In order to fill out the Decepticon ranks of the first series of Generation 1 in 1984, Hasbro elected to include a number of Takara’s cassette designs in a variety of colors sold in two-packs. The only Cassette released without a direct redeco was Ravage, who was packaged with Rumble.

US Patent for G1 Ravage

Origins

Ravage, like many early Transformers toys, originated in the Takara Microman: Microchange line. He was originally released as MC02 MicroCassette Robo Black Jaguar. This toy was also available as the Blue Jaguar, who would later be homaged as e-HOBBY Howlback. These toys included a small, transparent tape case with a paper insert that was omitted for the Transformers release. Ravage was invented by Takashi Matsuda and the US Patent, titled Combined reconfigurable toy cassette and box therefor (aka Transformers G1 Ravage) was filed on December 2, 1983 (U.S. Patent No. USD283336 S).

Description

Ravage transforms into a black and silver Olympus Type IV “Metal” MC60 Microcassette, in a real-life scale. The front of the cassette is detailed to fairly realistically depict the printing on a Microcassette, including the edges of the two tape reels as seen through a window, with a playback time gauge included below. Stickers were also used to represent the holes for the cassette player’s pins to insert, but actual holes (complete with a molded-in “tooth” look) are present for the player’s drive spindles. The back of the Microcassette mode has molded-in robot details, but is otherwise undecorated. Unfortunately, due the design of his legs at the bottom edge of the cassette, several extraneous holes are created in a compromise to create a more natural robotic jaguar shape. Ravage is the first of several robotic beast cassettes that are laid out asymmetrically, with the head and tail swinging from the top of the cassette to the sides, and the legs extending down from the bottom. Ravage has a surprising amount of articulation, due to the joints for his transformation being at natural articulation points: raising of the tail or neck, pivoting the hips and shoulders, knees, and the wrist or ankle of each paw. He includes two vacuum-metalized “chrome” rocket boosters that may be pegged into the cassette holes near his hips, adding some lateral dimension to his otherwise flat appearance.

Collector Notes

Despite his small size and fine detail, large metal pins connecting his hips and shoulders, as well as riveted die-cast metal legs make Ravage remarkably sturdy. However, unlike his brehthren, almost all of his tape details are painted rather than stickered, so wear to the face of the cassette is more likely to affect Ravage’s appearance. Similarly, his gold eyes are vacuum-metalized rather than stickered like Laserbeak and Buzzsaw, making them far more prone to wearing off completely.

Variants

Like most of his brethren, Ravage has production variations over the course of his release run. The variations are minor, and include some variations to his weapons. Reissues introduced other minor variations as well.

Availability

Like all 1984 Decepticons, Ravage was available again in 1985 with a rubsign replaces the foil-based Decepticon logo on his left shoulder. Due to their popularity, the pair continued to be available in 1986, an uncommon distinction for 1984 characters. Ravage was reissued in 2005 in Japan as part of the The Transformers Collection, packaged with reissue Soundblaster. This version replaced the tape reel sticker with a diagram of Fortress Maximus, which revealed his weak point when viewed through Soundblaster’s translucent red door. He was reissued with Soundwave again for the U.S. through Toys ’R’ Us as a Commemorative Edition / Classics seires in 2007, including a clear plastic tape case. He was reissued again in Japan in Transformers Encore in 2009 in The Great Cassette Operation with Rewind, Eject, and Buzzsaw. The U.S. reissue was available again in 2009’s Universe San Diego Comic Con / Hasbro Toy Shop exclusive Soundwave set.

Redecos & Retools

Ravage’s mold was first used in Takara’s 1983 Microchange MC02 MicroCassette Robo Jaguar in two versions: Black Jaguar and Blue Jaguar.

. The Blue Jaguar was released in 2005 as Howlback. The mold was redecoed in 2006 for Takara’s e-HOBBY Stripes (though including Steeljaw’s guns), and again in 2006 for Kiss Players Glit

. The mold was redecoed in 2013 to produce Linkin Park Ravage: Special Edition.