Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 78, May 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 29, October 5th 1985 / Isue 236, September 23rd 1989
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Universe
- Added an Autobot symbol to the bonnet (covering up some wonky paint lines in the process)
Ahh, the life of a medic. It's never an easy one, but Ratchet had it harder than most, with being fused with Megatron and then turned into a sledge his real low points. I also never really understood the difference between 'medic' and 'mechanic' in the world of Transformers. Surely, Wheeljack is just as capable of fixing his fallen comrades as Ratchet? Or what about Grapple, who is skilled at building and repairing complex machinery? Anyway, it is clear in the fiction that Ratchet has an enormous burden to bear. In the American comics, he was one of the very few characters who had any decent storylines, as he tangled with and got the better of the 'Mechanic' - a wily human. Like Ironhide, Ratchet's original G1 toy bore little resemblance to the cartoon model or the comic depiction (barring the first miniseries) and was one of the worst. Therefore, I should be happy if the new incarnation is even mediocre, or should I?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
Ratchet's headsculpt is fantastic, it's just a shame that it is difficult to see his chin because for whatever reason the windshield piece sits a bit too high. The open hands suit Ratchet better than Ironhide, since Ratchet is a lover, not a fighter. I really like his paintjob too, and the way the the little 'heart monitor' lines end up on his forearms in bot mode. Like his mould-mate Ironhide, he is rather generously endowed.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 5/10
Oh dear. the minivan looks like a cross between a jigsaw and a shattered egg, owing to the admittedly clever transformation. I feel this could have been mitigated a bit more by Hasbro. Also, the paint apps of the windows are nowhere near the right colour for the clear window sections. The paint apps on the bonnet were also so off centre, that I had to cover them with a large Autobot symbol. Although I will say that the numberplate is cute and neatly tampographed.
Really unique which deserves praise, but is responsible for much of the ugliness in vehicle mode. The arms unfold in a rather complex manner from the rear of the cab, with the legs forming from the bonnet, via the removal of various tabs. There is a thin central 'spine' which has a habit of separating easily, thankfully it is easy to reattach. The automorph feature whereby the symbol pops into place in the chest is a nice touch.
Ratchet's arms are splayed apart as is the case with Ironhide. His head always looks slightly down. This is a shame, because otherwise he has a nice range of movement, and large feet which make balancing pretty easy. He has head and waist swivel, ball-jointed hips, and lateral and side-to-side movement in his shoulders. He has elbow joints and his forearms can swivel, as can his wrists. He is also blessed with thigh swivel and joints in his knees and ankles. However there is no Bicep swivel which is pretty inexcusable.
He is solid enough but I do worry about the aforementioned spine weakening, which seems to be stressed during transformation. While it has a socket which does pop out to avoid breakage, I feel that over time the socket could become loose. At least he can fix himself if that happens, I guess.
Overall - 34/50
Again, my main issue with this mould is the frankly embarrassing alt mode. At the same time, I quite like the robot mode, which kind of leaves me firmly on the fence for this one. There is no other choice if you want a deluxe sized Ratchet, so I'm kind of stuck with him, and I guess that's ok. For all his flaws, I like him. Otherwise you will have to go Voyager-sized, and pick up the aesthetically-jarring iGear 'homage'. No thanks!