There's no stopping it! I spent all day looking forward to leaving work and beginning my hunt for more RID figures in Argos, TRU and Sainsbury's. The Argos catalogue features RID Warrior class Drift and Bumblebee as separate listings but the 3rd Warrior Class listing just says "Assortment" so it's a crapshoot. Optimus Prime is pictured but Argos only had Strongarm, so the search for Prime continues. At TRU I picked up all the remaining Legion Class RID wave 1 I needed; Optimus Prime, Strongarm and Steeljaw, along with the Warrior Class Steeljaw. I may also have cheekily scanned the symbol from 3-step Grimlock into my RID app without buying the figure. No purchase necessary! So what's the verdict on the figures I bought?
Finally a Decepticon! One-step Underbite doesn't count, I'm not going there, even I have limits. In the trailers for the Robots In Disguise show, Steeljaw is fascinating, that smooth-talking villain. The toy is understandably last off the shelf, he looks pretty silly in the blister. Out of the blister, however.....no, he's not very good. At all. I couldn't get the robot mode to stand upright at all until I realised you have to use his tail. I'll admit that's a cool touch, but the total lack of forearm articulation and the odd stance he's forced to adopt mean that he's easily the weakest of the Warrior Class figures of wave 1. At least he has an accessory, the claw....CLAAAAAAWWWW!!! You can mount it on top of the vehicle.
That's a pretty strange looking vehicle mode on Steeljaw too, and as nifty as it is to place it along the (admittedly better) Legion class Steeljaw, that transformation is not what I would call fun. It's especially awkward around the arms, chest and head. The legs are ok to compact and a change from what we've had already in the wave - and I get it, they are going for an animalistic and feline look in robot mode from top to bottom for a figure that turns into a car, but the coolest thing about Steeljaw remains the Decepticon badge on the grille with the claw marks across it. Absolutely not an acceptable return on £14.99 spent, although I suspect the robot mode will grow on me.
The Legion Class figures for Strongarm, Optimus and Steeljaw are all of the same standard as Bumblebee, i.e., high. Transformations are all unique and engaging for something so small, they all stand well and are respectable likenesses of their more representative larger selves. There are some nice spots of paint application around the place, the silver on Optimus and Strongarm especially. The Legion Class figures seem available pretty much everywhere with none really striking me as harder to find than the other.
Up until now the 1-step and 3-step stuff from AoE and RID has left me very uninterested, but having handled the 3-step Bumblebee I know it's a good laugh. This, however, is not for me. My daughter's little friend loved her Animated Bumblebee so much, that I know he'll go mental for this, and it's his birthday in 4 weeks so ...no-brainer! They're not cheap though, undoubtedly a result of their mass. Grimlock looked decent as well, but man, those one-step guys are absolutely not where I want to see the line going.
Buying Steeljaw gives one the opportunity to actually represent both sides of the coin in an RID 2015 display, and fashion a battle scene of sorts as I have done above, but Hasbro really need to create a larger voyager-style figure (or dare I say leader?) to do this fascinating villain justice. One hopes Thunderhoof and Bisk get slightly better treatment in all size classes.
So all that remains is to reveal the star performer out of all the above purchases, a truly brilliant little figure that is every bit as enjoyable as the Warrior Class figure, itself a success. Step up, Strongarm, battle mask and all!
Apologies for the grainy photos, one of my lamps committed harakiri.
All the best