Review by Caked-Up:
RATCHET CYBERTRON MODE
Series: Animated Back when the war was at its worst, even the Autobots who weren't programmed to fight were called into battle. More than once, Ratchet was forced out onto the battlefield not just as a medic, but as a warrior. They're not memories he likes to recall, but he learned more than one lesson that has saved his life in the years since.
Categories: Deluxe Store Exclusive
This particular figure is the representation of a younger Ratchet during the war on his native planet of Cybertron. Having said that, there is a certain concept prevalent in the Transformer’s franchise that does not have to apply; the need to disguise the robot’s body in a vehicle mode. The vehicle modes are not used to blend in with the society of the planet; they are just alt modes to get around. That should make appreciating this figure much more manageable.
This is where this figure really shines. The overall build is that of a boxer. He has a muscular upper torso with strong arms and face, while the legs are smaller and more nimble appearing. Adding to this image is that the only accessories he has are the shock paddles. His face is decent, shows a confident image, but lacks a solid mouth and a few extra paint apps to make it shine. Most specifically, his chevrons are only painted on the front and the grooves on his cheeks aren’t black.
It is possible to tell that he transforms into something based on his shell and front vehicle limbs, but as stated above his alt mode isn’t a disguise. He has little in the way of useless kibble, because the shell doesn’t really interfere with the limbs and does not appear to be a robot with a vehicle on his back. It does however make him look like a white ninja turtle.
Adding to the poor choice of accessories, his only gimmick is a punching mechanism. Not the kind where the waste spins around for hook, but the kind where his wrist extends a whopping centimeter forward. However, odd drawbacks aside this is one of the better robot modes from any line, but the “weapons” (non-combatant or not) and gimmick are just busted and therefore relegate him to the “B” category.
Let’s start with saying that I like Ratchet’s vehicle mode. It is a Cybertronian transport vehicle of sorts that more resembles a camper. Instead of traditional wheels or treads, he has limbs with individual treads. This gives him a taller looking image and a great deal of clearance... supposedly. The hip joint from the robot mode protrudes out, almost touching the surface the treads rest on. The shell sits high with a lighting system on the front, and the rear bumper is made of the shock pads. His hood and cockpit are actually small like a head, but since there aren’t supposed to be any pilots, it is not bothersome.
The colors are done well with the lights being painted and the reds and grey balancing out. You can see his life sign emblem on each side of the shell. While it looks nice and unique, the shape was a little difficult to pull off. Along with the hip issue stated above, the paddles could have a better method of securing themselves to their storage hooks. They just hang on via a thin peg that doesn’t fit well. Unlike Optimus Prime or Bumblebee, the coloring is the only concept identifying this mold as Ratchet. Change the coloring and he could be any bot (Ironhide jokes aside). Great mode without a set deal breaker, it will just be seen as odd by a lot of people.
Key Transformation Points:
When in vehicle mode, rotate the fists so that the backs of the hands are facing each other. This will allow the lower assembly to fit closer.
This figure and his Cybertronian alt mode make me have high hopes for the War for Cybertron toy line. Not having to mirror a real vehicle should lead to some interesting and overall clean designs. Hasbro did a mostly good job with this figure, too bad about the “weapons” and gimmick. Overall this is a good mold for anyone who does not want an Ironhide repaint.