Oldies Review: Botcon Shokaract/BW Rampage

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Abrogate, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

    Apr 19, 2004
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    This has been the year of impulse buys for me, and last week, just on a whim, I searched ebay for a figure I'd been curious about since the first Universe line: Shokaract. I wasn't expecting anything to pop up, but to my surprise, I found 6 items. 5 were from the same guy (bizarrely enough), at a price I couldn't quite justify, but there was one specimen that came without the box, and this apparently ruined the appeal, because only a few people were bidding, and they were bidding in low increments. So, I ended up winning him for what I considered a good price ($72 after shipping) (also, I think there's a guy on here selling a Shokaract box, so I might make a deal with him...)

    Anyway, since he came unboxed, I was mildly worried when I opened the package, because he had just been loosely stuffed in some newspaper in bot mode. Really, what a way to treat a 10 year old convention exclusive with fragile chrome... Still, in spite of that, he came in good condition. There are a few silver chips in the chrome, not enough to mar the figure, but they are noticeable. There are also a lot of thin scratches in the chrome, which probably means it'll flake in time, but as of now, in the state I bought him in, his chrome is in-tact.

    So, this is my first experience with the Rampage mold. And since I would think more people own Rampage than Shokaract, I figure you can use this thread to talk about both (that is, assuming anyone replies at all!), but I can only talk about Shokaract. It's been a while since I bought a Beast Wars mold, but the voyager sized (I think they were called ultras back then) figures from BW have all been pretty awesome. I've got the remolds of the original Primal and Megatron, the Universe Depth Charge and Razorclaw (Tigerhawk), RiD Cryotek (TM2 Megatron), Tripredacus, as well as the Japanese figures, Galvatron and Big Convoy. So, now with Shokaract, I have all of the American ultras except for Magnaboss (and I'm considering buying Magmatron, too).

    But as I said, it's been a while since I bought a BW figure, so I had sort of forgotten how unique they are compared to today's stream of G1 Homages and Movieverse stuff. The engineering and QC on Shokaract seems to be quite better than it is in today's figures, with their rubbery swords and joints that are loose right out of the package. His joints are all pretty solid, which is especially impressive considering that his hips have to hold up a very top-heavy figure, and yet they're ball-joints! That might be what impresses me the most, his stability. His legs are skinny and his feet are little bug claws, while his torso is loaded with junk, yet he exhibits no wobbliness or falling backwards. Needless to say, my Universe Sideswipe who weighs nothing but wobbles everytime I move, pales in comparison.

    Articulation wise, he is sufficient, but not quite as good as modern figures. He has no thigh swivel, for instance. But, this guy ain't exactly trying to pull off Drift's ninja moves. All you have to do is point him in the direction of whatever you want to die, and he looks fine doing that. His legs have enough articulation to make some strafing poses, but you do have to be careful with how you balance his toes. Despite what I just said about him not falling backwards, well, he will start to tilt if you don't position his feet right. His heels can't hold up all of his weight if he's not balanced right, but it's impressive they can hold him up at all. Plus, in a testament to how sturdy they are, he won't just straight fall backwards. He'll slowly start to tilt, giving you time to re-adjust him. (granted, I am only talking about my own figure, I have no clue if QC is across the board). His arms are easier to pose, despite being smothered in kibble. His head is on a ball joint, and can be kind of fiddly to get out of his shell if it goes backwards.

    And now, leaving articulation and stability aside, let's get to how the figure looks. His bot mode actually looks more organic than his beast mode, as his bot mode is covered in some great briny detail, while his crab mode is covered in metal panels and blue chrome. Speaking of which, his colors are AWESOME, probably one of the most unique decos in the line. His main colors in bot mode are dark and light brown that fade into each other. Basically, he looks like he's made of chocolate and caramel. In other words, he's so beautiful that he's actually delicious. His secondary colors, in an odd move, is bright turquoise. It's a major contrast with his dark-but-not-black color scheme, and it reeeally pops. And then, of course, he's covered in dark blue chrome, which also looks fantastic as long as it isn't flaking away. Then he's got other smaller colors, some yellow, white, and silver bits which stand out well.

    The over-all shape of the figure is a weird one, with these towers perched on his shoulders, his enormous claws draped over his back, crab legs hanging off his forearms, and antenna on his chest. Oh, and also, everything I just said is articulated. His weaponry is kind of hilarious. He has one gun which is long, but skinny and puny looking. Then he has this other gun that is as massive as Big Convoy's gun. Also, this is probably the coolest weapon in Transformersdom. Grimlock and Impactor would push their own grandmothers into traffic to get their hands on this weapon. It's a triple-barrel missile launcher, it has a wheel to make the barrels rotate like a gattling gun. If you take the missiles out, it looks like an impressive artillery cannon. With the missiles in, it looks like some sort of ridiculous triple-laser... also a cannon.

    I also put it in to beast mode just to see how it looked. I was hesitant to do so after hearing so much caution about the fragility of the chrome, but I took the plunge anyway. I figured I'm not gonna buy a Rampage anytime soon, so if I wanted to see the giant crab for myself, I had to risk it. The transformation was easy, but looked more confusing than it really was. Sadly, the crab mode wasn't as impressive as I hoped. As his ball-jointed bug legs obviously aren't enough to hold him up, he's basically just propped up over his gun. Sure, the legs are articulate to make him look like they're useful, but eh. And the claws are articulate, in fact that they have plenty of joints, but I wasn't in the mood to pose them. The fact that it's so difficult to grip this guy without touching the chrome makes posing him a chore, unless you just don't give a fuck about the chrome and decide to manhandle him. It's a shame, because I really enjoyed the Botcon comic he was in, watching this giant crab from a 1950's B-Movie kill a bunch of Maximals. I didn't bother with the tank mode at all, I felt it wasn't worth the risk of extra fiddling when I don't even like how it looks.

    So uh, basically, this guy is amazing and even though it isn't available at any modern stores, I would recommend the mold itself if you're even a little bit interested in buying it. Rampage, somewhat surprisingly, doesn't seem expensive on ebay. Shokaract himself is hard to come by, but looks so damn good in those colors, and I'd say that in all honesty, if you find one, it's worth the price. He's a nice vacation from the Bayverse, and looks like he's ready to kill everything else you own, even without his Unicrony God Powers. Also, I really wish I had a camera so I could show this guy off, instead of just making you sit through a wall of text with no pay-off.