Perhaps even moreso than Ironhide, Ratchet’s reincarnation as a movie Autobot offered the designers an opportunity to do something new. Unlike Jazz or Prime or even Bumblebee, the most important thing about Ratchet is that he be an ambulance or at least emergency vehicle of some kind. He doesn’t have a visor or faceplate or an iconic toy design to reflect, while his colour scheme was also a function of his alt mode rather than a defining characteristic.
What we have here then is an all new Ratchet, one that expands Ratchet’s role to that of sage counsellor, part Ratchet, part Kup, part Dr. McCoy. So that explains the wrinkly old man-bot face then. Everyone knows that these days ambulances are flourescent yellow so it certainly makes sense that Ratchet is as well now, the problem with the toy is that it’s more a shade of puke green than it is yellow.
Ratchet has two ‘weapons’ or accessories, his right hand transforms in to a sort of axe weapon which almost looks like it was meant to be his pistol as seen in the movie, it even has a little handle on it even if it is in completely the wrong place, and his roof rack doubles as both a stretcher of sorts and as a claw.
Of all the the movie character figures, Ratchet feels most like a ‘toy’ – chunky, robust, designed to be played with. For a figure of this size, it does seem as if there could have been a bit more effort made to match his movie appearance, where he is substantially lankier and, for want of a better word, crumplier as well. Articulation in the arms and legs is OK but the range of action poses is limited by the bulk of the figure, and there’s no waste articulation (a complaint with almost all of the movie figures).
He’s already warming shelves and while it’s true that compared to Ironhide and Bumblebee, he leaves something to be desired, at the same time he’s no Jazz and he does just about tick all the boxes in terms of movie accuracy, transformation sophistication, accessories used in both modes. Comparisons to notorious shelf-warmer Energon Ironhide are inevitable, but Ratchet is definitely a cut above that, and so still worth a purchase for anyone who wants to have the whole team represented.