Transformers Movie (2007) Legends Autobot Ratchet Review
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release and specialty markets (Toys R Us, Walgreens, Alco, Shop Rite etc.)
Price: $5.99 (Depending on retailer)
Difficulty Level: 2
- On Card (Front)
- On Card (Back)
- Vehicle Mode
- Vehicle Mode (Side)
- Vehicle Mode (Back)
- Robot Mode
- Robot Mode (Side)
- Robot Mode (Back)
Rank: 5 Courage: 10 Firepower: 3 Skill: 10
Autobot Ratchet is one of the first wave of Autobots in the Legends Class figures made for the movie. His unique form (among the movie figures) most likely made an interesting challenge for designers when making this figure, but the result is pretty cool, read on.
When I reviewed the Voyager Class Ratchet figure, I had not yet seen the movie and while plenty of preliminary images of the character were online, most people will agree that seeing a still picture is a very different experience to seeing the character move on screen. After seeing the movie it struck me how different the movie model and the figure were. Whereas the movie model had actual hands, the toy has claw-like hands. The toy is very squared off and bulky whereas Ratchet's movie model had a much more rounded, humanoid form. Because so much of the robot form is hidden in the vehicle mode with this figure, the designers were able to get away with more rounded shapes and humanoid proportions in the Legends Class figure.
The overall shape of the figure is mostly embedded in sculpted parts that don't move such as the waist and legs. On a larger figure, I would consider this a bad mark, but on a smaller figure that is meant to be super simple, this allowed the designers freedom to sculpt parts such as his waist narrowing from the torso and the arms and fists with rounded edges. His legs even have oval-ish sections with armor plating sculpted on top. Overall this gives Ratchet a shape that looks much closer to his movie counterpart and it looks really good.
Of course, even with a smaller figure such as this, one expects detailed sculpting. Ratchet delivers with a movie-accurate head including the odd jowel like sections on either side of his mouth and the ridges on the top of his head. The chest has the front cage of the vehicle mode sculpted into it and the waist leading to the legs have a very intricate pattern of details that look like layers of armor over sections of machinery. His arms also have nice detailing including tubes and the individual digits of the thumb sculpted on the fists.
In terms of posability, there's not a whole lot to speak of. Ratchet's arms can move up and down on ball joints, that's really it. Because of the way his transformation is set up, all the other parts are pretty much locked into place. This is perhaps the biggest detriment of the entire design, but for a figure of this class, it's hardly surprising.
Ratchet is of course super green. He has two basic plastic colors, green and black, with black only making up small parts such as the joints and his feet. Some silver paint is used for details on the head and an Autobot symbol is tampographed on his abdomen. The cage on his chest is painted black. Minimal paint applications are to be expected with this size class, and somehow this shade of green is less objectionable to me than the shade used on the larger Voyager toy (I think it's partially because it's brighter).
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the robot arms up.
- Rotate the upper body around.
- Swing the robot arms so they are reaching to the front of the vehicle.
- Swing the robot arms down and connect them together via the tab.
- Push the robot feet up.
- Swing each robot leg forward.
With any vehicle mode based on an existing, real life vehicle you have to capture certain iconic features. The designers managed to do this well with Ratchet. His overall shape has the boxy look of the custom H2 used in the movie. The only distracting part is the front, which has a big hole where the upper leg slots fit into in the robot mode. Still, other features such as the custom cage in front, the cage on top witih the spare tire and the cages on the rear lights are all present. Interestingly enough, the designers also made the "life line" design running along the side a sculpted detail instead of just having it painted on or being a tampo. You'll also find smaller details present as well such as panels and small reflector lights sculpted on the sides. I was very surprised and happy with the amount of sculpted detail in this form, which could have been easily ignored in favor of making the robot mode look more complex.
This mode shows a lot more black thanks to the tires, cages and the row of lights running along the top of the vehicle. The "life line" design is painted red and his windows are painted metallic blue. A bit of silver paint is found on the front headlights as well.
Ratchet is an excellent Legends figure. Many may be turned off by the lack of posability, but I think he has enough strengths in other respects to make up for it. Recommended.