I've got a pair of ex-Recordicons here from Japan! See, Frenzy and Rumble are tanks now. Well, okay, I guess maybe they could still be Recordicons. Maybe they still record! They're.. recording tanks!
I decided to get the Japanese release of these guys for two reasons. First of all, there's no sign of Rumble being solicited over here, so chances are when he does come out stateside, it'll be post Movie 3 period, which is a long time from now. Hell, there's little chance of Frenzy (er, "Demolition Rumble") showing up here, either! He has been solicited, but the way distribution's been going, I dunno if he'll make it into stores before the movie stuff hits. Retail stores drop non-movie stuff like a bad habit once movie stuff arrives. They know where the money is.
Secondly, Japan names their cassettes right! Frenzy is blue, dammit! His toy is blue, he's blue in the Marvel comics.... it's just in the pesky American cartoon that the blue guy is Rumble. When Japan dubbed the American series way back when, they wised up and called the blue guy Frenzy. And so their set is named correctly. And thus I required it.
They're just a pair of Scout Class guys so they're not too big. When I first opened the box, I worried that they'd be too fiddly. They do look very... involved. But they aren't! They transform pretty quickly back and forth. There's some frustrating bits involved, but it's mostly due to the spring-loaded piledrivers. Those things sure like to launch when you're trying to push everything together for tank mode. Kind of annoying. I also wish their forearms weren't jointed in the middle. It makes posing them more complicated than it has to be, but that joint is required for transformation, so oh well.
Like the rest of their contemporaries, they're compatible with C Joint snap-on weaponry. Their double tank cannons attach this way, and there's a bunch of rungs here and there to place them elsewhere if you desire.
As I sort of mentioned in passing before, these guys have piledrivers, just like they did in the cartoon. (Well, Frenzy's not really SUPPOSED to have piledrivers, since he's a sonic-scream kinda guy, but Rumble's piledrivers are too iconic to leave out and they kinda have to share a mold.) You flip the entire arm over at the shoulder, tuck the forearms away, and then the tip of the piledriver springs forward when you press the silver section on the side. The instructions also ask you to move the tank cannons to their shoulders for this mode.
My favorite of the two is Frenzy. Not just because I like Frenzy more (he was in my earliest comics and my brother I had his toy), but because I like his colors better. I'm a blue kinda guy, moreso than black and red. And the electric "Allspark blue" with the darker blue is more visually striking. Like the rest of Japan's "United" toyline, they both have metallic paint. Rumble's is metallic black, which is barely noticable at all. Which is fine by me. Frenzy has some metallic blue that is so dark that I thought he just had dark blue or black plastic. It doesn't really look metallic at all. I guess, uh, A for effort there, Takara.
I'm keeping my Frenzy away from my new Wheeljack. That showdown won't end well for him.
I also demand an Enemy from this mold. BOTCON AND/OR E-HOBBY, DO NOT FAIL ME IN THIS REGARD.