Since we posted a review of Transformers Universe Classics Ironhide today, we probably won't be posting a full review of Ratchet to go along with it - after all, they share the same body, so if you've reviewed one, you've reviewed them
all both. But there are a few notable differences, so consider this a blog-exclusive review!
Ratchet is, of course, an ambulance. Or, more accurately, an SUV painted like an ambulance. It's not like anyone could really fit a patient and an EMT back there, with enough room to work. It has all the same problems as Ironhide, namely the highly visible seams, the unpainted wheel rims and the badly matched plastic on the windows. Oddly, though, the cracks in the body are less blatant on the white than they were on the red, and in this case, the mis-matched windows make some sense: think of them as a privacy measure for whoever would be getting transported in the back.
The conversion process is the same, obviously, which means it's fairly difficult and the final product doesn't actually work the way they wanted. You'll have to modify it the same way you did Ratchet to get him standing properly. Good news is it's just as easy to make the mods now as it was before.
Ratchet's paint scheme seems to be based on Animated Ratchet (which was itself based on movie Ratchet) rather than the G1 cartoon, but that's not a big complaint. He's mainly red and white, which is what really matters. If you want a really G1-accurate version, get the Henkei! Henkei! release. Classics Ratchet's head is white with a red crest, rather than red with a white crest: he was shown both ways back in the'80s. Like Ironhide, his forearms and hips are black, but the technological panel in his chest is now also black, rather than silver.
His license plate is yellow and reads H3L PU2, which is an in-joke that works on two levels: most people will decipher it as "help you, too," something that makes perfect sense for a rescue vehicle to be sporting. Big-time Transformers nerds, however, will recognize it as a nod to the plaintive "Help Us!" note from the disturbing cover of Transformers #70 - clever!
Ratchet has the same double-ended weapon as Ironhide does, but his is molded in red rather than gray. Personally, I like to give Ironhide the gun end, and Ratchet the blade - that way one looks like a weapon, and the other looks like a medical tool of some sort. Clear blue scalpel, maybe.
In the final estimation, everything we said about Ironhide holds true for Ratchet: it's an okay figure, a bit below average for a modern Transformer, and you have to do quite a bit of aftermarket modifications to bring him close to being acceptable. But if you don't mind doing those mods, or you really love Ratchet, the toy is worth it.
H3L PU2 = "Help Us!"?
Mega fanboy points there, man. Very impressive.