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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Sir Auros' review of: Ruination

Name: Ruination (Armorhide, Mega-Octane, Rollbar, Movor, Ro-tor)
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Warriors
Sub-Group: Gestalts

I really like the Bruticus mold. The gestalt mode just looks so cool and solid. This is the latest version of the mold and like the last incarnation (Urban Camo Ruination) is sold as a Walmart exclusive giftset. The 2001 release in the Robots in Disguise line had each component sold separately with Mega-Octane being fairly hard to find. I don't really know why that belongs in this review, but I'm too lazy to delete it and I'll mention that it's nice to have all the figures available in a giftset. What isn't nice, however, is trying to sell me this crap at $25. Even with each figure averaging out to $5, the paintjob sucks and I got a knockoff for $5 that looked more detailed.

The whole set suffers from the paintjob. I'm not sure what kind of camouflage the figures are supposed to have, but it certainly doesn't look much like desert camouflage. Would it have been that hard to simply change the Urban Camo version's palette to something more earthy? The part that really hurts the figure is that the liberal use of tan causes the figures to lose definition.

Gestalt Mode:
This (or possible the vehicle modes) is how you're likely to play with or display this figure. The figure has typical G1 articulation. The arms can move, but the legs cannot, the there's no bending at the elbows or knees, and there's not a lot of opportunities for dynamic poses. The figure's still fun as a big-ass robot that's armed to the teeth though (you can fit all five of the robots' weapons on Ruination) and looks ok on display. The colors for the head and chestplate look identical to a knockoff of the Bruticus mold that was available in 2001. It's really a hideous shade of tan that resembles human vomit much more than sand or dirt in a desert. A color that contrasted more with the tan that permeates every other part of the figure would have been more aesthetically pleasing.

Vehicle Mode:
These are pretty good, but I must include the obligatory complaint that space shuttles are not military vehicles. Would it have been so hard to have just made some sort of WW2 plane instead of a space shuttle? Each of the vehicle modes are fairly well detailed, heavily armed, and reasonably fun to play with. Other than the ugly paintjob, there's not much wrong with the figures in this mode and they look pretty accurate and are fun to play with, so what more can you want from a vehicle mode?

Robot Mode:
Mega-Octane is the only one out of the bunch that has a robot mode that would be considered halfway decent by today's standards. The rest are sad little, poorly-detailed/articulated pieces of horribly colored plastic that were barely up to par when they were released. Granted, some of the general crappiness of the robot modes are to blame on the limitations required to make hordes of interchangeable gestalts (most of the original gestalts could use interchanged limbs), but it doesn't keep the robot modes from looking terrible. I can't imagine these being much fun for kids. I know I would have certainly played with the figure either in the gestalt form or as individual vehicles.

Transformation: 9 - Fairly simple, but you really have to admire the design and ambition behind the creation of the mold. Completely interchangeable gestalts is something we're just now seeing again in a mainstream Transformers line.
Durability: 5 - The plastic feels almost as cheap as the knockoff version I have, there are many parts to lose, and I've noticed white marks in the plastic around the hands as a result of holding guns.
Fun: 7 - Fun in gestalt or vehicle modes and makes a decent display piece.
Price: 6 - I got mine on clearance for $10, but the usual asking price of $25 is just too much for this ugly paintjob and apparently inferior materials.
Summary: 6 - There are better versions of this mold

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