Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer Ratchet Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ratchet
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Humvee Ambulance



AMBULANCE MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A kiwi green Humvee Ambulance with black plastic on his tyres, roof rack, bullbar, and the spare tyre (on the roof). His windows are painted metallic blue, there are red EKG lines on either side and stamped Autobot logos on either door. The headlights and sportslights on the front are painted silver, rounding out a simplified but largely accurate colour scheme. It matches the full sized toy quite well although the proportions are a little cutesy. There are no words on the sides and the transparent plastic on his windows is not present on this version, but I wouldn't expect the latter at this scale.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well and there are rubber belts on the rear tyres to assist the gimmick. Ratchet has a rear axle so he rolls quite straight, which is nice. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it.

   A simple vehicle mode which more or less works. It's a little "cute", but it's not a caricature thankfully. There's not quite as a much detail as I'd like but enough that I'm not unhappy. Enough for a kiddie toy without being anything special - this ambulance works well enough, and it's Ratchet's better mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the cabin pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7.5cm

   A kiwi green robot that doesn't really look too much like Ratchet. The bullbar is his toes and there's a black false bullbar on his chest. The mouth is painted silver along with the groin while his eyes are blue. While at the most basic level this is Ratchet, the colours are really only an approximation. The head sculpt is okay, if simplified, which is enough to ensure that the choice of character is obvious (well, assuming the kiwi green didn't do that already!).

   I'm not impressed with this robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. Ratchet's shape is so far from a humanoid robot it's not funny. The arms are simply the doors, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all, so they're just noise rather than limbs. There's no gap and while they lift up, springs ensure they spring back down, so we can't even use the arms to help with a humanoid shape. He's leaning forward, which means that the robot elements under the cabin are facing towards the floor - and this robot mode needs all the help it can get already.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the exceptionally poor robot shape. The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. Okay, so pushing him down does reform the vehicle mode as they planned - which is nice - but from a standing start he rolls maybe 60cm/2 feet. A little more if you push him along as you do it, but this isn't enough to really be spectacular. He's far less impressive than the Throttlebots in this regard and about as impressive as the Battlechargers (but sturdier). The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and given Ratchet a better robot mode.

   On the whole this is a disappointing robot mode. The gimmick just isn't that impressive - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly. I was about eight years old when the Throttlebots came out, and had hours of fun with them - I can't see today's kids really appreciating this concept. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful. The robot mode looks awful, so it really needed the gimmick to work, which compounds the lame gimmick, really.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   This thing's going straight into storage, and it's unlikely to be joined by any other CyberSlammers. The vehicle mode is okay without being anything noteworthy, but Ratchet's robot mode is three shades of crap and frankly the gimmick is nowhere near good enough to justify sacrificing the robot mode. If you're after a simple Ratchet for a kid, grab the cheaper Legends toy - they'll get a lot more out of it - 2/10

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