Cliffbee.com: Transmetal Rattrap Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Rattrap
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Spy
Alternate Mode: Robotic Rat



RAT MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 26cm (15cm of which is his tail, which can pose) Width: 8cm

   A metallic brown and bronze rat with chrome red highlights, which something of a departure from the original. Most of this rat is a mixture of bronze and brown, the shoulders, tailtip and big discs on the hips are red chrome - mine is starting to flake on the shoulders. This is a good mix of colours, unlike some Transmetals with four or five major colours, it's a simple yet effective set of colours.

   Rattrap has some orange paint highlights here and there, mainly on the chrome sections, but some are on his brown rump. He has green eyes and bronze teeth - his mouth is snarling, revealing the rear teeth, which are jagged, and his front top teeth are hanging from his upper jaw. Rounding out the painted details, there's a bronze "RATTRAP" on his spine, which matches the bronze used elsewhere. This text is fairly subdued, which is good since Transformers emblazoned with their name usually look silly. Sure, it's there, but is quiet enough that you can ignore it.

   The front feet can hinge at the ankles, and the shoulders can rotate, while the rear feet can wiggle around a bit. In truth, the foot poseability is limited by the fact he's going to be standing flat on the ground, but it's nice there's some movement - even if most of it is for the transformation. Rattrap's tail is very poseable, with _ten_ joints, so you can curl it left, right, over his head or into S-shapes, as well as pointing it straight back.

   As with all the Transmetals, Rattrap has a transport mode - which is a rat-like dragster. If you lift out the hip discs and fold the rear feet inside these discs, the discs become his rear wheels. The front legs flip up, and their shoulders become the front wheels, which are a lot smaller than the rear wheels. The tail is meant to point straight back in this mode, presumably because that's the least organic pose possible. Lastly, there are two sets of bronze tailpipes which fold out of his rump.

   This dragster mode is used quite a bit in the show, and fans of the show will be happy to hear that Dinobot can ride on top. The show's portrayal is more or less toy accurate, although the cute contorting that the show animators liked to do to this mode aren't possible - sorry, he doesn't contract when braking or raise on his rear wheels before departing...

   Thanks to the giant wheels and tailpipes, Rattrap looks very souped up - the snarled facial expression makes him look like more of a speed demon - he's a turbo rat! Sure, it's silly, but the souping up means that rather than just being a rat with wheels, it's a fun rat with wheels!

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Stow the rear feet inside the discs and remove the tail. Split open the rat head, revealing the robot chest. Swing the robot legs out from underneath the rat, and clip the groin into the chest. You'll now be able to swing the robot arms into position. Next flip out the robot head and swing the entire chest-leg assembly into position. Swing the rat head halves into position as shoulderpads. Rotate the legs and flip down the feet, stand him up.

   It's a rather unusual transformation, and it's difficult to describe. Most of the rat ends up on his back yet he doesn't have a huge backpack. You can give him the tail, which is now a whip, although you can also set it aside if you prefer. It can't re-attached stowed, since it's actually held in one of the fists in rat mode.

   The cartoon portrays the backpack rotating, so that the discs are on his shoulders - the animator is using artistic license, since the discs remain on his hips on the actual toy.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 11cm

   The brown and red are now mainly confined to the backpack, although he does have a fair amount of brown on his shoulderpads. Rattrap has a bronze head, as well as the chest, arms and legs. His shoulders, groin and feet are a matte grey colour, which I can best describe as the colour you get when you mix all your paints together. He has blue paint on the lower half of the chest, fading to the base bronze plastic as you move upwards, with an orange panel on the left hand side. His brain is also this same neon orange, while his cheeks are blue and his eyes green. The orange isn't ideal but it's limited thankfully. Oh, there are some blue patches sides of his ankles, which are easy to miss. Aside from the orange, this is a good colour scheme, but even then the orange doesn't ruin it.

   This a very organic sculpt - there are muscular lines all over the chest, thighs and arms, and Rattrap retains the "brain" sculpt of the original, as already mentioned. He's also got intestines on his groin - which isn't entirely how it works, but hey, he's an alien robot so I'm willing to allow a little latitude. His mouth is open, revealing pointed, shark-like teeth - I don't think the animated version had teeth, which is a good thing because watching a rat robot open its mouth to reveal sharp teeth everytime it spoke would have been disconcerting.

   He's rather backheavy, and you can't detach the discs for user as shields (yet another cartoon liberty), which would have helped remove some of the backheavyness. He does have heelspurs, which helps quite a bit, but you do have to be careful how you pose him. The upside is that this is a very poseable robot. The shoulders and hips are ball joints, with swivels just below them allowing the arms and feet to point out to the sides. The knees, elbows and ankles are hinged and his head turns. The whip weapon is also poseable, being the super-slinky tail.

   Aside from the minor blemish of the orange paint on his brain, this is a good robot mode. That's hardly an issue and the heelspurs mean his backpack is barely an issue, either. Without any major flaws, it's a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   The 10th Anniversary reissue was quite similar, sadly down to the paint flaking problem. The Fox Kids! repaint is fairly similar really, although the chrome on that toy doesn't flake. There's also the Wal-Mart repaint, but that's really Transmetal Packrat sold under Rattrap's name for legal reasons, so I consider that a different toy.

OVERALL

   One of the better Transmetals, which is saying something since they were of a generally high standard. The only thing that bugs me is the flaking paint, common on red Transmetals. Both modes are good, the robot mode is poseable and the dragster is a lot of fun. Rattrap was a central character in the Beast Wars show, and this toy does him justice. The fragility hurts, but he still looks great - 7.5/10

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