Posts tagged with "ratchet" - 1
Posted October 27, 2019 at 11:31 pm

So, yeah, he's Ratchet, he transforms into an ambulance and a medical bed, he's exclusive to friggin' Walgreens, but according to the website his function is "engineer"???  And Red Alert is apparently the doctor?  Look, I dunno.

Stege Ratchet is a heavy retool of Stege Ironhide!  It's not immediately apparent, but a whole lot of him is different.  I mean, their toys are still essentially the same, but Ratchet's sculpting been resurfaced pretty extravagantly.   It's just hard to tell since, you know, the two toys have the same silhouette and also Ratchet is mostly white so details are washed out.

But it's nice to see the extra mile here.  Ratchet also comes with a giant repair arm with two potential attachments -- a laser scalpel and a wrench.  The repair arm/scalpel is based on the one inside the original Ratchet toy's trailer medical bay.  The wrench is there because Robot Doctor/ENGINEER APPARENTLY, also I guess you could hand it off to Nautica if you wanted.  Considering Ratchet's one of the bigger Deluxe Class toys in Stege, it's nice to see him with all this extra stuff regardless.  Is it because he's an exclusive?  Maybe.  (Though I suppose regular retail Ironhide came with that giant hammer.)  

Ratchet also has a third mode, a medical bed thing.  It's basically a half-ambulance half-robot deal.  It's not terribly convincing.  But it's there and it didn't need to be, so I'll shrug and like it.  This is actually where a lot of the new sculpted tooling comes into play -- there's a series of tools and monitors on the back of Ratchet's arms that don't make themselves apparent until this mode, where they're finally facing upwards.  It's all unpainted white plastic, though, so you have to pay attention.

I don't know what's going on with the deco?  Like, okay, I get why he'll have a white helmet black chevron forever and ever because of the fucking cartoon, but why is the rest of him?  Ratchet tends to be solid white, sure, and there are ways to break up that white with some red.  The Marvel comics gave him a red helmet and red hands.  The cartoon gave him a red pelvis and red hands.  This toy... kind of randomly paints red rectangles on him.  It's not a very cohesive look!  You think, oh, maybe this deco comes together in vehicle mode, but it doesn't.  It's just as random there.  What was going on?  I dunno.

Anyway, I painted the helmet red on my Ratchet almost immediately.  It makes the weird deco choice look a little more cohesive, since there's a red focal point that isn't a rectangle on his thigh.  

I will not be painting his white hands red because those white hands will be going to Crosshairs when he comes out in a month.  The Rebirth colors, yo!  (I will then be painting Crosshairs's black fists red before giving them to Ratchet, obvsly.)

Deco aside, Stege Ratchet is a pretty good Ratchet!  He's dynamic in all the ways Stege toys tend to be dynamic -- by which I mean he's a pile of boxes you can pose very well.  He's also one of the few Stege toys that, you know, actually looks unapologetically like a Cybertronian vehicle.  He's not a Lamborghini with the serial numbers filed off, or a Freightliner cab with a hat.  Ratchet's a wheeled spacebox.  

A wheeled spacebox who needs his helmet painted red, gaddangit. 


Posted February 28, 2018 at 2:00 am

The Transformers live-action movies are over a decade old now, so we're getting a new ... commemorative(?) toyline in Studio Series.  It seems to be taking the place of last year's The Last Knight toyline on store shelves (you gotta maintain your retail footprint), and towards the end of the year it will eventually encompass toys related to December's Bumblebee The Movie or whatever its specific title is.  

Among Studio Series' strengths, seen from a distance, is that it goes back and gives a few older characters newer, better, more appropriately-sized toys.  A Leader Class-sized Blackout, for example.  A new Leader-Class-sized Grimlock that's actually based on his finalized screen appearance and isn't a half-chromed awkward curiosity.  A Revenge of the Fallen Megatron that's not bizarrely teal.  

Another strength is that... extraordinary lengths (for Hasbro) have been traversed to make each toy roughly in scale with the rest of the line while in robot mode.  That means that despite Bumblebee and Ratchet both being Deluxe Class toys, Bumblebee is a very small Deluxe and Ratchet is more on the large size.  So, bravely, Hasbro is trying to sell some smaller toys at us for the same price as the bigger dudes, but altogether, the toyline will look nice standing up in a row.

(also there's a cardboard display thingy inside)

Weaknesses?  Let's talk about Ratchet.  

Ratchet is a completely new toy, though he transforms pretty similarly to the last Ratchet toy, the Deluxe Class Dark of the Moon version, which was recently done up in fancy paints by Takara in their "Transformers Movie The Best" line.  Studio Series Ratchet does not compare favorably to The Best Ratchet in the paint department.  There are some areas that TB Ratchet underperforms, to be sure -- he has no shin paint, for example, nor are his flashers painted -- but overall, TB Ratchet just looks better than SS Ratchet.  Actual movie CGI Ratchet's face is more gunmetal than green, but SS Ratchet's head is mostly unpainted green plastic, and the likeness strongly suffers for it.  

Studio Series Ratchet also has trouble staying together in vehicle mode.  His roof railing stuff is rubbery plastic, and it has trouble laying flat across the roof, even though there are pegs to plug in.  It just wants to bend outwardly.  (Also, since it is one long rubber piece, it hangs off his back like a cape, rather than being able to be folded up and tucked away.)  Additionally, the panels on the sides of the vehicle which are formed from his shins have trouble staying pegged in, and they like to puff out.  It is very annoying!

Things that are better about him?  I love that the light and piping stuff is finally included on his shoulders.  In recent Ratchets, they were fine with just leaving his wheels up there unadorned, but on Studio Series Ratchet you can rotate the wheels around in robot mode to display his proper kibble.  I also like that his buzzsaw weapon is included.  It'd been a while.  And, yeah, it's appealing that he's a larger Deluxe than usual.  Plus he's a very bright green!  Movie Ratchets are often a desaturated yellow or a gross pea green, but this one is properly sunny-looking.

I bought him because I like Ratchets, and this was a completely new tooling.  It's hard to strongly recommend him otherwise.  

Posted November 6, 2016 at 1:15 am

I have a lot of Combiner Wars Ratchets!  Three and a half, to be imprecise.  I told you about my first BotCon Customization Class Ratchet way back in the summer, but there were five more potential decoes for that customization class toy.  I made four of them total: Marvel Ratchet (already linked), G2 Ratchet, SG Ratchet, and... Medix.  (Medix is the .5 of my 3.5 Ratchets, as he's not really a Ratchet but shares a body.)  

So I had these three Ratchets.  One more Ratchet and a torso, and I could have an entire Ratchet combiner!  But that would never happen, ha ha ha ha ha!  

Ha.

Ha ha ha ha.

TakaraTomy revealed that they were getting their own Ratchet release, swapping him in for the Smokescreen we got over here, for their version of Sky Reign, the Sky Lynx combiner.  Obviously they were gonna cartoon-colors him up, and they did.  Cartoon Ratchet was the only customization class option I didn't make.  But this Ratchet would make four Ratchets.  I'd have enough limbs for a Ratchet combiner.

IF ONLY THERE WERE A VOYAGER RATCHET TORSO

hey guess what i sent Cheetimus a Pyra Magna and told him to paint her into a lady Ratchet

Here's the thing about Lady Ratchet: the original preproduction intent for G1 Ratchet was that the character be a she instead of a he.  Bob Budiansky got saddled with this "write up 30 bios for these robots over Thanksgiving weekend" deal and came back to Marvel the next week with a character named Ratchet, named after Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, who was a party girl and a snarky-ass snarkster who maybe got a little drunk from time to time.  She was pretty awesome.  But Hasbro was all "um no, this is a boy's toyline and so they all have to be boys we mean genderless but really boys, okay??" and Budiansky was like "well okay whatever" and changed the gender and that was that.  

(Ratchet being a party animal, despite an aspect of the published character profile, never really made it successfully into either the original comic book or the cartoon.)  

And so my intent is that this Voyager Class-sized Ratchet custom represent Lady Ratchet, as originally intended.  No, not "Ratchette" or anything like that.  She's Ratchet.  If anybody's gotta signify their gender through their name, it's the Dude Ratchets.  Lady Ratchet came first, okay?

Anyway, Cheetimus painted this thing for me, expertly as he always does, and I got her in the mail just as my TakaraTomy Ratchet, the fourth limb, also arrived in the mail.  I had some small influence in Lady Ratchet's deco, such as demanding she keep the Marvel Red Helmet and such, but mostly I was like, "hey, Cheetimus, make this thing into Ratchet colors" and he delivered.  Yay!

I put a Reprolabels Autobot logo sticker on her chest (an unused one from the Thrilling 30 Jetfire set), gave her BotCon 2009 Leozack's sword weapon, and that was that.  Ratchet and her four smaller Ratchets combine to form Physicion.  Get it?  It's "physician" but with an O, because robots, I guess.  Look, I dunno.  

I'm not sure exactly why five different Ratchets are co-existing and forming a giant robot, but whatever the reason, it makes me happy.  

Posted April 29, 2016 at 5:30 am

When I look at photos of other people's Masterpiece Ratchets, theirs appears to be different colors in places than mine.  It's weird.  Maybe mine used to look like that, too?  He arrived in the mail on Tuesday, I opened him up, I blacked out, and when I woke up he looked like this.  The oddest thing.

If you haven't been paying attention here long, then I should tell you that Ratchet is my jam.  He was the star of the first comic books I ever read, and I guess that sort of thing tends to leave an impression on you.  There's an argument to be made that the Marvel Transformers comics are ultimately the story of Ratchet.  When the stories get their most heated, it's Ratchet who's there, delivering the emotional punches.  Hell, he goes up against Megatron (badly) more often than Optimus Prime does.  And, well, it makes dramatic sense, right?  Optimus Prime versus Megatron is a battle between a pair of equals.  But put the pitiful but resourceful doctor up against Megatron?  That's an underdog.  That's an uphill battle against an unstoppable evil.  That's drama gold.  

I think Ratchet was also on the cartoon.  He sounded like Papa Smurf.

My love for Ratchet is so great that I purchased this okay-ish looking Masterpiece toy.  As you can see, its proportions are kind of wonky.  It's hard to turn a van cosplaying as an ambulance into a faithful recreation of the original character model of his robot form, which was a pile of boxes wearing a windshield glued to his tummy.  Ratchet had no wheels on him, no other identifying vehicular parts.  That tummy windshield was it.  And so speaking of  uphill battles: this toy's engineering!

I mean, it does a valiant job.  It does its level best to hide all the windows and all the wheels and all of the EVERYTHING so you could get a pile of unremarkable white boxes.   The entire roof and back window fold in on themselves and get stuffed inside the torso.  The lower third of the vehicle does its level best to tuck inside his legs.  The only remaining visible vehicle parts other than the desired windshield on his chest, are the windows on the back of his forearms and the two fairly visible hip-thingers.  A commendable effort all around, really.  It doesn't result in a perfect Ratchet robot mode (as according to the model sheets) but I'm not sure that's actually possible in a world with real physics.

He comes with a billion little extra accessories.  They're from the cartoon.  Who cares.

Posted April 17, 2016 at 3:01 am

When I was a little boy of about ten years old, there came into existence the crazy idea that maybe Hasbro should make new versions of old popular Transformers characters, because maybe kids had grown attached to Transformers as people and not entirely just as a gimmick.  And so we got Optimus Prime as a Powermaster and Jazz and Bumblebee and Starscream and Grimlock as Pretenders.  And I realized... wait, we can get OLD guys as NEW guys???  I can have chances to buy all the guys I didn't manage to get in 1984?  

Strange new possibilities awoke in me, and I designed a combiner (because old guys come back as special features like Powermasters or Pretenders) that was made up of a bunch of 1984 guys I wanted to have toys of.  Ratchet, Ironhide, Wheeljack, and Prowl combined with Optimus Prime (because of course the torso would be Optimus Prime, duh doy) to form a bigger robot.  Ratchet and Ironhide would finally have toys that had heads like they did in the comics, and Wheeljack and Prowl were just other guys I wanted because they were important in the early Marvel stuff I had.  (Essentially, I was recreating the Autobot cast of "DIS-Integrated Circuits!" minus the Jazz I already had a Pretender of, plus Ironhide who I thought needed a toy with a head.)  

WELL HEY GREAT NEWS!  Combiner Wars gave us all those guys, true to my ten-year-old self's designs.  Well, minus Ratchet.  We knew there was a possible Ratchet head for the Combiner Wars First Aid toy hidden somewhere in the tooling, but would Hasbro put out a SECOND nigh-identical white-with-red ambulance guy?  Sometimes Hasbro just puts alternate heads into tooling for a rainy day and then never actually uses them.  Would my childhood fanfic combiner never fully come to be?

Screw y'all, 'cuz it has!  ...by the skin of its teeth!  Hasbro told BotCon, HEY, you guys use our Ratchet tooling for your customization class toy, all right?  And BotCon was all, yes daddy.  And, lo, the childhood was saved.  

But, jeez, is my Ratchet cup runneth over.  Shawn Tessmann, who runs the customization class, came up with FIVE seperate ways to paint up your Ratchet, and four of them are awesome.  There's the red-headed Marvel Ratchet that I was always going to make no matter what, there was the cartoon-style version (no thank you!), there was an amazing-looking neonish G2 Ratchet, there was a Shattered Glass Ratchet, and there was a fifth option where you use the First Aid head that remained on the sprue to make Medix, the Rescue Bots-inspired additional member of the Protectobots.  

I had preordered two Ratchets, one to paint and one to keep around just in case because RATCHET, but now I kind of have a deficit of Ratchets to make into the other possibilities.  In time, I tell myself, in time.  For now, I have this lone Marvel-style Ratchet.  He makes me supremely happy!  Frankly, red-headed Ratchet makes me happy in general, as if it's a load-bearing Jenga piece of my soul.  And thanks to some very good friends and also eBay, I have everything needed to complete him -- stickers, Enigma of Combination, and all.

(is there anything more really required in life than good friends and eBay?)

(okay, there's also Amazon.com)

Like last year's Covenant of Primus, the Enigma of Combination is a sort-of-not-really-Hasbro-blessed fan-made accessory to go with the customization class toy.  Ratchet can hold it and also it can plug into Optimus Prime's combiner mode chest.  ...way better than Blackjack or Rodimus, I can tell you.  

So, at long last, my childhood combiner is complete.  I will likely keep Ratchet as an arm, because he's special to me and I can see him better that way on a shelf, rather than hiding as a leg behind something else on display.  His translucent combiner fist is supposed to be all Healy Powers anyway, and I imagine it's probably rough to try to kick someone into health.    

Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:05 am

You might recall from a few months ago my happiness at getting what by all appearances seemed to be some strange Ratchet/Dinobot cyborg fusion as part of the Beast Hunters line.  Well, TakaraTomy over in Japan took one look at this mold and apparently thought, okay, no way this is a good guy.  Just look at this dude.  And they made him a Decepticon.

All the other Japanese releases of the Beast Hunters guys were just done up in colors similar to their appearances on the show, despite their heavily-retooled appearances, but not Ratchet.  Ratchet gets to be green like in the movie and a Decepticon and super evil.  This is awesome, and so I had to have it.

According to some guy on the Internet, the packaging bio for Hunter Ratchet is about how he tried to sneak into a Decepticon/Predacon/whatevs lab to steal some technology and whatnot, but he got captured and infused with Dark Energon and turned into this green monocled thing.  The Autobots managed to bring him back eventually, but Ratchet still struggles with the vestiges of his time as a Decepticon.  

Hunter Ratchet is literally the American toy in other colors, so there's nothing new there, but the plastic tolerances on him seem to be a bit more sturdy.  So that's nice.  Also the green is kind of a glittery plastic, which reminds me of Best Buy's Premium Movie Ratchet a little.  That coupled with the white and black and red is a pretty attractive look for him.  

Plus, you know, evil Decepticon Ratchet.

Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:07 am
I love Ratchet.  I love Dinobot.  So what happens when you take a Ratchet toy and retool him into Dinobot?

Woodies.  Millions of them.

I don't know what the target audience is for a toy that takes the show's medic and gnarls it up into this thorny DeathUV with what some would say is a mind-boggling choice of color scheme, but that target audience is at least one, because I am me and I exist.  Mostly white with some beige and orange and hints of bright green?  Yeah!  Staple up Ratchet's face and give him a targeting monocle, making him look eerily reminiscent of Dinobot II?  Yeah! Give him a friggin' rotate blade?  Hell yeah!

Thank you, Hasbro.  I have no idea if anyone else will ever buy this toy, but I sure did.

Ratchet is extensively retooled, but it doesn't affect his transformation any.  Mostly they just wanted to give him giant spiky scabs everywhere.  The kibble panels that form his inner forearms (with the zig-zag line on them) likes to pop out of joint way too much, though.  Might as well just rip them off first-thing and set them aside for the duration.  Also, man, was getting the ambulance's rear end panels aligned as hard as it was before?  I think some of the extra stuff sculpted on here might be making him a little rougher to fit together.

ROTATE BLADE!
Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:15 am
Look, I can't help it.  There's lots of McDonald's everywhere, and if I swing by there around lunch and get a Happy Meal, I get a free Transformers toy I can photograph for the Transformers Wiki.  I don't even want these things.  But they come free with food.  And nobody else is photographing these things for the wiki.

And they come free with food.

(Now, if I may go off on a tangent about the food, I have to say I'm pleased that Happy Meals now come with both fries AND sliced apples in addition to your entree.  You don't have to choose, you automatically get apples.  And the fries now come in this adorably small cardboard container.  It's a very small portion.  Adorably small.   Like, hit by a shrink ray.  Very welcome for a dude who should really be maintaining his diet better.)

I have four of these guys by now, just by luck of the draw, and thankfully getting a different dude every time, but today I'm only going to talk about Ratchet.  I just like Ratchet.  Plus Ratchet comes with stickers!  You know, like the TakaraTomy version of the normal retail version.  ...does this mean I can start derisively comparing the TakaraTomy version to HappyMeal toys?  I won't.  It's just, well, "like a Happy Meal toy" is a common epithet.

Putting on stickers is fun!  ...though less fun when the sticker placement directions are printed on the back of the sticker sheet itself.  I'm probably old enough and smart enough to figure out where these stickers go  unaided, but my paranoid self kept on flipping the sheet around obsessively just to make sure I was getting things right.

The toy's gimmick is probably the least awesome of the ones I've gotten so far.  Bumblebee shoots a missile.  Knock Out has flip-out hood cannons.  Bulkhead shoots discs.  Ratchet has a variation of Knockout's flip-out weaponry, in that it's spring-loaded but doesn't fire anything, but it feels more anticlimactic.  You reveal the base of the cannon by pushing down on the back of the lever that comprises the roof.  Then you press the Autobot symbol on that same roof to make a cannon pop out.  The problem is, it's a very small cannon.  It's not impressive.  At first I thought it must be a tiny LED or something because why else would it be so small.

But it's something to do.  And I got to put stickers on it.  And it's Ratchet.  And it came with McNuggets.
Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:42 am
I told you I'd give you photos of my painted-up Prime Ratchet toy!  And here they are.  I couldn't begin to tell you all that I did in exacting detail.  Suffice to say I added a lot of red and silver and tiny amounts of black and yellow.  The one important detail that's still beyond my skill levels is the thin red zigzag line that runs down the side of his vehicle.  Maybe mirrorverse David can paint that in a way that will not end in tragedy, but I sure as hell can't.

[gallery columns="4"]
Posted March 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm
For a while I was searching Targets pretty hard for this guy.  But of course the day after I gave up looking for a while was the day Graham found him for me at the nearby Target I check every day.   Ain't it always the way.  That was more than a week ago, but I had to take my desktop computer in for some repairs (everything's fine now), so I haven't been pushing the toy reviews since then.  But I'm back in business, and here we are again!

Ratchet's my favorite character on Transformers Prime.  That's not saying a whole lot because Ratchet is often my favorite character in any given Transformers series, but it's still true, so I'm still saying it!  He is my second-favorite Ratchet, if only because no new Ratchet is likely to top the one who singlehandedly fought Megatron when I was 5 years old, because as a human I am a big sack of chemical-induced emotions.  I like to think Prime Ratchet is basically what G1 Marvel Ratchet would have been like if we'd seen G1 Marvel Ratchet at times when he wasn't trying to kamakaze himself.  He's snarky, cranky, doesn't put up with bullshit, and has a healthy understanding of his place in the universe, for good or ill.  He's the Autobot closest to Optimus Prime, has known him the longest, and that means Ratchet can call him out when Optimus is acting stupid.  And despite Ratchet's slight superiority complex, he's sad that he can't do more than medicine to further the Autobot cause, and would be willing to give up nearly anything of himself to right that perceived shortfall.

(The episode that aired Saturday night was a good example of this.)

Prime Ratchet is an actual ambulance.  I shouldn't have to point that out, but Ratchets rarely are.  The first one was a minivan with flashers, the second one was a Mercedes SUV with a ladder painted on it, the third one was a H2 Hummer made up to look like an ambulance, evil Mirrorverse Ratchet is a crane, and only Animated and Prime Ratchets seem to be actual amblances rather than converted versions of nonambulance vehicles.  And as a real ambulance, the Deluxe Class is probably a little small for Ratchet, considering most of the Deluxe Class toys are sports cars.  Indeed, Ratchet is one of the tallest Autobots on the show, only shorter than Optimus Prime and of equal or greater height than Bulkhead.  But at the next size class up, there's a real possibility a Voyager Ratchet would be too close to (or greater than) Voyager Optimus Prime's height, so Deluxe is good enough for me.

Like his casemates Arcee and Cliffjumper, Ratchet's transformation depends on a lot of "cheating."  Not many of the vehicle mode parts become parts of the robot.  About a third of the ambulance is a shell that slides down over the backs and sides of his legs.  His robot mode torso gives hints of being vehicle mode parts, but those hints are only sculpted detail.  The ambulance doors sculpted on to his chest, for example, are not the vehicle mode's actual doors.  (And for good reason, the sculpted chest-doors are about half the size of the vehicle mode's actual doors.  The show model does a lot of cheating of its own.)

This cheating doesn't make him a bad toy by default.  He's reasonably easy to get in and out of either mode, and that middle-third-of-his-vehicle-mode shellforming is really the only shellforming that occurs.  (I'm not sure how to classify how his forearms transform -- the back walls of the ambulance fold around his forearms to complete them, but that seems like it's not strictly "shellforming" as we usually define it.)

Ratchet has a lot of paint, but the usual budgeted amount is not nearly enough to give him all of the red areas he has on the cartoon.  (Probably another symptom of the fake kibble, since the red stripes on his fake doors and his real doors have to be painted twice.)  He's also missing the red zig-zagged line that runs down the side of the ambulance, but the way his arms break up during transformation would complicate that.  I took to this guy with my own paint pretty quickly after taking these photos of the "stock" version.

Ratchet comes with two rubbery surgical "battle blades."  Presumably they're rubbery so they can be sculpted to look sharp rather than horribly blunted for child safety.  In vehicle mode, the blades can store underneath or they can peg into the front bumper.  You know, for ram-stabbing.  In robot mode, Ratchet can either hold them upright in his fists, or his fists can fold down into his wrists so that it looks like the blades are protruding from his arms as they do on the show.  There is sadly no storage for the blades in robot mode.  Which is kind of disappointing, considering Ratchet's got a lot of backpack space.

I like Ratchet a lot.  He evokes the character I enjoy as well as can be expected for a $12 toy, and he's fun to transform back and forth.  He's even better if you throw some red and silver on him.  I'll show you guys photos of that later.

Did I mention that Ratchet is voiced by Jeffrey Combs?
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