Cliffbee.com: Animated Ratchet Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ratchet
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Ambulance

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Ratchet for this review



AMBULANCE MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 5.5cm

   A light grey stylised ambulance with dark red on his roof, hood and along the fenders and running boards, Ratchet has a transparent blue windshield, transparent blue strobes above this and mid blue painted side windows. There are red ECG-esque logos on either side and a silver Autobot logo on his hood while the headlights are yellow and a stylised winch is black. I'm not sure why an ambulance would _have_ a winch, but hey, it's Animated. The tyres are black. Overall it's a good colour scheme, but the front of the roof and the rear fenders are a notably darker red plastic than the other red areas - we're talking a clear difference.

   The shape of this ambulance is slightly stylised, but not as much as many Animated toys - Ratchet is more simplified than anything else. There are some poetic licenses here such as the winch and the odd shape of his headlights, mind you. There are distinct hinges on either side just behind the doors, which feature sculpted seams and side mirrors. The back is a bit of a mess - the top half features door seams but the bottom half is a mess of hinge and such, although it does feature transparent blue taillights.

   There's not much play value here - Ratchet rolls and that's pretty much it. The extra weapons used in his robot mode (which I'll come back to) aren't able to stow nor deploy, here - you have no choice but to set them aside, which is disappointing. The winch is only for show (and is stylised anyway).

   A simple ambulance mode but not really an impressive one - the mismatched reds and the complete inability for Ratchet to use his weapons coupled with almost no play value make this mode weaker than it should be. While he's not a disaster it's such a straightforward mode yet it manages to have significant problems.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

Fold up the side panels, swing the legs down from underneath, split the legs and flip out his feet. Unclip the doors and fold out his arms, swing down to his sides. Extend and rotate the forearms. Fold the roof down onto his back, revealing the head and forming the chest shape. Unfold his hands and you're done.
ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 11cm

   A light grey robot with red boots, hips and arms, ratchet also has red on his lower torso as well as the silver Autobot logo while his chest is the transparent blue windshield. His digits are light grey while the face is red with a light blue area around his mouth and transparent blue eyes with an effective lightpipe. The colours provide an interesting twist on the traditional Ratchet concept, since there's more red than white (well, light grey) here, but the colour scheme does with well.

   Ratchet's design has a lot of attention to detail despite some very sparse areas on this robot mode. The boots are very simple and the torso is also simple, but the design of his torso is interesting - it's the front of the torso folded down (think Trailbreaker). The head sports red antennae, and the right side one is deliberately "broken", signifying battle damage. As with many Animated toys, Ratchet has some unusual proportions but they're not as pronounced as some. The legs are long and the arms short and wide - which is exaggerated by the fact the arms are tubular. There are panels sticking up on the sides of the arms, which form visually prominent kibble but they still work as features in a way.

   Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Ratchet's robot mode is the array of weaponry. While it can't do anything in vehicle mode, it's a nice feature here. The four black weapons can all clip onto the palms of his hands, and there are four notches on his backpack - behind his head - where they can also clip on. The four weapons are a sickle, a shovel, an adjustable wrench and a mallet. The versatility of these weapons is a nice tribute to his G1 namesake (the only real tribute here, aside from his being an ambulance). There are claws hidden underneath the forearms which can swing out, this can be disabled by clipping the weapons onto his palms. Both are fun gimmicks that don't get in the way of the transformation. Granted the add on weapons are simply that, unable to stow in ambulance mode, but they're a lot of fun here. There's another feature which is cool. There's a socket on his left forearm for Lockdown's engine weapon to plug into - the bios state that Lockdown stole it from Ratchet. The fact that this accessory is designed to fit Ratchet is a really nice touch.

   Ratchet's poseability is limited by some poor design choices. The head turns and the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides, but the latter is restricted by the kibble panels. The elbows rotate and are hinged while his waist is fixed. His hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees bend and there are rotators in his thighs - although they're very poorly concealed. His feet are hinged but only wiggle while there are conceal heelspurs which offer only limited help - Ratchet has a tendency to fall backwards in spite of them.

   A decent looking robot mode thanks to good colours, a nice torso and a kickass array of weapons. The play value is mixed - the weaponry options are impressive at a deluxe level (heck, they beat most leaders) but the poseability ranges from woeful in the arms to respectable in the legs. A good display piece but the play value is not what it should be.

VARIATIONS

   There is a yellow repaint, sold with Legends Starscream and Legends Prowl, under the name Rescue Ratchet (thanks to Edrazeba for this info).

OVERALL

   A pretty good deluxe overall, Ratchet displays fairly well despite some mismatched reds in his fairly bland vehicle mode - this is offset by a robot mode that displays very well. The weapons are really quite awesome, although my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact they can't stow in ambulance mode. The robot mode, despite its flaws, is his better mode, thanks to the excellent display value. With some more effort in the jointing, Ratchet would have been a great toy. Mind you, he's still worthwhile if you like Animated - 7/10

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