"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Legion Class Autobot Ratchet Toy Review
Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $5.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Autobot Ratchet has always been one of the most dependable Autobots. He was hard at work rebuilding systems on Cybertron when he was offered a mission to track down Decepticon criminals on Earth. He didn't hesitate to join the fight. Collectible Transformers: Robots in Disguise Legion Class figures are smaller-scale figures that feature classic conversion. Each figure converts in 10 steps or less. This Legion Class Autobot Ratchet figure changes from robot to emergency vehicle and back in 5 steps.
Autobot Ratchet was one of the main cast members on "Transformers Prime", but when "Robots in Disguise" began he was nowhere to be seen. That is until now! In the 2016 season of the show the Autobot returned, fighting alongside Optimus Prime and Bumblebee once again. This figure is a redeco and retool of the Legion Class Strongarm figure.
Ratchet is packaged on a blister card. The bubble is formed around the figure roughly in the shape of the figure. The packaging features artwork for the character in front and instructions on the back followed by a ton of legal information. I do with the "Robots in Disguise" packaging had some type of tech specs, but to be fair, most of the target audience is more likely to rip the figure out and toss the packaging away than to save it so I can understand why it doesn't have any bio information at all.
The original Legion Class Strongarm was designed with the main section of the body from the head down to the waist area as one solid piece. With that in mind this entire piece has been replaced with a new one. Based on his appearance in "Transformers Prime", the head and torso now features Ratchet's distinctive head with a round helmet section and "horns" above the eyes. His chest has distinctive panels sculpted into them which were meant to be parts of the vehicle mode (you can read more details about this in my "Transformers Prime" Ratchet review). He also has a different waist/hip area than Strongarm, featuring a similar shape but a different set of details. The rest of the sculpt remains the same as Strongarm. While this does not 100% match the animation model used in "Robots in Disguise" it provides an interesting alternative design that looks like a transition between his "Prime" and "Robots in Disguise" designs.
Ratchet is cast in black and white plastic. Most of his paint details use a metallic red paint that you'll find on his shoulders, head and lower legs. I was actually surprised at how much red is used. It really looks great, offering a bright color to look at and some nice contrast against the white plastic. Other colors used on this figure include yellow on the shoulders, metallic black on the chest and windows and silver on the face. In a particularly impressive choice the eyes are painted light blue. You can barely see this unless you look very closely at the face, so kudos to the designers on adding that in. Finally there is a scannable Autobot symbol on the left forearm.
I didn't expect this much deco on this small figure but there it is and I'm impressed.
All the joints on this figure feel as tight as the previous versions of this figure. That said, the arms are on ball joints so don't use excessive force or they will pop off. Fortunately they are easily snapped back on. His hands can still hold 3mm peg weapons from other Legion Class figures such as those from "Transformers Prime".
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Push the two lower legs together.
- Swing each arm back.
- Swing the window pieces in.
- Rotate the arms up and connect them together to form the front half of the vehicle.
- Swing the robot legs over to complete the vehicle mode.
None of the newly sculpted sections show up in this mode, so effectively this mode looks like Strongarm in Ratchet colors. Still it looks great thanks to the sheer amount of red paint used. There's some on the front bumper, the hood, over the rear wheel wells and the truck bed. The metallic black on the windows looks great and helps keep them looking flat or boring. Finally the headlights have yellow paint in them, which saves them from looking dull since those parts are cast in white plastic. The light bar from Strongarm is still on the top of the cabin section but it is left unpainted. I would have liked to see it painted since Ratchet is supposed to be an emergency vehicle, but it doesn't look bad. Instead it winds up just blending into the white plastic.
Ratchet is a cool little figure. For those who want a more show accurate version of the character, I'd wait for the upcoming Warrior Class version of the character. If you want a pocket sized Ratchet to play around with, this figure definitely fits the bill.