Ratchet (Transformers Prime Profiles)

Transformers Prime Ratchet

Autobot faction symbol
Name: Ratchet
Allegiance: Autobots
Function: Medic
Sub-group: Team Prime
Timeline: Aligned Continuity

You break it, I remak- BULKHEAD! I NEEDED THAT!


Transformers Prime Ratchet robot mode
The eldest member of Team Prime, Ratchet is perennially grumpy, with a poor bedside manner that belies his gentle, skilled touch. Out of all the members of Team Prime, he's known Optimus Prime the longest, and sees him as more of an old friend rather than a commanding officer. Because of this, Ratchet is more willing to question Optimus's decisions, and gives him a lot more backtalk than most other Autobots could get away with. On Cybertron, Ratchet was known as the best tool-and-die man in the Autobot forces. Serving as a field medic in the fiercest part of the fighting during the war for Cybertron, countless lives were saved by Ratchet's hands. Far from feeling pride in the lives he saved, Ratchet only remembers his failures; the lives he could not save, the injuries he could not heal. Once, when reflecting on how he'd saved Bumblebee's life after the scout was nearly completely destroyed by Megatron, Ratchet merely said that he "could have done better"; he blames himself every time he hears the Autobot scout bleep in place of speaking. Because of this, Ratchet feels strongly about the Autobots placing themselves in harms' way to protect humanity. He'd much rather the Autobots look out for themselves. He's softened up somewhat since making friends with the Autobots' human allies, and has even warmed up to life on Earth, but still wishes his friends would take their safety more seriously. While Ratchet may be driven by an earnest desire to see Cybertron revived, he's realised that Earth isn't so bad, and yearns to find somewhere quiet on the blue planet to retire when the war is finally over. But until that day, Ratchet will continue to fight alongside Team Prime, fighting the Decepticons in his own way.

Ambulance mode:

Transformers Prime Ratchet Ambulance mode

Author notes:

Transformers Prime Ratchet codifies what was started by Transformers Animated: Ratchet as a grumpy elder Autobot. Arguably there was a certain amount of that persona there since the beginning (Generation 1 Ratchet is described as curmurgeonly in the original Bob Budiansky profiles) but in my mind it is Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime where this really came to the fore. It's definitely a positive - before Transformers Animated, I couldn't tell you what sort of personality Ratchet has, but since Animated and Prime, I can definitely describe Ratchet as the older Autobot with the poor bedside manner and the heart of gold.

Prime Ratchet remains one of my favourite versions of the character, almost entirely for his occasional mad scientist moments like when he helped Jack, Raf and Miko with their science projects, or the time Ratchet created synthetic energon and proceeded to get very unstable, beating up Vehicons in style (that episode - Stronger, Faster - remains one of my all-time favourite Transformers episodes).

He's a fun character to write, too, since he's a non-combatant through most of Transformers Prime, which gives him a different role and a different voice in the story. I think it is good to have non-combatants in Transformers occasionally - there needs to be a character back at base looking after things and making sure the rest of the Autobots are in fighting shape.

Writing a caption for Transformers Prime Ratchet was simultaneously very easy and incredibly difficult. On the positive side, Ratchet had a catchphrase in the show - "I needed that!" - and it made sense to try to work that into a motto. But the challenge was to do it naturally. In the end, my solution was fairly simple: use the G1 motto ("You break it, I remake it"), but when Bulkhead breaks something instead of following through and remaking it, he instead yells at Bulkhead. That's perfectly in character for Ratchet, and in the end, if I wanted a motto to sum up the character, I could not do better.

Toys of Transformers Prime Ratchet

Transformers Prime Ratchet

Transformers Prime Ratchet with laser scalpels Transformers Prime Ratchet with laser scalpels, alternate pose Transformers Prime Ratchet with laser scalpels, alternate pose 2
Transformers Prime Ratchet robot mode, posed Transformers Prime Ratchet running pose Transformers Prime Ratchet Ambulance mode, alternate angle
Ratchet was one of the first characters to come out in the Transformers Prime mainline who didn't have a toy in the First Edition series. I remember being at the Botcon Hasbro panel where this toy was revealed, and the atmosphere was amazing. I miss those reveal panels and getting the "live" fan reaction to the new toys being shown off.

Ratchet's toy delivers on that early promise, too. He's a solid toy, with a clever transformation that nicely executes the design we saw on screen in the show. I always find the roof is a bit tricky to fold into position, which is a bit of a concern given the use of clear plastic on those parts. But overall this is a good figure who is a solid representation of the Autobot medic, and has some good poseability. I like how he came out, and how he looks in the lineup with my other Transformers Prime toys.

More information on Transformers Prime Ratchet at TFW2005

See more Transformers Prime toys in my collection.