Series: TFC Toys
: Legal stuff first as always. Phlogeus is not a figure released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. He’s from third party company TFC Toys and clearly a homage to G1 Rampage
, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name.
Phlogeus is about the same size as his G1 counterpart Rampage, on the bigger end of the Deluxe class, and also quite strongly resembles him. Sure, he is a lot less boxy, looking far more streamlined, and actually has arms that are in scale with the rest of his body, but overall: a good resemblance. The beast head is prominent on the chest, the general color scheme is identical (red and orange with black), and the head design, while not identical, is also somewhat similar. So this is clearly meant to be Rampage, no doubt about it.
Phlogeus has the full range of motion you expect from a modern-day Transformers (or third party) figure, no complaints. The detailing is a good deal more complex than on the G1 figure, unsurprisingly, and Phlogeus comes with a different set of weapons, too. Rampage had a sword and two black guns, Phlogeus on the other hand comes with a big grey cannon (presumably part of Ares’ larger arm cannon later on) and a long orange and black scythe. Additionally he can wield the tail of his beast mode as a whip, either separately or in combination with the scythe.
So overall, a very nice figure in robot mode. Not extraordinary in any way, but perfectly good.
Phlogeus transforms into a feline predator, probably intended to be a tiger or puma. Again the resemblance to his G1 predecessor is pretty good, though Phlogeus has longer limbs and is far, far better articulated. All four limbs can move freely and he can both turn his head as well as open his jaws. Phlogeus’ big cannon can be mounted on the shoulder of the tiger as well, giving it firepower. No place to store the scythe, sadly, but that’s just about the only downside. So bottom line: a very nicely-done beast mode. No complaints.
Phlogeus forms one arm of the Ares combiner (left or right, your choice). I will do a separate review on him once I have all five members assembled.
Despite their status as fan favorites and generally being considered the most bad-ass combiner team of them all, the Predacons have never really gotten much in the way of characterization. Divebomb got a little spotlight in the Marvel UK comics and Razorclaw as team leader was a tad more visible than the others maybe, but as far as Rampage is concerned? The most we’ve learned about him is from his profile text, which has him in a near-constant state of fury that makes it difficult to think and only rock music videos can calm him down.
TFC names their Rampage-homage after one of Ares’ fire-breathing horses from Greek mythology. I don’t remember Rampage being able to breathe fire in the cartoon or comics, but I wouldn’t rule it out, either. Anyway, Phlogeus is exactly what I expected from the limb robots of the Ares combiner. A good figure, very nicely done, and no flaws except the fact that it carries a pretty high price tag. So yeah, you’ll only buy him to assemble Ares, not really for his own sake, but still: a nice figure.