With the release of Frenzy and Buzzsaw, all the original Decepticon cassettes have made it to the illustrious Masterpiece ranks, and in record time. Though we’ve seen these molds before with Rumble and Laserbeak, there is something very gratifying about having updated, upgraded versions of these figures.
It’s fitting that Frenzy and Buzzsaw were released together, because it seems as though both of them have overshadowed by their more popular counterparts. While Buzzsaw was initially released with Soundwave back in the ’80s, there’s no doubt that Laserbeak became the more popular of the twin cassettes, both in comic and cartoon form. Laserbeak was the one flying around spying on everyone while Buzzsaw seemed content to sit in Soundwave’s chest and nap. It’s been a long time since I watched the cartoon, but I can’t remember seeing him much. I’m sure he was ejected at some point but he doesn’t stand out like Laserbeak. And while Frenzy should have been every bit as prevalent as Rumble, it seems like I remember seeing a lot more red than blue pop up back then. Sure, I remember both of them popping out their pile drivers and shaking things up, but it seems like Rumble got all the lines. And accordingly, all the chicks.
But despite getting shunted to the back of the class back then, they take center stage now in their own release.
In his review on the initial set of Rumble and Ravage, fellow Fwoosh reviewer Canonball touched on the debate between which color belonged to which cassette brother, but thankfully, as when I was a kid, Frenzy is blue in this set just like the original figure and that takes care of a lot of my possible OCD. I remember one cold winter morning kicking the television out of the house and setting fire to the neighborhood because suddenly Frenzy was red and Rumble was blue and nothing made sense anymore. We’ve all been spared such a horrible fate now.
I first have to admit that I’ve always held a bias for Rumble due to my love of the colors red and black, especially when they’re mixed together in one figure. Not that Frenzy’s a bad figure, but blue and purple can’t compare to red and black. There’s little to no contrast there, and I’m a sucker for contrast. That’s why Rumble was more popular, and that’s why Laserbeak took over the lead from Buzzsaw. Science wins again.
That doesn’t mean he’s a bad figure at all, my own color bias besides, because Frenzy’s a cool little dude on his own. He doesn’t stand out as much, so to me he’s the one that nobody notices… until it’s too late. Even when Ravage is skulking in the shadows and the others are waging their pint-sized attacks, Frenzy is the one that carefully casually sneaks up on you and pops some laser in your circuitry. I like how these little guys are small but just nasty and snotty little punks. They’re the Sex Pistols of the Transformers world.
Like Rumble, Frenzy comes with a pair of jackhammers that fit onto his arms. They’re also fully poseable so they can pull off a lot of cool poses and knock down Autobots — or Devastator before the Constructicons can fully form him, which ends up pissing off Astrotrain. I remember the first time they were featured in the cartoon and instantly wished my figures could do the same thing. It’s awesome that the Masterpiece figures are making a lot of ’80s dreams into a reality, which is why I’m all in from now on with Takara’s releases. That’s going to get pretty expensive.
For such a little figure he’s got a lot of great articulation. The forward and backward motion of his legs are a little hampered; I would have liked a bit more range there, but there’s only so much they can squeeze into such a small area, and with a wide stance it’s not too noticeable. Luckily his transformation allows plenty of movement in his ankles to compensate a little which means he’s got some decent balance in a lot of poses. He’s such an improvement over the original there’s no way I’m going to quibble over a small amount of missing motion. Just being able to move his arms forward, backward and to the side naturally is a huge bonus.
His twin guns fit into his hands snugly, and with a flip of the peg slot onto his back as well. Everything transforms in this world.
His transformation from robot to cassette is pretty simple and after a run through as intuitive as can be. You pretty much don’t need instructions the first time around, which is more than can be said with some other Lamentation box-styled transformations I’ve had to run through with other transformers lately. None of the cassettes have made me feel like I was summoning Pinhead.
Frenzy is a great looking, fun figure and a perfect counterpart to his mold-brother.
Buzzsaw pales a bit in comparison only because Laserbeak came out first and stole a bit of his thunder. Typical! As I said in the Soundwave group review, I love how the cannons on his back are integrated into his transformation instead of being a separate piece.
Due to his nature he’s fairly static and only exists to fly around and shoot things. His wings have a bit of flap due to how he transforms, but the most articulation you’ve find on him is in his neck, which lends itself well to dive-bombing or stoically perching on Soundwave’s shoulder — if Laserbeak isn’t already there hogging all the room. But that’s why poppa’s got two shoulders!
Both figures come with a pink cassette case that’s a cool addition, but completely superfluous because their homes (to me) are either in Soundwave’s chest or by his side.
At $60 bucks for the set these aren’t $15 Wal-mart prices, but if you’re into the Masterpiece line and already have Soundwave, they’re a must-buy. These are in stock now at BBTS. Soundwave and all five cassettes will be receiving a US release later, but for now this is the only venue to acquire them, and to me it was worth it to have a great set and a completed mini-team.