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zeoman4.5's review: Ratchet

Name Autobot Ratchet
Function Autobot Medic
Group TF Animated Deluxe

Hold still. This won't hurt a bit...

Autobot Ratchet was, at one time, one of the most promising medical minds on Cybertron. After his experiences with Lockdown though, all he wanted to do was disappear. An assignment to a deep space repair crew was just what he was looking for. He never wanted to be in the middle of a new war against Megatron, but if that's where fate puts him, he'll do his best to keep his comrades safe and sound.

It is the dawn of a new Transformers series. Animated is a very stylized, but entertaining new TF series that mixes some of the best characters, concepts, and legends from previous TF series with a new animation style and story. The long-awaited figures have just started appearing on store shelves, and are rapidly dwindling. One such figure is the Autobot Ratchet figure.

Ratchet's name sake comes from Generation 1, where just as today, its Ratchet was a medic. Of course, being a medic for Autobots means he was truly a mechanic and had a gift for repair. The original Ratchet was also a a bit of a back talker, and liked to party. Fast forward twenty-three years, and you have the next Ratchet of significance, the Movie Ratchet, who served the same function. Now, with all this it's no wonder that Hasbro decided to put a new Ratchet into the starting Autobot team for there new toy line/show.

This Ratchet, as apposed to the others, is fairly older than the other Autobots on his team. A veteran of the Great War, between the Autobots under Ultra Magnus and the Decepticons under Megatron, Ratchet served tirelessly for centuries. That is until he was sent on a secret mission to save an intelligence officer under enemy fire. He managed to find her (Arcee) and nearly save her, but interference in the form of Decepticon bounty hunter Lockdown caused him to have to wipe her memory, and thus her mind in order to keep the valuable info from Megatron. After words, he became very sullen and grim. He joined up with Optimus' unit to get away from the past, but found more than what he bargained for when the AllSpark showed up. Now he battles evil for the sake of his comrades, and to preserve life on Earth from the evil Decepticons.

Alright, if you're still reading then you basically know Ratchet's character, now on to the review.

Vehicle Mode
Ratchet's vehicle mode is a futuristic ambulance. It is basically what you'd expect for his character and namesake. The overall look is streamlined, simple, and tough. The most prominent colors are the milky white and maroon. The design is far from spectacular. It is very simple, plain, nothing to it, but that really fits the character of this guy very well. Being an older bot, means he wouldn't be too concerned with being flashy, plain and efficient, thats how he rolls. The windows on the ambulance are blue. Either transparent, as in the windshield/flashers, or opaque, like the side and rear windows. His wheels are all black and he has a set of yellow headlights and blue tail lights. The only detail bits are the pair of pulse symbols on his sides and one large silver Autobot insignia on his hood. There's also a winch, I think thats what it is... The wheels roll well and over all he plays very well. His vehicle mode is also quite sturdy. Like I said before its not spectacular, or even special, but it fits and it has some good play value, so I like it.

Robot Mode
Ratchet's Robot mode is a bit more impressive than his vehicle mode. First off he is a bit taller for a deluxe figure. The look of his robot mode captures the essence of the cartoon character perfectly. Most of his parts are rounded, giving him an appearance unlike most previous TFs. He looks his part well.
He has a bit of a gut, which although not exactly cool, fits with the older bot persona. His face, the look on it is as if he's seen it all. Its actually a very sad expression, a stern frown, down cast blue eyes, one of his little horns on his helmet is broken. He is mainly the maroon/white combo from his vehicle mode although the blue from the windshield on his chest and flashers on his shoulders add some contrast. His Autobot insignia is now boldly showing on his abdomen. His look and build fit his character perfectly, and are striking.

He has a good range of articulation, 22 points in all, including moving fingers and a rotating head. He's kinda back heavy, but can be placed in a variety of poses. The only bothersome parts are his shoulder plates, which can get in the way of arm movement. He is a medic and as such carries tool as opposed to weapons. He has a set of four: a wrench, a hammer, a large flat head screwdriver, and lastly an enormous can opener. Yes, that's right he has a giant can opener! I can't think of any reason why, but he's got one. The tools lock into an opening in his hands with a peg inside for the tools to latch onto. Each tool is large enough to serve as a weapon. He can also store them in his back, which has a set of pegs inside. However they stick out and are kind of annoying to deal with, I'd rather just set them aside. He also has a bit of a gimmick. He has a strange looking hook-like tool that folds out from both arms when you bend his elbows perpendicular to his upper arms. What these are and why they are here, I don't know. These can't be the magnets you see him use on the show. Unless these are halves of the same magnet, in which case you'd be able to connect them, but his arms do not bend like that. It's a poor gimmick, but at least they tried to put one in there somewhere and didn't decide to just leave him with giant can opener power. He also has a hole to connect the EMP cannon that comes with Lockdown on to his arm. (It was his before Lockdown took it.) To sum it up he is an OK toy for both display and play. His gimmick and tools are a little weird, but he makes up for it in good design and character.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Price 8 He cost me $9.99 at my local Walmart, which is about right for a deluxe figure.
Transformation 5 Entertaining and well thought out, but not very challenging.
Durability 9 He seems very tough, his vehicle mode is quite stable and his joints are strong but flexible.
Fun 7 He's got a good bit of play value and looks nice and stays true to character, but his gimmick and his tools (excluding the hammer) are weak.
Overall 7 He is not bad. In fact, he's a very nice Autobot, but just like his character he'll come across as a bit rough until you get to know him. If you are a fan of Ratchet, or of his namesake, then go for it. However if you're looking for a warrior, or for a Big Bad Bot, maybe this guy is not for you.
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