TRANSFORMERS: PRIME (HASBRO)
Do you ever find yourself having made a mistake, which then becomes compounded upon and compounded upon and compounded upon, and by the time you realize you’ve made it, it’s very hard to fix it? I mean that in a sort of comedic sense, I suppose, here on the site where I like to keep things light. But, I also do feel like maybe there’s some deeper meaning to that. You see, on October 18, 2020, I made a mistake. I published my review of the Power of the Force II Concept Speeder Bike, and I accidentally gave it the number “2561,” rather than its proper “2560.” I skipped ahead one day, and I didn’t even notice. For two years, I just didn’t see it, and it was never corrected. For two years, I’ve been technically one day ahead. One day out of synch. But, on the precipice of wrapping up my ninth year here on the site, I found the error. I found the day I missed. Years ago, I would have made some joke, maybe written a review in the style of two years prior, as if the day hadn’t been missed. I very much considered that. The trouble is, it’s impossible for me to go back to who I was in October of 2020. The worst day of my life stands between me and that missing day. But, I want to go back, as best as I can, in some form. So, if you’ll indulge me, this is not going to be a standard review by any stretch. I have chosen a figure of notable significance, and what follows isn’t a review of that figure, but rather a life surrounding that figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ratchet was released in the second deluxe wave of Hasbro’s Transformers Prime: Robots in Disguise. He came out in 2012. This figure was intended to be added to my collection in June of 2020. I had gotten into Prime the prior fall and I liked Jeffery Combs’ take on Ratchet, so I was looking for this figure. He came into All Time, and I thought I was getting him for me. I wasn’t, though, as it turned out. But I didn’t know that for a little while. In June of 2020, the world was three months into a global pandemic that we’re honestly still fighting. But things were getting better for a bit, and we thought maybe the worst was past. We were wrong, of course, but that’s our lot. I lost my full time job to the pandemic. I went unemployed for two rather frightening months as we all stayed inside, isolated. At the end of May, we started to come back out. I got another job. A job I really wanted. I was excited. I was at ease. I was happy. I thought it had all worked out. I was wrong again. June was the month that Jess got sick. After a string of frustrating doctor’s visits, she finally made some headway, and she wound up going into surgery, with an extended weekend recovery. At the end of the weekend, we were told we could go home. Everything was okay. We had nothing to worry about. Wrong again. I bought this figure during the period of not needing to worry. In short order, the worry returned, and Jess had cancer. She had to go back into surgery, this time without me there to help her. She was afraid, and she needed some small comfort. So, I handed her the best medical expert I had on hand, Ratchet. And he wasn’t mine, he was hers now. He went with her to every treatment, every hospital stay, and every emergency room run. He didn’t leave her side. If a pandemic wouldn’t let me be there with her, he would be. And he did that well. He gave Jess something to rally behind. She would fiddle with him, she would pose him, she would even show him off to her nurses and other medical staff. She absolutely loved him. I told her when I gave him to her that he would help her. And for once, I wasn’t wrong. Maybe the help didn’t take the form I expected, but it was definitely there.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I took the photos attached to this not-really-review back when I still thought the figure was mine. I intended to review him, but when he went to Jess, I didn’t want to deprive her. After she was gone, I genuinely didn’t think I could bring myself to write about him without her. When I discovered the missing number, I initially wanted to do a fill-in review. Place myself in my shoes in October 2020. And I did. In October of 2020, Jess had finished her first round of chemo. We thought the worst was behind us again. We celebrated. I thought I might just get to review this Ratchet, but maybe Jess might help me. He was hers after all. By November, we knew were wrong again. But, for a few short weeks, the clouds parted, and we were happy. When I looked through what I still had unreviewed from that year, I saw this figure sitting there. I remembered how happy we were in that month. And I recognized how wonderful it was, fleeting though it may have been. I found that wonderful day I’d missed. And I’m so happy I did. In the chaos that is life, it’s easy to get stuck on the pain, the suffering, and the general awfulness. But then you miss the good. Even in my worst days, there was such brightness, even if just for a moment.
If you made it through all of this, thank you for indulging me on this little trip.