|Battle Ravage Review Capsule|
|Battle Ravage is the first and so far only newly molded Decepticon available in Energon and that alone will make him fairly desirable. He's posable and has a ton of weapons. A worthy purchase with a Generation One Megatron reference. $6.99 at most stores.|
With Beast Machines, a concept of "drones" became an important part of the series because the show's antagonist was basically a single bad guy with an army of personality-free villains for much of the show's run. The concept returns for Energon with Battle Ravage, a toy that recalls a character from both the original series and Beast Wars.
Odds are Hasbro just wanted to call him Ravage but changed the name due to some copyright thing, but Battle Ravage is close enough. Like the Omnicons, he's a Decepticon Terrorcon, and has the ability to forge weapons from raw energon, or so says the little comic. Basically, all this means is that he comes with cool clear guns.
Like the hard to find Japanese Beast Wars Metals Jaguar (Ravage to US fans), he's packaged in his robot mode which really doesn't seem to be much of a selling point.
The face of a toy can make or break a figure. If it has a crappy body or lackluster color scheme, a good face can say "hey, I'm cool, buy me." Battle Ravage looks like some sort of freak cross between a robotic pirahna and Herman Munster. Previous Ravage toys tended to either not have a robot mode, or use the same head in both modes. As such, it makes sense this one doesn't have a head that recalls the older toys, but it's a little surprising they didn't just use the feline head for both modes.
Because of this, he's a little "blah." The coloring is great, and the two tones of grey on his head give him more detail than would be customary for a toy of this size, but that still doesn't mean the sculpt is especially attractive. He is capable of a wide variety of poses, though, and that's where he goes from an iffy toy to a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
The figure is filled with joints, with multiple points of articulation at the feet as well as joints at the waist, hips, knees, elbows, shoulders and neck. The shoulder joints are a little stiff and cause the toy to start transforming if not handled properly, and there's some moving parts from the beast mode that hang off the toy, namely the front paws and the jaguar head. Having a head hang over a robot's butt just doesn't look good, but if you don't stare at the backside, odds are you won't notice.
A variety of new elements have been introduced in this new toy line, including the return of some older ones like the spark crystals introduced for Beast Wars Neo and TransMetals 2. It doesn't seem to hold much in the way of an action feature, but there's an Energon Chip included with the toy that slides over it for some reason and, as far as the toy goes, serves no real purpose other than to make it look like the toy is wearing a piece red hard candy or perhaps a cough drop. It's not necessarily a bad addition to the toy, but it looks like it should serve some greater purpose than just being a second, smaller, and hard to see faction symbol on the toy.
In robot mode, the toy stands well and in a variety of poses. What's not to love, aside from a couple of pieces of beast kibble? The extra applications of paint that serve no purpose other than making the toy look more expensive are most welcome, and odds are fans of animal TransFormers are going to love this.
Battle Ravage has no Minicon hardpoints in robot mode.
In beast mode, Battle Ravage takes the form of a jaguar. Or some other big cat. I'm going with jaguar since the Japanese name of the toy is Command Jaguar.
The transformation sequence is interesting because it's slightly automated-- several pieces are connected by gears to more or less cause the toy to partially change by itself. Since part of the fun is futzing with the toy in this capacity, we'll leave that for you to discover on your own.
In jaguar mode, he's fairly posable with jointed paws, arms, neck, and more. Basically, it doesn't disappoint and moves like you would hope it would. As such, it's hard to say more about it because it's pretty much just fine as it is.
And there's this part here that comes off, it has a weird shape and as far as I can tell serves no greater purpose. It isn't sized to let other weapons fit in the hole, and nothing else in this or any other currently available Energon toy seems to fit in here. Is this a new feature? Piece-to-lose action? The world may never know.
Accessories & Gimmicks
He includes three green (more like yellow) energon pieces and a tail that can be removed and acts as a mace. The advance photography of the Japanese release shows the energon pieces to be a darker, greener green color.
The most striking and surprising piece in the accessories stash is the green piece that looks like Megatron's arm cannon from the original series. It has a hole on the bottom so it can fit on most Energon toys tabs, but if it were to be placed on a toy's Minicon hardpoints, it's a little loose. Still, it looks really cool and is a nice reference to a classic toy.
The scope piece easily connects to holes on Battle Ravage as well as on the firearm portion of the toy, resulting in a big nasty weapon of death that's sure to please fans of villains from Cybertron.
A nice weapon for this figure and a real departure in terms of how it's used is his tail mace, which unplugs from his fanny and plugs into his hand. Since it's a ball-and-socket joint weapon that pops out, it pops in his hand the same way so he can hold it at a variety of angles, or go back into his backside for easy storage. All in all, a great extra weapon when the toy was already armed to the teeth. It should be noted there's some points on these to connect the weapon to Minicon hardpoints as well as the tabs seen on most if not all Energon toys.
Lastly, there's the energon chip which seems to be a holdout from the days of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and flower power and all that junk. The Autobot chip looked a little goofy, but acceptable. This one just plain doesn't look cool. Without the chip, though, his torso has this weird hole thing in it, so it's arguable that it is and isn't a cosmetic improvement.
Hasbro is really good about packing the basics full of weapons and gadgets, and this one is no exception. Since the weapons are supposed to be used with larger toys as well, fans will probably enjoy buying extras of this guy-- as there are apparently extras in the show and comics-- just to further arm their other, larger Decepticons.
Packaging, Tech Specs, & Co-Sells
This toy came packaged in regular TransFormers Energon packaging with the usual compliment of twist-ties which is more limited than previous toy lines.
The packaging itself is typical trilingual fare, but it has a really neat feature in that the bubble features character art on the side so if you look down a row of Energon basic-sized toys, you can quickly see which ones are available without having to flip through them. This was a really slick move on Hasbro's part, but unfortunately the art on the side of the bubble is only on the smaller toys. The larger deluxe toys have their trading card tech specs on the side of the bubble instead, which serves a similar purpose.
Battle Ravage shipped as part of the very first wave of Energon toys in December of 2003 alongside the Energon Saber, Skyblast, and Strongarm.
As the only available Decepticon toy in the first shipments that isn't a repaint, this is a no-brainer. Adult fans and collectors will be all over this, and odds are kids will want one too since somebody has to be pounded upon by the Autobots. As the first villain in this new era of toys, it's pretty good. But when Armada launched with the likes of Megatron and Demolishor, it's obvious that this smaller toy isn't even in the same league, but it is still good enough to pick up.
If you're only going to buy a couple of Energon toys, or need a good, cheap gift for a kid in your life, this is a good one to get. It's not the best toy of all time, but it's solid, it's sturdy, and just looks good. Snag it if you've got the cash.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased at a Phoenix Toys "R" Us on December 5, 2003 for $6.99
Reviewed on December 10, 2003.