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2015 – Robots in Disguise

Review – Transformers – RiD – Scorponok

Possibly the last of these fun little animal Decepticons we’re going to see is Scorponok.  There’s also a Toys R Us purple colored repaint of this figure called Paralon, who actually really resembles Beast Wars Scoponok, but this review primarily covers the normal brown colored mass released version.  Scorponok’s animal motif is, a scorpion.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Scorponok

In fact, he simply IS a scorpion in his alt mode.  While the other Decepticons all turn into vehicles with animal like themes in robot and beast mode, Scorponok just turns into robot and a scorpion.  Straight out Beast Wars style.  He has a really unique style going for him as well, and a very unique Transformation.  The scorpion mode gives him some really obvious choices for hands, but Scorponok eschews that with a clever trick.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Scorponok

His scorpion claws slide up his arms to become a pair of huge shoulder pauldrons.  No parts forming here, but they are essentially lose pieces at one point.  The effect is neat for sure, but the connections tend to be a little lose on the shoulder joint.  Given their large size they catch anything passing by and easily leverage out of their joint to become crooked or loose.  The end result also means his claws have no real joints in Scorpion mode, which is kind of a lame trade off since Scorpion claws are one of the more versatile and fun joints in scorpion toys.  Who doesn’t live a big set of vicious working pincers?

Transformers Robots in Disguise Scorponok

He also has a ton of fun character in his face and overall design.  His little face with it’s little robot mustache makes him look pretty interesting.  He also has a set of spindly legs that work well despite their small size and his upper body girth.  He also completed his sandy sort of Persian motif with a scimitar weapon.  The sword can be held in robot and scorpion mode as a giant stinger.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Scorponok

Transformers Robots in Disguise Scorponok

Overall, Scorponok isn’t the coolest Decepticon in the line, but he’s still a fun little toy.  He does feel a little small overall, which is probably his biggest downside.  The Paralon repaint kind of fits the name Scorponok a bit better, if you are looking at getting only one, but I find the brown color scheme works better for the figure overall.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Scorponok

 

Review – Transformers – RiD – Bisk

I have yet to actually watch any of the Transformers Robots in Disguise show, but very early on one of the designs showed off was for a character named Bisk.  Everyone hoped Bisk would get a toy but early indicators where we had one Decepticon for a dozen Autobots, it didn’t seem likely.  Thankfully things changed and we ended up with our crazy Lobster Man Transformer.  He’s even gotten a repaint named Thermidor.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Bisk

Bisk, has the pleasure of having a Lobster for his animal theme.  He definitely takes this theme above and beyond with his lobster head and giant Lobster Claw hands.  Even his vehicle mode kibble hanging off of his back works since it sort of looks like a lobster shell.  I can fully understand how this zany looking robot would not work for some people, he certainly stands out with other Transformers, especially non RiD Decepticons, but he certainly has a ton of character from this look.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Bisk

This character even goes a bit deeper than expected with his Vehicle Mode.   Transformers Robots In Disguise is a sort of sequel to the previous series, Transformers Prime.  It shares a general design ascetic and the plot is a sort of follow up to the previous series, though the tone of these two shows is quite different.  Bisk’s vehicle very much resembles the Vehicon Drones that were ever present in Transformers Prime.  He’s not an exact match but the overall shape is there.  His guns even mount on the front headlights the way the old Vehicon guns do.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Bisk

His guns also work in robot mode via the same pegs, mounting on top of his lobster claws.  The claws are particularly interesting, the arm joints aren’t quite traditional joints for up and down and rotation, but there are essentially two different elbow joins next to each other, which allows for his claws to work both in a vertical and horizontal orientation.  It really helps add to the range of poses he can make using his big ol’ claws.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Bisk

Overall, though the aesthetic won’t work for everyone, Bisk is a pretty fantastic addition to the Robots in Disguise line up.  He looks nice in both modes, the Transformation is pretty straight forward and he just oozes character.  He’s nicely poseable too, which is always a good feature.

Review – Transformers – RiD – Thunderhoof

Thunderhoof has the distinct pleasure of possibly having the first Tractor alt mode in Transformers.  There may have been one previously, probably some sort of Minicon if there was one, but I am pretty sure there hasn’t been a Farm Tractor in Transformers history.  Plenty of construction vehicles, not so much farm machines.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof

Thunderhoof’s spirit animal as it may be, is a deer.  As such he ends up with some pretty huge majestic antlers on his head in Robot mode.  He also, appropriately, has hooved feet.  His robot mode is pretty imposing and has a nice design but it’s not without it’s problems.  The backside is very bare bones and his legs are very hollow.  This makes him pretty ungly when views from rear angles.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof

The biggest offender is in his legs.  As part of the Transformation, his shins have a joint in the middle to allow the lower half to fold up.  This joint basically ends up flexing constantly because there isn’t really any way to lock it in place.  It almost functions as a second knee joint, in an annoying way.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof

Part of the reason for all of this hollowness and funky extra joints is the amount of compression that goes on during transformation.  Thunderhoof kind of reminds me of the old Lockdown toys in how much larger his robot seems than his vehicle.  Thunderhoof is easily one of, if not the tallest Deluxe figure in the Robots in Disguise line, yet his vehicle may be the smallest of the line.  Everything neatly and compactly folds up on itself.  The vehicle is neat and pretty menacing with it’s giant spiked bit on the front.  The spike bit is simply his head hanging off the front, but it’s not super noticeable as his head except from the bottom.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof

Transformers Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof

Thunderhoof is a bit of a mixed bag.  He’s got a neat design, but he has a lot of little issues that make him pretty finicky as a toy.  He’s definitely a good example of why it kind of stinks that there are no Voyager level toys in the Robots in Disguise line.  He could have definitely benefited from a larger size and price point allowing for a bit more stability and a larger alternate mode.

 

Review – Transformers – RiD – Fracture

Fracture is the real turning point for the Decepticons of the Robots in Disguise line.  There was a slow build up before hand with Megatron but Fracture was the point where the line really got good.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Fracture

Fracture’s animal theme, though less obvious than Quillfire and Steeljaw, is a rooster.  This mostly presents with his little mohawk deal on his head, though his shoulders also have a sort of random almost feathery look to them.  Articulation is really nice on this figure, and he doesn’t have a lot of really bad hollow bits which tend to plague a lot of modern Transformers.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Fracture

Transformers Robots In Disguise Fracture

The real shinning bit is his nifty rifle.  He has a variety of pegs and handles that allow it to be handles and held in a lot of fun poses.   It’s not quite a sniper rifle, though given it’s long barrel and design it’s easy to see that it could be wielded in such a manner.  It can also be used a sort of cudgel using the center post.  It’s very versatile and add a lot to the play ability of the figure.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Fracture

Fracture transforms into a decent looking Chopper style Motorcycle.  He’s large enough for other Transformers to ride on, however the width of the bike’s body makes it hard to get most figures to properly straddle the seat.  It still is a very cool looking alt mode and the Transformation is interesting despite it’s simplicity.  The front wheel and topmost center mass do some fun flippy tricks to compact down and form the robot’s torso and backpack.  The large rifle also folds in half and attaches as a large exhaust pipe.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Fracture

Bottom line is that Fracture is a really fun Decepticon for the Robots in Disguise toy line.  The robot is neat and pretty dynamic and the vehicle is pretty cool looking and unique.  I have no real complaints on this guy.

Review – Transformers – RiD – Quillfire

Broken Record time again, I just love the unique style and designs of the Robots in Disguise Decepticon line up.  Quillfire is no exception, with his porcupine themed robot mode.  He also has a very unique squat shape to his design, which just helps give him more character.

Quillfire, unlike Steeljaw, has the benefit of being a late line figure.  That is, he came out in wave 3 or 4, and the designers of the figures have had a chance to work out the new kinks that pop up every new Transformers line.  The neatest part of his design is probably in his head, which Which despite having a hunched look, has an extra joint added that allows for side to side movement.  Given that a lot of recent Transformers have kind of felt like they were cheapening out in places, the neck joint here really feels like a bonus.  It’s something that could easily have been removed.

He also has a functioning jaw on his large head, which helps add to the ascetics in a good way.  Additionally, despite his stocky design, the pose ability is pretty good.  He does unfortunately have a pretty large ugly backpack just sort of hanging off of him, which is kind of meh and though the neck is cool, it is limited compared to your more traditional robot designs.

He is also incredibly brown, which admittedly makes him kind of bland to look at.  He has a repaint named Scatterspike which has a very similar color scheme, which doesn’t help matters on his color scheme.  Like most of RiD, the Transformation is pretty straight forward without too many steps or flippy panels.  He includes two weapons, a hand held gun and a quill knife, both are able to be stored in Vehicle mode.

Despite his boring brown appearance, Quillfire, is a neat and fun little toy.  His repaint Scatterspike probably has a slightly more interesting color scheme since it’s a dark shade of Red, if you are only interested in getting the mold once.  Then again, the browns are a bit more military looking if that’s your thing.  He’s a decent toy, just not much to look at.

Review – Transformers – RiD – Megatronus

Megatronus was the first in a surge of Decepticons added to the Robots in Disguise line.  Poor Steeljaw would no longer have to face the Autobot army alone.  This toy has been released in a few versions, with and without a facemask and a few paint tweaks, this particular version covers the Megatronus release that was exclusive to Toys R Us.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

I have to admit, I don’t follow the show, so I’m not sure where Megatronus falls into the hierarchy of things.  I believe Steeljaw is actually the leader of the Decepticons and Megatronus is not the same character as Megatron, though the former is the namesake of the latter.  Megatronus originally, in the Transformer Mythos was one of the original 13 Primes, and is more commonly known as The Fallen, though I don’t know if that title applies here.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Despite that he isn’t Megatron, he certainly kind of looks like Megatron, and whether or not he is The Fallen, he also feels “special” compared to the other Decepticons in the line.  Primarily because he doesn’t seem to really have an animal theme, like the other Decepticons.  He’s very much just a tank robot.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Another sign that this guy isn’t Megatron is his complete lack of a Fusion/arm canon.  Instead, Megatronus comes with a little sword weapon, which can be weilded in a variety of ways.  It can be mounted on one arm as a blade weapon, or held like a standard sword.  The tank most also works both with and without the sword attached.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Probably the coolest part of this toy is the transformation.  Hasbro has been doing a lot of interesting things lately with Transformations, and Megatronus has some cool tricky that keep the Transformation elegantly simple.  The legs in particular, formed from the treads, do a neat little fold over trick.  Also notable, since the entire torso is the turret of the tank and the treads are the base, he ends up with a fully rotating turret and a usable waist joint.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

The only real issue with this toy is that, given the character and design, he really just feels too small.  Megatronus really is a character who needs to be imposing, not this tiny little tank.  It’s still a nice figure, he just may pair better with the legends scale than the other Deluxes.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Review – Transformers – RiD – Steeljaw

Like a lot of folks it seems, I pretty much avoided the Transformers Robots in Disguise line early on in it’s release.  Most of the toys seemed, and were, pretty mediocre.  There also was an extremely one sided assortment of mostly Autobots.  In fact, Steeljaw was the only Decepticon until something like wave 4, which is really annoying on a lot of levels.  One thing that Transformers always felt like it had going for it above other lines was a pretty good balance of heroes and villains.  What good is a hero with no one to fight after all?

Transformers Robots in Disguise Steeljaw

Even more annoying, the Decepticon designs on the show itself are all super interesting and unique.  There’s a neat animal theme running in the robot modes, which gives them fun heads and little design queues related to their respective animals.  Steeljaw, for example, is very obviously wolf themed.  From his wold head to his wolf tail, he’s one of the more obvious animal designs.  The vehicle itself is also somewhat wolf-like in it’s styling.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Steeljaw

While his design is pretty neat, Steeljaw is also one of the weaker toys in the line.  The main issue is the “This should have been a Voyager” problem that pops up occasionally.  The larger size would have allowed a bit better balance and a few more joints while also stopping the robot from being so small and stocky.  As he is, because of his weird joints in his legs he pretty much needs the tail as balance to keep him upright, which is a shame because it’s nicely jointed and would be great used for more dynamic poses.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Steeljaw

He also has some weird sliding arm/elbow joints that feel a little fragile and leave his arm movement options a little stiff.  I guess the point is, the robot mode is cool looking, but it’s really only usable in one or two poses, due to the awkwardness of the toy.

Transformers Robots in Disguise Steeljaw

Steeljaw is basically the physical embodiment of the early problems with the Robots in Disguise line, all wrapped up in a nice package.  The design is ambitious but suffers for it.  He should have been a larger price point, but RiD had no Voyager price point.  He was the only Decepticon for a while, and while he looks nice in a group assortment with the eventual, later, Decepticons (which are mostly pretty stellar), he’s probably not worth putting a ton of effort into tracking one down.