Cliffbee.com: Transmetal Packrat Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Packrat
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Thief
Alternate Mode: Robotic Rat



Note: this toy was designed as a Transmetal Packrat figure, but since the Hartmans owned the Packrat trademark, Hasbro had to sell it as Rattrap. In keeping with the original concept, I'm treating this toy as Transmetal Packrat, which is a lot cooler than it being just another Transmetal repaint.

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

   A dark metallic brown, metallic dusty pink and chrome blue rat, which might sounds weird, but it looks really striking. Most of this rat is a mixture of pink and brown, the shoulders, tailtip and big discs on the hips are blue chrome - it's a royal blue shade, which is a fairly close match to the original blue of Packrat, and really gives away that this toy was intended as that character.

   Packrat has some lime green paint highlights here and there, mainly on the blue bits, but some are on his brown rump. He has yellow eyes and silver 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 brown "RATTRAP" on his spine, just in front of the tail. This is a relic of Transmetal Rattrap's paint mask, which has been retained, but now it's barely visible, since it's dark brown against a chocolate brown. I get the feeling this was again a deliberate change, to help mask the Rattrap name on the toy.

   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. Packrat'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, Packrat 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 pink tailpipes which fold out of his rump.

   Thanks to the giant wheels and tailpipes, Packrat 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.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 11cm

   The dark brown and blue are now mainly confined to the backpack, although he does have a fair amount of brown on his shoulderpads. Packrat has a pink head, as well as the chest, arms and legs. His shoulders, groin and feet are a metallic greyish-blue that's actually quite similar to the dusty pink. These colours are the sort of metallics you often find on cars - light, metallic, almost pastel, shades. It's a shame they added in bright green, yellow and orange paints. His brain and a patch on the left of his are neon green, his cheeks bright yellow. The orange is on the sides of his ankles, and you hardly notice it. Aside from the green and yellow, this is a good colour scheme. It's not so much a case of the yellow and green being bad in themselves, rather they don't really belong with the pink and greyish-blue.

   This a very organic sculpt - there are muscular lines all over the chest, thighs and arms, and Packrat retains the "brain" sculpt the BotCon version has. 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 eyes are orange, which works quite well, it gives him a slightly sinister look - he is a thief, after all. His mouth is open, revealing pointed, shark-like teeth.

   Oh yes, he's rather backheavy [pauses to pick Packrat up off the table]. He has heelspurs, which help, 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.

   The random and unnecessarily bright yellow and green paint on the head and chest are really the only flaws of this mode. He's a little back heavy as I mentioned, but it's not really a hindrance. The bright colours are enough to bug me, mind you - I usually leave this toy in rat mode.

VARIATIONS

   None, although this a repaint of Transmetal Rattrap as already mentioned, that was a store exclusive, sold only in Wal-Mart stores in the United States.

OVERALL

   For the most part, this is a good recolour of a good Transmetal. The rat mode is great, but the robot mode paint job could have been a lot better. The mould itself is certainly worthwhile, since both modes are strong and rat dragster is a lot of fun. Probably the main reason for getting this toy is it's the only mass-released version of Packrat - even if it was packaged as Rattrap for legal reasons. It's still a fairly hard to find toy, but it you like Packrat (as I do) and can't afford the BotCon two-pack, I'd recommend grabbing this toy - 7.5/10

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