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Ricochet

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Hit it!
Nah, na na na nah/
Na na na nah, na na nah, na na nah/
Na na na nah!

Fellow Autobot warriors find it difficult to maintain friendly conversations with this quick-tempered, easily provoked Autobot, but Ricochet has an uncommonly strong sense of justice. Has the most accurate marksmanship of the Autobots. Can hit a tin can from 10 kilometers. Shoulder mounted automatic shell cannon fires shots at a rate of 30 per second.

"Ricochet" has an interesting history. The character, basically just a black repaint of the original G1 Jazz, was created in 1987 for the Japanese Headmasters line, where he was known as ステッパー (Suteppā). And thus Stepper he remained for nearly two decades, until Hasbro decided to include him in their Commemorative Series line of reissues. Unable to secure the "Stepper" trademark, they renamed the character Ricochet, and have used that name for all later iterations.

This iteration is part of the Generations Selects line, which draws molds from the past few years of gimmicks, so technically this is a Power of the Primes figure, with all that entails. Unsurprisingly, this is the PotP Jazz mold, with no molding changes - not even a new head. Of course, I skipped that Jazz because we'd just had one a few years before, so this mold is new to me!

Like the G1 figure, there's a broad, sloping chest and blocky shoulders with wheels on the back (though because of licensing restrictions, this time the chest has a lowered section in the center that feels like it was influenced by the Fall of Cybertron Jazz). The horizontal lines on the groin and the two small notches on the front of each thigh are features from the original toy, and even the armor on the shins is reminiscent of the old Jazz's flip-up feet.

Ricochet moves at the knees, thighs, hips, waist, neck, shoulders, and elbows. The wrists are also joints, but the panels of kibble under the hands keep them from moving - an odd design decision. The colorscheme is almost a photo negative of Jazz: black body with white on the limbs, instead of white body with black on the limbs. The addition of gold on the face, chest, waist, and feet really accents all that nicely, as well. The figure is armed with a black rifle and a white hand/foot/gun - see, we told you this release had everything a normal Power of the Primes Deluxe would.

To convert the figure, tuck the feet away, open the back of the calves, fold the legs in and close the panels again, raise the entire chest and back, drop the head, unfold the small panel that's beneath the chest, straighten the hood, put the roof into position, and fold the arms into the body to finish the car.

Being a redeco of Jazz, the original Stepper was a Porsche 935. Since that would require paying licensing fees today, the modern Ricochet is something that looks like a cross between a Le Mans racer and a street car. It has the curving front end that turns into a very flat body, with a domed canopy in the center. There's a vent on the roof and a spoiler in the back. The chassis isn't as thin and low as the real car would be, which is where the street car influence comes in. It's a shame Transformers is a Hasbro property and not Mattel, because the flame patterns on the doors and hood almost look like the Hot Wheels logo. The car is mainly black, but the gold accents really make the design pop.

It's been a while, but think back and recall that Power of the Primes was all about big Combiners. Ricochet has no history being part of a Combiner team, so the instructions include steps to create either an arm or a leg. Neither of them is really great, but I hold out hope of one day being able to complete Elita-Infin1te (without having to buy four of the same mold, of course).

Ricochet does the number one most important thing any Transformer can do: gives Hasbro a character they can redeco existing molds into. Got a toy of Jazz in any line? Well, pour some black plastic into that tooling and paint some flames on it! Ricochet, like the rest of the Generations Selects figures, is only available online, so if you're interested it's off to Hasbro's web store with you!

-- 08/13/19


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