Transformers Prime Legion Class Autobot Ratchet Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Generation One, Legion Class, Prime

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: February 2012
Price Point: $5.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster/Blade weapon

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
AUTOBOT RATCHET may come off as gruff and impatient, but when it comes down to it, there’s no one who cares more for the AUTOBOTS on Earth than their talented medic and mechanic. DECEPTICONS beware, because this AUTOBOT RATCHET Tech Specialist figure is as tough as they come and he won’t leave his fellow AUTOBOTS behind! In robot mode, your AUTOBOT RATCHET figure’s battle blade keeps his DECEPTICON enemies at bay. Convert him to rescue vehicle mode when one of his comrades needs repair work fast! Keep converting him back and forth as the battle rages on!

Includes figure. Legion Class Series 2 004 AUTOBOT RATCHET Tech Specialist. Ages 5 and up.

RatchetWhen Marvel developed the original "Transformers" G1 story, you could tell a lot of thought went into the personalities and roles of the Transformers characters. Optimus Prime's army was not just full of warriors with big guns, he also had engineers, philosophers and medics. The first of the medics was Autobot Ratchet, whose portrayals often varied depending on the media he was seen in. In "Transformers Prime", the character lives on in the form of an ornery and slightly obsessive Autobot who can do battle just as easily as he repairs a comrade. With all that said, it is quite appropriate that Ratchet is one of the figures in the first wave of "Cyberverse" figures in the "Transformers Prime" toy line.

Robot Mode:
On the "Transformers Prime" television show, most of Ratchet's vehicle mode parts wind up forming over his torso, taking a cue from the live action movies where parts of the vehicle can bend and warp in robot mode to form armor. Replicating this style of transformation is already challenging in a larger scale, but on a smaller scale of figures it's virtually impossible to do at a reasonable price point, so a bit of cheating is used here to give him a TV show accurate look.

The "cheat" here is that most of the sculpted details for Ratchet's robot mode are hidden on the underside of the vehicle form. His torso and head sections are a single sculpted piece that looks like the vehicle mode doors are folded over his chest and that the front grille of the vehicle has somehow warped into the shape of his mid-section. His head sculpt is nicely done here as well, featuring his familiar crest and horns. Even on his legs some detailing was replicated including the spike shaped knee armor and the shape of his feet. I noticed they even sculpted fake wheels on the back of his feet, giving the illusion that his rear vehicle wheels transformed partly into his feet. This is interesting since all four of his real vehicle mode tires already show in this mode, making it look like he has six wheels in vehicle mode.

Ratchet is cast in red and dark grey plastic. Most of the body is red plastic, including his arms, back and lower legs. The grey is used for smaller sections such as his feet, thighs and shoulder joints. A lot of Ratchet's color scheme involves white coloring, so white paint is used quite liberally here on his torso section and head, but also on the sides of his arms and the front of his legs. These primary colors are rounded out by red and silver. The red and silver paint is used on the torso and head to provide additional detail, and it's done quite well. Interestingly, the Autobot symbol on the left side of his chest is painted in a darker shade of red than the rest of the figure has, something rather unusual on a figure of this class. I like it however and I've always found the Autobot symbol works best when it is a darker, more bold shade of red.

There are eight points of articulation on this figure, mostly focued on the legs, which have three points each thanks to the transformation scheme. Ratchet includes a combination "blaster/blade" weapon that features a long blade (that can presumably fire energy too) that has four pegs on it. One allows any Legion Class figure to hold the weapon like a sword, the other like a blaster. Then there are two smaller pegs on the sides that allow you to attach it to the sides of Legion Class figures in vehicle mode. I like this choice of weapon for Ratchet since it mimicks the blade weapons he has on the television show. Ratchet can hold this (or any Legion Class weapon) in his hands or they can be attached to the sides of his arms. My favorite thing to do is take two of these blade weapons and attach them to the sides of his arms to look like he is wielding the weapons from the television show.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the blade weapon if attached.
  2. Push the robot feet up.
  3. Swing the robot arms up and connect them at the shoulders.
  4. Connect the legs together.
  5. Swing the leg sections up to form the back of the vehicle.
  6. The weapon can be attached to the top or sides of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Ratchet's vehicle mode is an SUV style rescue vehicle inspired by his appearance in the Transformers live action films. There's quite a bit of detail on this vehicle including a front grille flanked by headlights, a raised section in the middle of the hood, side view mirrors sculpted into the area near the side windows and a light bar on top. Other small details include a grille pattern on the back of the vehicle and panels on the sides that look like doors to storage compartments. It's a well detailed vehicle, something always nice to see on this scale.

This mode is probably the less accurate version of Ratchet in terms of deco. Most of the vehicle is red plastic with the grey parts showing on the wheels and the back section (up on top). The front end is painted silver while the windows are black. The sides of the vehicle are painted white, which is fine, but there's no other detail (most notably Ratchet's "life line" detail). The result is that Ratchet looks a bit "unfinished", even with metallic red on the lightbar (which I admit is a nice touch). Let's just say I'm lukewarm on the deco in this form.

There are three connection points for weapons in thi smode: one on top, two on the sides. If you want, you can form one heavily armed ambulance! I like to think of Ratchet as using these weapons to defend anyone he has inside of him. In addition to his rough and tough vehicle mode it's a cool thought.

Final Thoughts:
Ratchet is a cool figure but the deco in vehicle mode leaves a lot to be desired. A cool figure to add to your collection but not a replacement for the larger scale version of the character.