So back in 1985 they left the heads untransformed when they designed animation models for the second batch of three Decepticon Planes, and 35 years later we're getting new toys of these guys where tiny, blunted animation-accurate jet nosecone hats tuck inside vehicle-accurate long pointy jet nosecones for transformation. What a wild ride!
Yup, you just sheath those smaller nosecones inside the larger nosecones, like a Russian nesting doll. That's what you do.
This has been my review of Earthrise Dirge and Ramjet.
Yay, it's (Universe) Ramjet! The original Universe Ramjet was some sure-whatever store exclusive redeco of Armada Skywarp, who would be otherwise entirely foregettable if he hadn't been used in very early Fun Publications fiction as a cosmic-level jackass. Ramjet had been caught between dimensions too many times, and so his body was in a constant state of making and unmaking that resulted in him looking like he was bathed in Kirby Krackles while melting randomly and growing tendrils. The original toy did not look like this. He was just an unremarkable white/red/blue redeco of another toy, as I said above.
And so I grabbed a grill lighter and melted mine a bunch and then put some splashes of purple on him. That's exactly the kind of embarrassing nerd I am. A toy-ruiner.
Anyway, at the end of that storyline, he got thrown back into the space between dimensions and wasn't heard from again... until now! When he has a new toy! Weird how that works out! Ramjet's back, from outer space, and I guess he's not structurally bonkers anymore. Which is fine. I don't need to take another grill lighter to another toy.
The new Ramjet is a retool of the new Armada Starscream toy (the one I really like), now retooled to have a head that looks like the Skywarp version of that toy. (A Skywarp version of this Ramjet tooling will be sold later this year.) Neato New Retooled Ramjet doesn't have all the retoolings that the original version did -- there's no VTOLs on his tailfins, nor are his nosecone wings trimmed. But it still works.
It's neat how the new finned head works with the toy. The original head pushed straight down during transformation, but the remake folded the head face-down 90 degrees. There's no room for a fin at the top of the head if you do that! .... unless you make sure the neck balljoint is at the back of the helmet, allowing the headfin to still point up even as you push it down and forward.
New Ramjet is a sharp-looking toy, though packaging problems have kinda messed with many folks'. The top layer of packaging foam was left out, and so many people's Ramjets had paint scratches across the tops of theirs as it arrived. Mine was relatively lucky -- there's just a chip of blue gone at the top of one of the shoulder intakes. If you look for this guy on the second market, make sure there's good pictures of him.
Or don't. Having an awful finish is kind of his original motif.
I am so bummed out right now that my old Generation 2Ramjet is up in the attic. I could do awesome comparison pictures! Also, because G2 Ramjet is greatness. He's the first version of the Seeker mold I've ever owned. Some time in the middle of Beast Machines, I found him and G2 Sideswipe (and a buttload of other G2) at a True-Value hardware store back in my Indiana hometown. Clearly some toy cases were discovered long past their shelf date. So, y'know, I splurged. It was the right decision.
Also like G2 Sideswipe, I've never sought to replace my G2 Ramjet with an original G1 version as they became reissued or more available to me through BotCons and eBay. Again, same as Sideswipe, what's the point? The G2 colors are awesome. Ramjet's Generation 1 colors... eh, they're all right. They're not offensive or anything. They're just kind of dull. They're not black and purple and turquoise with spots of orangey red.
So when Classics Ramjet came out, I liked him, but he wasn't really my Ramjet. My Ramjet is gorgeous. This new Club Exclusive G2 Ramjet... this is my Ramjet. And while in principle I kind of like to see my Classics molds with updated decoes that are simply evocative of the original rather than slavish recreations... I admit seeing all of Ramjet's stickers recreated millimeter by millimeter does kind of pull at me in the right places. It is an improvement that nearly all of his stickers are recreated with paint. The bits on his shoulder-intakes and the tops of his feet are still stickers, but only 'cuz you can't tampograph stuff inside those crevices very easily (as I understand).
And in the past, when Fun Publications has tried to recreate sticker detail that had words, their font recreation has never been very good. But not here. The "RAMJET" on the side looks accurate to me. A big improvement in that regard. It is kind of weird that they painted black between the legs on the top of Ramjet's jet mode, as if they're trying to recreate the gap that existed there on the original toy. Not sure how I feel about that.
And thank God his eyes are gold.
There are some downsides, though! For example, wow, is this mold showing its age. It's the twentieth use of the mold, if I recall, so no big surprise, even if Hasbro/Tomy has been trying to upkeep its viability bit by bit over the years. Some folks have reported scary-looking seams in their Ramjet feet. This does not appear to be a problem with mine. However, it is kind of a pain to get his torso transformed. The cockpit part of his chest no longer wants to fit smoothly inside the rest of the torso. It requires some excessive force to squeeze it into place.
Oh, and the art on Ramjet's box is kind of yikes, like someone hit a drunken Pat Lee over the head. Here's a hint: the middle finger should not be the shortest finger. Another hint: This Shortpacked! strip was not a serious how-to, dude.