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Series: Generations Selects
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2019

Prelude: I skipped the Power of the Primes Jazz figure, and not just because of the political message someone painted on him. I figured that the previous CHUG incarnation of the character, Reveal the Shield Jazz, would be very hard to beat. But when a Ricochet repaint was announced for this figure, I decided to give it a try, seeing as I have a certain fondness for Ricochets / Steppers. So does a new paintjob improve a figure that is generally regarded as mediocre at best?

Robot Mode: Let’s start by saying that Ricochet looks pretty cool in robot mode. The classic hood-as-chest design we know from Jazz and roughly 200 other Autobots looks good and the new colors, black and white with golden flames, is just cool. Looking at things solely from the Repaint front, we’re all good, the new paintjob looks pretty great.

Naturally some new colors don’t fix the underlying problems of the figure, no matter how cool they look. Starting with the fact that the torso of the robot doesn’t hold together very well. The hood tends to slip off the shoulders, the plate that’s supposed to hide the big combiner port doesn’t snap in properly, and overall the entire figure is very, very wobbly. It’s very nicely articulated, no problem there, but when the figure’s torso basically falls apart every time you pose him, it doesn’t really help much.

Ricochet comes with the same accessories as Jazz, namely a gun and a combiner fist. Now here is my question: where is the Targetmaster? Both G1 Stepper / Ricochet and the TF United Stepper had Nebulons with them that turned into guns (usually called Nightstick). With the deluge of Battle Masters currently being released in War for Cybertron: Siege, why wasn’t one of them included with this figure?

So bottom line here: not good. A robot that looks good if you simply stand it up and leave it alone, but the stability issues severely hamper the play value.

Alternate Mode: Unlike the robot mode, the car mode is very nicely done. There are no visible robot parts, just a sleek, sexy looking sports car with a cool black paint job and the flaming Autobot symbol on the hood. The combiner first can be mounted on top as a sort of booster engine and the robot’s gun can also be attached in multiple places. So bottom line here: a much better vehicle mode than robot mode.

Combiner Mode: The one area where this toy truly shines is as a Combiner Wars style combiner limb. Ricochet makes for both a great arm and leg for a combiner and the fact that the car shell is almost separate from the actual robot / limb just means you can move it into whatever position looks best. So bottom line here: clearly the best use for this figure.

Remarks: Among the original G1 Transformers from 1984, only very few were not repainted into separate characters at some point. Mirage, Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, and Megatron are still sole owners of their original molds, but Jazz came a close second, seeing as his sole repaint was a Takara-exclusive called Stepper. It would take many years for Stepper to make his way into the Western world as well, carrying the name Ricochet now, but ever since it has become the norm for a Jazz figure to be repainted into a Stepper/Ricochet, though oftentimes those repaints remain Takara-exclusives.

In closing, let’s just say it like it is: as a stand-alone figure Ricochet is a failure. Sure, he looks cool in robot and car mode, but apart from that the robot mode really doesn’t work at all and cool-looking cars are a dime a dozen. The only reason to get this figure (for anyone who is not a die-hard Ricochet / Stepper fan) is the combiner mode. So if you need a cool-looking and fully functional limb for one of your Combiner Wars combiners, Ricochet is a good choice. Anyone else, better spend your money elsewhere.

Rating: C-
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