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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Denyer's review of: Micron Legend Rampage

Name: Rampage
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: N/A
Sub-Group: N/A

Rampage is basically Armada Wheeljack without the colour scheme which made me not want to buy him. Gone is most of the white and yellow present in the Western release, replaced with a black hood and blue highlights. After being disappointed by two early Minicon sets and failing to be inspired by any of the larger TFs, I was considering passing over the Armada / Micron Legend line. Rampage has restored a lot of my faith in Hasbro / Takara mould design.

Please note that I haven't watched Armada or Micron Legend. I think the "Autobot turned Decepticon" idea is well-conceived, but I'm judging Rampage purely on the merits of the toy.

I suppose I should mention the differences in packaging... rather than a card, the Micron Legend version of this mould comes in a box the same height and width as a DVD case, plus a short card 'header' at the top. I can't read Japanese, but the design is extremely tastefully done. Packed inside a separate plastic wallet are the instructions and a trading card which apparently contains stats and a profile. I've left those sealed.

Vehicle Mode:
Rampage's vehicle mode is rather plasticky, and his lack of detailing considering the size is a little disappointing. It hides the missiles/swords decently enough, and if you're bothered, attaching a Mini-Con will raise Delorean-like side doors, effectively creating a pair of 'wings' / missile launchers. The missiles fire a reasonable distance, and are easy to launch. A nice touch is that the black plastic used contains glitter particles.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Rampage truly shines. The white and yellow parts are pushed to the background and help emphasise the black, blue and red car shell. You can either splay the missile launchers into wings or leave them tucked behind his shoulders, in which position I much prefer them. In addition to this nifty yet unobtrusive arsenal, Rampage is clearly the product of a gifted design team. Plenty of detail is provided on legs, arms and facial features, and the 'slash' across the Autobot logo reveals well-defined armoured systems inside. Change some of the colours and you'd have a wonderfully updated version of G2 Sideswipe, but Wheeljack / Rampage are equally fitting names. The miniature Decepticon symbol underneath the Autobot one is a little redundant since there's a larger one discreetly moulded onto the left arm. Solution? A dab of black permanent marker of a type suitable for use on CDs.

Minicon:
I don't really like the Mini-Con, but provided Hawk (Windsheer) stays in jet mode, I can cope. Its robot mode is squat, broad-shouldered and neatly symmetrical... that's as glowing a description as I can give. Though the stealth jet styling is quite cool and uses a carefully matched colour scheme, I don't see the value in shipping a miniature, unrelated vehicle with a larger TF. A 'weapon' Mini-Con would have been a much better choice... as it turns out, Rampage is to the same scale as most of the 'G1' Targetmasters if you have a spare Nebulon partner, though I think the G2 Megatron gun suits him better. Certainly much better than it suits Megatron, to whom it's a toothpick.

Overall:
So, after slightly mis-transforming him, putting the Mini-Con to one side, declining to have him wield missiles as if they were nightsticks and fitting him out with a rifle, Rampage has been confirmed as my firm favourite of a line not even particularly oriented toward adult collectors. He's a good balance of neat layout and proportions and scales nicely displayed alongside RiD Scourge. It's a great shame that this colour scheme is apparently no longer scheduled to be made more widely available as part of US Powerlinx releases; it looks unlikely Europe will get it in a domestic release, either. If you're at all inclined toward importing, I'd say Rampage is definitely worth the hassle.

Transformation: (7) no instructions required. Some stages are even optional.
Durability: (8) he's fallen off the table onto carpet with no obvious damage.
Fun: (8) not especially poseable, but a seriously bad-ass robot mode.
Price: (6 or 8, depending on source) 10, courtesy of a friend finding himself with a duplicate. I'm extremely grateful both to Brend and to whoever at HLJ made the original shipping mistake.
Summary: (8) lacking a gun, but otherwise a fantastic package.

 
 
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