Bot Shots Autobot Ratchet Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Bot Shots, Generation One

Bot Shots

General Information:
Release Date: March 2012
fPrice Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text below in italics are from the Official Transformers web site:
Dominate the BOT SHOTS game of strength and high-powered collisions with this fierce AUTOBOT RATCHET vehicle! Your vehicle has a Sword, Blaster and Fist power. Choose your vehicle’s power, and face off against an opponent. Now crash your vehicles into each other! If your vehicle converts to robot mode while your opponent’s stays in vehicle mode, you win! If neither vehicle converts, crash them again! If both convert, the vehicle with the highest power wins: Blaster beats Fist, Fist beats Sword and Sword beats Blaster. May the strongest BOT SHOT vehicle win!

Includes vehicle. Series 1 B006 AUTOBOT RATCHET Ages 5 and up.

RatchetBot Shots are a game based expression of the Transformers brand that focuses on interactive game play between figures. Previous attempts at this such as "Attacktix" had relied on missile firing mechanisms and point systems as the primary elements of the gaming system. Bot Shots are much more action oriented and factor the transformation of the toy into the play pattern (which Attacktix did not).

In general, all Bot Shots figures have a vehicle mode and robot mode. The transformation is triggered by "bashing" the front of the vehicle into another Bot Shot (or a wall, book...any solid surface really) causing a spring loaded feature to activate and transform the figure. This generally means revealing the robot head, arms angled out to the sides and feet along with robot mode details.

The key to the game system is a three sided hinged mechanism built into the chest. On each side is a sticker with one of three icons: a fist, a sword and a blaster - each representing a different type of combat. Presumably without your opponent seeing your selection, you turn the panel on the chest and then crash the two Bot Shots together and when the robot mode is revealed each player will know what "weapon" the other chose. The way the game works:

  • Blaster beats fist
  • Fist beats sword
  • Sword beats blaster

In the case of two Bot Shots getting the same icon each icon has a number on it indicating that character's level of that skill. Whoever has the higher number wins. It's a simple and fun system clearly developed for kids who enjoy a game element to their action figures (such as lines like Bakugan).

Robot Mode:
In recent years we have seen many Transformers designs blend aspects of a character's namesakes from different generations. In the case of Bot Shots Autobot Ratchet there are elements of both Generation One and Live Action Movie Ratchet. The most obvious feature from G1 Ratchet is the design of the head. With its curved helmet section with a pointed crest piece over the forehead, it's clear this is based on G1 Ratchet's head design from the animated series. This even includes more subtle design elements such as the discs on either side of his helmet and a chin piece. I find it hilarious how his mouth is set in a bit of a laughing expression, as if he were having a grand old time playing the "Bot Shots game".

The torso piece on Ratchet shows off some live action movie influences. Along the top of the chest are three circular lights, resembling those from Movie Ratchet's vehicle mode. Across the middle of the chest are what appear to be parts of a cage such as the one that protects the front of the vehicle. I like this blend of the two Ratchets as neither feature looks out of place with the other.

Ratchet is cast in white and grey plastic. The white makes up most of the figure with grey used on the wheels. As you'd expect, red and silver are the primary paint colors used on this figure. Silver is used on the face while red is used on the crest, fists and feet. The color contrasts work nicely and pay proper homage to G1 Ratchet. I really like the shade of red, it's really nice and deep.

There is no articulation to really discuss and Bot Shots don't come with any accessories. The main fun in this figure is in the "crashing" play pattern and seeing how many of your friends you can defeat! For those curious, Ratchet's scores break down as follows:

  • Blaster: 290
  • Fist: 720
  • Sword: 630

    I was not surprised that the Blaster rating is relatively low since Ratchet is really meant to be a medic, but I was very surprised that his "Fist" rating was so high! I guess being a medic he knows how to work with his hands and the best places to smash an opponent to hurt them!

    Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

    1. Swing the vehicle hood on the back over the robot head, this will also cause the arms to swing in.
    2. Swing the robot feet up against the underside of the vehicle.

    The transformation/crashing trigger mechanism works great. On about five different tries it triggered the transformation perfectly.

    Vehicle Mode:
    Ratchet's vehicle mode is definitely more inspired by his movie counterpart than G1. Rather than being inspired by a Humvee like the movie universe Ratchet, this one seems more based on a Land Rover instead. It has a blocky front end leading to a high section in the back with beveled edges. A spare tire sits on top (just sculpted, it doesn't move or detach). There is also a row of lights on top, similar to the movie vehicle. To cement his connection to Ratchet's medic role, there is an emergency lightbar mounted on the top of the cabin section.

    Unfortunately, the deco on this figure is rather sparse. The ends of the lightbars are neon orange and the windows are silver and...that's it. I honestly found myself a bit shocked that there was no red used at all in this form (say on the sides or hood). Unfortunately with the figure being mostly cast in white, this makes for a very dull looking vehicle.

    Final Thoughts:
    Autobot Ratchet looks fantastic in robot mode, and the vehicle mode sculpt is solid but lacks quite a bit in the deco department. Recommended, but with reservations.