Transformers Beast Wars Basic
Item No.: Asst. 80295 No. 80293 Manufacturer:Kenner Includes:Mini two-piece pistol Action Feature:Transforms from Rat to robot Retail:$4.99 Availability: 1996 Other: Repainted as Packrat, and that's about it
My parents tried to keep me down to just one action figure line in the 1990s, so I didn't get into Beast Wars until college - roughly when Fuzors hit. By then the earlier toys like Rattrap were long gone from stores - toys passed through Arizona quickly - and commanded a premium on eBay. Enterprising fans could get a deal by getting the inexplicably cheaper Japanese releases via GameCave or other importers, or by buying collections on the cheap on eBay. I did both - Rattrap came from a collection. Today a carded sample is pretty expensive, but oddly it's not that much higher than I remember seeing him for in 1999 and 2000.
Standing just over 4-inches tall, it's amazing to think that this one-step conversion figure (yes, they had these before this year's Age of Extinction) is the same height and price as his Star Wars siblings of the time. Rattrap had a gun, could transform, and sported 9 points of articulation in robot mode - these things were so overwhelmingly better than Star Wars it's a wonder that more people didn't jump ship and become big Beast Wars fans. The show was a modest hit and impressive as CG animation on television went, and due to the very limited size of its cast you'd find TV toys like this one got real expensive real fast. There were dozens of toys each year, but the ones people tended to really go for were TV-appearing characters that weren't ants.
Packaged in beast mode, his rat mode couldn't do much other than move his pink feet. Pull the tail, and the head becomes the chest while the body splits open to reveal the robot inside. Reviews from 1996 were rather down on the simplicity of this feature, but I had always found it to be magical. Part of the experience of thees toys as characters was that they could change form in a blink of an eye - precious few toys could convert quickly, especially today. It was a delight flipping him into his robot mode with exposed brain, red eyes, and limited silver decoration. These earlier toys are so much more simple than today's, but it's worth noting that they were priced accordingly. Collectors demanded better, and got it - but as you can see, it'll cost us.
My sample is pushing 18 years old - I've had him since 1999 - and he still stands up perfectly well with nice, stiff joints and no signs of breakage. I assume the spring-loaded transformation would be broken by heavy child use, or that the tiny two-piece gun would be lost or eaten, but mine is A-OK. People always tell me "collectors don't like this or that" but I've always been taken with toys that can be played with and are fun, which this absolutely is. Rattrap is getting a full Generations upgrade to a deluxe price point/size class, which is the first time in the USA you could find a proper Season 1 Rattrap on shelves since, by my count, at least 1996 or 1997. It's about time!
Given the chance to get him cheaply, you should. I insist. You'll like it, it's fun.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.