What better time then the (highly-anticipated) release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, for Hasbro engineers to unleash a complete reimagining of those famous transforming robots?
While Michael Bay was busy blowing stuff up, The Talking Dad was testing the brand new Transformers line from Hasbro toys. The Transformers line is shipping in new eye-catching red and white packaging, it’s basic, but attention grabbing. It’s clear, there’s more than meets the eye, because under that red and white hood is a host of innovation.
GRIMLOCK and DRIFT One-Step Changers
I imagine the conversation went something like, “How can we simplify the transformation process?” or “How do we mitigate dexterous limitations?”. Whatever happened at Hasbro that day is nothing short of genius- these One-Step action figures are hands-down spectacular. Critics can argue that removing the difficulty of converting between robot and vehicle modes undermines the spirit of the toy, but parents of children in the 3-6 age range will disagree, and rejoice in not being required for frequent impromptu toy playing.
The Grimlock 1-Step figure has brought back fond memories of my childhood; playing in the backyard with friends and imagining epic robotic battle scenarios. The Dinobots always seemed to get the most play, because, Dinobots. When my sons and I opened up the 1-Step Grimlock this weekend, I was giddy with excitement. He looks nothing like the toy I played with many years ago, but nonetheless magnificent. Hasbro designers chose a more realistic and agile dinosaur experience for this iteration. I’m not a fan of the orange color scheme, but the overall armored, sharp-edged look is menacing.
We also received a Drift One-Step figure which is equally as simple to change and very handsome. You must keep in mind that because these figures were created with conversion-simplicity in mind, that some caveats exist. The One-Step Changers don’t have multiple points of articulation. They can move their arms and hold weapons, but not much more than that. I would not classify that as a negative, just a necessity.
GRIMLOCK Flip & Change
Not quite as simple as the One-Step, the Grimlock Flip & Change figure feature an (odd) method for converting between robot and its alternative mode. The orange and sharp-edged appearance carries over to these larger format figures, but it didn’t feel as solid as the previously mentioned toy. The action figure converts by splitting his tail in two equal parts, grasping those parts with each hand, and then flipping (spinning) the toy over itself numerous times. A sort-of ratcheting mechanism converts the toy. Despite the oddities, my 5yo son really enjoyed this figure due to its ease of conversion and size.
Evasion Mode OPTIMUS PRIME Generations Voyager
The Evasion Mode Prime was my personal favorite of the new Transformers line. This toy has the classic Transformers dress and conversion modus operandi. The primary difference being the building materials, his shiny paint looks like this Prime is metal, but he’s all plastic. And that’s where things fall apart. Within minutes my son had snapped the grill off. It’s unfixable and completely ruined in vehicle mode. This is totally our fault, but I can’t recommend this particular robot for kids under 6. It does, however, look great in Daddy’s secret collection he keeps in the office. Ssshhh please don’t tell my kids!
CROSSHAIRS Generations Deluxe
Another awesome toy that I highly recommend for 8 years old and above. A ton of detail went into our Crosshairs Generations Deluxe Autobot, with the Corvette mode being the most impressive mode. It’s just beautiful. Hasbro had a high level of movie-accurate design expectations, and it shows in these toys. It takes 13 steps to convert Crosshairs, more than my 5yo son had patience for, but as a parent constantly being requested to change the toy, I didn’t mind. The instructions were not hard to understand and even easier to memorize after the third conversion. There are 10 different figures in this line scheduled to release throughout the year, so if you’re into collecting, this is your Transformer.
Licensed Transformers Products
The toy makers came lined up for this movie release, speaking to the high anticipation of Transformers: Age of Extinction. The choices vary from KRE-O (which we are giving away below) to HexBugs. Check out our Instagram review of the Hexbug fighting Transformers!