"Robots in Disguise' (2015) Warrior Class Autobot Ratchet Toy Review
Release Date: November 2016
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Walmart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2
*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Autobot Ratchet has always been one of the most dependable Autobots. He was hard at work rebuilding systems on Cybertron when he was offered a mission to track down Decepticon criminals on Earth. He didn't hesitate to join the fight. Transformers Warriors Class figures are made for fans of classic Transformers conversion play. This Autobot Ratchet figure changes from robot to vehicle and back in 10 steps. It comes with 2 blaster accessories and works with all Mini-Con Weaponizers figures. Each Mini-Con Weaponizers figure converts from robot to weapon in a single step. Add a Mini-Con Weaponizers figure to the battle and imagine Autobot Ratchet just got mightier. Mini-Con Weaponizers figures are each sold separately and subject to availability. (See app details below.) Every Transformers: Robots in Disguise figure unlocks content in the Transformers Robots: in Disguise app. Scan the Decepticon shield on this figure to unlock Autobot Ratchet and a blaster. Download the app, scan the shield to activate the code, unlock, and play. App content is for ages 9 and up. See below for app details. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
"Robots in Disguise" is the sequel series to "Transformers Prime", though it is a bit hard to tell at first due to the tone of the show being so dramatically different than its predecessor. Still, there are several strong links to the previous show including appearances by characters who were featured in "Prime". This includes Autobot Ratchet who returned this past season still voiced by actor Jeffrey Combs. He even said the line "I need that!" in his introduction, a play on the line "I needed that!" which he repeated many times on "Prime". In concert with this appearance in the cartoon, Hasbro released a Warrior Class figure of Ratchet in addition to a One Step Changer and Legion Class figures. Ratchet is a heavy retool and redeco of Strongarm so it's worth checking out her review before reading this one.
Ratchet is packaged on a blister card. The backing card uses artwork that reflects the character's new design on the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon. If you are facing the card you will see the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. The figure is packaged in robot mode inside the bubble. The insert has a photo of the vehicle mode and the art for the character on the side. The insert features a green border has Ratchet's name on the bottom, but above it is a gear design with a robot outline and the term "Mini-Con Weaponizers" with curved arrows going from the robot to the words. This is referencing the ability for 2016 "Weaponizer" Mini-Cons to connect to larger Transformers using 5mm pegs. The back of the packaging has photos of the figure in both modes indicating 10 steps to transform the figure.
I mention above that this figure is a retool of Strongarm, but when I say that I don't must mean the head or a couple pieces here and there. For the most part almost all the major sections of this robot mode are different. This includes the head, the chest, the lower legs and even the feet. The result is a design that looks like a blend of Generation One and "Robots in Disguise". His head uses the basic design of the cartoon model including "horns" that sweep across and up on the helmet section. The chest has a window going across, calling back to G1 Ratchet's cartoon and comic book appearance (as well as reflecting the look of the character in the cartoon). he also has a distinct "collar" piece sculpted onto the top of the chest which references both the design of the "Prime" Ratchet as well as the cartoon model used for "Robots in Disguise".
What I found interesting are the ways the figure does not resemble the model used in the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon. In the show his arms have the same curved shoulder armor seen on the "Prime" version of the character, buthere the arms are largely the same design as Strongarm's so they have no curved armor on top. Also the legs in the cartoon are curved and bulky. Here they are still bulky, but very angular instead. The thing is, I'm not particularly bothered by any of this. Sure he is pretty much 70% show "inaccurate" but at the same time he still looks very much like Ratchet (mostly thanks to the head and chest pieces) and he looks thick and strong (which you have to be if you're lugging patients around). Just keep in mind, if you're looking for a fully show accurate Warrior Class figure, it doesn't exist at this time.
In case you're wondering just what is left of Strongarm here, most of it appears to be the arms, waist and thighs. All these sections carry over designs and parts from the Warrior Class Strongarm figure.
Ratchet is mostly cast in white plastic with some smaller parts done in black and silver. Red paint is used on the head, forearms, legs and feet to provide some nice detailing. Red and white are also traditional "Ratchet colors" since the days of G1, so it's nice to see that continuing to this day. His face is painted silver while the eyes are blue. The "windshield" chest is painted black while the center of the chest has a scannable Autobot symbol on it that unlocks the character in the "Robots in Disguise" app. Of course, Ratchet could have used more deco including red on the shoulders and painting in the faux headlights sculpted on his chest. However the amount of paint on this mode is fairly standard so I am happy with it.
There are sixteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three points on each arm and leg. He also has waist articulation. Ratchet includes two blasters. These can be attached to the 5mm ports in his fists or stored away on his back.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Swing the chest panel down.
- On each forearm, swing the inner panel out.
- Swing the back panel down.
- The shoulders are attached to a hinge, swing it up.
- Swing the forearms up and bring them together to hide the robot head.
- On each lower leg, swing out the inner panel to form the rear of the vehicle.
- Push the two lower legs together.
- Swing the back piece down and clip the doors in place on the sides to form the middle of the vehicle.
- The weapons store in 5mm ports under the rear of the vehicle.
Ratchet's vehicle mode is largely a vehicle mode "shell" that wraps around robot mode parts (or incorporates them). What's cool about this is it allowed the designers to create a vehicle mode for him that is different than Strongarm's by redesigning several of the panels that form the outside of the vehicle. This is most obvious in the back of the vehicle where he now has a large compartment like an ambulance instead of Strongarm's pickup truck bed. These panels also help make Ratchet look noticably larger than Strongarm. While some design elements from Strongarm carried over (such as the wheels, the air intake on the hood and the side view mirrors) overall this vehicle mode is very different, down to small details like the headlights and front grille.
Like the robot mode this form mostly shows off white plastic. The wheels are black and none of the silver shows here. There is a lot of red paint used on the rear of the vehicle, along the sides and in the front. Black paint is used on the windows and grille. A bit of yellow is found on the headlights. The problem is that there is so much white on the sides of the vehicle that despite all the paint on top he looks rather plain. I think it might have been a better idea to take some of the paint away from the top of the vehicle and instead use it on the sides to break up the white more. It also does not help that the wheels are unpainted. This adds to the impression of an "unfinished" paint job on the vehicle.
Ratchet is an interesting figure. He pays homage to previous incarnation sof the character and he's clearly identifiable as Ratchet but he does not exactly match the animation model on "Robots in Disguise". I like the figure, but those looking for a "show accurate" Ratchet may be out of luck.
- Extensive retooling including a really nice head sculpt.
- New weapons.
- Good deco in robot mode.
- Joints are tight despite being a retool.
- Not accurate to the animation model.
- Very plain looking in vehicle mode.