Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Robots In Disguise 2015 (Part 11) - Minicons Wave 1

Next up in my detailed look at the Hasbro Robots In Disguise 2015 toy line, cartoon and related media are the first wave of Minicons. These little one-step wonders are intended to interact with the newly-released Deployers, Drift and Fracture. Having appeared relatively early on in the first season of RID, we've had to wait some time for toys of Slipstream, Jetstorm, Divebomb and Airazor. However, wave 1 consists of two extra Minicons too that have not been featured in the show, those are Dragonus (Decepticon) and Sawback (Autobot). Also, Airazor and Jetstorm are so far only available with the Deployers themselves.

I was surprised to run into these guys at Toys R Us in North London as I had missed the news segments announcing their release at UK retail, I was actually looking for wave 4 Warrior Class Gold Armour Grimlock. I had decided to pass on the Minicons and Deployers seeing as how the promotional images had not made them look attractive. Then I saw the price was £5.99 each (how times change), and I noticed the face sculpt on Slipstream was actually fantastic and rather show accurate. Show accuracy is important to me in this line, and Slipstream is a big character in the show, therefore a purchase was born. 

A bit of shelf-loitering later, I grabbed Sawback and Divebomb too. I had to go back 2 days later for Dragonus as I realised you can use armour pieces from each wave 1 Minicon to create a brand new figure. More on that later. The Minicons come clipped to a large faction symbol sprue, and all the translucent Jolly Rancher accessories are attached to the sprue. So far, colours have been unique, which is very handy for putting accessories back with the appropriate Minicon.

As I mentioned at the start, the transformations are a single main step, in the case of Slipstream it's a matter of pulling out or pushing in his legs to activate the automorph. All the translucent parts can attach in both robot mode and disc mode. I had thought the extra slots on Slipstream's forearms were a sign of interchangeable armour to come, then I saw that the sword hilts had the correct port/peg combination to be added in disc mode. The ports and pegs are very specific shapes on the Minicons. Scanning the logo on his chest with the RID mobile app unlocks special weapons/power-ups for use in game instead of actual Minicon characters, unfortunately.

There's not much paint and the things feel more like Battle Beasts than Transformers, but they are a lot of fun, and certainly Slipstream is more than good enough to fit right in with the principle version of Drift, Warrior Class. Here you can see him looking superb next to TAV Drift. He hasn't actually attached to Drift's forearm like in the show, he's just precariously balanced there. The Deployer release is where these Minicons will clip on, as well as the Mega Optimus Prime. How nice is that face sculpt on Slipstream? These days Hasbro really know what they're doing with head sculpts on small toys like the Legion Class, these guys and certainly the FOC Data Discs.

It was only after considerable deliberation that I decided to grab more Minicons than just Slipstream. Fracture's little mate Divebomb also has a very good face sculpt like the show and is technically a 2-step transformation figure, you'll need to flip the feet up. His alt mode is more torpedo-shaped and he will go with Deployers Fracture. The clear green accessories are again quite neat, featuring a fold-down face mask attached and pivoted to the chest piece. He's got a couple of blasters and obviously not quite the detailing in colour across the toy as the on-screen version. For the size and price, you're getting a lot of straight-out-the-packet fun here, especially combined with the other Minicons.

Sawback is the first of the non-show Minicons I bought, and I figured my daughter would appreciate a dog/wolf with very attractive looking accessories to go with her FOC disks. As expected, it's her favourite, but not mine. He doesn't really stand up well in disc mode and I can see potential for breakage of the automorph feature if you try to unfold the disc using the legs, which to be fair it does tease you with. You have to really un-peel the thing using the animal tail. As with the others, accessories can stay attached in disc mode.

So, having enjoyed the other three Minicons thoroughly and managed to make only part of the energy lion (missing back legs), I went back to TRU Enfield and all they had left was 1 Divebomb and 1 Dragonus. That'll teach me to post in sightings threads. Dragonus was bought and actually turned out very nice indeed. After the automorph one must fold out the dragon's tail from underneath too. There are a fair amount of parts to him and he looks great with them attached. I do so hope we get a Warrior Class Fracture figure to display these with eventually.

Here they are, all the wave 1 Minicons together. I'd love to think we will get the wave 2 assortment as well, we haven't missed too much RID-wise as yet. These will be popular because they combine good looking small figures with interactive accessories, combination with a larger figure or figures, and in the case of the show-accurate ones, some decent padding out of the on-screen collection. I do worry that I will get bored of playing with them and that this boredom will be kept in check only by the purchase of new Minicons. 

Combining a few accessories from each Minicon from the wave allows you to create the energy lion, which I'll admit is neat and was the principle reason for inspiring me to undertake the 2 hour round trip to TRU again for Dragonus, but it's not a concept I see a lot of relevance in with regards to the show or how I generally assemble and enjoy my collection. I did it primarily to be able to produce a better review. The wave 2 energy shark looks great, but it remains to be seen if their relevance will grow or if this will just become a side-gimmick to the toy line to ensure children's interest. Don't get me wrong, it's not just for kids, it is fun and I like them a lot. There are adult collectors who love the concept and see it as a more fundamentally Transformers thing than much of what's seen release recently, I'm just not entirely certain this is where I want my RID collecting to go. If it wasn't for Slipstream's excellent accurate head sculpt, I wouldn't even have these figures. My daughter loves them, of course. Good enough for me.

All the best


  1. I too was compelled by the idea of combining accessories to purchase the whole wave... I was disappointed, however, to see the combined form look less like an Energon lion than an Energon Shi Tzu. Wish I'd stuck with just Slipstream- his expression is great, and his orange accessories are the prettiest of the lot.

    1. I really do recommend Airazor and Divebomb too, especially together they make a lovely team./ If rumours are true and we get a warrior Fracture, could make for a pretty display :) But yes I agree, Energy Lion not so fierce.

      All the best