Transformers Movie (2007) Fast Action Battler Axe Attack Autobot Ratchet Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie


Fast Action Battlers

Fast Action Battler Jazz art
General Information:
Release Year: June 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missile
Skill Level: 2

Images:

Tech Specs:
On a team made up only of the most courageous and daring warriors from the planet CYBERTRON, AUTOBOT RATCHET is probably the bravest. As the team's medic, he will charge across a blazing battlefield, dodging laser fire and missiles, to reach an injured friend. He can't bear to see suffering, so even as he defends himself with his battle axe, he readies his surgical tools to heal any damage done!

Strength: 4  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 9
Rank: 5  Courage: 10  Firepower: 3  Skill: 10


Fast Action Battlers are the successors to the 1-2-3 Transformers and Playskool Transformers, they are larger figures developed for younger kids to play with. The Fast Action Battlers generally feature simplified transformations and action features are combined with sculpting similar to mainline figures.

Packaging:
Fast Action Battler Ratchet is a blister carded figure. The design of the cards follow the general design of the mainline movie product, but the look has been simplified and made brighter to appeal to a younger age group. The brushed metal Transformers logo is at the top against a red background with a faded Decepticon symbol. He is carded in robot mode and a curved line goes from the left to the right, getting thinner as it goes along. This line is in yellow as opposed to the tech detailed versions from the mainline figures. The back features the figure in both modes and his tech specs. It also features the generic text "Hidden among us, alien machines with the awesome ability to change from one form to another fight their ancient battle for the Allspark. They are...the Transformers!. It also features the tech specs above.

Robot Mode:
Of all the movie forms, Ratchet's is probably one of the more difficult ones to accurately portray in toy form. He essentally goes from a very boxy vehicle to a very humanoid shape, complete with curved sections on both his arms and legs. With a Fast Action Battler, that challenge is multiplied by the need to simply the figure. The result is a compromise in the design that leads to some inaccuracies, but overall a functional figure.

First let's look at what is accurate to the movie model. The head sculpt is the most obvious part of Ratchet that falls in line with his movie design is the head. While early pictures were often perceived as incomprehensible jumbles, he actually has a very distinctive head design, different than most Transformers we have seen in the past. The design is quite intricate, with many layers of details including his prominant nose and two triangular parts leading from the sides of his nose to the jaw, giving him the appearance of having an odd, large mustache. The chest design is also very close to the movie model, with the front cage with lights mounted on the chest and the wheels angled on either side. While not completely accurate, the mid-body and waist area do feature quite a bit of detail including a lot of small tech details and angled sections that resemble those found on the CGI model used in the movie. The outer layer of his legs are boxed off to facilitate transformation, but if you look inside you'll find the sculpting of his legs has the very humanoid shape from the CGI model. Each part from thigh to knees to lower legs are defined well and sculpted to look like sections with armor plating over them.

Where this figure deviates from the CGI model can be chalked up to a combination of necesity of design and the Hasbro designers having to work off early design images rather than the final CGI product when creating this figure. The first big difference you'll find are the arms. Here they are large, blocky and on his left arm he has small cannons mounted (which actually look really cool) and a four fingered hand, close in design to Jazz's hands. The inaccuracy here (other than the general shape of the arms) has to do with his hand. The hands on the CGI model are regular human like hands with five fingers. The right arm has an axe weapon sculpted in place of a hand, which is something the Voyager class figure has as well. Oddly enough, we never actually see Ratchet use anything resembling an axe in the movie (he uses a saw, but that's different) so I'm wondering if this was an earlier concept that simply never made it into the final film. In between the halves of the axe is a slot for his missile, giving the right arm dual functionality. The trigger for the missile is located on the underside lower half of the forearm.

Ratchet is primarily cast in bright metallic flake green and black plastic. Details are pinted in silver, blue, red and orange. The most detailed part in robot mode is the head. It's cast in bright green and the paint apps are applied to the various layers including blue for the eyes and red for a stripe on the top of his head. Other details carried over from the CGI model include the red line that runs across his chest and silver details on his waist (though they do not match the CGI model 100%). An Autobot symbol can be found on the mid-body, painted in silver. The only part which bugs me a bit is the lack of deco on the legs apart from some black at the top. The sculpting is done really well but some extra black or silver paint apps might have helped to distinguish the panel sections from the machinery underneath.

Ratchet has ten points of articulation, which is quite impressive for a figure intended to be simpler than its larger counterparts. If you turn Ratchet's upper body to the left, it swings back, simulating a strike. This works especially well for Ratchet since he has the axe on his right arm.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the missile (mainly so it doesn't go flying everywhere by accident).
  2. Swing the black hinged piece on the back up.
  3. Swing the robot chest up.
  4. Swing each lower arm back against the door panels.
  5. Rotate the front cage with headlights around. This will "Automorph" the arm panels in, forming the doors.
  6. Connect the lower legs together.
  7. Swing the lower leg sections up and connect them to the clips on the front half of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Ratchet's vehicle mode is extremely well done. I expected a lot of simplification, especially when it comes to the finer details, but no, this guy has detail in abundance! The front cage has its intricate set of bars going horizontal and vertical along with headlights and extra lights in the middle (each with lines sculpted inside like real life lights). On the top are his sirens and extra row of lights along with the spare tire on the top of the vehicle. The sides have a lot of details including panels, lights and even the shovel and axe that appears on the larger Voyager sized figure. I'm very impressed by the amount of detail put into this figure's sculpt.

Ratchet uses the same colors in this form that you see in robot mode with the addition of orange text on the sides saying "Fire Department". Like the sculpted details, the paint details are very well done. The windows are painted metallic blue. The red "life meter" line runs from the front to the back and he even has his small "Search and Rescue Fire Dept." circle detail with the Autobot symbol in the center.

Final Thoughts:
Ratchet is a fun toy and I'm glad to see him given extra weaponry that the larger Voyager class figure does not have. Combined with excellent detailing and this is a really neat figure. while I'm still not a huge fan of the neon green color used on Ratchet, this shade seems to work a lot better than the one on the Voyager Class figure. Recommended.