Transformers Ratchet
Transformers Ratchet
Transformers Ratchet
Transformers Ratchet

Ratchet landed his age-old role of the Autobots' medical officer for the films. This time however he was a bit more of a field medic type (I know Ratchet was incredibly cool in the Marvel comics by the way, but this time he's a more conventional warrior) and while he didn't get much in the way of show-off moments, he's a solid presence in all three films (and seems to move up into third-in-command from Revenge of the Fallen onwards).

His toy incarnation is in the Voyager size class (well there's a Legends version, but that's more of a joke than a toy), and like most of the main cast has been available in enough slightly different versions to make the average variant nerd spontaneously orgasm. The short version is that if you were to merge all of them, you might end up with a Ratchet with all the paint applications. The Premium version and the recent Revenge of the Fallen reworking seem to have a slightly more screen-accurate primary colour scheme but I plumped for the first version as I'd heard bad things about the mould and this one (while missing the little cage over the front headlights) was rather cheap. A Deluxe version appeared in 2009, boasting a more accurate robot mode - sadly, it turned into a pick-up truck for some stupid reason. This version and - disappointly - the 2007 Voyager were both redressed for the Dark of the Moon line.


Ratchet's alternate mode is a Hummer H2 rescue vehicle. I like that - he doesn't turn into a damn ambulance just because his job involves helping casualties (to be fair, the original Ratchet didn't turn into an ambulance either - just a mini-van with lights on the top). It's a great big chunky beast of a vehicle. It's not too stupidly big and wid, but does give the requisite rugged look. Even the join lines are largely sympathetic - only the splits above the rear wheels and at the back really stand out, the roof rack doing a good job of hiding the big gap on top of the back section. Sadly, my example is also missing a panel that covers the back of the robot head, which isn't too well hidden from low angles on the front.

The light green is actually quite nice to look at, surprisingly - it's not an exact match for the film coloration but it's not miles off either. Ratchet has been criticised for being under detailed, but to my mind this is more a case of 'half glass empty' - while a few touches like silver on the tools etched into the upper sides would have been nice, the Fire Department markings are well done and suceed inbreaking up the green while keeping the realism, and stuff like emergency lights and headlights are present and correct. It's rather a fun vehicle mode in the end, an incredibly sturdy brick that's great fun to push along the floor; a Transformers alt mode you can actually play with, which is surely the most important thing, right?


The transformation is very simple for a proper Movie figure - in keeping with his disguise, Ratchet is largely made up of big blocks and almost feels like he's part of a different line that's wandered in by mistake (y'know, like one of the myriad non-film characters in the Movie line). Which isn't a bad thing, variety is good. The only problem with the transformation is that Ratchet ends up facing backwards (the film cheats a little and puts a rotate in there), which is a minor annoyance for me (oddly - it bugs me on older figures but the more elaborate live action transformations make it easier to envisage the robots flipping and spinning as they transform). The robot isn't bang on the CGI model, the most notable difference being basically the entire torso - the door arrangement is less elaborate, while his head is framed by a big pair of wheels.

However, through a decent head cast the spirit of Ratchet still comes across amply and it doesn't look bad at all. Ratchet's actually a bit of a bruiser, which is a nice angle to take. The big, bulky legs provide a stable platform, thus allowing some good poses despite a relatively low number of joints - the legs are pretty well done, but the arms are a bit limited. This is mainly just because they look weird from some angles though. His weapons are a little weak sadly. The roof-rack turns into a big grapple-type thing that can attach to the left arm, with a button that makes it open and close. It looks pretty cool in some poses but is a bit ungainly, working better when stowed on the figure's back. The other is actually integrated into the right arm with the fist folding away and pushing out the back of the forearm, which then unfolds into... well, it's either a very weak attempt at an axe or some sort of Cybertronian table tennis paddle.


In short Ratchet is flawed but fun. Both modes are good if a little simplistic, and while the toy lacks the sophistication and accuracy of other Movie figures in some ways this is a plus. It's nice to have a figure in the right aesthetic that isn't a five-minute job to transform and doesn't involve moving scores of little panels on ball joints into place. However, despite making the best of his size, Ratchet doesn't really justify his RRP. If you can find one second hand for around half of that he's well worth a pop, though.