Series: Generation 1
Function: Fuel Scout
Alternate Mode: Microcassette
Height: 3.5cm Depth: 0.5cm Width: 5cm
A purple cassette with a silver and purple foil sticker on one side that features a tape window, Ratbat has "METAL POSITION" and "MC60" on his sticker, firmly establishing him as a cassette. While the complexity of the sticker isn't quite as good as on the 1984 Decepticon microcassettes, the sticker looks just as good. The purple could have been an issue (as it is on Beastbox), but the designer had the good sense to couple it with the silver - which works with pretty much anything.
As is common with the microcassette Transformers, the "B" side is all robot mode, although in Ratbat's case there's a black die cast metal patch in the middle but no really obvious robot stuff - aside from some pistons on the top edge. It doesn't look much like a cassette, but I'm quite happy with side A.
While he's not the best microcassette, there were quite a few that were worse - especially some of the later ones. The purple works better than one might expect, and certainly makes him stand out amongst the other Decepticon cassettes that had been released by 1986 (Ratbat is number 6).
TRANSFORMATION TO BAT MODE
Extend the sides to form his wings, unfold the ends to extend the wings. Fold down the feet, flip up the head, attach the guns in the holes on his back, Lastly flip out the claws on his wings and (if you're lucky enough to have them) lift up his ears.
Height: 4.5cm Width: 14cm
Again mainly purple with a black body, Ratbat's chrome guns rise from behind the body, and can be either gold or silver. His eyes are gold and there's a rubsign indent in the centre of his body with a rubsign, which is Ratbat's only allegiance symbol. The colour scheme is pretty good, especially if your Ratbat has gold weapons. Mine has silver weapons - but I did have the gold version as a kid (until someone stole it!).
Ratbat stands upright with wings spread out to the sides, almost like a preening bird, but the wings are basically bat-wings - well a robotic interpretation. His face is quite bat-like and the body too wide for a bird's body. The feet are rather generic, and are there to anchor the toy without any distinctive features of their own. The wings are very detailed, with piston moulding at three points along their length. The guns look vaguely like radar dishes, although the collectors aren't round.
There's not a lot of poseability here - the wings can lift up and down but they're quite heavy for a toy this size. The feet can rock back and forth, but they're only stable in part of their range of motion, making this articulation incidental rather than meaningful.
As great as Ratbat looks, the robot mode isn't without its flaws. The ears pop off quite easily, and are small enough that losing them is not hard. It's harder to find a Ratbat on eBay with ears than without. The black paint on his chest seems to degrade easier than most G1 die-cast paints do - mine has some chest degradation but thankfully he still has both ears.
Ratbat's an attractive little robot bat with nice colours and some awesome details. His fragility is a definite negative, which is a shame since a complete Ratbat will look really good - if you can track one down. The poseability isn't great, but he has more to do in transforming than most microcassette Transformers.
As mentioned, Ratbat came with either gold or silver weapons. He was co-sold with Frenzy, replacing Laserbeak, and Frenzy's chest paint and guns matched the chrome on Ratbat. There was a painted tape detail version on Ratbat, which came with gold weapons. Wingthing & Shattered Glass Ratbat are repaints of Ratbat.
A good little cassette and a great bat mode should mean this is a really good toy, but Ratbat's fragility makes him annoyingly tricky to find in decent condition. He's rare than the earlier cassettes, and if you want him sealed you'll have to grab Frenzy as well - but if you are able to track him down, Ratbat is worthwhile - 7.5/10