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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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fort_max's review of: Battle Ravage

Name: Battle Ravage
Generation: Energon
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Terrorcon
Function: Energon Collection/Cannon Fodder

When the first pictures of the new Energon toy line hit the net, fan reaction was, for the most part, mixed. However, there was one toy that most of fandom seemed to be looking forward to: Battle Ravage. In a toy line characterized by so-so molds, it was, ironically, the Decepticons' resident faceless drone that initially caught people's attention. Having been lucky enough to get paid the very day I spied the first wave at my local Walmart, I bought this toy without a moment's hesitation. Ravage's transformation is reminiscent of Transmetal 2 Cheetor from Beast Wars (except for the placement of the heads and the gear on his chest). Battle Ravage comes packaged in robot mode, so we'll tackle it first.

Robot Mode: If this toy were to be said to have a weak point, this would be it. While not a bad toy, Ravage's robot mode leaves a lot to be desired. To begin with, I think there were some things that were done right. The color scheme is really nice, and the "tail flail" (for lack of a better name) surprised me by being one of the weapons of this sort that I've actually liked. Unfortunately, that's all the praise I have for him. The major criticism I have with the toy comes from the toy's arms. As with TM2 Cheetor, Ravage's arms are mounted on posts that swivel when he transforms. The problem lies in the fact that, once in place, there is no way to lock them into place. With Cheetor, this wouldn't have been a problem, but the majority of the transformable parts on Ravage's upper body are connected. Ordinarily, this wouldn't have been an issue, but, if you give either shoulder joint anything more than a light tug, it becomes necessary to hold his torso together. Otherwise, he starts trying to transform, whether you want him to or not. Add this to the fact that his arms only open wide enough to allow his lower body to pivot, and they become a constant source of irritation. The only other major sticking point I have is the ankle joint. Ball joints, when done correctly, are a Transfan's best friend. However, Battle Ravage's feet don't have very much holding them on. In fact, in the four days I've had him, there have only been a handful of times that one of his feet hasn't come off during normal use. Any other problems I may have are superficial at worst, though I think Battle Ravage will be staying in beast mode.

Beast Mode: Ravage's beast mode is what really sets him apart from the rest of this series, and definitely a prime reason to get this toy. In this form, Ravage still has the same problems as in robot mode, though the lack of poseability in the arms is not as evident. One major advantage of this toy's beast mode is the far superior molding on the head. While Ravage's robot head was knob-like and, frankly, kind of small, his beast head is perfectly in proportion with the rest of his body and really well designed. The panther's expression also conveys a sense of menace sorely lacking in a lot of the toys on the market.

Energon: Ravage comes with two energon weapons, which can be attached to his shoulders in either mode. The two can then be combined into something that looks reminiscent of Generation 1 Megatron. All things considered, they work pretty well, and don't detract from the look of the toy very much at all.

Transformation: 2 - Not a spring-former, but it shouldn't take you more than a moment or two to transform him the first time.
Durability: 6 - Not bad, but his feet keep falling off.
Fun: 6 - Definitely a must for any full-scale invasion of the living room floor, but limited range of movement in the arms does kind of hurt the play factor.
Price: 9 - At just short of $7 US, Ravage is definitely worth the money.
Overall: 7 - May not have been quite the toy I was expecting, but still receives fairly high marks.
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