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with Ratbat

Series: Animated
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2009

After a couple of years working alongside Laserbeak, Soundwave realized it was time for a change. His new partner, Ratbat, lets him lay down multiple tracks of sound at a time, creating frequencies that can do more than just control other robots. Now, Soundwave is into straight-up mind control. Using complex synth beats he can make people – and even Autobots – do whatever he wants.
> Invented a note than can actually rock a robot’s face off.
> Recently got really into old Earth Westerns.
> Ratbat synth mode fires lightning bolts.

Prelude: Electrostatic Soundwave is a repaint with no structural changes of the first Animated Soundwave, whom I have previously reviewed. So the actual Soundwave figure will only be given a very short review here, before we feature on the actual reason of buying this repaint: Ratbat, the Keytar-Con.

Soundwave: Ever since 1987 when Takara decided to reissue the original Soundwave figure in black and called him Soundblaster, it’s become standard operating procedure for most Soundwave figures to get a black repaint called Soundblaster. Animated somwhat bucks this trend by repainting their Soundwave grey instead of black and calling him Electrostatic Soundwave instead of Soundblaster, but it’s not really much of a difference. ES Soundwave is still the same good figure the first Soundwave was, just looking a bit more sinister in grey with red highlights. Nothing really new here, thus we go on to the point of this review.

Ratbat: If you grew up in the 1980s and were in any way, shape, or form interested in music, there was one instrument that stood out among all others to represent this decade: the keytar. A keyboard that looked like a guitar. Personally I have no idea how it was played, whether it was a good instrument or not, but who cares? Keytars are THE most 80s of musical instruments, so of course every 80s fan needs the one Transformer who transforms into a keytar: Animated Ratbat.

Basically Ratbat is a bat that uses the two sides of the keytar as wings with the keytar head becoming the bat’s head, nothing too complicated here. Articulation is restricted to moving the wings and tilting the head (transformation requirements both). The result isn’t the most intricate Transformer ever, but he just looks cool and, did I mention, he’s a keytar. That’s really all you need to know here.

Remarks: When Soundwave returned in season 3 of Animated, he first took control of the Autobots using his mind-controlling music, then fought them using holographic avatars (one among them in grey) and numerous guitars, including Ratbat. Ratbat only briefly appeared in bat mode, being a keytar most of the time, and apparently did not survive the final confrontation between Soundwave and Optimus Prime.

The first Animated Soundwave figure was pretty good and I loved the guitar Laserbeak. But I have to say that Keytar Ratbat easily beats Laserbeak in terms of sheer 80s coolness. The Soundwave figure is pretty much the same, which of the two paintjobs you prefer is entirely subjective. But you need to get this figure for the Ratbat keytar, it’s as simple as that. Good luck finding one, though, seeing as ES Soundwave came out pretty late in the series and isn’t exactly available in large numbers.

Rating: A-

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