Cliffbee.com: Beast Machines Rattrap Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Rattrap
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Intelligence/Surveillance Expert
Alternate Mode: Technorganic Rat



RAT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 31cm Width: 9.5cm

   A dark green technorganic rat with silver plastic on his legs and around the ribs, Rattrap has a grey tail with dark red paint on top. There's some mustard yellow on his head, along with some brick red. There's a saddle-like dip in his back with a transparent grey "spine" visible, and some silver painted detail on his back. I can't say I think all that much of this colour scheme - the silver and green are fine, but the support colours muddle things up more than I'd like. It's by no means a bad colour scheme, mind you - just one that doesn't appeal to me at all.

   While the definition of the term 'technorganic' is debatable, this rat feels like a good fit. Much of the green plastic is vaguely organic with curved lines, while the silver is generally metallic without quite being robotic. The tail and spine and very much mechanical, giving Rattrap a pretty good mix of the different elements. I'm not really a fan of the end result - the mixture doesn't seem natural here - some parts (the saddle for example) don't gel with the rest of the toy. This chopped up look is intentional, mind you - the legs are quite awkward in parts, the disjointed look is consistent (yes I'm aware of the irony in that statement).

   The poseability of this rat mode is pretty good - which is to be expected of a such a large BM Maximal. The hindlegs have a total of six points of articulation each, while the front legs have three hinges each. The head can turn side to side and tilt, while the lower jaw opens and shuts. The tail has several joints and can lift up and down. There's a gimmick built into the tail - rotating it causes the head to tilt (via a driveshaft of sorts in the spine), while the ears prick up and down. The effect is underwhelming, but at least this gimmick doesn't really get in the way of anything. You can also unclip the neck joint slightly if you wish to disable the gimmick.

   While the effort put into this rat mode is pretty good, Rattrap suffers from the same problem that many Beast Machines Maximals have - the alternate mode is a pretty feeble disguise. OK, so that's not the point of this subline, but in Rattrap's case a lot of the effort seems wasted to me. As an action figure, the rat mode is quite well done, with good poseability and some fine details. While I don't hate it - and think mode of this rat than I do of many other BM Maximals, I can't bring myself to get excited about Rattrap's beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fairly complex and unusual in many aspects, so the transformation isn't easy to describe. The underside opens up to reveal the robot legs, which fold out while the forelegs and rat head stow away. The hindlegs become the arms while the head, which was the back of the belly (use your imagination!) simply turns around to reveal the face. The tail becomes a whip weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 9.5cm

   Now ,mainly silver, Rattrap has a red chest, green shoulders and a transparent head. There are discs on the outsides of his knees, which have some transparent orange. The feet, elbows and hips are actually a darker shade of silver than the rest of the toy, although this colour doesn't really stand out. The colour scheme is more cohesive than the rat colours were, but with so much silver, it's a little uninteresting. The broad colour theme is close to that of the original, which I appreciate.

   Rattrap's bodyshape is quite unusual, with slender legs, long arms and a hunchback. While some of the unorthodox elements seem quite deliberate (the position of the head), I'm not sure all of them were intentional - the arms look a little awkward. The hands are little more than the undersides of the beast feet with holes, and are probably the worst aspect of this robot mode. Conversely, the legs are well done, with good heelspurs and distinct kneecaps. The head and face are quite detailed, with the transparent plastic encasing coloured plastic, which works quite well.

   The cartoon version of BM Rattrap has wheels rather than legs, and the feet can fold up to allow the discs to work as wheels. While the configuration isn't the same as in the cartoon, I'm impressed that they engineered this aspect. The two wheels alone cannot support the toy - you'll need to plug the tail into his butt as a third leg - but the illusion is still pretty good. I'll admit I don't like this configuration, mainly because I don't like the third leg - but I'm not complaining about this feature.

   The discs, if on the outsides of his knees, can turn slightly, which will reveal three transparent orange blades per disc - and these look really good. You wouldn't want to get into a kicking fight with Rattrap. The whip is lame, so I'm glad he scored the blade gimmick - it's both unusual and fun.

   The poseability of this robot mode is great - the shoulders, neck, hips and ankles are ball jointed while the knees and elbows are double hinged, with rotators above them. The shoulder joints are rather restricted, but there's more than enough movement in the rest of the arms that the shoulders aren't holding him back. Rattrap's heelspurs are large enough to be quite useful, allowing him to stand quite well. You'll barely notice that this is a really top heavy robot mode.

   While the style of this robot mode is really unusual, Rattrap's poseability makes it worthwhile regardless of the unusual form. The wheel configuration is an admirable effort, while the knee blades are nice weaponry - even if the tail-whip isn't very successful.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   One of the better Maximals released during Beast Machines, with great engineering and a satisfying, unusual transformation. The disguise is anything but - the rat mode is downright weird, while the colours in both modes could have been better. As with many BM Maximals, Rattrap is a good action figure, but not as successful as an actual Transformer. The robot mode is versatile enough that I'm happy with this toy - but the technorganic concept has never sat well with me, so my enthusiasm is tempered somewhat. If you like the BM Maximal style, then I'd really recommend Rattrap - 6.5/10

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