Ratbat is a micro cassette tape, which was one of Soundwave’s minions. He first made his appearance the original Transformers movie and also made a small number of appearances in the third season of the Transformers cartoon. Although he did not have a big role in the cartoon, he was used a lot in the Marvel comics’ series released around the same time. The toy was released with Frenzy originally in a two pack of Decepticon cassettes. Ratbat apparently has no friends, only business partners and main function is a fuel scout.
Line: The Transformers (G1)
Price: First released $12approx, now $70 USD or less
Scale: 3 Inches in height
Accessories: Two back mounted thrusters
Variations: Either silver or gold chromed weapons and either painted or sticker cassette details
Transformers will always be one of my favourite toy lines. Growing up I had a number of Transformers, some Autobot cars, some Decepticon jets, some combiner teams, pretenders etc. One such toy I had a loved dearly was Soundwave (I still have my original one in my collection). One thing I never received as a child, were any cassette tapes to go with Soundwave, so he was stuck with just having Buzzsaw as his only minion. But like many collectors who have come into adulthood, I decided I not only wanted to re-claim my childhood toys, I wanted to buy the ones I never had.
One good thing about wanting to reclaim my childhood and being a twin is that my brother wanted to do the exact same thing. Another good thing is, we both liked different Transformers! So it made it a lot easier to fill out a collection fairly quickly. One such Transformer I purchased for the collection was Ratbat, which is the subject of tonight’s review.
Most G1 Transformers have always have had nice sculpting, in my opinion. Ratbat is no exception, transformed in bat mode it is a very good, if not blocky version of a bat there are plenty of smooth surfaces as well as exposed tubes on the inside of the wings, the detail work is great and really helps make this toy look good! There are also plenty of raised plates and other small details to keep the sculpt interesting. Not to mention the tiny ears are very cool too!
In cassette tape mode Ratbat looks the part. Basically he’s a rectangle in this mode; if you are old enough to know what cassette tapes look like, you can easily recognise what it’s meant to be. The stickers make up the detail in this mode and do their job well. However you need to watch out for play wear on them.
There is not really much paint on Ratbat himself, Just the metal torso and eyes. Also his thrusters are painted or “chromed” too of course. The paint application on the chest is great as expected; it’s the eyes you have to watch out for as they can sometimes be applied pretty badly. Just keep that in mind when purchasing one. The chrome on the weapons is great to as expected, I feel it really adds another dimension to the toys and makes it stand out a little bit more. It also really suits the robot aspect to the toy. The plastic colours for Ratbat look great, I really love the purple/pink tones and I think they work really well with the gold and black.
Ratbat doesn’t really have any articulation so to speak; if he does it’s mainly due to his transformation that gives him anything. You can move the wings up and down and fold them inwards for some variation, also the can move the head up and down as well as move the ears a little bit. But, ultimately he is stuck in the one pose. Thankfully, this one pose still looks pretty cool.
Ratbat comes with two thrusters that are part of his bat mode. They are for use in this mode only, so they are there more so to complete the look then anything else. They are well sculpted and look great. But cannot be used for anything else. Also, they can be a bit stiff to attach, so be gentle and take your time.
Like most G1 Transformers Ratbat can be very delicate and brittle. If you are not careful you can lose or break the tiny ears. The main problem is those ears, the rest of the toy is quite sturdy, but just be careful with any vintage version to be on the safe side.
I Purchased my Ratbat from Transformerland.com, which is a great little website for almost all things Transformers with great prices, I would strongly recommend you buy one from a reputable vintage Transformers seller. I paid about $50 -$60 for Ratbat and I was fine with that. Any more for this tiny toy and you are kidding yourself.
I really do love the original Transformers cartoon series and toy line. It’s something I grew up with and will always have a soft spot in my heart for it. If you are a fan of G1 Transformers and Soundwave and his cassette tapes, then of course you need Ratbat in your collection as he has a pretty unique design and looks great when lined up with other Transformers from the same series.
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