Yesterday, I wrote the first part of my look at the new Hasbro Transformers toy line for 2015, "Robots In Disguise". Despite dodgy first impressions of Warrior Class Drift and Bumblebee, the very next day I had gone to Sainsbury's and bought Warrior Class Strongarm and Grimlock, both of which are ever so slightly more interesting than the typical heroic fancy car-bots.
The transformations for Strongarm - a female law enforcement Autobot - and Grimlock the Decepticon-turned-Autobot (I'm guessing?) are more involved than Bumblebee and Drift. In package, Stroingarm looks terrible with the mother of all butt-flaps, but that backpack is meant to fold up and become a set of makeshift wings. They are still kibblelicious, but far more acceptable. Returning her to vehicle mode, it is easier to do the legs, then the wings/roof, then the rotating shoulders and hood of the vehicle. Grimlock's transformation is great and while you can obviously tell these are more simplified than the deluxes of yesteryear, this is the closest link to past deluxes of note so far.
The arms on Strongarm are such that you can't actually see the moulded hands at most raised angles due to the surrounding car parts that fold over in robot mode. Her head is remarkably similar to that of G1 Autobot Bluestreak/Smokescreen, but the similarities end there. Stance is extremely solid but the blocky nature hinders posability. There's very good articulation in her head though. That handgun can be mounted on the roof of the vehicle, on her back in robot mode, or even underneath the vehicle. I love the complete lack of femininity in vehicle mode because "every form serves a purpose", and being sexy isn't one of them. The moulded Autobot logo on the grille is a nice touch.
Grimlock made the strongest first positive impression on me out of packet than any of the other RID toys so far. The robot mode proportions are strong and very muscular, great head sculpt and super-striking colours. There's less of the simplified blockiness in the specific moulded areas that pervades the other Warrior class toys I have bought so far, but the feeling does return on transformation of the tail sections. Overall transformation is great, although he's the only one out of the four Autobots without a rotating waist. I do wonder if a bigger Grimlock is en route (with a truck mode!) , because at the moment he's rather out of scale in terms of the show, but as a Warrior class figure, it's spot on I guess.
Spending more time with the figures has revealed a few neat touches like Bumblebee being able to store his sword in vehicle mode, and various locations of storage for Strongarm's blaster. I still have not been able to find a way of storing Drift's blades in vehicle mode. Thanks to all who mentioned the Bumblebee leg modification, he now stands far more securely.
How 'bout them primary colours? Imagine a scarlet Sideswipe mixed in with wave 2 and children will not be able to resist these character-laden Transformers. I genuinely hope that will be the case, and the improved UK distribution and accompanying TV show could mean a real resurgence of the Transformers mainstream toy line in the UK. Or, you know, they could be drowned out by Combiner Wars.
All the best