Well, we had a nice interlude with some new Generations figures and some Masterpiece offerings and now it’s back to dredging the toy totes in search of new fodder for Transformers Thursday. I’ve got a bunch of Bayformers that I’m getting rid of via Ebay and, like Scavenger here, you may see some of them turn up on what Thursdays we have remaining until the end of the year. Why? Because this will be my last chance to feature them before they’re gone. I usually send my unwanted Transformers to my nephew, but I don’t want to inflict these things on that poor kid, so maybe I can get some comic book money from them. Anyway, today we’re looking at Ratchet.
I’ve gone on record as liking the 2007 movie. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t what I wanted, but looking back at it, it actually seems like a quaint movie from a simpler time. A time before I realized that the franchise would be spun into three more terrible movies and that I would eventually give up and walk out of the last one. I didn’t even ask for my money back. I knew what hell I was walking into and I had no one to blame but myself. One of the few things the movies got right was keeping Ratchet as a doctor even if they did inexplicably change his alt mode from an ambulance to a Fire & Rescue vehicle. And to make matters worse, they made him puke green because… screw you Gwunners! Poor Ratchet’s character arc came full circle by the fourth movie in which he was horrifically murdered for no good reason other than to provide the final cause that drives Optimus Prime over the edge in his journey from hero to tragic war vet driven homicidal and insane by PTSD.
The 2007 Movie release of Ratchet is a Voyager sized figure and apart from being the color of regurgitated pea soup, it’s not a bad alt mode. I still don’t see the point of making him a Fire & Rescue truck over an ambulance since it’s pretty much the same vehicle just with different markings. The markings are red and look terrible against the green plastic. The detailing on it is pretty realistic and while the sculpt is rather soft in areas you can still make out neat little touches like the tools bracketed to the roof and the cabinets on the sides for life saving equipment. The wire frame guards on the front, back, and roof add some nice complexity to the design and you get a big spare tire near the back of the roof. All in all, this is a chunky and solid vehicle mode and it rolls along great. It’s worth noting that Ratchet was repainted as Rescue Ratchet, with G1 themed colors.
Transforming Ratchet isn’t terribly complex. The seaming on the sides of his truck mode suggest he’s a shell-former, but he isn’t at all. You do have to take the roof rack and spare tire off, but it can become a claw weapon or just attach to his back. The figure features some auto-morphing in the legs, but it’s hardly even noticeable. There’s also some clever stuff going on here, like the way his chest is formed by the upside down front of the car and the way his windshields split and travel to his back. There’s also some damn annoying stuff like the way the parts on the back of his thighs like to explode off of the figure when changing him. Those same pieces also do a lot to limit Ratchet’s leg articulation and in all honestly, I find Ratchet is better off if they’re just removed for robot mode.
One of the things I like about some of the 2007 toys was their inability to mimic the complexities of the movie designs. Instead we got some chunkier and more boxy robots that looked like a more sensible blending of the old school figures and the crazy new designs. Ratchet is definitely one of those toys. I actually really dig the way he looks. He’s stocky and powerful looking and actually resembles something we might have seen in the Unicron Trilogy rather than a statue made out of broken scissors and car parts.
The head sculpt is still a monstrosity, but in fairness it does resemble the character’s on screen portrait fairly well. Even the coloring doesn’t bother me as much in robot mode. What does bother me are those damn exposed screws on his shoulders. I hate when Hasbro does this with Transformers. Was there no way you could have put those screws in from the other side or plug them or do something with them?
Ratchet’s claw weapon doesn’t impress me, but it’s a serviceable use for the roof rack, I suppose. I’m glad you can just hang it off his back, though.
I’m still on the fence over whether or not Ratchet is getting dumped. I like the figure well enough, but with me unloading most of my Bayformers he won’t really have a place in my collection. I know I’m keeping Revenge of the Fallen Leader Optimus because I love that figure. If I can convince myself to just keep Ironhide, Bumblebee and Jazz, maybe it would be worthwhile just keeping the core Autobot team from the first movie. Maybe next time I’ll check out 2007 Movie Ironhide and see if it’s something I want to do.
And now for a couple of administrative notes… Next Thursday is Thanksgiving and as much as I am thankful for Transformers, I’m also thankful for a day off, so Transformers Thursday will return the following week. Hopefully I’ll have some new figures to look at by then, but if not it’ll be another trip to the Tote of Bayformers… and nobody is thankful for that!
There will also most likely be no new feature tomorrow as I have my studio torn apart for renovations. If the work is completed early, I may get to squeeze some work in, but if not I should definitely be back with content on Saturday.