Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 27, April 1987 / Issue 50, March 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 103, March 7th 1987 / Issue 104, March 14th 1987
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986 / Episode 94 (Season 3 #29), February 24th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - BTS
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest
Ratbat was a rather clever character, who rounded off Soundwave's cassette companions to six. He arrived long after the others, and I remember seeing him in the Movie, and thinking he was pretty decent. In the comics they made more of his calculating nature, which is when he got really interesting. Unfortunately, so far, Hasbro have only bought out a large humanoid robot which is supposedly him. It just doesn't work. Luckily, BTS took on the task of designing their own homage. Surely, they couldn't stuff him up?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
This is a vast improvement over Perfect Effect's homage to the character, which was the wrong colour and looked nothing like a bat. BTS have at least made a good stab at both of these important factors, and I'm actually really pleased with the result. While the head looks a little goofy, you can definately see that this figure is clearly Ratbat, which is the point, surely.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
Unlike Perfect Effect, BTS have stuck to the script here and kept to the traditional cassette. While it looks pretty nice, there is not a lot you can do with a cassette. There is blatantly a rodent-like head on display, although the cassette cover is a really nice touch. Overall, I prefer the Perfect Effect alt modes, although this is obviously more faithful to the original, and is the right colour.
I love transforming this guy, he feels very old school. BTS have made great use of their limited space (the cassette is the same size as the G1 cassettes) and the size of the 'robot' mode with the wingspan taken into consideration is very impressive. The cassette is split in two along its width to unfurl the wings. It's also worth mentioning that he can combine with the BTS version of Rumble or Frenzy, but the resultant figure looks a little odd.
Not bad at all, really. The head can bob up and down (although unfortunately there is no neck swivel), the mouth can open and close. The wings can be moved around somewhat, and the talons, although fused together can move back and forth to tilt the figure. This piont of articulation is very loose, however, and the small footprint of the talons means that you may well run into balance issues.
There are a few metal parts on this guy which adds to the feeling of quality you get. The plastic used also feels robust enough, and I have no qualms at all really. I have the BTS trailer for Nemesis Prime which is similarly well-constructed.
Overall - 37/50
After the utterly awful 'Kingbat' by Perfect Effect, this figure feels like a huge improvement. I dislike the other BTS cassettes, but they got it right with this one. Would I recommend this figure though? I guess it depends on how much you like Ratbat. You are forced to buy this figure in the 'Nightfang and Savage' double pack. I could not recommend Savage at all, who is supposed to be Ravage. Unfortunately, he is not good enough to usurp Universe Ravage, so he will be going in the loft.