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. Rumble was packed with Ravage; and he is red.

US Patent for G1 Rumble

Origins

Rumble, like many early Transformers toys, originated in the Takara Microman: Microchange line. He was originally released as MC01 MicroCassette Robo Red Micross, but with a reversed color scheme. This toy was also available as the Blue Micross, who would later become Rumble’s Transformer brother Frenzy. These toys included a small, transparent tape case with a paper insert that was omitted for the Transformers release. Rumble was designed by Takashi Matsuda, His US Patent, titled Combined reconfigurable toy cassette and box (aka Transformers G1 Rumble) was filed on December 18, 1982 (U.S. Patent No. USD288221 S).

Description

Rumble transforms into a red Olympus Type IV “Metal” MC60 Microcassette, in a real-life scale. The front of the cassette is detailed with stickers that 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 cassette mode is molded in black plastic, and decorated with a large number of molded-in robot mode details. Rumble’s transformation is fairly simple, but produces a surprisingly well-proportioned robot from the tiny rectangular form. He is decorated with a few stickers, and some of the raised details on his chest and abdomen are vacuum-metalized. He includes two chrome weapons which may be pegged into the cassette drive holes on his back, with protrusions on the guns forming “wings” on Rumble’s shoulders. The guns may also be clipped over Rumble’s hands, though on the opposite side from their wing usage.

Collector Notes

Rumble is not particularly study, due to the small nature of all his joints and pieces. His most common complaint, however, is the spring-loaded head. The spring that lifts the head into place for robot mode may be too weak, causing the head to sag into the chest. In other cases, the head may become too loose to stay in its track, and get lost, or at best, the spring will not be present. Furthermore, the fins on his guns used to attach them to his arms are prone to breakage.

Variants

Like most of his brethren, Rumble has production variations over the course of his release run. Fortunately, there are only two known versions of the toy. Earlier versions of Rumble feature metal toes and elbows, and a specialized fastener for his arm joints. In mid-1985, the metal parts were replaced with black plastic, the special fasteners were replaced with normal rivets, and the large shin stickers were omitted.

Availability

Like all 1984 Decepticons, Rumble was available again in 1985 with a rubsign placed directly below the simulated tape reel window, and omitting the foil Decepticon logo on his abdomen. Due to the continued popularity of the character, he continued to be available in 1986. Rumble was reissued in Japan as part of the Transformers Encore line in the set The Great Cassette Operation Vol. 3 with Frenzy, Laserbeak, and Overkill. This version replaced almost all of the detail stickers with tampographed paint operations, and may have used repaired or re-created molds, as there are notable differences on the head and guns.

Redecos & Retools

Rumble’s mold was first used in Takara’s 1983 Microchange MC01 MicroCassette Robo Micross in two versions: Blue Micross and Red Micross. The Blue Micross was released in 1984 as Frenzy. The mold was redecoed in 2012 to make Enemy for Takara’s Transformers Encore line. A very similar mold was used to make the Enemy robot glued to the Nasta AM Radio & Headset.