Transformers Prime: Ratchet by Hasbro

It’s time for more Prime! This time, we’re taking a look at one of the Autobots and also my favorite character from the show. Or at least the episodes that I’ve actually watched. Yep, it’s Ratchet. Not only do I love the way he’s portrayed (he’s crotchety and acts like everything is an imposition and a bother), but you can’t deny the greatness of Jeffrey Combs who provides his voice and personality. It also doesn’t hurt that G1 Ratchet always had a special place in my heart after he became the last Autobot standing back in the original Marvel comic. Suffice it to say, I was pretty happy to get this figure and to see if it does his TV counterpart justice.                 

What? No package shot. Here’s what happened. My computer died last week and while I’m up and running with a brand new setup, I haven’t had time to recover the files off the old computer’s hard drive. That means not only am I having to re-write this feature (and about three others), but the in-package shot of Ratchet is currently inaccessible. You can reference the general package design by looking back at the Vehicon feature from last week. Ratchet’s character art is fantastic and the bio blurb is downright disturbing, as it generally suggests that his intimate knowledge of anatomy makes him great at killing and dispensing pain. Wow! Pretty dark stuff for the back of a toy packet.

In his vehicle mode Ratchet is an ambulance. What? Crazy, I know. His general configuration is a bit more like a utility truck from the Bayformer movie-verse than most Ratchets from the past. The sculpt is pretty solid and there’s a lot of little panel lines and details. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of jigsaw puzzle seaming on the sides. Remember Classics Ratchet? Well, it’s not quite that bad, but it is close. The deco also feels somewhat unfinished. Ratchet is molded in white plastic, with some red paintwork on his front end and the roof of his cabin. There’s also some red striping. It’s pretty basic ambulance colors, but its missing the lettering you usually find on an EMT vehicle. Like I said, the deco just feels unfinished.

Ratchet’s ambulance mode has two sets of ports for his blade weapons. You can plug them into his front bumper for some pretty vicious ramming action, or you can plug them into his roof. Not real sure what purpose that serves.

Transforming Ratchet felt a little involved the first time, but once I saw where everything goes it’s actually pretty easy. He is a bit of a shell former, but most of the ambulance kibble forms the backs of his legs and a backpack that isn’t too prominent or intrusive. No, Ratchet has one outstanding looking robot mode. He’s not only very faithful to his onscreen counterpart, but he’s also just a generally clean, balanced and proportional design. What’s more most everything clips or tabs in very nicely to make a figure that is every bit as solid as he is great looking. It doesn’t hurt that Ratchet’s deco fares much better in his robot mode than ambulance. He’s still primarily white, but there’s a better use of the red paint. Oh yeah, in robot mode, Ratchet can wield those blades like crazy little daggers, one in each hand.

No doubt, Ratchet is an amazing figure. Yes, his ambulance mode is somewhat lackluster. It is by no means terrible, but the seaming on the sides can be an eyesore and I really wish Hasbro had tampo’ed some lettering onto him to make him more polished and convincing. This guy really feels like some of the coloring was nixed to keep costs down. On the other hand, once you get him into robot mode, he makes up for every one of his shortcomings as an ambulance. Of course, I may be a little biased because I tend to display my Transformers in bot form.

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