" series. The head is very cat-like design complete with wide "cheeks" that resemble the fur on a real cat's head. He also has cat-like ears on top. He also has some sharp teeth showing in a toothy smile. From the front and at angles the head sculpt looks great. Unfortunately there are two issues with the head sculpt.
First, the head is out of proportion with the rest of the body. If you compare it to Breakdown or say Alpha Bravo's head it's roughly 2/3 the size. The second issue compounds the issue: the back of the head is flat, which makes the figure look even smaller. As someone said to me at the convention, the head just "ends", like someone chopped off the back. Unfortunately this is made worse by the fact that the Breakdown body sculpt is one of the bulkier "Combiner Wars" figures. Any one of these issues on their own would be something I could get past, but put them all together and Ravage's head is visually jarring, and not in a good way. To be clear, I really like the design, I just wish the execution had been better.
From a deco standpoint however this figure looks great. In addition to the black plastic there is also some blue-grey plastic used on the thighs. The same color paint used on the windows in vehicle mode appears in this mode as well. It's on the upper arms, chest, waist area and feet. Silver is found on the mid-body area and the head. Finally red is used for the eyes and the waist. The finishing touch are the symbols from the vehicle mode, which wind up on the shoulders. Taken as a whole, the figure looks best at certain angles like head on or at a 3/4 angle with the head facing you. The colors look good and match the character very well.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Take the fist/foot piece and fold the section with the thumb down, then swing the thumb up.
- Swing the rear halves of the vehicle out then connect them together.
- Swing the windshield/windows panel back.
- Swing the front of the vehicle back.
- Swing the arm connector piece out.
- Rotate the hip around with the spoiler section facing up (so the arm has elbow articulation).
- Attach the hand to the hole at the back of the vehicle (now the forearm).
I've always found this arm mode a bit bulky, especially the forearm. This is mostly thanks to how wide the rear of the vehicle mode/forearm is. Fortunately the black color creates a "slimming" effect so the bulkiness is not quite as prominent. Functionally the joints are nice and tight. Impressively enough the joints are so tight he can hold up Viper in weapon mode without any problem.
Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Detach all the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Make sure the foot piece has the fingers tucked in and the thumb forming the heel in the back.
- Swing the windshield/windows piece back.
- Swing the front of the vehicle up and back.
- Swing the leg connection piece up.
- Attach the foot piece to the back of the car.
The leg mode is my preferred limb mode for this figure. Its wide and bulky design looks great as a leg. The color blends nicely with the red/silver/grey combination on the Tripredacus Council members.
Sadly Ravage is one of the least successful figures in this set, though I do appreciate the nods to Ravage's "Beast Wars" appearance. I don't want to say he's horrible or anything. He's not. I just feel given the strength of past exclusives the head sculpt could have been much better.