Cliffbee.com: Fox Kids! Transmetal Rattrap Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Rattrap
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Spy
Alternate Mode: Robotic Rat



RAT MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 26cm (15cm of which is his tail, which can pose) Width: 8cm

   A metallic red and bluish-grey rat with chrome cobalt blue highlights, Rattrap manages to feel fairly similar to the original Transmetal thanks to the bluish-grey being as light as the brown on that toy and the continuation of red. On the whole this repaint _is_ a little garish compared to the original, but the blue chrome is a _lot_ more robust that the red chrome of the original - for some reason the red chrome on Transmetals just doesn't last.

   Rattrap has some green paint highlights here and there, mainly on the chrome sections, but some are on his red rump. He has yellow eyes and bluish-grey teeth - his mouth is snarling, revealing the rear teeth, which are jagged, and his front top teeth are hanging from his upper jaw. Rounding out the painted details, there's a light blue "RATTRAP" on his spine, which closely matches the bluish-grey used elsewhere. This text is fairly subdued, which is good since Transformers emblazoned with their name usually look silly. Sure, it's there, but is quiet enough that you can ignore it.

   The front feet can hinge at the ankles, and the shoulders can rotate, while the rear feet can wiggle around a bit. In truth, the foot poseability is limited by the fact he's going to be standing flat on the ground, but it's nice there's some movement - even if most of it is for the transformation. Rattrap's tail is very poseable, with _ten_ joints, so you can curl it left, right, over his head or into S-shapes, as well as pointing it straight back.

   As with all the Transmetals, Rattrap has a transport mode - which is a rat-like dragster. If you lift out the hip discs and fold the rear feet inside these discs, the discs become his rear wheels. The front legs flip up, and their shoulders become the front wheels, which are a lot smaller than the rear wheels. The tail is meant to point straight back in this mode, presumably because that's the least organic pose possible. Lastly, there are two sets of bluish-grey tailpipes which fold out of his rump.

   This dragster mode is used quite a bit in the show, and fans of the show will be happy to hear that Dinobot can ride on top. The show's portrayal is more or less toy accurate, although the cute contorting that the show animators liked to do to this mode aren't possible - sorry, he doesn't contract when braking or raise on his rear wheels before departing...

   Thanks to the giant wheels and tailpipes, Rattrap looks very souped up - the snarled facial expression makes him look like more of a speed demon - he's a turbo rat! Sure, it's silly, but the souping up means that rather than just being a rat with wheels, it's a fun rat with wheels!

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Stow the rear feet inside the discs and remove the tail. Split open the rat head, revealing the robot chest. Swing the robot legs out from underneath the rat, and clip the groin into the chest. You'll now be able to swing the robot arms into position. Next flip out the robot head and swing the entire chest-leg assembly into position. Swing the rat head halves into position as shoulderpads. Rotate the legs and flip down the feet, stand him up.

   It's a rather unusual transformation, and it's difficult to describe. Most of the rat ends up on his back yet he doesn't have a huge backpack. You can give him the tail, which is now a whip, although you can also set it aside if you prefer. It can't re-attached stowed, since it's actually held in one of the fists in rat mode.

   The cartoon portrays the backpack rotating, so that the discs are on his shoulders - the animator is using artistic license, since the discs remain on his hips on the actual toy.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 11cm

   The bluish-grey and cobalt blue are now mainly confined to the backpack, although he does have a lot of red on his shoulderpads. Much of this robot is grey - there are two similar shades, with the darker one confined to his shoulders, groin, hips and feet. There's some brown paint on the sides of his head and torso, along with some details on the outside of the lower legs. Ironically, the grey and brown bring this colour scheme very close to that of the original Rattrap, closer than the regular Transmetal. There are some green painted elements - a panel on the left hand side of his chest and his "brain". The eyes are orange, which is easy to miss. All told it's a decent colour scheme if a little bland. I do like the colours coming full circle to the grey and brown, however.

   This a very organic sculpt - there are muscular lines all over the chest, thighs and arms, and Rattrap retains the "brain" sculpt of the original, as already mentioned. He's also got intestines on his groin - which isn't entirely how it works, but hey, he's an alien robot so I'm willing to allow a little latitude. His mouth is open, revealing pointed, shark-like teeth - I don't think the animated version had teeth, which is a good thing because watching a rat robot open its mouth to reveal sharp teeth everytime it spoke would have been disconcerting.

   He's rather backheavy, and you can't detach the discs for user as shields (yet another cartoon liberty), which would have helped remove some of the backheavyness. He does have heelspurs, which helps quite a bit, but you do have to be careful how you pose him. The upside is that this is a very poseable robot. The shoulders and hips are ball joints, with swivels just below them allowing the arms and feet to point out to the sides. The knees, elbows and ankles are hinged and his head turns. The whip weapon is also poseable, being the super-slinky tail.

   While the profusion of grey is a little underdone, I prefer that to some of the odd colours seen on some of the Fox Kids repaints (notably Waspinator). The colour scheme matches that of the original, which I like. It's a good robot mode, however, since the colours _work_ and the poseability is good with useful heelspurs which ensure his backpack is barely an issue.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although as mentioned this toy is a repaint of the original Transmetal Rattrap.

OVERALL

   One of the better Transmetals, Rattrap's mould is great, with good poseability, a fun vehicle mode and a clever transformation. While this figure doesn't match the colours we saw in the cartoon, the overall effect is fairly similar and the robot mode's colours match those of the original Rattrap. Since the chrome is much sturdier than the red of the standard version, I would actually say the two toys are on par - this one's a little more garish but is far more playable - 7.5/10

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