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Transformers Classics
by yo go re

In the early days of the Transformers cartoon, the Decepticon forces on Earth were a bit short-handed. They had Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream and the other Seekers... and that was about it. So whenever they needed to fill out group shots, they fell back to the same old standby: recoloring the Starscream model and pretending it's a generic Skyraider.

Ramjet The Decepticons are known for fielding their craziest warriors in the skies, but Ramjet really outclasses them all. He's a born flier who loves nothing more than crashing. Sure, he's got a whole rack of concussion missiles and argon lasers strong enough to vaporize a Dinobot, but he'd rather skip all that nonsense and just smash head first into his targets - and anything else that gets in his way. He's just as likely to smash his allies out of the way as he is to destroy any Autobots in his path, but watching him plow through a battlefield is so fun that Megatron keeps him around anyway.

Ramjet was among the first ranks of reinforcements the Decepticons received on Earth. Which is to say, he and the other coneheads were second-year characters introduced to the cartoon after the first season. To help set them apart from Starscream and the rest of the Seekers, the new Decepticon jets were slightly retooled and got new animation models. WE COME FROM FRANCE! Still, they were close enough that you could tell they were supposed to be part of the same squadron.

In the Classics line, Ramjet is based on the chassis of an F-15 Eagle fighter jet, although one that's been heavily customized. The wings sweep back at a sharper angle, and attach further back on the plane. The tailfins are shorter, and there are two extra jet engines back there. The nosecone is shorter and stumpier, and overall this plane is smaller than the previous ones.

The colors are nice. The majority of the body is white, with sort of a rusty red on the wings, Beldar grey on the wingtips and tails, and a gold triangle just above the engines. The canopy is smoky, translucent plastic, and the nose is grey.

Ramjet's transformation is necessarily different from Starscream and Skywarp's - for as much as they share, the planes and robots are different. To begin, split the plane across the middle and fold the little leftover bits of wing up over the top of the fuselage. Pull the arms out of the robot's chest cavity, and twist the cockpit down in to take their place. The hands rotate out of the arms, the rear landing gear becomes feet, and the front landing gear becomes Ramjet's nipples. Finally, the wings fold back a little, to keep them from sticking straight out to the sides. The only downside is that Ramjet's face is visible in vehicle mode, since it just pokes out the bottom of the nose.

In the G1 cartoon, CONSUME MASS QUANTITIES! Ramjet and the other blunderscrounges were animated with the nose of the plane sticking up above the robot's head - thus the "conehead" designation. The toys, however, had the same heads as the first three Seekers: no cones. Most fans left the cone up, so that their toys matched the cartoons, but that was an unofficial transformation. Transformers Classic, however, finally makes it real, by designing him a new noggin, which sticks up just a bit higher than his shoulder stacks.

Ramjet's articulation is much better than his G1 counterpart's. He moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. His missiles are fatter than Starscream's, just as they were on the G1 toy. Prymatt Because his wings hang off his legs instead of his shoulders, the arms move freely without any kind of problems. In robot mode, he's pretty much entirely grey and white - the red gets hidden.

I only bought Ramjet because I found him on sale - I already had Skywarp, so what did I need another jet for? However, he's different enough to make the purchase worth it. This isn't a case like Bumblebee and Cliffjumper, where the only difference is a paint app. Ramjet has a lot of new parts that make him unique. Unfortunately, Hasbro decided not to release the rest of the Seekers in the Classic line - instead, they were offered as exclusives to attendees of BotCon 2007. If your favorite jet was Thundercracker, Thrust or Dirge, you'll have to be prepared to pay upwards of $200 just to get one of them. No worries, though: Ramjet looks good, even all by his exotic little lonesome.


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