Saturday, April 4, 2009

Transformers Universe Ironhide and Ratchet review

Yep, two guys at once!

Ummm... That came out wrong.

Anyways, I'm reviewing Universe Ironhide and Ratchet together. They're both the same mold, Ratchet being a repaint/retool of Ironhide. Of course, it was like that in G1.

First off, I have modded both of these guys. I used a guide I found on to keep them from looking at their feet. So, if you get these guys, actually, when you get them, because you are if you love Transformers, grab a boxcutter or razor blade (BE CAREFUL DAMNIT) and go here. You can also use the guide by Matt Booker if you're willing to sacrifice a few other TFs to give them balljointed heads. I didn't have anyone to sacrifice, so I used the first guide.

In vehicle mode, Ironhide is an SUV. Ratchet is an ambulance. Sort of. Kind of. Not really. He's more of an SUV pretending to be an ambulance. I suppose the back of Ratchet's alt mode could be modified to work as an ambulance. Though, I think of it more as the SUV the head paramedic takes to large-scale emergencies. Like how I always see local fire marshals using SUVs on the news when there's a big fire. Ratchet's also more visually interesting with the added red details. The SUVS look nice, and are your standard type, so they'd blend in. Of course, they're no longer vans, like they were in G1. Why? Because no one really likes vans that much anymore, I guess. SUVs is much more common now anyways. Incidentally, in G1 Ratchet was just a van pretending to be an ambulance. In a cool touch Ratchet's license plate says "H3L PU2" (Help us) while Ironhide's says "Oregon", which is where the Ark crash landed in G1.

Changing them is... rather involved. They don't become plastic explosions like the sides of their SUV forms would suggest, but it's complicated. This picture explains what's going on a bit.

In robot they look great. Ratchet, again, is the better looking one, but that doesn't mean Ironhide looks bad. Just plainer. The panels behind their window chests are cool. They also have giant craotches. For some reason. Now we know why Chromia liked Ironhide. Ratchet... Ratchet didn't get a femmebot.

They have universal jointed shoulders (Their shoulders can also swing forward thanks to they way they convert), hinged elbows and knees, balljointed hips and ankles, swivel necks, lower arms, and thighs, and balljointed and hinged wrists. Very poseable! And, despite their backpack kibble, they're not liable to topple backwards because of their huge feet.

The colors are nice. Ratchet's white is actually pearlescent, which is pretty awesome. His head is a bit of an oddity. You see, in G1, Ratchet's toy didn't have a head. Just a sticker on a chair. Same with Ironide. But they added heads in the cartoon and comics. In the comics, Ratchet's helmet was red and his chevron (Crest) was white. In the cartoon, his helmet was white but his chevron was black. So where did the red crest come from? Best guess, Aimated Ratchet. The details on the side of his vehicle mode are also likely from there. Ironhide's face is the same baby blue as his windows, but this was a factory error on the early shipments, and it was changed to silver later. I like his blue face though. Finally, watch out for the paint on the transparent roof, hood, and fron side windows bit. It can be pretty iffy. Both of them have different heads, so Ironhide's got his mowhawk thing, and Ratchet gets his chevron.

For weapons, they both get some sort of dual gatling gun/energon sword thing (One weapon on each side). It's pretty cool actually. The instructions say you have to fold their hand against their forearms to slot the weapons on, but their hands will fit inside, and this actually helps make the selected weapon pop out farther. The weapons slot into a space underneath their SUV modes. I've decided to have Ratchet use the sword, while Ironhide gets the gun. They fit their respective personalities more. Ironhide is also left handed. Why? Because I said so.

These are great toys, and must haves for any G1 fan. Finally, we get Ratchet and Ironhide with REAL HEADS!

Over the years, Ironhide has gotten quite a bit more love than Ratchet. Meanwhile, in the comics, Ratchet was always tortured, fighting Megatron, and even getting melded with Megatron. The universe just loves a badass, and Ironhide could be pretty badassed. But! Ratchet could be badass too! He totally Bruce Lee kicked Thundercracker in the crotch in the G1 episode "Changing Gears"! See? Badass.

Then they both died 9 minutes into the original Transformers movie.

"When are we gonna start bustin' Deceptichops?" ~Raw/Monty

Ironhide: The reason ya get picked on, kid, is 'cause yer not badass enough, like ah am. Sure, everyone loves ya. Yer a great doc! But it ain't enough. All you gotta do is go out and kick some 'Con butt! Then, BAM!, yer surrounded by all the pretty femmebots!

Ratchet: I suppose you're right. I'll give it a try! Now, about your squeaking pulleys...


  1. Actually, my guide has the balljoint part at the end, and it's entirely optional (but recommended.)

    It pwns the seibertron guide in content, instructions, and teh funny. Or, so I've been told... ;)

    As disgussed in the guide, it was one of those things where I had done the mod well before I did the guide, and by the time I had the guide finished that similar guide was out on seibertron and there was a discussion on tfw2005 (that I was contributing to) as well. Guess some mods are just a little more obvious than others, so that's also why I included the 'why' and not just the 'how' in mine.

    Before that, (and still, actually) I kept seeing people mod their Ironhide by modding the crotch\middle piece. It made Ironhide constantly pelvic thrust, and threw his human proportions out of whack. Between that and people mistransforming him for more height (and making him have a disproportionately long torso and short arms in the process), I wanted to put reasons for my thinking in there.

    So, um, yeah. :D

    ~Matt Booker

  2. Yeah, I've seen some with giant Pat Lee style crotch thrusts. It's scary.

    I would've liked to use your guide, but I didn't have the two guys you used, and I'm not confident enough in my modding abilities to take apart someone else.

    Although, it looks like Universe Hot Shot has similar neck construction...

  3. It's cool. What I was saying though is that the only part of my guide that uses parts for other people is the balljointed bit at the end. The two backpack mods are just carving.

    ~Matt Booker