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Monday, December 14, 2009

FALLEN HERO: MICRON LEGEND M-08 RAMPAGE WITH AIR ASSAULT MICRON TEAM/ DARK SABER!!

Inner rage! Picture taken off the Micron Densetsu DVD Cover, 2004


Hello once again to another blog post by yours truly, WSX! This is another of my mini-review of a recently added Transformer haul, which was bought at a decently priced bargain at the Amcorp Mall weekend bazaar. Well, i gotta be honest, and truth be told, I wasn't much into the Transformer's Armada/ Micron Densetsu story arc and cartoon series, or neither was I really fond of the toys that were released -- (well, maybe except maybe for the Minicons/Microns)! LOL! Anyway, here presented today is another supposedly one of the more unconventional Japanese Armada 2-Pack Team-Up releases (August 2003) ever made, or as the transformers Japanese numbering code goes: MS-08 Rampage & Air Assault Team / MS-08 ランページ & エアアサルトマイクロン.

Front of box

Back of Box

Interestingly enough, this character was supposedly to be considered to becoming Armada's version of Sideswipe, due to vague similarities int he head design and sculpt. Heck, even the vehicle mode is also designed in a similar vein to Sideswipe's-- that of a Lamborghini-type sports car. Neat and fitting homage, if you ask me! Also, he was one of those
archetypal -rebel personality, a former Autobot bent on revenge.
The back of the box is the typical Micron Densetsu packaging which depicts the stylized transformation process, and various "Action-poses"! The Microns are nicely positioned around the main figure in a neat plastic tray in their vehicular modes. As usual, the leaflets, bio cards and toy instructions are included behind the plastic tray.


Neatly packaged, snug in plastic tray

Okay folks, now we can move on to the mini-review proper. We start with Rampage's main robot mode and vehicular modes. Then we take a brief look at the Minicon booster partner, "Hawk/"Windsheer".

RAMPAGE (WHEEL-JACK) ROBOT MODE:

Rampage, Transform!

White, and black with a dash of yellowish-mustard colour, his transformation is pretty mild, but the stand out feature which grabs one's attention is the defaced/deep gash he has on the hood of his car / robot chest-- of the Autobot insignia. His change of blue patterns help accentuate the robot and vehicular mode even more. He also comes with a Micron/Minicon booster partne
r-- who goes by the name of "Hawk" or "Windsheer" in the Armada series. In true Takara spirit, this Japanese release had several paint application differences compared to his Armada counterpart. For example, Rampage's face was given a more 'washed-out' light gold/copper paint application, black detailing instead of teal for the "horns" and forehead crest, tinged light blue stripes at the front of his hood, as well as light blue eyes-- supposedly for "Anime" cartoon accuracy. IMHO, the detailing changes made to his face gives it a much more 'calm' appearance, as compared to the teal used on the Hasbro Armada version. Nonetheless, I suppose to be fair, they both look great, regardless on the version you have purchased.

MINICON "HAWK"/"WINDSHEER".

Close-up of face detail

going again with the Ariel-type theme, his Minicon partner is aptly named after the ferocious bird of prey/ raptor "Hawk". Also fittingly true to his name, this Minicon can transform himself into a B52 "Stealth" Bomber aircraft. In robot mode, he is just as tall as the other Minicons, standing roughly at around 3-4 inches in height. The differences again, when compared to the Armada version, is the muted colours in the face, and body with a duller yellow.

Hawk, robot mode

As also with other Minicons, the ingenious and odd transformation can only allow for somewhat limited poses and articulation, namely the shoulders, head (left and right) elbows and upper thighs which can swivel up and down. Basically, i am not too flustered by the lack of poseability, and they are there to serve only one purpose: to be the kick-ass weapon/ extension to their Masters in times when they need additional fire-power to defeat their enemies.


Hawk : B-52 Stealth Bomber mode

Next, we take a quick look at the vehicular modes for Rampage/ Wheeljack.

RAMPAGE VEHICLE MODE

Normal vehicle mode

As previously mentioned, his alternate mode is also that of a homage of sorts to G1 Sideswipe. Rampage transforms into a mean-looking street machine, and the most coolest thing to point out is the fact that he has sports rims on his tires painted in gold/copper. He is also essentially a "seagull wing" type of sports car. His Minicon sits in the peg on top of the car's roof, not only used in activating the gimmick of unlocking his door weapons , but at the same time also adding some bulk/coolness factor even more. Once the doors can open upwards to fit his two missiles, and are spring loaded, so it can be fired when pressed.

"Attack-mode"

Okay we are nearing the end of the review, but lets not forget the "real" and most important highlight of this write up. They are casted in clear plastic, and given some truly "evil" Destron/Decepticon colour scheme, and also transform and combine to become the fearsome and powerful weapon of destruction: Dark Star Saber!

AIR ASSAULT MINICON TEAM/ DARK SABER

Don't mess with us!

I wont really go into detail again about the transformation process, since these are pretty easy to change from one mode to another. Also, since they are essentially an "evil negative" powered-up version of the original "Air Defense Minicon Team"

Leader: Jackknife/ Runway

Head-sculpt, Jack


Transforms into a Boeing sonic-Cruiser. He is the main piece of the Dark Saber uber sword and forms the sword hilt/top part. Basically black, gold and purple with transparent plastic parts molded for the main body as well as wings.


Second in command: Mad/ Jetstorm

Close up


Alot more purple and clear parts, his robot mode is not as solid looking compared to his alternate mode, IMHO. "Mad" or Jetstorm transforms into a futuristic jetliner, and beocmes the middle part of the Dark Saber sword.


Final member: Shade/ Sonar




the third and complete member of the team is Shade. He can change into a Venture Star or a part of a space-shuttle. He transforms into the grip/handle of Dark Star Saber.


COMBINE TO FORM DARK SABER!!



Attaching the three Air Assault Minicons can yield the awesome combination of ultimate evil power: The Dark Saber.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Invincible!

In a nutshell, the 2 pack release that is MS-08 Micron Densetsu Rampage with Air Assault Minicon Team/ Dark Saber is definitely value for money. Not only is there already a regular Minicon partner in the form of Hawk / Windsheer, but you also get the exclusivity of obtaining an Anime accurate version of Rampage--which is much more eye-catching. Add to the bonus item of the Dark Saber and solid Airplane modes for the Assault Team, this is one release from the Mircon Densetsu line of toys that is worth getting for those awesome minicons alone. Highly Recommend!

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