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Vault Review: Transformers
Prime Frenzy & Rumble

When I ran across Rumble at my local Target a few months ago, I was pretty eager to pick him up.  Unfortunately Hasbro hasn’t followed with his buddy Frenzy.  I had to look towards Takara to complete the team, even though I was really ordering the same character.

This was my first experience with the FIRRIB vs. FIBRIR debate.  Personally, I don’t really care which is which.  I just needed a red robot to partner with the blue Hasbro one I already bought.  So when it came time to order my Takara import, I had to choose AM-30 Rumble in red.

I was sold on Hasbro’s version Rumble when I started seeing the first reviews coming in.  No longer one of Soundwave’s personal minicon army, in the new Prime toyline Rumble gets his own Deluxe class mode.  Sure he’s still on the small side, but he’s got some beefy shoulder kibble to make up for it.  That alone adds about another inch in height and width, and makes him look like a tiny body builder.

This bodybuilder theme is reinforced by his armored forearms and shins.  His torso has a couple of razor-like wings coming off his back, while his chest is made up of one of those face designs.  I like the look of these chest faces, but I find it odd that it doesn’t match either the Hasbro or Takara heads.

Aside from the color, the only difference between the two robots is their head sculpts.  Hasbro’s version has a more robotic look that lacks most facial features, almost like he’s wearing a mask.  Coupled with the fact that he has red glowing eyes and little horns, this guy looks like quite the evil bastard.

Instead of reusing the Hasbro head, Takara designed their own and used it for both their Frenzy and Rumble.  This head has a humanoid look with a visible mouth and visor-like eyes.  He looks like he’s wearing a helmet and the design is definitely homage to the characters’ G1 days.

Both the Hasbro and Takara versions transform into the same little compact car.  The design itself is pretty cute and definitely makes me think of a mash-up between an electric hybrid and something you’d see in Fast and Furious.  The use of opposite colors works really well here too, especially the alternating red and blue translucent windows.  I do have to fault the Hasbro version for not even bothering to paint to the hub caps, and front or rear lights.  Continue to page 2…

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13 comments to Vault Review: Transformers
Prime Frenzy & Rumble

  • Sandman

    These guys are fun, albeit missing some articulation that I would have liked to see. Sadly the Japanese idea to exclude paint apps for stickers is utterly vexing, as usually the Takara version of any figure is the one with -more- paint!

    Good little review! I’m just now looking into adding to my Prime figures as well.

  • J. Lee

    I kept seeing Rumble at a local store when I didn’t know had a new Transfan in the fam. Then when decided to buy you can easily guess what happened. I dunno who he has but if see this one sale.again will indeed buy if spotted.

    Though tge beast hunters toys look scrunched to me other then Smokescreen so happy found a normal prime Wheeljack.

  • Paul

    I just got the Takara versions of the pair of these guys. Other than the piledrivers, I prefer the Takara version for both. I’m not a big fan of the chest-face on them, and with the stickers, the face isn’t quite as prominent (though it’s still there). I also love the deep shade of blue on the Tak version.

    Normally, I hate stickers, but I really like them in this case. As you said, the Team Soundwave and the Soundwave face ones are really great.

  • Great Job!
    Where can I get a team soundwave sticker for my car?

  • Sweet review and great pictures, as always. You just talked me into getting both Takara versions with some spare dosh I had kicking about. Plus, combined with the Hasbro Rumble I picked up a while back, I can now get two guys with two pile-drivers each.

    In addition to just being plain creepy, I think the face-chests are also vaguely reminiscent of the original Cassetticons’ torsos with spindle-holes in them.

  • Brainlock

    I know I questioned who the blue car was in a previous review, some weeks back. I didn’t know it was Rumble at that time and I only saw him a couple times up this way.

    I’m not a fan of these “green mini” car modes, and prefer they stick more to the classic styles unless they go “Cybertron” and then it depends on each mode.
    (for example: My sister just replaced her Durongo with a Scion and it just looks ugly to me.)

    I do like the look of the red/black Rumble over blue Frenzy, tho, even if I didn’t have the Rumble/Ravage set back in the old G1 days. I did have the blue Frenzy and Laserbeak set, even if he was “misnamed” on the cartoon, so I was happy I had two of the three main cassettes from the show.

    I guess you haven’t gotten the new “cassette team” yet in time for this review? I’d like to see your take on the new “discs” vs the cars. We just got them in last week up here and I don’t care for them or the new “Beast” iteration, either.

    • I dunno about the rest of the world, but here in Britain, lately, this style of vehicle is referred to as “Boy Racer Cars.” The youf get hold of the cheapest, clone-iest little hatchback they can get, then pimp the living Hells out of it with turbochargers, seismic sound systems, Monster Energy Beverage logos, underlighting, etc.

      Considering the real-life loud, obnoxious, aggressive little punk angle, I think these are the perfect modern vehicle modes for Rumble and Frenzy.

      • Brainlock

        ok, I can see it from that perspective. I haven’t watched past Fast and Furious 2, so what do I know? ;p

  • manekochan

    Vault, you forgot to talk about the wheels. You had some comments about them. :p

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