#3263: Rumble – Blue



Are you guys ready for some controversy?  It’s okay, it’s nothing super important or anything.  Just a long stretching conflict going back three decades is all.  And what exactly is that conflict?  It’s simple: what is the name of Soundwave’s blue cassette buddy?  According to the vintage toy, the Marvel comics, and the Japanese version of the original cartoon, it’s Frenzy.  However, according to the US version of the cartoon, it’s Rumble, though, even then, it’s the finished product, since the series bible clearly dictates that the blue one is Frenzy.  But, since the cartoon has mass exposure, there’s still a contingent that thinks of Rumble as the blue one.  They’re wrong, of course.  The blue guy is Frenzy.  The My Little Pony crossover said so.  Definitely.  But these wrong people sometimes get thrown a bone by official channels.  And that’s why we have a Studio Series release of Rumble (Blue).  Let’s have a look, shall we?


Frenzy Rumble (Blue) is part of the fourth Core Class assortment of Transformers: Studio Series, alongside Dark of the Moon Laserbeak and a repack of Wheelie.  Frenzy Rumble (Blue) is part of the ’86 Movie sub-set of the line, and is thus explicitly an animation-based figure.  Hence the naming.  In robot mode, Frenzy Rumble (Blue) stands a little over 2 inches tall (just a smidge taller than the Siege mold) and has 13 workable points of articulation.  Frenzy Rumble (Blue) is making use of an all-new mold, which goes for a less chunky set of proportions than the Siege mold did, as well as greater detailing and a better range of motion on the joints.  I was cool with the Siege mold at the time, and I still don’t mind it, but there’s no denying that this guy is just an improvement on the prior mold across the board.  His color scheme is, as noted by the name, blue.  Well, blue-ish at the very least.  He’s patterned on the animation colors, so he errs a bit more on the side of purple than a proper blue.  It’s a good look, and the paint application is again a little more involved than the Siege version.  Frenzy Rumble (Blue)’s alt-mode is a proper mini-cassette; though he’s larger in robot mode, he transforms into a box that’s still compatible with the Siege/Earthrise Soundwave molds.  Yay for backwards compatibility!  Frenzy Rumble (Blue) is packed with the original G1 toy’s laser drill attachments, as well as the stomper arms frequently seen in animation.


Through an odd sequence of coincidences, I wound up with a bunch of Soundwaves that only had Frenzys to go with them, and never Rumble.  After getting to three of them, I decided I was just sticking with only getting Frenzy.  You know, the blue one.  Of course, I’ve had to go against the printed name a few times before.  The most important thing is the color.  He’s gotta be blue.  You know, because that’s the one that Frenzy is.  I got this guy as a stocking stuffer on Christmas morning, which was pretty cool.  He’s a rather fun offering, and an improvement on the Siege release…even if he’s got the wrong name.

#2413: Soundwave Spy Patrol 3



And yet another new item.  Wow, we are just rolling through these new boys, aren’t we?  For what it’s worth, there’s a week of time between Black Widow/Probe Droid and Drake, and then another week from Drake to today’s subject, even though there’s been no gap for you, the readers.  I’ve just been sitting here worried I was gonna have to dig into my old toys again.  I think I might be losing my grip on the now….where was I?  Or, more accurately, *when* was I?  Eh?  Time traveler thing? …Yeah, it’s really not that funny.  Sorry, I’ve not really had real people to run these things by as of late.  …the toys…should review the toys!  Yes, so the toys for today are some more Transformers.  It’s been over a month, so it’s probably time for some more of those!  I’m on record as being quite a Soundwave fan, and something that kind of accompanies that is the need to pick up his support crew, whatever their current alt-mode may be (since cassettes are so passe), and I’ll be taking a look at Soundwave’s Spy Patrol 3 today!  What happened to 2?  Don’t make me hurt you!


This four-pack is one of the online-only (in theory, at least) Transformers Generations: Selects offerings, officially falling under the Earthrise heading.  As I noted when I reviewed fellow Selects offering Hot Shot, these figures make use of minimal new tooling in order to accent the main retail lines.  Though listed as “Soundwave Spy Patrol,” only two of the figures included here are actually really meant for Soundwave, with the other two intended to go along with the Earthrise Doubledealer figure.  All four are technically compatible with Soundwave (and Soundblaster), of course.


One of the original four cassettes, released along with Soundwave in 1984, Frenzy quite frequently receives the short end of the stick on newer releases.  This figure follows that lead, since when it came time to release one of the two humanoid cassette bots, it was Rumble who got first dibs as part of the Spy Patrol 2 set.  Of course, with that set being practically non-existent for most collectors (myself included), maybe Frenzy’s not in quite as bad shape.  In robot mode, he stands just over 2 inches tall and has 9 workable points of articulation.  As one would expect, what with the two characters being always built on the same molds and all, Frenzy is the same sculpt as Rumble.  This is my first exposure to it, and I dig it overall.  Compared to a lot of the Siege and Earthrise stuff, he’s not quite as sleek, but given his alt-more is just a box, I guess a little bit of boxiness is certainly excusable.  He’s also a bit less of an outright figure of his own than the TR-style Frenzy from the Bumblebee cassettes pack, but with the smaller scaling, I find that to be fairly excusable.  Like all of the Spy Patrol guys, Frenzy turns into a definitely-not-a-cassette rectangle, designed to fit in Soundwave’s chest compartment.  I had heard that he was a little too large to properly fit, but I didn’t find this to be an issue with mine, though I did notice he was a little snugger in there then Ravage and Laserbeak.  Not by much, though.


After the original four cassettes were released, there was one additional cassette added in 1986, Ratbat.  Ratbat made his way into the Siege line proper alongside Rumble, but much like the Rumble/Frenzy re-use, we also get a re-use of the Ratbat mold here as Wingthing, Soundwave’s Action Master partner, who has subsequently been re-worked into another of his cassette boys.  In bat-mode, Wingthing stands an inch and a quarter tall, and has a moving neck, wings, and feet.  His robot mode is decent, but not super posable, or really posable at all, for that matter.  Mostly, the joints are just there to facilitate the transformation scheme.  He’s kind of rudimentary, and doesn’t stand so well, but it’s a cool enough visual, I suppose.  This body’s transformation turns it into less of cassette-esque box than the previous molds.  Said box is even larger than the one Frenzy turns into, so there’s really no way to put it into Soundwave’s chest capacity, which is a definite bummer.


Okay, now we jump into the “not technically cassette bots” segment of this set.  First up is Knok, who was originally Doubledealer’s Autobot powermaster, but has now been made a Decepticon, at least according to the instructions included here.  It’s okay, though, because he’s without any sort of insignia, so he can kind of be whatever you want.  Structurally, he’s pretty much the same as Frenzy, but with a new head (one of two new pieces included in the set).  Using the same sculpt as Frenzy means he’s as good as Frenzy, so I can definitely dig that.  Interestingly, in my case, I found that Knok actually fits into Soundwave’s chest cavity even a bit better than Frenzy.


Last up is Doubledealer’s other powermaster, Knok’s Decepticon equivalent, Skar.  Skar makes use of the same basic mold as Wingthing/Ratbat.  He’s got a new head (the other new part in the set), but is otherwise identical.  So, you know, same basic issues that I outlined about the mold just above.  Not really my favorite.  He changes up the colors into something more classically decepticon-y, so that’s cool.  Again, he’s got no insignia, but he’s correctly labeled as a Decepticon.  Whatever the case, he can again be what you want.


I never saw the Rumble/Ratbat set once, and I was definitely a little bummed about missing out on the Rumble mold.  I was kinda holding out hope for the Frenzy re-deco, though, so this set’s announcement did make me a little happier.  I was even happier when I was actually able to secure one.  It’s funny, because I realized I’ve inexplicably ended up with a Frenzy to go with each of my main Soundwaves.  I’m okay with that.  Knok is pretty cool by virtue of being more or less the same figure as Frenzy.  Wingthing and Skar, I’m not quite as into.  They aren’t bad, nut they aren’t as cleverly designed as the cassettes, made worse by the fact that they aren’t actually compatible with the cassette feature.  Still, a 50/50 split on this set isn’t the worst.

Thanks to All Time Toys for setting me up with these guys to review.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.