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Entertainment Earth

Transformers MP Ratbat
& Soundblaster

Repaints have always been around. Some of my favorite lines as a kid reused bodies like nobody’s business. I don’t remember caring one lick. Was it just because I was a kid? Was it because it got the job done? Was it just because I wasn’t paying for them? I imagine the latter may have had something to do with it, but I do go back to the middle point there too. If a repaint gets the job done, why does it still bother us sometimes?

We grumble that they should be cheaper; we don’t care if the repaint is amortizing the costs of the original. We grumble that something should be done to add value; we want something to differentiate it from our original purchase. We want to capture that same good feeling that came with our original purchase. Sometimes that backfires.

Repaints are nothing new in Transformers. Technically, nearly all the early stuff were repaints from other lines. And, heck, some of those guys got repaints within the new line too. That’s made it easier for Takara as they foray deeper into Masterpiece. Make a new Sideswipe and you’ve got a half dozen potential repaints of different characters to keep us hooked. The same with the Seekers. I don’t think twice about buying the repaints when they’re a new guy. Tigertrack was a lot easier to pick up than if he were just Yellow Sideswipe. I can pretend my MP Black Prime is Nemesis or Scourge. G2 Sideswipe is different enough that I dig it.

But this one, this guy, he ended up being a little more difficult purchase.

I love MP Soundwave. He’s excellent. One of the hands down best toys released in 2013. I never had him as a kid (my neighbor kid did, which to my parents meant I didn’t “need” one), but the MP is such a fantastic, modern update to the original that I don’t regret waiting all this time for him. He’s the Soundwave I always wanted. He’s the Soundwave we all deserved. I paid extra to get the import early. I also happily snagged up his cassettes as imports too. I got them earlier and I completely avoided the TRU scramble (though all five cassettes in one pack was a fantastic deal).

But Soundblaster? Well, he’s a black repaint of a dark blue Decepticon. He’s also the same character. I have not had the opportunity to watch any of the Headmasters cartoon, but after Soundwave & Blaster clash in a dual-fatal duel (say that three times fast), the pair are revived and rebuilt as repaints (re: New Toy Decos!). Sounds cool. Black repaints are fun… but MPs are pricey and I gotta start being more discerning at some point or I’m going to end up with really weird stuff. Takara, who would be more than happy to offer a second deco on Soundwave knew that I and others would likely feel that way, so they added a little incentive: Ratbat.

It really wasn’t a surprise. I think we all knew it was going to happen after the cassette 2pks were announced and Ratbat was nowhere to be found. A funny thing happened though. We weren’t discussing Ratbat being an incentive to help Soundblaster sell better. It was almost more like Soundblaster was a noose around Ratbat’s neck. (“I gotta buy what to get Ratbat?”). This wasn’t a little thing to help add value to a repaint, this was incentive on acid. I even poke fun at that in the title. This is really just a Soundblaster review with one really cool accessory, but it sure felt like I was buying a Ratbat & Black Soundwave 2pk.

I’ve seen a lot of folks accept that Ratbat won’t be joining the other cassettes in their collection. Or hoping that Hasbro will bring the popular little guy over (I hope they do!). Personally, I really love the cassettes. I’m pining for the Autobots even now. And I want all the original Decepticon tapes – Slugfest, Overkill, Squawkbox are high on my MP list. And I had to have Ratbat. No whining about the circumstances of how he was available to me. No worrying or waiting to see what Hasbro was going to do. I just couldn’t pass up the chance. To put it mildly, “they got me.” Continue to Page 2…

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15 comments to Transformers MP Ratbat
& Soundblaster

  • Brainlock

    I only recall one opportunity to get the original Soundwave, and I passed him up. D’OH!! I didn’t get him until the Action Masters and G2. oy. I did have Ratbat, and to make up for not having Soundwave, I had Mindwipe, who really looked like Ratbat and Soundwave merged. at least to my mind, at any rate.

    I also had several of the later cassettes, like Squawkbox and the Autobots’ Slamdance and Rewind/Steeljaw.
    .
    .
    .
    I did finally splurge and get both the Voyager class Cyber-tank ‘blasters last week, then went back for Grimlock this week to find he had been discounted as the TF4 movie merch was being stocked, and it took some talking to get a price match for the other two.

    I do have to ask: did they change the 2012-13 Voyager Classic Grimlock mold in the last year? I could swear his legs were more like the G1, not just sliding into position and snapping the kneecap-tail together. the main reason I took him back last year was the one leg wall wouldn’t fit properly so I couldn’t close up his tail.
    TFwiki doesn’t seem to have updated him the last year or two?

    Anywho, still not really liking the “data disc” underlings, esp since Steeljaw was just a wonky mess and refused to cooperate. Buzzsaw was fine, tho?

    • I don’t know about the Voyager Grimlock. I’ve kinda become a TF-snob and don’t pay much attention outside of the MPs anymore. :$

      • Mark

        I don’t collect Transformers anymore but if I did I would only collect the MP line.

        • It’s expensive, but I look at the retail items Vault has bought and I just feel like “I’ll pay it” yeah.

          Hopefully, Hasbro brings more of the MPs over and it can become a cheaper line for folks to get into.

          • Mark

            I kind of wish Hasbro would just make one line and concentrate on it. I would rather have the MP line expand than Prime, Beast Hunters, Movie and Generations,fair enough some of them are good but overall they are not as good as the MP figures.
            Regardless though I just don’t really have enough interest (or money) in Transformers anymore to spend on collecting. I just enjoy the reviews LOL.

  • Paul

    I still haven’t managed to pull the trigger on SoundBlaster. I even think that he looks cooler (though not necessarily better) than Soundwave because of that slick black coloring. Like you said, though, as he’s such an expensive toy, I haven’t been able to justify the double-dipping yet. I really want the Ratbat, but I don’t $160 want him. He does look amazing, though. The only nitpick I have on his is that I would have preferred it if the cassette detailing was on his back in bat mode. Something about those parts showing up on the front of his wings bugs me (just a little bit).

    • I had the opposite on the wings. I kinda like it better in the front, but it’s not exactly accurate, I know.

      Soundblaster was the tipping point for me. If this Bluestreak repaint isn’t significantly different, I’m going to pass on that one. I also think I’m done with the Sideswipe repaints too – though I worry I could get suckered into the last two main ones if I could pair them up with a Powered Convoy repaint (I’ve got it bad).

      But I definitely need to be more selective going forward.

  • Mysterious Stranger

    I had this preordered from BBTS but cancelled at the last minute. As much as I want Ratbat for the collection I just can’t justify the price tag. I might eventually cave and pick him up later but right now I’m okay with not having him.

    Now if they put out Blaster and the Autobot cassettes, then I’ll definitely have to track down RatBlaster just to have a complete set.

  • J. Lee

    I still haven’t popped on any MPs but in this setup. Getting both does mean something. Blaster would be great (Twincast repaint to get one cassette I bet happens) can recreate their final battle (well I hope somebody.doesn’t blow up their Soundwave)

    Still a great review and.pics. Ratbat easily cound be a senator on Earth as on Cybrertron.

    Now if Jazz shows up, gonna get that bad boy asap.

  • Love this figure, though one of his thighs looks a bit misassembled. Haven’t transformed him yet, but I have transformed the original, so I’m content. Love RatBat. Looking forward to a Wingthing repaint with Enemy.

    Then we can get into MP Shattered Glass Sir Soundwave and his cassettes. };D