Cliffbee.com: Alternators Ravage (Jaguar) Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ravage
Series: Alternators
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Jaguar Sports Car/Panther (no robot mode)



Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Ravage for the purpose of this review.

CAR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 19.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A black plastic Jaguar sports car, Ravage is a coupe - as opposed to the 2-door sedan of the earlier BT based Ravage (I will simply refer to that toy as the BT version, for the sake of comparison). He has colourless windows, with the side windows wound down, black plastic tyres and chrome mag wheels, silver painted rims around the side windows, colourless headlights with silver lights globes and a orange indicators within, colourless and orange taillights with a painted red brake light above the rear license plate. The colour scheme is quite simple and suits the character very well, but the black plastic used doesn't really sing for me - the finish just feels a bit cheap compared to the BT version's black finish. The colour scheme and most of the painted details are still very good, but the plastic holds him back somewhat.

   As you'd expect of an Alternator, the sculpt has some wonderful aspects, although much of it is standard for the line. There are wipers below the windshield, a grille at the front, with a somewhat sloppy silver painted emblem, chromed side mirrors, doorhandles with locks, a fuel cap on the right rear fender and some silver painted badges on the back, including a nicely done "J A G U A R" mural on a silver bar above the license plate, which sports his name and "GB" (for the United Kingdom) below a European logo. The exhausts are visible below the rear bumper, but they're left an upainted grey, which looks pretty bad really. I would have preferred _black_ to a flat grey.

   Inside the car we have the typical details - two seats, a black steering wheel, a soft black gearstick and there are sculpted details on the black dashboard such as radio, odometer and tachometer. There are low-detail elements inside the doors, only the doorhandles are really clear. The floor is composed of that same grey plastic used on his exhausts, the milky light grey plastic looks even worse here - it just feels really cheap. I'm spectacularly unimpressed that this vehicle has a UK license plate and a steering wheel on the _left_ (which would be seen on a Jaguar destined for a market outside the United Kingdom).

   The play value of BT/Alt vehicle modes is usually fairly limited, but Ravage is even more static than most. The doors open and the wheels roll but there's no rack-and-pinion system here, as in most BTs & Alts (including Rumble, the other Alt-only mould). Neither the hood or the boot open, so overall the play value here is lacking. The hind legs of the beast mode are fairly visible underneath the doors - but at least they're black.

   While there's still a lot of detail here, and some great stuff like the name across the back of the car, Ravage is at a level below most Altenators, and certainly below the standards of the Binaltech toys. The finish isn't quite right and the grey plastic looks bad, while the relatively poor play value only adds to the slightly cheap feel here. On the upside, the use of a Jaguar fits the character to the ground - and is much better in concept than the BT Corvette. The lower quality robs this version of Ravage of much of its potential - next to the classier BT version it almost looks like a knock-off. It's still a detailed car mode, and a poor Alternator is more accurate than pretty much any other Transformer with a car mode, but this car mode is disappointing.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I wont go through all the details, but the rear fenders unfold to become the hindlegs, the front fenders similarly unfold forming his forelegs. The tail folds out from underneath the boot door (which prevents the door from opening in car mode!) and the hood rotates back to reveal the head.

PANTHER MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 27cm Width: 12cm

   A black panther with some purple connecting pieces here and there, a grey central torso area and silver painted claws. Ravage has chromed silver rockets on his hips with cherry red tips, red eyes and a stamped Decepticon logo on the left side of his neck. There are some colours plastic elements on the rear legs and rump, while the chromed silver rear wheels are visible on the rear legs. The colour scheme is a good match for Ravage overall, and while the purple is new here, it's minor and fits into the character well. The rockets look fantastic, too. The grey plastic forms a sort of spine of the toy - a central shaft underneath the various plates and such - so it's never prominent, which is a good thing.

   While the colour scheme is good, the layout has some issues. The panther shape itself is fine, even if the rump is a tad wider that it should be. There's a _lot_ of panelling not really dealt with, however. The hood sits awkwardly over his shoulders, below it is the roof, and behind this on his rump is the rear window. None of these panels actually clip into place, instead all float slightly awkwardly, with noticeable gaps underneath breaking up his body quite badly. He needs the continuity that they lack, since the "spine" is a very slender frame trying to be the body itself. His tail is good, and quite cleverly, it folds out from underneath the license plate. The doors actually fold out over the forelegs, and while they don't clip into place they're the only car panels that are dealt with well, sitting flush (or close enough to it). Perhaps the most damning thing about the profusion of panelling here is that it's just as bad as the popular but unofficial quadrupedal configuration of the BT Ravage, although that version lacks a tail. The bodyshape _is_ better here, but the overall effect is of a similar standard.

   The poseability here is about what you'd expect. The hips and "shoulders" swing while the knees, "elbows", ankles and "wrists" are hinged. The paws are simple - he's not digitigrade as cats are, since the designer has created the lower limbs so they stow fairly crudely under the car itself. Still, walking poses are possible. The tail has a hinge at the base and two in the centre, allowing it to stick out, swing up or swing down. There are ball joints at both the base and top of his neck, while the lower jaw opens, so the head's poseability is great. The rockets can swing up and down for aiming, although they don't fire.

   A reasonable attempt, but more work was needed to ensure the panels on top formed the body - instead of floating awkwardly above the slender spine of the toy. The head, tail and rockets are all well done, but on the whole this mode really needed some more work. Of course, this is still a pretty good representation of Ravage, but it's well below the high standards of the BT moulds, which as a rule dealt with panelling and kibble a _lot_ better than this panther mode does. There's just not the same elegance here, but if this were a mainline toy (such as Cybertron) I'd be singing his praise - it's a pretty good Ravage for something that folds up into a car. The poseability is perhaps slightly below the level of the BT moulds, but it _is_ about what you'd expect of a toy like this.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A decent toy, but one that's well below the level of most other BT/Alt toys, however Ravage still compares favourably to most non-BT/Alt toys. The plastics used are a little cheap, there are some annoying shortcomings in car mode such as the steering wheel on the wrong side and a lack of turning wheels. The jaguar mode is slightly awkward because no real attempt has been made to deal with hius panelling, while the central spine needs more dressing. If you really want a quadrupedal Ravage, this toy does have something to offer, but the BT based Ravage is a stronger figure overall, if not quite as good a homage to the character - 6.5/10

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