Classic Soundwave’s crony and former cassette/jaguar Ravage gets an H.R. Giger inspired re-imagining for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Ravage’s robot mode is a Cyclops robot jaguar covered in spines. The jaguar form and black body/pale back legs are callbacks to his Generation 1 design, as are his hip-mounted guns.
But with the “exposed workings” style of the movie giving him a skeletal torso and visible spine, in addition to his bullet head, toothy mouth and long, spike-tipped tail, the character’s designers have clearly taken cues from H.R. Giger’s Xenomorph design from the Alien movie.
Unfortunately, the figure’s sculpt fails the movie’s fierce design, largely by blunting the CGI model’s spikes and teeth. Where the design calls for needle teeth, stylized whisker spikes, and sharp ears, the figure sculpt gives a row of dull fangs, two plastic tufts on the side of Ravage’s head, and stubby ears. Head-on, Ravage looks less like a terrifying alien jaguar robot and more like a mechanized rodent of unusual size.
Happily, he makes a better toy than a movie maquette. Ravage features multiple points of articulation in his limbs; ball joints at the hips and legs that are a collection of hinges and swivel joints to allow Ravage to be posed into pretty much every stage of pouncing and crouching on unwary humans and Autobots. His articulated tail not only can be made to lash threateningly, but its length provides a much needed balance for his more ambitious lunging poses.
Additionally, as part of the line-wide Mech Alive feature, pressing a lever on Ravage’s back causes his jaws to snap shut. As much of Ravage’s back is made of spines, the lever is nicely unobtrusive, looking like a lightly larger and thicker spike coming out of his back.
Ravage is one of those rare Transformers whose robot mode is non-humanoid; like Scorponok from the last film, he acts a sidekick for a larger, bi-pedal robot. And like Scorponok’s figure from the last film, his alternate mode is pretty uninteresting on its own terms.
Ravage’s alternate mode is called a “reentry mode” on the back of the package; as Soundwave is now a satellite, his sidekicks needed to be a little more aerodynamic than a cassette tape when being fired from the upper atmosphere. However, it could also be called “scared kitty mode”, as the transformation involves tucking Ravage’s tail up between his legs and covering his face with his front paws.
Despite an unintentionally humorous alternate mode and a slightly neutered facial sculpt, Ravage is still one of the better designs to come out of the new movie, and a satisfyingly dynamic action figure. If nothing else, he’d make an absolutely terrifying opponent for any 3 3/4th inch G.I. Joes you have lying around.
As a Deluxe class figure, Ravage retails for $12.99 at most mass-market retailers, although the Toys R Us website lists it for $9.99.