Rampage is one of the most interesting, complex, and twisted characters to grace the Transformers mythos. Before being given the name Rampage by Megatron, he was simply known as Protoform X, an experiment by the Maximal Elders to reproduce Starscream's indestructible Spark. "Though brilliant, he was hopelessly treacherous," to quote Optimus Primal.
Shown on the Beast Wars cartoon months prior to his toys' release, I eagerly awaited the moment when I could call him my own. And when that moment came, I found myself frustrated and mildly disappointed. It took months before I could appreciate what this toy had to offer. Let me explain:
Tranfromation from his crab mode, where he is a whopping twelve inches in length with claws outstretched, to robot mode is a relative snap. You fold the claws onto the crab back, flip down the robot legs and lower torso, open the sides to form the shoulder pads and release the arms, and fold the crab head down to form the chest and reveal the robot head. He stands at seven inches, towering over most other Beast Wars toys. And he's no slouch in the firepower department either. He has a triple-missile launcher and a shotgun, more than enough to stop any advancing Maximal.
However, transformation from crab mode to his tank configuration originally proved more difficult than it was worth. In fact, I totally gave up trying for months at a time. The instructions provided were of almost no help at all. I hesitate to think what it would be like for me if I were younger and attempting to transform him. It wasn't until I purchased the Japanese version with it's full color instructions that depicted the actual toy and not some crude drawings that I was able to get it down on the first try.
The trick to his tank mode is in the positioning of the claws. When in crab mode, take the multi-jointed arm that leads up to the claw into an "L" shape with the claw laying flat and facing outside. Rotate the larger half of each claw ninety degrees and pull the treads out. Make sure you do this on a relatively flat surface. And for the grand finale, flip the upper claws against the crab body. There are two pegs on the body that should line up perfectly with the two holes in the claw that do not have screws in them.
Rampage has a feature that no other Transformer prior to his release or since can claim to have - real, working treads! All Transformers with treads have had solid pieces for their treads and small wheels underneath to assist in rolling around. Not Rampage though. Roll him around on a smooth, flat surface and marvel at the treads as they pass through his claws and around his crab legs. Load his missile launcher and it will fire all three missiles, one at a time, while rolling.
While Rampage is no longer in production, he may still be available through online shops. However, if you get the chance, I would recommend purchasing the Japanese version from the Beast Wars Metals line as the paint job more closely matches his coloration on the cartoon and has superior instructions to boot.
|Date||October 31st 2001|
|Score||(10 out of 10)|