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Series: TransArt
Allegiance: Maximal
Year: 2022

Prelude: “We’re all gonna die!” Fans of the Beast Wars TV series quickly fell in love with the cranky, always pessimistic Rattrap, who would much rather munch garbage than fight Predacons. Gaining a Transmetal body didn’t change his disposition much, but it did make him my absolute favorite incarnation of a favorite character. Now Transart brings us Transmetal Rattrap in Masterpiece scale: Metal Mouse. Is this figure worthy of Arcee’s great-nephew? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let us start with saying that, while the original Transmetal Rattrap figure was already a very close match to the character seen on TV, Metal Mouse easily tops him. This here is Rattrap just like he was on the telly, looking like he just stepped off the screen. He even has his big backpack with the right side up, meaning the wheels are behind his shoulders and not, like with the original toy, near his butt. The face sculpt is excellent and while the figure doesn’t give you the option of switching out faces like most of the other Transart figures can, it does feature an articulated jaw. Opening up Metal Mouse’s mouth, you can see his big incisor proudly displayed. So yes, this here is indeed Rattrap as seen in seasons 2 and 3 of the Beast Wars TV series, no doubt about it.

Not only does Metal Mouse look like Rattrap, he also has all the features the stainless-steel rat displayed in the series. He has his trusty laser gun (which the original toy lacked), a tail that serves as a whip, a second tail that serves as a lance (not sure why those two weren’t combined in some way, but I wondered the same thing about Metal T-Rex’ tail), and he can even remove the hubcaps from his vehicle mode and either use them as throwing discs or, with the addition of some handles, as hand-held shields. Very nicely done. Also, Metal Mouse’s forearms open up to unveil removable bombs, as see in the Beast Wars multi-part episode “The Agenda”. Also included is a display stand, so putting MM in leaping or jumping poses is doable, too.

Articulation is excellent, including double elbow- and knee-joints, ankle tilts, and opening hands. Of course Metal Mouse needs a certain amount of articulation just to keep balanced, given his large and heavy backpack. That is something the original toy had, too, of course, so one can hardly blame Metal Mouse for it. Something that some people could presumably blame him for is the fact that those halves of the rat head on his shoulders are fake kibble, as the actual head of the rat mode is folded away inside his backpack. Personally I don’t mind that, but I know some people are religious about such things.

In closing I can only say that the robot mode is great. I might be a bit biased, as I love Rattrap and this is my favorite incarnation of him, but still: an excellent robot mode, multiple gimmicks, very TV accurate, and no flaws worth mentioning. Very good.

Alternate Mode: Of course a character called Rattrap transforms into a rat and so does Metal Mouse. The transformation is almost the same as it was for the original toy, as the robot basically just curls up inside the shell he carries on his back. It’s a bit more involved than it was for the old Deluxe figure, of course, but not really that difficult.

The resulting rat looks very TV accurate, too. Not much like a natural rat, of course, but the Transmetals pretty much abandoned realistic beast modes in season 2 anyway. So here we have a big brown robotic rat with four articulated legs (if short ones) and an articulated head, too. This is the reason for the fake kibble in robot mode, of course, as they wanted to give the rat a moving head that could also open its mouth and display its teeth and a moving tongue. Nicely done.

Of course Metal Mouse can also assume a semi-third mode, as the rat folds down the big wheels on its back, folds up its front legs to put down the smaller second wheels, and you have Rattrap’s dragster mode, which he used extensively in the TV series. Most famously when Dinobot rode on top of him, a scene you can nicely recreate using Masterpiece Dinobot and the transparent ‘seat’ that’s also included in Metal Mouse’s accessory pack. And if you really want to get Metal Mouse roaring, you can add special effects parts to his exhaust pipes on the back, too.

Overall I am very happy with the beast and vehicle mode, too. TV accurate, solid, and you can recreate the Rattrap / Dinobot Rat Patrol, too. What more could you possibly want?

Remarks: The destruction of the Vok’s planetary sanction weapon in the finale of Beast Wars’ first season caused a quantum storm that raged across the surface of the Earth and transformed a number of Maximals and Predacons into Transmetals, Rattrap among them. Rattrap would retain this form until the end of the Beast Wars, only to lose it when Megatron’s virus regressed his form at the start of Beast Machines. Have I mentioned this is my absolute favorite form of Rattrap?

By the way, the joke about Rattrap being Arcee’s great-nephew hails from the Beast Wars episode “Transmutate”, where Rattrap asked “What in the name of my great-aunt Arcee is going on?” when coming face to face with Transmutate (who was voiced by Susan Blue, Arcee’s original voice actor). Assuming that was not just a joke on Rattrap’s part, we can thus conclude that Rattrap’s grandfather is Galvatron (as Arcee and Galvatron were siblings in the IDW comics). How is that for cross-continuity?

Now I have heard complaints about the Transart figures having quality problems, but I have personally not experienced any in the four figures I own from that company. While some of the plates you need to move during Metal Mouse’s transformation do feel a bit thin here and there, everything is solid, nothing has broken or bent, and the figure looks as good today as it did when I first took it out of the box, so no complaints.

So bottom line: an excellent figure. Again, my review might not be one hundred percent objective because I adore the character and love his Transmetal incarnation, but still: very nice transition of a TV character into a collector’s toy. And, one should also mention, Transart are far from the most expensive of Third Party companies, either. So if you are a fan of Beast Wars, Transmetals, or the character Rattrap, this is one figure you should definitely take a look at.

Rating: A

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