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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Ganon578's review: Ratchet

Name: Ratchet
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Medic, Retired Party Animal
Group: Universe Generation 1 Deluxe

Back on Cybertron, Autobot Ratchet was the best mechanic and machinist around. The only thing that kept him from true greatness was his constant partying. Years of war and a series of tragic encounters with Megatron have tempered his good nature, leaving him with a melancholy edge and a sour bedside manner. He's still the finest medic the Autobots have at their disposal, but these days he's more distracted by his bad memories than his late nights.

Ah, Ratchet. Making his debut in Generation 1, Ratchet has made many cartoon and toy appearances over the years (he even made an appearance on Robot Chicken to give Optimus Prime a prostate exam). Recently it seems he has become more popular in Transformers media, with a presence in the 2007 live action movie and cartoon and toy appearances in Transformers Animated. Heís also now in the Universe line (no surprise there, Ironhide already came out), and in updated form. Thankfully heís far removed from his headless, windshield-faced original toy. Most of the mould comments I have are quite similar to Ironhide, which are found in the Universe version here, and the Henkei version here. Furthermore, you can read all about the Henkei version of Ratchet here. Hereís what I have to say about RatchetÖ Oops, I guess heís AUTOBOT Ratchet now.

Alternate Mode:
Ratchetís alternate mode is a SUV, which is a nice update from the van of old. There arenít too many vans that look cool nowadays, so itís nice to see a more modern automobile used. The look is similar to the old van (boxy) but with a meaner look. There are some really nice touches and detail in this mode, like the brush guard on the front of the SUV, the lights on the top, and the appropriately sized wheels.

The windows on Ratchet are a mixed bag; most of them are clear blue plastic, while others are painted a light blue, which somewhat match, but look kind of mottled together. The paint job is nice; white is the major color with detailing in red, highlighting Ratchetís now characteristic ďheartbeatĒ line running across the side. His back license plate reads ďH3L PU2Ē, which is a nice nod to an old comic book cover. Light blue flashers and headlights round out the details/features of the SUV mode.

I have two problems with this mode though, and both deal with aesthetics. One is the difference of whites on the SUV; the white plastic does not quite match the painted white (much like the transparent and painted windows). The other problem is the mass amount of lines/seams you can see. Personally, I think itís masked a little better here than on Ironhide. The lines make him look like someone heated him up then immediately threw him in the freezer, creating a mass of cracks. I understand why theyíre there; it just looks sloppy in my opinion. Overall though, the SUV mode is quite solid if you can get past the mismatched colors and multiple seams.

Robot mode:
The robot mode is quite nice (once you get there after a somewhat convoluted transformation), and in contrast to Ironhide, I think the paint apps and colors really help make Ratchet stand out. Thereís a healthy mix of white, red, and black that can be seen, and with Ratchet, the face is silver straight out of the box (maybe he makes Ironhide so mad heís blue in the faceÖ a botched surgery perhaps?). There are some nice paint details on the shoulders too, which give the figure a little depth.

One major change from the Ironhide mould is a new head (see picture). Well, itís not really a new head, but more of a modified head (check picture again). Itís a small change, but it makes Ratchet a little more distinctive from Ironhide. On the balance/positioning side of things, Ratchet is great. Heís well proportioned, and has large feet that are actually on ball joints that give more freedom for poses. At times he may be a little back heavy, but itís mostly balanced out with the large, articulate feet.

For a weapon, Ratchet gets the same treatment as Ironhide has, with a dual weapon of sorts. One end is a Gatling gun, the other is a blade. I choose to have it displayed as a blade, being as he is a medic anyways. I think itís more suited to him, as the gun is more suited to Ironhide, but itís nice to have the option to change it up once in a while.

Overall, Ratchet is a nice toy. I think the robot mode is the superior mode of the two, and with good balance and a dual weapon, thereís a decent amount of fun that can be had with Ratchet.

Marks out of 10:

Transformation: 6. Itís challenging, but not that interesting.
Durability: 7. Solid for the most part. Thereís not too many things that can break, but hinges and joints may go bad with time.
Fun: 8. You can pose him well, and he has a dual weapon. Not too shabby.
Price: 8. $10 retail isnít bad, but if you didnít care for Ironhide, the price may seem high.
Overall: 7. Heís a good figure, and a nice compliment to Ironhide (if you own him), but I think the mould could be better. For only $10 though, heís a good addition to your shelf.
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