Dark of the Moon Legion Class Autobot Ratchet Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Legion Class, Movie (2007)

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

As part of the "Dark of the Moon toy line release, several price points have been rearranged and renamed. One of them was the line that fans have known for years as the "Legends" class. This line of smaller sized Transformers figures spread across many segments of the Transformers over the years including the movie line, Animated and Classics. Now the class has been renamed as the "Legion" class, with Ratchet being one of the early "Dark of the Moon" releases in this line.

Robot Mode:
When I first saw Ratchet in package, I almost dismissed this as yet another Legends Class redeco carry over from the previous toy lines. A closer look however made me smile - this was a whole new sculpt! Hasbro has often exceled at "second chances" when recreating a new version of a character based on a previous design. This itme out, the designers seemed to be aiming for a better version of Ratchet in this small form and I think they succeeded.

"Dark of the Moon" Ratchet still has the same form as the one he had in the two previous Transformers live action films, so the trick was to make him different yet still accurate to the movie as much as possible, and in that respect they definitely succeeded. Ratchet has many of the designs fans have come to know him for. This includes his intricate head sculpt featuring a large chin piece and sections of the face that resemble jowls. His chest has the front end of the vehicle mode on it and each of his legs are a complex looking set of armor panels that seem to have not only shifted, but wrapped around a vaguely human leg shape with angles and tubes set against where a human would have muscles. Another detail that carries over from previous films are his rather unique hands which essentially look like they have two thumbs with three fingers in the middle. Here, they are positioned in a grasping position. Overall, this sculpt looks fantastic and I continue to be impressed by the amount of detail the designers manage to incorporate into such a small package.

As you would expect, Ratchet is mostly neon green plastic in this mode with other parts cast in black and white. This in itself is interesting to note, as a majority of Legends Class figures from the past tried to stick with two colors of plastic, relying on paint applications to do the rest. Here, white plastic is found on the upper body with black used on the upper arms and mid-body section. The white is part of his new color scheme, which will become much more prominent in vehicle mode.

In this mode, silver and metallic grey are the primary paint colors. The silver is used the most. You'll find it on his face, chest and legs. On the chest, the silver is used for an Autobot symbol that contrasts wonderfully against the black plastic. I particularly like the silver details on Ratchet's legs, which are used to fill in details in the middle of each leg section and on the feet. The metallic grey color is actually part of the vehicle mode's window details, but they are plainly visible behind and to the sides of the robot head. The paint applications that are here work well. It would have been nice if there were a couple more silver applications on the chest for the headlights or the row of lights in the center of the chest, but that is a minor issue.

Ratchet has eight points of articulation in this mode. I was surprised that it had so many as the previous iteration of Ratchet in Legends form had very limited articulation. Here, his arms are connected to the doors, so they can swing out to the sides. At the shoulder, they can swing up and down and then the elbow joint is a ball joint, making for some nice poses for such a small figure. Sadly his legs do not have knee articulation, but it's really not a big deal in light of his arm articulation.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the back piece up.
  2. Raise each arm up and rotate the forearms around so the robot arm details face out to the sides.
  3. Swing the arms back, connecting them to the rear piece.
  4. Swing the robot legs back and connect the tabs on the back piece to the feet.
  5. Push the robot head down into the front of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Ratchet's well known Hummer mode looks fantastic in this form. All around this looks like a rough and tough vehicle that can successfully make it through a battleground to get to its patients or run down enemies. The fornt end was plainly visible in robot mode, but now the context of it changes, being the bold looking front end, giving him a powerful appearance. The rear section is appropriately boxy, but I was very pleased to see some great detail sculpted into the sides including cross hatches and even a shovel and axe mounted on the side! The top has a cage with a spare tire at the rear, another detail carried over from Ratchet's previous incarnations. There's even cage details sculpted around the rear lights on the vehicle, showing the designers really wanted to get this one as accurate to the real life vehicle as possible.

Like the robot mode, all three plastic colors show prominently in this form. White makes up most of the front part of the vehicle, with the neon green making up the back. The wheels are cast in black along with the front cage section. I already mentioned the metallic grey windows in the robot mode review. Other colors that come into play are black, orange and white. The black is used heavily on the top section, where the rails are painted black (the spare tire appears to be cast in black and then attached). On the sides, there are white stripes running along the middle with orange letters and numbers. The larger letter/number combination says "E4" with the smaller text above it saying "Fire Rescue". It's important to note that this was not the same color scheme Ratchet had in the previous movies where he had a "lifeline" design on the sides and a shield with the Autobot logo in it. This is a much more traditional and simplified color scheme. While not as graphically pleasing as the previous version, it does look cool and you can easily imagine him blending in during an emergency situation.

Final Thoughts:
Ratchet may not be the most amazingly exciting character in the world, but I think it is noteworthy that the designers went back to the drawing board and designed a whole new figure instead of just giving the old Legends version from 2007 a new coat of paint and calling it a day. This figure looks better and it has more articulation than its predecessor. If he had been given knee articulation, I'd probably be raving, but for now he's a strong recommended!