Cliffbee.com Power of the Primes Rippersnapper Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Rippersnapper
Series: Power of the Primes
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Shark Monster



SHARK MODE
Height: 18cm Length: 14cm Width: 6cm (all will depend on pose)

   A grey bipedal shark monster with blue legs and arms, Rippersnapper also has a blue (painted) dorsal fin and two blue cannons sticking up from his back. He has very small red painted eyes along with some silver, red and yellow painted details on his back. His claws are painted a slightly brighter shade of blue. He has a faux-rubsign on top of his head - it's a silver sticker with a purple Decepticon logo bounded by black. While his limbs are more substantial, he's essentially a more detailed update of G1 - the dorsal fin is, however, new. It's a good colour scheme that matches G1 well, and I like how the blue paint on his dorsal fin matches the blue plastic used elsewhere. The faux-rubsign is a great nostalgic nod.

   Rippersnapper stands at a 45 degree angle - or so - his tail prevents him from standing upright, but then he's really meant to be hunched, being a shark monster. His back isn't arched like that of the G1 toy, but the trade off is a much better robot mode. He's still sufficiently shark-like, thanks to the shark's tail and the dorsal fin. If you open his mouth you'll see triangular teeth, which are painted silver.

   Play value here is pretty satisfying. His twin cannons are designed to plug in behind his shoulders, but he can also hold on the insides of his claws (the holes in his fists). His blue combiner hand accessory can attach to his lower back, but it's more a "you can stow it" than an enhancement to this mode. His shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while his knees have hinges. His lower legs are moulded into a hunched position. His tail is on a hinge, and while it's a transformation joint, it does allow some movement before it starts to look like it's detaching.

   A good beast mode - given the concept itself is actually kinda limited. The colours are bang on and the rubsign-sticker on his head is a great touch. His play value is... by the numbers... but it's got all we could really expect here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip and fold out the lower front of the beast, then pivot the lower back down; clip these together to form his boots, rotate the waist. Split the boots, fold away the tail halves as heelspurs. Fold back his beast feet & clip the beast knees onto small posts on the outsides of his boots. Reposition the arms, rotate the claws to form his hands. Unclip and fold back the beast head, revealing the robot head - rotate to reveal his face.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 7cm

   Again a mainly grey robot, with blue forearms, thighs and head. His face is yellow with red eyes while there's some silver, black and red painted detailing on his torso. Rippersnapper has silver kneecaps and a purple Decepticon logo on his chest. The central stripe of his chest is actually a combiner peg, but the centre of his chest (where the logo is), which really helps to blend it. It's a really good looking robot mode, by virtue of a detailed and well sculpted face, good colours and cleverly paid out paint job.

   His basic layout is the same as the G1 toy, although with much better proportions. The shark head sits behind his head, and while it's actually hollow between (it has to be for his Abominus arm mode), the shark head matches G1 without being too prominent. The twin cannons... can stay attached to his back and look good there, although they're meant to be hand weapons.

   Which segues nicely into play value. The cannons work well either way, though I actually prefer to just leave them in place on his back. His neck, shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while his knees are hinged with rotators and his waist rotates. He lacks ankle tilts - a by-product of the shark tail having to fold into his boots, I suspect. The tail though, makes for excellent heel spurs, giving Rippersnapper a very wide range of dynamic posing - and his wrists rotate as well, so he can wield his two cannons in all sorts of stable poses. One unique quirk of his poseability is that the shoulders are actually held in place only by tension - you can pull the arms and the shoulders (ball joint balls) off the torso. They're held in place quite firmly - you pretty much have to try remove them, but it seems pins were left out or something at the last minute.

   A really nice looking robot mode, that works well in terms of what they've done with the kibble, the colours, the G1 design and the play value. The G1 toy's robot mode was a blocky mess, but this one is well proportioned and dynamic - yet still captures the feel of that toy (it closely matches the G1 cartoon, although for whatever reason the cartoon went with a navy blue). If I had to pick a negative I'd say the lack of ankle tilts, but there's a valid reason for that.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He forms the left arm of Abominus (although the socket under his feet where the hand/feet plugs into is quite fragile).

   Generations Select Overbite is an extensive retool of Rippersnapper.

OVERALL

   A great update of a pretty limited G1 toy, Rippersnapper doesn't just bring modern engineering to a G1 character, this toy solves the awful proportions of that one. The colours are right, the paint job is good and play value works well. As with most of the Scramble City characters in CW style moulds, Rippersnapper is designed to be enjoyable on his own, not needing to be part of a set. For me, this works well, as I had the G1 toy as a kid (but not the whole set), and this update to the character is really well put together. Ironically the only real flaw is the fact his combiner socket is fragile. I have actually never combined my POTP Terrorcons anyway (though I will for the review of Abominus), because I love that they're just great figures on their own. Still, the socket's weakness is a flaw on an otherwise excellent toy - 9/10

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