Series: Generations Japan
This figure here is a repaint with a new head of Generations Scourge
, whom I have previously reviewed. So we will mainly focus on the differences here. Ratbat got a completely new paintjob in black and purple with golden highlights. Looks much better than Scourge's very light paintjob in my opinion, but that is highly subjective, of course. The other new thing is the head, bascially a humanoid face inside a bat-shaped helmet with the face peeking out from between the bat's jaws. This is patterned after Ratbat's look in the IDW comics (from his Senator days, see below for more on that) and does a pretty good job.
The rest of the figure is identical, naturally. Still nicely articulated with great wings and a weapon that is no more than average, but can be divided into two and stored in the wings, too. Nicely done. So no complaints from me and personally I think this version of the robot looks much better than the original Scourge version.
Naturally Ratbat transforms into the same kind of stealth-bomber-type aircraft as Scourge, only instead Scourge’s blue and pale blue he comes in dark purple and black. And given his different head, he lacks Scourge’s typical head module, which peeks out at the rear of the vehicle mode. Instead you see the rat-shaped top of his helmet out back, which... yeah, doesn’t really look any better or worse, just different. Overall, much like in robot mode, I think that Ratbat’s coloring looks quite a bit better on this mold and brings out the details more. Apart from that, though, no differences. Still a pretty good vehicle mode.
In the Generation 1 cartoon it was a given rule that any Transformer with a non-human robot / primary mode was little more than a primitive beast (I believe Sky Lynx was the only exception), usually not even capable of speech, and always subservient to a human-shaped Transformer. Most of these were cassettes belonging to either Soundwave or Blaster. In the Marvel comics, though, these non-human-shaped Transformers were actually given personalities and Ratbat was the primary example. Despite his diminutive form and useless alternate mode as a cassette, he was one of the highest-ranking Decepticons, even taking over as leader on numerous occasions. In the current IDW comics this trend continues with a twist, because Ratbat used to be a normal-sized, human-shaped Transformer (looking very much like this figure here) and was instrumental in the rise of the Decepticon movement (though he was mostly in it for the money, not to start a revolution) before he was betrayed by his supposed servant Soundwave and forcibly converted into a small cassette warrior resembling his G1 figure.
So basically this figure here portrays pre-war Ratbat and does a pretty good job of it, too. I actually like this version of the mold a bit better than Scourge, simply because the paintjob is nicer and Ratbat is a more interesting character in my eyes. Ratbat was exclusive to the Japanese version of the Generations line, not appearing in Western stores, but to me he was worth the slightly higher price of an import. So whether or not you’re a fan of Ratbat, this is a very nice version of a pretty good mold. Recommended.