"Timelines" Botcon 2015 Packrat Toy Review
Release Date: June 18, 2015
Price Point: $309 (In a set with Megatron, Flywheels, Oilmaster and Stepper)
Retailer: Botcon exclusive
Accessories: Blasters x 2; Bomb
The theme of Botcon 2015 is "Cybertron's Most Wanted". This doesn't just refer to the story where the boxed set had a group of criminals in it, it also refers to toys that represent characters that fans have wanted for a long time - with a new spin of course.
Given the boxed set focused on criminals, it made sense that a thief would be among them - and that thief was Packrat! Packrat was introduced at Botcon 1997. The original Packrat figure was a redeco of the first Rattrap figure from 1996 in a two pack with a Predacon named Fractyl. History now repeats itself as this Packrat is a redeco of "Generations" Rattrap. Check out that review for a detailed look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The original Packrat was a metallic blue color with gold that really distinguished him from the Rattrap toy he was based on. The metallic part of the color was meant to represent his armor being infused with "Furmanite", a powerful substance that featured in the Botcon 1997 comic book. This version of Packrat does away with the metallic color, but he maintains the same basic colors. Most of the body is cast in blue, with the feet done in gold. The rubbery plastic on the tail is white. Personally I would have preferred the blue be a metallic one instead of flat, partly because it would have aligned with the original Packrat more but also because I have an affection for metallic plastics on Transformers figures.
White paint is used on several areas to give the figure some bright contrast. The insides of the ears and teeth are both painted white. Also, the rear of the beast mode is painted white starting at the back and going towards the tail. The eyes are painted yellow with black pupils. His nose is also painted black. It may sound odd to say, but the eyes are one of my favorite details in this mode. They are very expressive and give the figure an appearance as if he were animated. My only "wish list" item would have been to have the tongue on the inside of the mouth colored red or pink. It would have added a bit to the conceit that this is an "organic" rat in beast mode, but don't get me wrong - overall this is one nice looking deco. It also pays homage very well to the original Packrat.
All the functionality from the Rattrap version of this figure carries over here. The feet can all move, the tail is rubbery so it can be bent in various positions and he can stand up like Rattrap did in "Beast Wars". From a functional standpoint I have no issues with this figure.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Flip the rat over and remove the weapon, setting it aside for now.
- Swing the robot arms up.
- Swing the panels with the front beast mode legs on them back.
- Swing the robot arms out to the sides and straighten them out.
- Push the rear beast mode legs in.
- On each of the lower beast mode legs, swing in a half of the leg to the other using the hinge in the middle.
- Swing the front of each lower robot leg down.
- Swing the beast mode feet forward, forming the bottom of the robot feet.
- Swing the beast mode head down, forming the chest.
- Pull up the back panel of the beast mode (from the middle to the tail) and swing it up.
- Swing the tail section up and curl the tail against the back.
- Rotate the front beast mode legs down.
- The weapon attaches to either hand or can be separated as two weapons.
Note: Now and then the front beast mode legs might pop out when you rotate them around. They snap right back in.
Packrat's robot mode looks good, but you may be wondering about the relative lack of deco. Well let's be real, how many places on a rat can you actually paint? The robot mode on the other hand is full of wonderful paint detail. Of course you have to start with a set of base plastic colors. For that we have blue (the same as the beast mode) and gold. Blue makes up most of the figure, from the torso to the head and even the toes. However, Fun Publications made sure the figure didn't look dull by using a heavy dose of white and gold paint. White is used on the shoulders, upper arms and thighs, providing a bright splash of color that contrasts well against the dark blue plastic. The gold paint isn't exactly "bright", but it does add a nice metallic element to the robot mode that I think fits with the theme of a robot in disguise. Gold is found on several parts including the top of the head, the hands and lower legs. Finally the eyes are painted red. Some dashes of blue paint are found here and there such as on the thighs and arms, both times overlapping the white paint. You don't generally see these colors together and it makes the figure that much more unusual and cool.
All the articulation points on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. The weapons fit well together too. The hinge/panel gimmick on his left forearm also works without a problem. Overall I have no functional issues with this figure.
Packrat is a great figure for many reasons. First he's a wonderful homage to a classic Botcon figure. On top of that the "Generations" Rattrap sculpt is great. On its own merits the deco looks great in both modes too. The figure isn't perfect however. The arms popping off during transformation are a let down, but it's not a deal breaker in my book. Recommended for the more hardcore collectors out there given the cost.