Cliffbee.com: FAB Ramjet Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ramjet
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Ramjet for this review



JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 17.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   A light grey fighter jet with an uneven maroon on his wings, a mid grey tail section and black tailfins and stabilisers. His canopy is dark grey while there are big silver Decepticon logos on the wings and a smaller black on just behind the cockpit. Ramjet is a repaint of Starscream, based on the G1 toy of the same name, although the wing design is more like Starscream than Ramjet, and this toy should probably be white. There are black claws sticking out on in front of the wings and behind the jet - the latter are ridiculously visible while the former are overshadowed by silver missiles sculpted on the outsides. Ramjet's upper surface is well sculpted with plane seams.

   The shape of this plane is very much simplified for the kiddies - everything just feels rounded and the nose is too short. The claws at the back (actually the robot feet) are ridiculous, but Ramjet gets away with this better than Starscream did, since there's more black nearby. While the colours aren't as accurate here as on Starscream, Ramjet actually looks better thanks to some clever distractions - the missiles stand out much better, the different coloured wings draw your attention away from the proportion problems and the feet I've already discussed. The darker grey panel at the back is incongruous, but not awful.

   My main complaint about FAB Starscream was the fact that there was no attempt to hide the kibble - there is on Ramjet. Nonetheless, the shape reminds me of some of the bad jets we saw in the late "European" G1 era (such as the abysmal Deftwing). There's no play value here other than rolling Ramjet along on his three wheels. I don't really expect much, but it would have been nice if you had the option of folding up the front wheel. Well, you can, but then he'll lay nose down on the table. Lazy engineering seems to have plagued Movie Starscream toys, and Ramjet inherits it.

   The mould still has it's problems, but for the most part the colour scheme lessens the impact. Ramjet is still quite limited, with a lot of kibble, but he works much better than Starscream did. The play value is minimal, and that darker grey panel bugs me, but he's not the complete mess Starscream was.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Okay, here's the coolest part of this transformation. The first step is to fold down the legs underneath. You can stop now and you get a F-22 bird of prey - the claw-like feet really look like bird's claws now, and this is a cool effect.

   Anyway, lift up the wings and fold over the nose. Lift out the fuselage plates which autotransforms the tail section, basically the panels all fold over with the fuselage flipping out to reveal arms, the nose folds over to become his chestplate and the tail flips up to reveal his head. Position the legs and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 14cm

   A light grey robot with black arms and boots and while his thighs are maroon along with the fringes of his chestplate, Ramjet has a black head with maroon eyes. The nose and canopy, complete with Decepticon logo, are on his chest. The colour scheme here is simple, but at the same level as many FABs. I don't mind the end result, but it is just carried over from the jet mode for the most part.

   As is the case with most FABs, the robot mode is somewhat simplified. The torso is fairly simple and the kibble around his arms is a little disappointing, but at least this mould has hands rather than giant Gatling guns on the end of his arms. The head hunches forward which bothers me a fair bit. There's no conehead, which is to be expected.

   The gimmick here is actually really good - not just the half-assed missile launcher of most FABs. The right arm has a slashing blade on the outside, which you release via a small tab. There's a second tab on his shoulder which causes the arm to pop up. Together these spring loaded mechanisms make for a cool gimmick, since you can release in whichever order you want, and that allows Starscream some slashing motions. Ironically most of the FABs have spring loaded waists that don't do anything, while Starscream is the only one who lacks this feature (Frenzy doesn't really count) yet is one of the few with a use for it. I don't mind the lack of the waist action since Starscream still has a slashing motion.

   Ramjet's poseability isn't too impressive, but then that's because the engineering actually goes into other stuff, rather than just laziness as on some FABs. His head is fixed but the shoulders lift (the right one with a spring) and the hips are restricted ball joints. His knees are hinged and his feet are digitigrade, the claws are stretched wide enough to allow for some decent slashing poses - not as wide a range as I'd like but enough to keep me satisfied. I would have liked to see at least a left elbow, and it would have been nice if the left arm lifted out to the side, but he can raise his arms to aim the false missiles - Ironhide can't even aim his real missile so relatively speaking this poseability works.

   Yes it's still a limited robot and it's simplified, but this is one of the few FAB robots that offers good play value and doesn't _look_ dumbed down. The paint job isn't at the same level as Starscream, but Ramjet still looks better than a lot of FABs and the gimmick is well thought out, which gives him an advantage over some others missile-weilding FABs. The hunched head holds him back, but it's still a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, Ramjet is a repaint of FAB Starscream.

OVERALL

   One of the better FAB moulds, but the repaint is a little messy in places. The jet mode colours actually improve the mould but the robot is a little muddled. There are still problems with the mould, but the jet mode colours do a lot to alleviate kibble issues. The transformation is clever, other than the head ending up in a weird position. The bird-plane gerwalk mode is an added bonus, making this a decent figure. I'm not sure I'd recommend Ramjet as a repaint, but if you like FABs and missed Starscream, he has something to offer - 6.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.