One thing that’s very difficult to do in this franchise is pull off an homage to a previous character while actually remaining original in your design. As fans, we lack an appreciation for subtlety. Sad, really, because then we tend to grouse and moan loudly when we are given, “more of the same”, but not as loudly as we complain when we are given something that is “totally off the mark”. For this reason alone I applaud whomever designed Transformers Prime “Rumble”. Granted, they then manufactured him in the wrong colour (or named him the wrong name, whichever), but they did a great job of capturing the scrappy little Decepticon thug anyway.
However, when it comes to direct homages, there’s really only two. First, of course, being the piledriver weapons that integrate into his arms, but can also be held as guns. Then there’s the unnecessary, but awesome detail molded into the sides of his alt mode that stick up from his back in robot mode, harkening back to the weapons that protruded from the original’s back.
Minus these details and his character’s description, there’s really nothing else that screams “Frenzy!” or “Rumble!” about this guy.
He’s actually impressively original in his design aesthetic. I absolutely love his headsculpt. He also makes great use of translucent plastics, his light-piping is wonderful. I guess his chest can be considered somewhat an homage to the cassette tape spool chest of his G1 toy, but as quite a few people have pointed out, it really looks more like eyes of a face. I know when I saw him, the first thing I thought of was the Gunmen of the anime series Gurren Lagann
I do have one serious concern about his robot mode. His waist consists of a rather thin stick of plastic connecting his top half to his legs, I mean perilously thin. It has enough clearance that a little too much pressure might easily snap it off.
I’m just sayin’, be careful with this guy. Now, his new alt mode is a somewhat plain looking compact car.
Just like United Frenzy and Rumble, there’s no real explanation provided as to why he is no longer a Deployer of Soundwave’s. Of course, there is an implied one, if you ignore that very forced attempt by Hasbro to shoehorn Transformers Prime in with the “Aligned Continuity”, then Rumble was never a Deployer of Transformer Prime‘s Soundwave to begin with. His alt mode, which looks very, very much like Alternators Rumble’s Honda Civic Si alt mode, takes on an almost Transformers Animated Bumblebee-with-jet-boosters look when you attach his weapons on the sides.
Though Takara-Tomy has announced an Arms Micron release of both Rumble and Frenzy (which is which colour has yet to be seen, but Takara has historically gotten the toy names correct), we haven’t heard anything from Hasbro. It would be shocking for Hasbro to pass up a possibility to put a straight repaint out there, but stranger things have happened, heck, just ask Transformers Prime Ironhide… or rather, Kup.