I’m the goddamn Ratbat bitch!
Ah, Transformers Universe 2008, the line that’s helping me get all those molds I missed out. I found a loose Crumplezone the other day, but I’ll refrain for the time being. Since he’s slated to be reissued alongside Hasbro’s Transformers Leader-Class Cybertron Galaxy Force Optimus Prime in an Ultra-Class 2-Pack. Gotta love these long names. I could probably fit Universe Classics 2.0 or something in there as well, just to make the name a tad longer. But anywho, why am I writing about naming conventions and upcoming reissues? What am I, dense? Am I retarded? This here review’s about the goddamn Ratbat bitch!
Ratbat uses the mold originally meant for Sideways, or Noisemaze in Japan. As much as some peeps think Noisemaze is the much cooler name, I personally have always prefered Sideways for the character. He’s a faction switching ‘bot whose true loyalties lie… well, that would be telling. Besides, Noisemaze is just plain too nonsensical Engrish for my taste.
So onto Ratbat.
A futuristic/Cybertronian/sci-fi space… bat. He’s somewhat reminiscent of a Klingon Bird of Prey with his reverse wings, or even Cyclonus. Heck, I’ve always wished they’d re-release the mold as Cyclonus. But anywho, in the case of Ratbat, as a jetbat, he looks good. Despite the hot purple (but not quite pink) and the yellow, he doesn’t look bad at all. I was afraid the yellow would be garish rather than accenting the toy, but my fear was unfounded. The yellow doesn’t get in the way. It doesn’t make him look like a silly space bat, but the “fangs” are subtly implied.
What’s to say about this mode really? Like many Transformers alt-modes, it’s just a regular vehicle (if space jetbats can be considered “regular”). It doesn’t even roll, seeing as it’s a space mode, but the Cyber Planet Key gimmick still sorta works for his mode. By lifting the roof of the vehicle and inserting a Force Chip, blades will pop out of the raised roof for a roof mounted space crossbow thingy. Additionally, just as in the robot mode, Ratbat’s Decepticon symbol will change into a proto-Decepticon symbol to match the War Within origins of this Ratbat figure. The funny thing is that the Force Chip included with Ratbat is a Decepticon one, so he switches from Decepticon to Proto-Decepticon with a Decepticon power-up.
Compared to the original black and silver Sideways (of which I do not have one, but based on pics…) I’d say that Ratbat looks decent enough, given the character. Obviously, black and silver is an inherently cooler combo, but Ratbat doesn’t disappoint.
***1/2 out of *****
Surprisingly straightforward and simple, the only issue is the positioning of the shield. There’s really nothing especially fun or impressive with this transformation though, but nothing hair pullingly frustrating either. I really can’t pad this segment like I did for the Alt-mode, nothing to see here folks.
**1/2 out of *****
Goddamn BatBOT mode
The original Sideways was primarily black and silver, which was cool. But in robot mode, he was also primarily orange, which was iffy. It made him look demonic, but… well, it’s orange.
Ratbat goes the opposite direction. His warm purple with yellow accenting is an inherently risky combo, but they went with a subdued grey-ish type color for his midsection, thereby balancing the toy’s color. The result is a surprisingly pleasing color scheme and a further wish that they’d re-release this guy as Cyclonus. Sure, there’s a Universe Classics 2.0 Cyclonus, but this guy would make a great “Armada” for Cyclonus, especially given his lack of a face, which would make him a perfect army builder whenst given a subdued color scheme.
Speaking of faces, Ratbat actually DOES have a face of sorts. There are two protrusions on his “forehead” that if they’d painted red, it’d totally give the toy a bat theme head. I’m glad they didn’t though, as I think it’d look silly. Still, he’s definately a bat type.
This mold has always looked awesome to me, hence why I wanted this guy despite my initial reservations about the color scheme. I’m glad to say that he still looks great, and just as noted in reviews of Cybertron Sideways, he’s very articulated indeed. Based on my personal experience of Cybertron Deluxes and reviews for various figures from that line, Sideways/Ratbat may be one of the most articulated figures from that line. And boy, does he blow everyone else out of the water. Basically, he has all the important points of articulation, with nothing left wanting. He even has wrists, which is awesome.
Playability is also high, with his wings in vehicle mode being detachable and useable as blades; and the Cyber Key gimmick working even better than in vehicle mode, since now he can use the blades as melee as well as a crossbow.
This is a good figure. Kinda small, he seems like a slim fella. But he’s got the pretty boy looks (of a demonic space were-bat) and has good poseability that’s helped by a large footprint. Oh, an additional item of note, his back kibble give off a nice vestigial wings vibe, much like Raziel from Soul Reaver. Another plus.
Overall, I can’t fault the figure. The mold is great and the color is good. The only reason that he doesn’t get a perfect score in this category is because the colors could be better. There’s nothing wrong with the colors as is now mind you, but with a diff color scheme, he’d be mindblowingly keen. So 1/2 off for un-optimized potential.
****1/2 out of *****
There really is no better re-decoed mold for a Ratbat toy and although I would rather not focus on the category of colors too much, with Ratbat, that’s a major issue. Fortunately, they work well here and furthermore, as much as this is an essentially, perfect Ratbat. The character is obscure enough and the toy itself is generically pleasing enough that he’s just a good toy in and of himself. A solid figure that makes me wish I were crazy rich so I could army build with ’em.
**** out of *****