Cliffbee.com: BotCon Rattrap Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Rattrap
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Spy
Alternate Mode: Racing Motorcycle

Thanks to kup for loaning me Rattrap, making this review possible (I have since acquired Rattrap).



MOTORBIKE MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 2.5cm

   A grey motorbike with partially transparent aspects including his wheels, headlights and windshield. Rattrap is a repaint of Cybertron Ransack. The wheel struts and engine block are a mid brown, a shade lighter than the brown plastic of the original Rattrap figure. There are some gold and black painted elements rounding out a nice colour scheme. The colours don't quite line up to those on the original Beast Wars toy, with the grey also lighter this time around. The tribute is still quite strong, although the vastly different looks of the two toys means it's not as obvious as I'd like. I'm not blaming the repaint for this, mind you - there are no obvious rat markings which could have been applied here as was the case for some of the other BotCon toys of the same series.

   A long, slender bike with a raised back, Rattrap is clearly built for speed, right down to the forward sloping saddle for reduced drag. Thankfully his tyres are wide enough that he'll easily stand up on his own. The back tyre is larger than the front tyre, which sits on hubless wheel. Stylistically this bike has a Cybertronian feel about it, which makes sense considering this is meant to be Rattrap on Cybertron. The choice of mould is also quite fitting since this mould was originally conceived as Rattrap in the abandoned Transtech subline.

   There's not a lot of play value here. The wheels spin, of course, although the front one tends to slide on smoother surfaces. The gold Planet Key plugs into the saddle (well, the front of the storage compartment behind it) and causes twin barrels to flip out backwards. It's not a terribly inspiring concept, and flipping out backwards doesn't inspire much awe here.

   The colours go their job, although the tribute isn't quite as obvious as you might like. The choice of mould is quite inspired, and those who know the history will be pleased. It's a pretty good bike mode anyway, and whilst we don't necessarily associate Rattrap with speed, it's slender enough to fit the Maximals' infiltration expert (no pun intended). The key gimmick fails to really work here, but the bike looks nice which is what you want from an exclusive, really.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the storage compartment/weapon and set aside. Fold down the rear wheel, split out to the sides and fold up onto what will be the outsides of his boots. Open the legs and flip out his heelspurs. Split the saddle itself, swing out to the sides to become his arms, position the arms. Fold out the windshield to become his chestplate, which will also reveal the head. You're meant to rotate the front wheel on his back through 90, but it doesn't actually make any difference. Place the weapon in his hand and use the Planet Key gimmick to deploy the barrels.

   The Planet Key gimmick is somewhat wasted here, since there's not a lot of point in using it in the bike mode, and you really _need_ to deploy it as part of the transformation. The end result is that it doesn't contribute to the play value at all.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 6.5cm

   A grey and brown robot with orange wheel halves on the outsides of hips boots, and the colour layout in this mode works better, this time the character is far more obvious. The chest is painted silver while his face is gold with red eyes. I would have preferred the silver on top of his head, but I'm still happy that they included a patch of it. There's a red Maximal logo stamped onto the outside of his right hand - a strange place to put it since it's hardly prominent in either mode, although it's really more suited to this mode. I don't see why it couldn't have been on his chest, mind you. The gun is a big grey red thing with transparent orange barrels. I get the distinct impression this repaint was centred around the robot mode, since everything lines up nicely here.

   The torso is very disjointed here. The waist is quite obviously a transformation hinge and there are gaps all around the chestplate. The legs are by necessity slender affairs, but I would have liked thighs a tad wider. The shins slope forward, a relic of the sloping bike mode, which looks a little weird. The tyres on the knees are the main bike aspects visible here, and they also provide some much-needed width to the lower half of the body.

   The face is quite well detailed, and bears a passing resemblance to Rattrap - no retooling was really needed here. The gun is huge, to the point that I prefer him with the gun left off - but since it's an integral part of the bike mode, I'd recommend leaving it on his hand so it can't get lost.

   The gun _can_ fit into either hand - both have standard sized holes, and the key gimmick can be activated (although without the barrels out Rattrap is holding a random block of grey). Rattrap is quite poseable, especially for a motorbike Transformer. The head rotates, the shoulders rotate while the arms lift out to the sides and the elbows are ball joints. The hips and knees are also ball jointed and the heelspurs ensure than a wide range of poses is possible.

   While there are some proportion problems and a key gimmick that might as well not be there, Rattrap's poseability is excellent for a basic that turns into a bike. The weight of the giant gun hampers poseability a little, but it can be left off. Visually, this works well as a Rattrap tribute, despite the engineering flaws.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Since Rattrap was sold exclusively at BotCOn 2006 he was most likely limited to a single production run, making variants unlikely.

OVERALL

   An uneventful if decent bike mode and a playable robot mode are good points here, and while the repaint doesn't suit so well in bike mode, it does it's job well in robot mode. I do like the symmetry of using the abandoned Rattrap concept as Rattrap in this group of exclusives, even if this is one of the weakest moulds used. As cool as the concept is, the weak mould means that this is really one for fans of the character, since Rattrap won't come cheap - 7/10

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