Thursday, 8 October 2015

A Concise Review of Energon Battle Ravage In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Basic, 2004.
Modes: Robot and Jaguar.
Transformation Style: Basic catformer with minor automorph.
Play Patterns: Robot and Jaguar. 5mm weapons. Energon weapons and chip.
Points of Interest: Obvious G1 Ravage homage, but also has an energon weapon directly based on G1 Megatron's fusion cannon/scope.

The Good
Terrorcons were intended as accessory caddies, and B. Ravage is well stocked, with a firing missile, mace tail, and the aforementioned fusion cannon. These weapons can variously combine, attach to Mini-Con posts on other toys, or be stowed in 5mm ports on either shoulder, in either form. His robot mode is well-articulated for the vintage, with twelve points, and has a notably fierce face with a powerful build. Beast mode meanwhile retains most of those, gaining a balljointed tail, and a restricted balljoint in the neck. You can even make use of a transformation joint to arc his back. Play value is great, and he's in a nice black and colour scheme with effective paint apps.

The Bad
B. Ravage has a simplistic transformation scheme, which results in Visible Head Syndrome in cat mode. This area was also the subject of a running change, with some versions, but not mine, lacking a tab to secure the robot mode neck panel. While the translucent plastic seems to be holding up well, a concern as its under stress in the missile launcher, the white hasn't in places.

The Mediocre
Energon was a lot was a lot better for posability than Armada was, but even so B. Ravage is a bit unrefined by modern standards. The limbs are ever-so-slightly limited in each joint, and a swivel in the upper arm would have made all the difference. And maybe a fold-up heel spur.

The Alternatives
Oddly, this toy was only ever repainted once, and not into a more G1 colour scheme, or a Beast Wars character. That repaint, Command Ravage, is in blue, and a bit more expensive. There's also the Japanese variations, which look a bit different, and rare in the case of the Blue version. Transformers that change into cats are however very common, with Ravage being a frequent name. If you are just looking for a good Energon era basic though, consider Strongarm.

The Verdict
Battle Ravage is a simplistic toy with an equally simplistic appeal: lots of weapons. There's undoubtedly better catformers out there, but simplicity can be a virtue, and this toy does have clear merits. If you want to dip your toe into the Energon line, or you want a toy to proxy G1 Ravage, you could do a lot worse than this. Worth a tenner.

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