During the second series of Generation 1 in 1985, Hasbro had to broaden their search for molds to use for the Transformers. Among the toys they acquired license to use were the Deluxe Insecticons, like Ransack, who transforms into a robotic locust of family Acrididae.
Ransack was designed in 1984 by Japanese toy manufacturer Takatoku for a new toyline, Armored Insect Battalion Beetras. However, Takatoku went bankrupt before the series could finish (in part due to Dorvack, the source of Roadbuster and Whirl), planning to release Ransack as Beet-Vadam. This version would have been molded in green and gray or white, with translucent orange wings. Its orange wings are the same shade as the Transformers, but the wingtips would have come to a much sharper point. Despite not being produced, photographs of the prototype in the catalog give some insight, however the production version may have varied, as character art depicts Beet-Vadam as blue, while a prototype shown in a Transformers catalog is dark green and silver.
Ransack transforms into a black and yellow locust, decorated with white painted stripes and sporting long translucent orange wings. His hind legs are highly articulated, while the front two pairs are single molded pieces attached to the side of the insect’s thorax. He also features two curved antennae that can be rotated, and bulging red eyes. His transformation is somewhat unusual, using long die-cast swing-arms to attach the legs at the hip, similar to the concept used on Whirl. The robot has somewhat strange proportions, with broad hips and the insect abdomen hanging down below the hip level. The front and middle insect legs extend from each arm. He includes a gun and shield accessory, but his arms cannot pivot forward to use either, swinging only out to the sides.
Due to the detail of his design, Ransack is prone to breakage. His pivoting chestplates are suspended by a pair of pins at the top corner, and any leverage on the chestplate can dislodge or snap these pins. Many samples are found with at least one chestplate loose due to a missing pin. His frail antennae are as vulnerable as they look, and care should be taken even when rotating them in their normal range. His wings, while as thin as Venom’s, are not as fragile, but still prone to stress marks along the base.
Likely due to his short production run, Ransack does not have any known production variants.
Ransack was available in the US and mainland Europe (excluding Italy and Greece) in 1985. He was never released in Japan or the UK. Due to Bandai owning the licenses to Takatoku’s designs, it is unlikely Ransack will ever be reissued.
Redecos & Retools
Ransack’s mold would have been first used in 1984 as Armored Battalion Beetras Beet-Zeguna, had it not been cancelled with Takatoku’s bankruptcy. The mold has not been used since it was licensed for Transformers.