Dark of the Moon Scan Series Autobot Ratchet Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Deluxe, Revenge of the Fallen, Scan Series, Toys R Us Exclusive

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: August 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missile x 1, Missile launcher

Images:

*Images and text from Toys R Us' Canada site:
Your powerful AUTOBOT RATCHET figure is ready for action and has 2 modes to complete your missions! Convert him to HUMMER H2 mode when he needs to stay mobile or get out of a tough spot. Convert him back to robot mode when he needs to save a fellow AUTOBOT figure (sold separately) or fight off enemy attacks! In robot mode, he has a launching EMP missile! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at him!

As part of its "Dark of the Moon" promotion, Hasbro worked with Toys R Us to release a series of figures under the banner of "Mission Earth". I've already reviewed Sideswipe and Ironhide from this series. The idea is to take a pre-existing Deluxe Scale version of the figure and give it a new deco that shows the moment the Autobots arrived on Earth and "scanned" new vehicle forms for themselves. It's a really interesting set of decos that are rather eye catching.

One of the first Autobots introduced in the 2007 "Transformers" live action movie was Ratchet. The Autobot touched down on Earth and took on the form of a Humvee rescue vehicle. This figure uses the "Revenge of the Fallen" Deluxe Ratchet figure as its base, not the current "Dark of the Moon" Deluxe Ratchet figure. Check out my original review for details on the design of this figure. This review will focus on the deco changes made for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Unlike most redecos, it is important to remember that this version of Ratchet is not meant to show alternative colors for the character, it is a transition phase from one form to another. The idea is to make part of the vehicle look like what we saw in the film and the other part showing "changes" occurring in the form, no small feat with no retooling and just a deco change. To start this off, the designers used two primary translucent colors and one solid color to cast the figure in. The translucent colors are clear plastic and a light green plastic, echoing the neon green color that defined Ratchet in the movies. Black is used for some of the parts you'd expect including the wheels and the cage on the front of the vehicle. A bit of silver plastic is also found on the weapon and hinge pieces on the top of the vehicle. Translucent blue plastic is used for the missile that fits into the weapon as well as the row of three lights in the front. By itself these colors already show what the designers were going for, but the paint decos really help sell the concept.

There are quite a few colors used for this deco, more than you'd think looking at it from a distance. The most prominent color is the neon metallic green that you'd expect. Red, black and orange are used for smaller detailing along the sides of the doors. Where the deco gets really interesting is the point where white and light blue are used. Towards the middle of each side is a diagonal line of white which leads to several light blue lines that look like circuit patterns. What I really like about this particular pattern is that some of these light blue lines are designed to look like the jagged, angle line that actually forms in red once Ratchet's form is "complete". Even more interesting? The clear plastic where the light blue lines are actually has a blue translucent color on the plastic that "fades" into the clear plastic in the back of the vehicle. This is a fantastic and very uncommon deco style and as a long time collector, it's really refreshing to see, especially on a sculpt I already own.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missile launcher if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Pull the front and rear halves of the vehicle apart slightly to loosen up the connection points in the center.
  3. Swing out the front wheels to the side, revealing the robot arms and head.
  4. Straighten out the robot arms.
  5. Swing out the rear, side panels of the vehicle.
  6. Extend the robot legs straight down.
  7. Fold the half of the rear panels with the wheels on them over the other half using the double hinges.
  8. Swing the section with the robot head and arms on it down a bit, then rotate it around.
  9. Move the section with the robot head up.
  10. Swing down the front portion of the vehicle mode and use the tab in the center to fit into its corresponding slot.
  11. Swing the panel on the back up, collapsing it against his back.
  12. Rotate the panels on his shoulders around and swing the wheels in, then fold the wheel panels over.
  13. Rotate the lower legs around.
  14. Swing the heel piece on the back of each foot out at an angle.
  15. Attach the missile launcher to the gears in his right forearm.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Ratchet has a really healthy amount of translucent plastic showing that is not painted over at all. His forearms are translucent green plastic and his hips, thighs and feet are clear plastic. The lower legs are cast in a gunmetal color, the same as his shoulder joints. The panels that wind up on his hips and the back of his shoulder armor show off some of the translucent blue color. This combination looks fantastic, and it really does look like we are seeing Ratchet as his body is coming to a final form. The colors themselves are also very bright and attractive. In sunlight he looks positively shiny!

There are some paint details in this mode. The legs have some white in the middle while the head is painted metallic neon green with some silver detailing. The interior joint inside the thighs is painted silver, which is a neat way of allowing you to "see through" his leg to see the mechanism inside. It isn't much, but given the concept of the series, it really doesn't need a lot. What matters a lot here is how the plastic colors work together and they work briliantly.

All of the joints on this figure are just as tight as those on the first version of this figure that I own. The spring on his right forearm that connects to the weapon is a bit too strong so you really have to press that weapon in with a bit of extra pressure. It's not a huge deal, but it was unexpected. The missile firing mechanism works well so no problems there either.

Final Thoughts:
I knwo I didn't say tons about this redeco in this review, but that's because quite simply it's an amazingly well done figure. Every year a new movie comes out, the market is flooded with redecos all over the place. I'm hesitant to recommend them, especially if the same character is available in the same scale in two other color schemes at the same time. Given all that, I still have to highly recommend Ratchet. He looks fantastic and I always liked the original sculpt to begin with. Bravo to the designers.