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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Highbrow's review of: The Adventure Team (Ransack, Iceberg, Dune Runner)

Generation: Armada
First cartoon appearance: N/a
"No obstacle is too great"

Vehicle Mode:
Ransack: This one is a Heavy-duty Sport Truck. His base color is forest green, with yellow headlights(and overhead light bar), black tires and step boards, chrome hubcaps, silver windows and windshield, and a grey bed-liner. His action feature is that of a utility winch, which makes sense. I like the theme, and the look. However, I don't agree with the execution. It's built so that the winch is activated by forward motion, which makes it reel in. I have mine turned so that it works when backing up, which is the proper way. However, this is a trivial matter, since the target audience is too young to care. The only objectionable quality of the action feature is this: the Hook on the cable is too flimsy to support even another Minicon. The only thing I can imagine this successfully pulling, would be weapons of their larger counterparts. Ransack's Powerlinx port is in an interesting place, which I have mixed feelings about. It's by far the most camouflaged of any PL port, since it's the spare tire, mounted on the back of the truck. Some PLP's are completely obvious, but this one is so well disguised that I overlooked it the first time. It harkens back to the G1 days, when they were really robots in DISGUISE, instead of Armada's tendency to neglect protruding/ poorly disguised robot parts. However, the points gained from this fact are lost, when tested for functionality. It's in a very awkward place for a PLP, since it doesn't make sense for a truck to be standing on its end. But then again, I see why it's in such a place: There's nowhere else to put it, save where the face of the robot mode is located, so I can live with an awkwardly-placed PLP. There is a feature which I am not entirely sure was intentional: Ransack's front tires seem as though they are mounted on high-perfomance shocks, due to the mounting of what will become his robot arms. However, the main gear will not allow one to use them as so, since the truck simply seesaws on its gear housing. I'm from the southern U.S., where we know a lot about trucks, so take my word when I say that this one is nice.

Iceberg: Now, even though American Southerners may know a lot about trucks, we know nothing about cold-weather road equipment. I honestly don’t know what the technical designation for this sort of machine is, since I’ve never actually seen one. I’ve only seen them in movies set in Canada. Therefore, for lack of a better term, I will describe Iceberg as a Snowplow on Steroids. The main color is red, with black for the plow/scraper/jaw/eater/destroyer thing on the front, as well as the track. The multitude of windows on the cab are all light grey, along with some sort of jet engine-like objects on the rear. There is one part of Iceberg that I have no idea what it is, but it’s also grey. Perhaps someone who’s actually seen one of these knows what the L-shaped device mounted on the right of the cab is supposed to be. Whatever it is is, it looks to be mechanism-related. The PLP is located on the underside, right behind the action gear. The action feature of this Minicon consists of the Big Bad Jaws and Thing-That-I-Don’t-Know-What-It-Is moving in a reciprocating fashion, which, for some unknown reason, reminds me of a spider’s mandibles. Creepy. In conclusion, even though I don’t know what it is, it looks like it could beat up Godzilla, take his lunch money, and eat in front of him. I dig this Minicon.

Dune Runner: Dune Runner is some sort of Military vehicle, based on a Dune Buggy. Yes, it’s weird, but it would great in Mad Max, or the California Love video. Anyway’ base color is what desert camo would be if they ran out of brown paint halfway through the job. There are two really big green bucket seats, covered by a dark grey roll bar. There are uneven-sized black sand tires, and a grey multi-barreled machine gun mounted on a turret. The PLP is located on the underside, at the very back. When Dune Runner is rolled along the ground, the machine gun moves in a ridiculous fashion that looks like it’s churning butter. If a simple reciprocating action had been used, it would look awesome, but now, it just looks dumb. I want to like this one, but the gun motion hinders that greatly.

Robot Mode:
Ransack: Transformation is quite easy. Take the bed of the truck, and unfold it in the classic manner, and take that! Legs. Stand him up, flip his arms up, and gaze into his menacing yellow cyclopean eye. His legs are articulated so that you can make him sit on a larger(Supercon or bigger) Transformer‘s shoulder. You can pretend that the two metal connecting pins are searchlights. I do. Then, you can take the cable, hook it to your windowsill, and pretend he’s rappelling. I don’t.. With some minor tweaks, I would like the robot mode. I think the feet are too big, but that’s all. Not a bad little Transformer.

Iceberg: The coolness factor that this Minicon has while in vehicle mode is burnt to ashes when you transform him. To begin with, pull the back section, so that it extends into legs, yet another classic move. Now, spin the legs around, also in classic fashion, and stand him up. You can avoid spinning his legs around, they look ugly both ways, and they both result in the PLP being in a rather suspicious place. Now, take the hinged part of the cab, open it, flip Iceberg‘s head into position, and close the hatch. It‘s up to you if you want to flip his arms into position. I suggest transforming him back to the ultimate plowing machine, and leaving him in this state. I do not like his robot mode at all, and the color clash of his yellow eyes with his red body makes him look ill.

Dune Runner: Lift up the roll bar, and unfold the seats into the feet(s). Put the roll bar back down, and stand him up. Now spin his head around, and, unless your name is Linda Blair, say beetlejuice three times. Just kidding, I really dig the camofluage job on Dune Runner’s Head. I can’t stress how much I like to see the robot parts hidden, while in vehicle mode. Call me old school, but I really like that. Dune Runner looks pretty cool in Robot mode, especially the detail on his fists. He’s about to give somebody a beat down, and you know it, when you see the detail on the fists.

Transformation: 4 - There’s a trick to unfolding Dune Runner’s Legs, and it’s not obvious that you should spin Iceberg’s legs around. But then again, if you’re smart, you won’t transform these guys.
Durability: 9 - Like I said, Iceberg’s vehicle mode could beat up Godzilla. Only one thing pops off, but it pops right back on( Dune Runner’s Rollbar), and the cable on Ransack will eventually wear and tear, if you somehow decide to use that feature.
Fun: 4 - They are much better to look at, than to play with. Iceberg’s action feature creeps me out, Dune Runner’s annoys me, and Ransack’s is built wrong.
Price: $5.83, but that’s only because I work for Wal-Mart. $6+, for the rest of you, standard Minicon pack price.
Overall: 6 - My advice, buy them, but for collecting purposes only. They look awesome in the package, but their main beauty is in vehicle mode. They have excellent vehicle modes, but I could get the same results with Matchbox.
 
 
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