Transformers Movie (2007) Autobot Ratchet Review

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

Transformers Live Action Movie

Autobot Ratchet Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Spare tire/cage weapon

Images:

Tech Specs:
AUTOBOT RATCHET is devoted to saving life, no matter what form it takes, and no matter where it is. Every AUTOBOT has had his Spark preserved at least once by him, and more than one DECEPTICON has opened his optical sensors after a mortal blow only to find AUTOBOT RATCHET welding shut the final incision. He joined up with OPTIMUS PRIME not because he wanted to be a soldier but because he believed the AUTOBOTS presented the last, best hope of preserving life in the universe against the evil of the Decepticons.

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


Packaging:
Ratchet is packaged in a box that is flat on the left side and curves on the right. The movie logo with the Autobot symbol is found on the top of the curve. Underneath that is a curved piece with tech details and the words "Automorph Technology" on top. His name "Autobot Ratchet" is printed along the bottom. Ratchet is packaged in vehicle mode and on the lower left hand corner is Ratchet's box art. On the back he is pictured reversed, holding the cage on what looks like his right arm and his axe weapon on the left. Blackout is listed as his cosell. It's really nice looking packaging and definitely catches the eye.

Vehicle Mode:
Ratchet is a Hummer H2 based rescue vehicle. The common model is the one most people will see on the streets. However Ratchet is a modified version with rescue lights and cage sections to provide more delicate parts such as the front headlights. There are also a lot of sculpted details representing the details added on for rescue operations. Ratchet has the well known H2 front section, with a sharply angled windshield and a hood with a vent at the front of the hood. At the very front are a series of vertical slits in between the headlights. Unlike the typical cage on the front end of the H2, Ratchet's cage curves over to the front section of the hood. It also contains three headlights running along the front of the cage.

The back end is the most heavily modified section. Instead of running level with the front section, the back is wide and taller than the rest of the vehicle. Where there would normally be a series of windows are just armor plates, extra warning lights and even smaller sculpted details representing shovels and other digging tools. The top cage has four lights running along the front, and the siren lights are actually a part of this cage piece. A spare tire is on the back and serves as the main attachment point for this accessory to the main figure. The rear lights also have protectors over them and at the very rear are rings that look like you can hook up tow lines too.

Ratchet's primary plastic colors are a dark neon green and black. His windows use translucent blue plastic. The paint applications are done in different shades of red, black, silver, neon green and metallic gold. Running along the side is a unique red line that moves from the front to back. The center of the line angles up and down, looking very much like the reading on a medical readout screen. Metallic gold stripes are found on the door and the rear of the vehicle. The metallic gold is also used for the words "Fire Department" on the side of the vehicle. The headlights are all painted in silver (though two of the front headlights are orange). The siren lights are metallic red, giving them a glowing quality. There are some finer details as well. The doors have small circular details with the words "Search and Rescue Fire Dept" along with an Autobot symbol in the center. I'm slightly disappointed that many details and deco patterns are not found on this figure that are found on the real life vehicle. For instance the shovels mounted on the top section of the vehicle are sculpted, but unpainted. On the back the real life vehicle says "Fire Department" with angled stripes, but they are not present here. Overall it's a good deco but not "great".

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the cage/spare tire section on top.
  2. Swing out the panels behind each door.
  3. Swing the rear light covers down.
  4. Swing the top of the vehicle's rear section back to form the robot legs.
  5. Swing out the grey pieces on the legs to form the feet.
  6. Rotate each of the lower legs around.
  7. Swing the robot legs down so the silver waist piece faces forward.
  8. Swing out the door sections to reveal the robot arms.
  9. Straighten out each robot arm.
  10. Swing the panel covering the robot head back.
  11. Swing each half of the vehicle windshield out to the sides, then swing that piece up against the front section of the vehicle.
  12. Swing down the front section of the vehicle to form the robot chest.
  13. The cage splits open and attaches to the hole on the left arm as a claw weapon.

Robot Mode:
Unlike Bumblebee or Jazz, Ratchet's robot head has little in common with his G1 counterpart. The design is rather unique among Transformers. It has a crest-like portion on top with panels that splay out to the sides. The eyes are narrow slits and underneath that is a piece that looks like a nose and cage overlaid on top of the section around the mouth. He has a rather large chin piece too. It's a fascinating design and to be honest, part of my brain says "That's kind of odd" and the other part of me sees what the designers were going for. His face looks a lot like a wise old sage with a beard of sorts. This serious demeanor is appropriate for one who has to save lives and it is a very intricate design. It's not my personal preference on a head design, but I can respect what went into it.

The panel on skeleton look of the movie Transformers presents a challengs to designers to replicate with a Transformer that is mostly a boxy vehicle mode. Ratchet's movie robot mode design has a lot of angled parts and tech details. To that end he benefits from some creative design work and a lot of panels sculpted with angled designs. If you look at parts such as his arms and legs, they all have angled parts on them that look like he had panels from the vehicle mold fold over mechanical parts underneath. Part of his "Automorph" feature involves the legs. When you swing the robot feet out the knee armor slides out and the panels from the vehicle mode that say "Fire Department" slide out in an angled shape. On the upper legs are triangular pieces of armor over curved pieces on the underside of the legs. He also has a lot of small sculpted details such as tech details on the lower arms and the claws that serve as his hands. You can also see a lot of machinery detail on the sides of his legs including parts that look like cogs and pistons.

Ratchet has the same color scheme in this form as the vehicle mode. Several sections such as the shoulders, arms and legs have red line details on them to look like panels from the vehicle mode. Silver is used on the head along with red and metallic gold. His eyes are cast in translucent blue plastic with a piece in the back for light piping. There are some grey parts revealed here on the inner legs and the waist where you'll also find silver parts. I think more grey and silver details could have been used on the legs to emphasize detailing and on a Voyager sized figure I'm surprised and disappointed there isn't more to it.

Ratchet has nineteen points of articulation. While he lacks waist articulation he has at least four points of articulation in each arm. On his right arm, you can fold open the green panel and swing the hand in. This allows you to fold out the green panels on the side and split them to form his axe weapon. The cage from the top of the vehicle mode becomes a claw weapon here. Move it back and forth and it opens and closes. The packaging also lists the piece as a stretcher that you can fit a basic sized figure on.

Final Thoughts:
I think the sculpt and engineering behind this figure is really great. I love the transformation, the atypical way the front of the vehicle becomes the chest and the use of angled panels to replicate the movie look. I really dig the way his Automorph feature works and I think there is some great sculpting on the figure. What really hurts him is the color scheme. As open minded as I have tried to remain about the movie designs, I must confess the green keeps reminding me of Constructicons more than a rescue vehicle. Even if you accept the green, there are so many good details that deserve color applications it's sad to see them ignored. I am hoping the leaked red and white version of this will look better. Not recommended unless you are a completist and want to have the definitive movie version of the character.