Select your language

with Thunderclash, Gunbarrel, Terradive & Thunderwing

Series: Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Mega Store Exclusive
Year: 2004

He is Ramjet. Herald of Unicron. Harbinger of Unmaking. Following the destruction of Unicron he was imprisoned at the heart of Chaos, the nothingness beyond the stars. His every word is the madness of uncreation. His touch his void and emptiness. And his ultimate goal is nothing less than the destruction of Primus across all of the myriad dimensions so that Unicron can take his place at the center of a swirling, infinite hell of nothingness.

Prelude: Ramjet is a repaint of Armada Skywarp, who in turn is a retool (new head, new rear fins) of Armada Starscream. It's been over seven years since I last reviewed this mold, so I guess we can take another go at it.

Robot Mode: The mold used to create Ramjet is a very good example of the basic design philosophy that went in to the Armada series. After the highly articulated figures of the Beast era, Hasbro decided to somewhat ‘downgrade’ the figures. Thus Ramjet, while looking great and featuring sound effects, isn’t exactly well-articulated. Oh, he still beats most G1 figures hands down, but compared to the Beast figures, he is pretty stiff. He can’t spread his legs, his elbow joints are rather weird, he has no wrist movement (always bad for a sword-wielding bot) and can’t turn his head.

Downgraded articulation aside, though, Ramjet is a pretty cool figure. The cannon gimmick he has inherited from his Armada forebears needs a Minicon to activate it, but when it does two huge cannons flip forward onto his shoulders to launch missiles. Yeah, the gimmick causes Ramjet to have a huge hump extending backwards from his shoulders, but it’s still cool. Also, he can remove his left wing and unfold it into a long sword. His ability to swing it about is somewhat limited, but it still looks pretty spiffy.

I mentioned sound effects. Ramjet makes action sounds when activating his cannon gimmick or when you press down on the yellow cockpit that forms his chest. Not the greatest electronic gimmick ever (I’ve since removed the batteries), but for a kid (who are still the original target group for this stuff, fan boys!) it’s pretty swell, I think.

Finally, the paint job. Somewhat evoking G1 Ramjet, Universe Ramjet is mostly white with blue and red highlights. A nice paint job, even though the white tends to swallow some of the detail work. So overall still a great robot mode for this mold, though it is somewhat limited in terms of articulation.

Alternate Mode: Ramjet transforms into a futuristic jet. While it does share the characteristic underbelly that most jet-formers have, it folds away the robot parts quite well all things considered. The only exception being the robot arms, who hang under the wings as some sort of pods. Still, I do like this jet mode and it retains full use of the cannon gimmick from the robot mode.

The only other feature worth mentioning is that Ramjet can store his main Minicon partner, Thunderclash, directly underneath his cockpit. The jet also has a landing gear of sorts, tiny wheels set into his robot arms and legs which now all hang under the jet. Not the best landing gear ever, but workable. All in all Ramjet pulls off a pretty good jet mode. It’s not realistic, but a nice science fiction style mode.

Partner Minicons: Ramjet comes with four Minicon partners, the first of which is Thunderclash, unchanged from when he was available together with Armada Skywarp. A mostly grey science fiction style jet that transforms into a (for a Minicon) relatively big robot, he fits in well with the bigger mold.

The other three Minicons are repaints of the Armada Air Military Team, retaining their original names but getting a slightly different paint job. Side note: the back of the package shows them with a vastly different paint job than they actually ended up with. Anyway, the first of the three is Thunderwing, a Stealth Bomber who transforms into a small robot and a kind of throwing star for a third mode. Robot and vehicle mode are pretty cool, but the throwing star thing is somewhat superfluous in my book.

Second is Terradive, a sleek jet somewhat reminiscent of an SR-71 Blackbird who transforms into a tall (for a Minicon) and spindly robot, as well as a triple-bladed weapon. Here the weapon mode is actually pretty nice and the two other modes aren’t too shabby, either. To me, Terradive is the best of the team in the sense that all his three modes are well done.

Finally there is Gunbarrel, a bomber-like airplane that becomes a heavy-set robot and a six-barreled arm cannon. Gunbarrel has the best weapon mode of the three, but his two other modes aren’t so great, as the robot looks like a walking trash can and his bomber mode has a strange-looking tail assembly.

Remarks: Ramjet started out as just another Universe repaint in 2004, but was then turned into one of the major bad guys in the first story arc of the Transformers Collectors Club comic, "Balancing Act", which was set alongside the then-current Cybertron cartoon. Of course the Ramjet in the comic looks somewhat different than the toy here in that he's partially melted, constantly surrounded by an entropic purple energy field and has strange tentacles and stuff randomly appearing on his body. He's also quite nuts and fully prepared to destroy the entire multiverse. He was eventually destroyed by Vector Prime, but not before his partner Nemesis Prime nearly succeeded in destroying Cybertron.

As a toy Ramjet is nothing more and nothing less than a pretty good repaint of Armada Skywarp. Personally I got him mostly for his role in the comics, but if you want a sample of the Armada Starscream mold with some nice Minicons thrown in for good measure, Ramjet is definitely worth a look as well. Certainly far from a must-have, but a nice figure from an interesting time.

Rating: B
Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

No comments