Series: Generation 2 If you blink... you'll miss me
This seac-scrapin' super boat blasts Decepticons right out of the water! Few have engaged him in battle without ending up on the ocean floor. Arms and legs convert to reinforced twin hulls, and his hydro-cooled turbojet engine provides him with speed up t0 200 mph. When threatened, he unleashes his fearsome "roto-prop" weapon that forces enemies to take a dive. He's very daring, but sometimes a little reckless.
Manta Ray looks pretty cool in robot mode. I always like it when the robot mode offers only very little clue as to what the robot transforms into and Manta Ray's only clue is those fins on his shoulders that could be from just about any sort of vehicle. So props for that. Sadly Ray falls a little short when it comes to posability. He can bend his elbows and spread his legs, but that's pretty much it. Among the G2 figures (at least those that aren't repaints of G1 figures) that makes him pretty far below average.
As a weapon Manta Ray carries the turbine/rotorblade from his vehicle mode. The Rotorforce robots, of which he is one, were defined by this gimmick. In the comics they sent spinning, razor-sharp blades hurling at their enemies. Manta Ray's propeller isn't exactly razorsharp, but using the turbine you can wind it up and let it fly... literally. It spins so fast that it flies and hovers for several seconds. A fun gimmick.
So all in all Manta Ray is a good-looking, but not very posable robot with a fun gimmick. Make of that what you wish.
I'm not sure what the exaxt name of this kind of seacraft is. Manta Ray transforms into a kind of speedboat with the kind of big propeller at the back that you usually see on those skiffs they use in the Everglades. Unlike the robot mode, which can work without the propeller-weapon, the vehicle mode is pretty much sunk if you lose it, as there's a big hole in the back when it's not there.
The gimmick works here as well, of course, and if you leave the propeller pointed backwards, it actually propells the boat forward a bit when you let it rip. I've yet to try whether Manta Ray can actually swim in vehicle mode. Maybe I'll take him with me next time I run a bath. Anyway, a pretty cool-looking alternate mode. There aren't enough Transformers with sea-faring alternate modes out there.
Manta Ray was among the "new Decepticons" created by Megatron using the Creation Matrix stolen from Optimus Prime. When Autobots and Decepticons joined forces against Jhiaxus and the Cybertronian Empire, though, Manta Ray found he had more in common with the Autobots, especially Grimlock, whom he came to regard as a mentor. He more or less switched sides during the final battle against the Swarm, but seeing as Autobots and Decepticons were united at that point, it didn't really matter all that much.
As a figure Manta Ray is pretty cool and among the rather small group of Transformers who transform into seacraft, the latter being the main reason I bought him. Manta Ray is doing quite well in the looks-department, but falls short in terms of posability. The gimmick is fun, but pretty much dominates the figure. So all in all I'd have to say that Manta Ray is on the good side of average for a Generation 2 figure, but nowhere near the top. Recommended to all fans of gimmick-driven or seacraft-Transformers.