Rumble (Transformers Generation 1)

Transformers Generation 1 Rumble

Decepticons faction symbol
Name: Rumble
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Demolitions
Sub-group: Cassette
Timeline: Generation 1

Destroy what's below and what's above will follow.


Transformers Masterpiece Rumble robot mode
Most Autobots know two things about Rumble: that he's the quintessential mean-spirited Decepticon punk, and he's every bit as tough as he acts. Even though he's physically half the size of most Decepticon warriors, he compensates by acting twice as tough. He's got the brash, brazen attitude of a low-down dirty thug who feels like the world owes him, coupled with a foul mouth and an infamously quick temper. Rumble loves being part of what he calls "the toughest gang in the galaxy", acknowledging that being a part of the Decepticons has helped him reach his full, destructive potential. Rumble looks up to the Decepticon warriors elite with admiration. In particular Rumble idolises Megatron, seeing him as an immortal, unconquerable hero; he also admires Soundwave, who he views as something of a father-figure. Other Decepticons who aren't the subject of Rumble's admiration try to keep their distance, as Rumble has occasionally punched out 'bots for looking at him the wrong way. Rumble has a particularly antagonistic relationship with his more chaotic brother Frenzy - the two often get into brawls over all kinds of nonsensical and petty issues, like the colour of Rumble's chassis. Unfortunately for the Autobots, Rumble's hatred of them is much greater than any antagonism he feels toward his fellow Decepticons. He's one of the first Decepticons on a battlefield, living up to his reputation of being the ultimate Decepticon foot soldier by sowing his unique brand of havoc from the front-lines, taunting and provoking Autobots with crude rhymes like "If on Decepticon turf you should tumble, watch out 'bot, because here comes Rumble!" Rumble usually follows up with a devastating assault with his seismic powers. Rumble loves being on the battlefield; he sometimes grows bored when assigned to less "exciting" tasks but his admiration of Megatron keeps him from going too far astray. It is telling of how far Megatron has strayed from his original noble ambitions that he views Rumble as one of his favourites.

Cassette mode:

Transformers Masterpiece Rumble Cassette mode

Author notes:

In writing this bio, I needed to make one very important decision. A decision that has been widely debated in the Transformers fandom for decades.

Which one is Rumble - the red one, or the blue one?

As you can probably see, I went with the blue one. I was introduced to the Transformers cartoon in 1985, and in the cartoon Rumble was miscoloured with his brother Frenzy's colours. But that meant for me I've always identified the blue cassette as Rumble, even though the toys and comics had Rumble in the red and black deco.

There is also a thematic reason to have Rumble as the blue one and Frenzy as the red one. There is a Japanese folk tale of the two Oni - one red, one blue - with the red one being irrational and driven by anger, and the blue one being more considered and calculating. While Rumble is hardly considered and calculating, he's definitely more restrained than his brother Frenzy, who is utterly insane and very violent, which fits the red Oni archetype. I threw in a small reference to the debate by having Frenzy and Rumble get into fights over their colours, suggesting Frenzy might not be happy being the red one!

Writing up this bio, I found myself amazed at the parallelism between Rumble and Bumblebee - they're both the "kid sidekick" characters of their respective factions, and they both admire their respective leaders. Also, they both embody the values of their sides - Bumblebee being peaceful, optimistic and amiable, Rumble being a violent, destructive thug who'll punch you for looking at him. I'm not sure if that was intended, but it helped me structure the bio.

Also, I firmed up on Soundwave's relationship with Rumble, deciding to have them be a sort of "father-son" duo. Again, this just made sense given what I'd written into Soundwave's bio and the stated admiration of Rumble for the bigger Decepticons.

Lastly, a bit of content I had to cut because it just didn't fit was Rumble's quip about the Decepticons being "the toughest gang in the galaxy". Originally, I wanted to throw in a line about them being the "toughest gang this side of the Antares system", the Antares system being the home of the monster Go-Bots who were a sort-of third faction in the later episodes of the Go-Bots cartoon series. It ultimately didn't fit, ran contrary to what I was trying to say in that section, and was a referencemost people wouldn't even get, so it wasn't worth including. But it was on my mind to throw in that those characters could exist somehow in a Transformers universe.

Toys of Transformers Generation 1 Rumble

Transformers Masterpiece Rumble

Transformers Masterpiece Rumble Generation 1 Box art pose Transformers Masterpiece Rumble robot mode with pistols
Transformers Masterpiece Rumble with piledrivers Transformers Masterpiece Rumble with piledrivers alternate pose Transformers Masterpiece Rumble with Frenzy
The Masterpiece Rumble / Frenzy toy is a fantastic little figure. The transformation is very clever and the resulting figure is lovely and has some nice poseability. There's a few downsides, like a lack of a waist swivel and the fact the back of the head is painted to be a part of the cassette mode. But I like aspects like the accurate guns and the inclusion of the piledrivers. I also really like the deco, which is sharp and very screen accurate. He's a lot of fun. I like him.

More information on Transformers Masterpiece Frenzy at TFW2005

See more Transformers Masterpiece toys in my collection.