Cliffbee.com: Beast Hunters Ratchet Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ratchet
Series: Beast Hunters
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Ambulance



AMBULANCE MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 12cm Width: 5cm

   A white, ochre & beige ambulance with clear windows and some green behind the roof; which features no lightbar. Ratchet doesn't really look much like an ambulance, since there's no lightbar here nor any "Ambulance" markings. About the only marking that really defines him is a white EKG on either side. There are very striking & prominent beige greebly protrusions on the back end, around the rear wheels and on the hood, which sport some nice subtle orange rusty areas. There are also some metallic blue elements, most notable protrusion where his headlights would otherwise be. The wheels are black plastic affairs while there's a metallic silver protruding engine moulded on top of Ratchet's hood. The weapon adds more colour in the form of a dark metallic blue and some bright orange (along with more green). It's a rather jumbled colour scheme that breaks all sorts of design rules, but I'm personally quite partial to the beige with rust patches.

   While this one distorted vehicle, the basic shape (which is SUV like) is clear enough and there's good sculpted detail on the beige areas (along with prominent and well formed side mirrors) so the distortion is distinctly a deliberate design choice rather than poor execution. It's not going to be to everyone's liking (like the BH aesthetic itself), but it's a thoughtful vehicle mode in its own way.

   Ratchet's play value here is about what you'd expect really. The wheels turn and the weapon can attach. There are a total of 5 holes the weapon can be plugged into (although one makes no sense really). Holes on either side just above the rear tyres give him a side mounted weapon while there are twin holes on top for a roof-weapon. The last is on the back below a well sculpted turbine, but the weapon isn't much use there and it covers the nice looking turbine anyway. The weapon has a prominent orange plunger on one side, pushing it will cause the lime green drill on the front to sponge for about 2 seconds. Incidentally there's a second sculpted turbine on top of the blue main body of this weapon.

   A somewhat bizarre vehicle with some interesting colour choices, Ratchet has some excellent subtle rust-coloured paint apps and a detailed sculpt, but doesn't really look that much like an ambulance, The weapon is useful although it adds more confusion to the look. This ambulance mode is somewhat difficult on the eye, but largely succeeds in the look the designer was aiming for.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's quite a bit of panel shifting, so I'll summarise. The front becomes his legs & feet with the white roof hanging off the back of his ankles. The rear panel becomes a backpack (and moving it causes his head to pop out of the torso). The sides of the rear fold up to become his arms while the torso is tucked away inside the rear section at a 45 angle (head pointing down and backwards). It's a clever transformation but the arm panels can be a little too tricky to unlock - I find a panel or two inevitably pops off every time.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 9cm

   A beige robot with some ochre highlights and white on his shoulderpads & head. There's a couple of green elements while the watts & upper arms are grey & his hands black. The rusted wash is evident on his beige, most notably the legs (although it's actually present on every beige piece here). The colour scheme is quite an unusual one - beige & ochre are unusual colours for a Transformer & even more so for a combination. Aside from the green, this colour scheme actually works well, although it's quite earthy. There's a red Autobot logo stamped on his left shouldered.

   Ratchet looks more like Dinobot II than Ratchet, which is something of an unusual tribute. While Prime Ratchet is largely white there's only a hint of white here; along with the extensive beige his face features a green monocular eye like that of Dinobot II. Even the weapon has shades of original Dinobot, with the drill opening up to form a rotating slashing weapon. It's an odd choice of tribute & also a strange place to _do_ that tribute, but it works well and Ratchet looks good because of it.

   The weapon provides his main play value here, with the spinning blade rotating when you press the orange plunger behind it. Inside there's an orange gatling gun which spins as the plunger is pressed. Of course you can close the blade if you prefer the green drill. The weapon can clip into holes on the outside of either forearm or into either hand. Ratchet's poseability is quite good; his head and waist turn although the neck is very restricted. The shoulders & hips are ball jointed while his elbows are double hinged with rotators in his upper arms. His knees are hinged with rotators while the ankles & heelspurs are hinged & the latter provide great stability. As with many recent Transformers his feet are sculpted so that Ratchet stands with his legs slightly apart.

   An unusual looking robot with colours not seen too often, Ratchet's Dinobot II tribute is something different that makes this robot mode stand out. The poseability is good and the weapon works well (even if its colours are kinda wacky!).

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An unusual colour scheme and interesting tribute make Ratchet an interesting toy in a line that is otherwise rather unremarkable. I don't mean that as a slight on Beast Hunters, but it's another line that departs from the formula of the previous series with less realistic alt modes and some rehashed character designs (which often provide some rather forgettable toys). The colours are unusual but still somewhat understated - I personally love the rust effect here although the green is a little too garish really. The play value is good but nothing special while the transformation is clever enough. If you enjoy tributes or want a sample of the Beast Hunters line, I'd recommend Ratchet - 7.5/10

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