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…