Oye, I keep thinking that my lack of interest in the Transformers Energon line means that I won't be sending
as much of my money to Hasbro as I have in the past. But they seem to have other ideas, namely the Transformers
Alternators line. Within a week of completing my lastreview of the six latest
Alternators than Hasbro releases yet another, Battle Ravage. And so the Alternator army grows and the
Packaging - 9/10Battle Ravage comes in the newer style red packaging that Hasbro started using with Tracks. The red background with white grid lines is very reminiscent of the original Transformers toy line; something that I'm sure is no fluke on Hasbro's part. Most of the front and top panels of the box have been removed to allow easy viewing of the toy. An illustration of Ravage's robot mode adorns what little there is of the front of the box along with the Alternators' logo and character information. The side panels have nice photos of the vehicle or robot mode. The back panel shows off photos of both modes and some of the details of each. The toy itself is held in place inside the box with just a simple plastic bubble. No twist ties! The new packaging design does retain the "mirrored" background. Illustrations of the vehicle from different angles are printed on the background to create the impression that the toy is being seen in reflection. It is a great little touch to a packaging design that is very nicely done to begin with. The new design does have one significant flaw, since there is no plastic covering the opening in the box, the edges of the cardboard tend to warp or tear very easily. While normally I wouldn't encourage people to keep a Transformer figure in the packaging, since the Alternators packaging is otherwise 100% collector friendly the extra penny or two that the plastic window would have cost Hasbro would have been worth it for MIB/MOC collectors.
Sculpting - 8/10Ravage is a slightly modified version of the previously released Tracks figure so it should be no surprise that Ravage shares Track's shortcomings. The strangely hinged car doors are still present, as well as the visible shoulder missiles along the running board once the door is opened and the large amount of kibble on the robot mode. But Ravage also has several advantages over Tracks. The first is that as a, top down convertible, there is a much better view of the interior as well as eliminating some of the car parts hanging from Ravage's robot mode. The new mag wheel sculpts also scored Battle Ravage an additional point above Track's score. Not only do the rims look great, but Hasbro even sculpted the brake disk visible through the rims! In Battle Ravage's robot mode, the only major change is the new head sculpt. The cat sculpt looks great.
Paint - 5/10
The paint work for Battle Ravage falls a little short of my expectations for this line. The color scheme for Ravage's body is not quite as impress as its predecessor. The flat black of the body seems a little plain compared to what this line has offered in the past. But I'm mostly disappointment that the interior hasn't received any additional attention to detail beyond what Tracks had. Since the entire interior save for the seats, has been left in plain black, the gray missile pods show up even more.
Articulation - 9/10How articulated is an Alternator figure? Very articulated. Granted, most of that is dedicated to the transformation process. But there is still plenty of articulation for both modes as well. Ravage's vehicle mode has opening doors and hood, working front steering and of course, free rolling wheels.
Accessories - 5/10Ravage has just one accessory, the standard Alternators' gun formed from the engine block. Given that this is the seventh time in just eleven releases that we have gotten this same type of weapon, a little more variety would be welcome. But given the cost of designing something new when there is already the existing part just waiting to be used, one can't blame Hasbro too harshly.
Special NotesIn case you hadn't guessed, Battle Ravage transforms the same way that Tracks does and fairly similarly to Dead End and Side Swipe. The engine/ gun is removed. The front end is split in half and pulled out to form the feet. The passenger cabin of the car forms the torso while the arms fold out from within the trunk. The transformation is fairly intuitive but getting the legs to line up properly to form the hood section can be tricky.
Value - 8/10Retail for Alternators is between $19.99 and $24.99 with the bigger retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us and Target selling them for $20. While pricier than most action figures, Alternators definitely offer a lot of bang for buck.
Happy Hunting:Most stores have been carring the Alternator line, including Walmart, Target, Toys R Us and Kmart. And given time, Battle Ravage will probably find his way to most shelves. But for right now, Target seems to be the place to look. I found mine at one of the Target stores in Madison, WI after hearing reposrts of several others finding him at other Targets nationwide.