Dark of the Moon Deluxe Autobot Ratchet Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Deluxe, Movie (2007), MechTech

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: May 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Power Saw/Cannon weapon


While the Cyberverse makes up a smaller scale of figures in the "Dark of the Moon" toy line, the size class most fans are used to returns with "Mech Tech" technology. The generaly concept behind "Mech Tech" are weapons that transform from one type of weapon to another. These have standard peg sizes that allow the weapons to be swapped between figures. One of the first figures in the deluxe class of Mech Tech Transformers is Autobot Ratchet. Previous attempts at a Ratchet figure focused on the Voyager Scale, not becoming a deluxe until later in the tail end "Revenge of the Fallen" toy line. This sculpt is a brand new sculpt and not a retool/redeco of the previous deluxe scale Ratchet figure.

Mech Tech Weapon:
Since the Mech Tech weapons are critical parts of this toy line, I will review the weapons separately if they have some type of functionality. How they work with each figure will be discussed in the review of the various modes. I will make one general statement that will probably be replicated throughout several of the first (and possibly second) wave of deluxe figure releases regarding the Mech Tech weapons: they cannot stay in their "transformed" state without being held in place. Most Mech Tech weapons are spring activated, and when you release the switch that transforms them, the weapons automatically revert back to their previous form. This is important to note as the packaging clearly shows the weapons can maintain their alternative forms with no mention of requiring support (this could change). Is

Is this disappointing? Absolutely. However, it must be stressed that this seems to only apply to the deluxe wave one so far. Larger figures do have weapons that can "stay" transformed and who knows? A future deluxe wave may have figures that can stay in their alternate form. Also please note that in my photos, I had to use various tricks to make the weapon stay in its alternate form (including liberal use of paper and paper clips to keep them in place).

As noted above, Ratchet includes a weapon that is a combination power saw and cannon. Its default mode is the cannon, which has almost a Tommy Gun inspiration to it. The end is a small machine gun like barrel, with a large round "clip" making up most of the rest of the weapon. Unlike a Tommy Gun, the round "clip" is horizontal and set flat instead of being vertical. There are plenty of sculpted details on the figure including gears, beveled details and lin edetail.

On the top of the weapon is a handle you can pull back to reveal the saw blade inside. The saw blade swings out and spins as it does so. The blade itself can spin and has a lot of jagged looking (but safe) teeth on its edge. You can easily imagine Ratchet using this for surgery or battle. The weapon has two pegs on it. One on the bottom and one on the side. Since these weapons are meant to be able to used by other figures, it makes sense to put two pegs on in case the wide shape of this figure cannot be accomodated by another figures' form. I appreciate this particular touch.

The weapon is cast in a light gold color. The handle and the internal saw blade and the arm it rests on are dark silver. There are no stickers or paint applications on the weapon itself.

Vehicle Mode:
Ratchet is one of the characters who has kept his vehicle mode constant from movie to movie. This time out is no different. In "Dark of the Moon" he remains a Hummer modified for emergency vehicle use. The vehicle retains the blocky shape of the Hummer vehicle with a curved front end. Various equipment is added on including a cage on top with a row of lights, a light bar over the cabin section, a cage over the front of the vehicle and even small details like shovels and axes sculpted into the sides. The level of detail is really nice on this figure, and it seems the designers worked extra hard to be sure that as much detail as possible could be fit into this vehicle including door handles, side panels, vents, rear lights and even handles on doors to the back of the vehicle. For the detai level I definitely give this figure high marks.

While he has kept the same vehicle mode as the previous movies, Ratchet has changed up his color scheme a bit. The base colors on this figure are neon green, translucent green and black. The neon green is the staple color that has been carried over from the previous versions of the character. The same can be said for the black plastic, which makes up parts such as the protective cages and his wheels. The translucent plastic is used to make the side windows and windshield. It's a very nice shade of green that goes very well with the neon green plastic.

Like the sculpted details, the designers seemed to go the extra proverbial mile with the paint details on this figure. White, red, orange, silver and metallic grey and blue are all used to provide colors and detailing to the figure. The white is the most prominent color, painting the lower half of the vehicle from the back to the front, and then almost the entire front end. The red is found on the lightba, a red stripe on the back as well as a circular "Search and Rescue Fire Dept." logo on the doors with an Autobot symbol in the middle. Red also alternates with orange on thin hazard stripe details right over the front wheel wells. Orange is also found on the sides of the vehicle, where they form the words "Fire Rescue" in small letters, and then "E4" in huge letters that dominate a large portion of the sides. The metallic grey is used for the rear windows (a curious choice as it really doesn't match the translucent green) and spots of silver and metallic blue are used for details on the front such as the headlights. It's a very intricate color scheme for a deluxe class figure, especially in vehicle mode and it speaks well to Hasbro's recognition that fans may have have purchased this particular character many (many) times already so you need to give something different to justify the expenditure. The only scupted details that I wish were painted are the shovel and axe details on the side to accentuate them better.

The Mech Tech weapon can attach to the spare tire on the top of Ratchet's vehicle mode. Thanks to the way in which the tire is angled, it looks like the weapon is firing upwards, as if he were firing on incoming aerial Decepticons. It also holds steady enough in the hole that you can use the saw blade action as well, bringing me flashbacks to Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. You can attach more weaponry to the vehicle if you swing out the panels on the sides with the letter "E" painted on them. This really looks cool and brings to life the fantasy of the vehicle modes of Transformers being able to generate weaponry (something that will be featured in the "Dark of the Moon" film).

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached.
  2. Pull each door section out to the sides, which will take the sides of the front section with it.
  3. Straighten out the robot arms.
  4. Swing the door panels to the sides of the arms.
  5. Swing the front wheel panels over the shoulders.
  6. Rotate the front end of the vehicle around.
  7. Swing the front section of the vehicle down to form the upper body.
  8. On the front section of the chest with the headlights, pull down the lower section to cover up the gap in the middle of the body.
  9. Swing out the panels with the "E" on them.
  10. Swing the back panel up.
  11. Straighten out each of the robot legs.
  12. Rotate each foot around so the feet point forward.
  13. Swing up the rear panel from the vehicle mode against the back.
  14. The weapon can be attached in the fists, the shoulder holes or the holes on either side of the legs.

Robot Mode:
Last year's deluxe scale Autobot Ratchet figure was the character's first move into the size class. Detailed, posable and quite sleek looking, I really enjoyed that take on the character. That said, this deluxe version falls more in line with the way the character appears in the feature films. Specifically, this figure gives off a sense of bulk and size that the previous deluxe figure only managed to pull off on the upper body, but not so much on the lower body. This iteration of Ratchet definitely conveys bulk from top to bottom. His shoudlers are wide, thanks in large part to the vehicle mode parts forming shoulder armor, his forearms are relatively huge and his legs are thick and bulky.

Like the vehicle mode, the designers have made a real effort to create a fantastic, detailed sculpt. The head sculpt has all of the requisite details including Ratchet's "owl face" and the arms have a lot of small, intricate details on them. His legs have the "angled panels on machinery" look we've come to know so well. His legs even have layers, with the angled panels layered over a joint made up of a black tube. I'm particularly impressed by some of the sculpted detailing you normally wouldn't look for, such as a series of details on the underside of his back panels which look like a series of wires overlapping each other. High marks again for a nice sculpt.

Ratchet's robot mode uses all the same palstic colors as the vehicle mode, with the green still being the dominant color. Most of the paint details carry over from the vehicle mode including the white and hazard lines on his shoulders and the white panels with red lines on his knees. Some new coloring shows up in the form of silver paint patterns on his waist and head. The eyes are translucent green light piping. I would have liked a bit more silver on the upper arms or perhaps on the legs, but overall the color scheme looks good.

Ratchet has seventeen points of articulation in this form. This includes five in each arm and four in each leg. I almost counted the ability for the thighs to rotate, but they don't do it particularly well so I left that one out. As mentioned before, you can attach Mech Tech weaponry to various parts including his fists, the holes on his lower legs and a couple located behind the wheels on his shoulders. I love the idea that an Autobot so dedicated to fixing others (to the point where he'd be willing to fix enemies) can be so heavily armed he's literally got weaponry coming out from almost every major area of his body. It's quite a sight when you attach several weapons at once!

Final Thoughts:
I'll be honest and say at first I though "Oh man, another deluxe Ratchet?!" but the design is a great take on the character and offers him at a price point lower than your standard Voyager Class figure. The ability to attach so many Mech Tech weapons is awesome and I really like how much detail was worked into it. If you don't mind adding another Ratchet to your collection, this guy is highly recommended!