"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer Autobot Drift Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Movie (2007), One Step Changer

Age of Extinction

Autobot Drift General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from The Official Transformers Web Site:

As part of its drive to appeal to different segments of the toy buying audience, Hasbro has introduced different sub-lines of "Transformers" figures for the "Age of Extinction" toy line. One of these are the "One Step Changers". As the name suggests, the idea behind these figures is the ability to transform the figure in one step, keeping them in spirit with G1 toys like Jumpstarters and Battlechargers. One of the first figures in this sub-line is Autobot Drift. If a simplified figure isn't your cup of tea, check out my review of Deluxe Drift which covers my thoughts on Drift's overall design.

Vehicle Mode:
Drift transforms into a Volkswagon Bugatti Veyron, a high end car that has a two million dollar price tag. It's an exotic, sleek and powerful car, all factors that make it ideal to serve as the vehicle mode of an Autobot warrior. The Bugatti has a very distinctive shape, with an arch in the front where its grille is leading out to a smooth and rounded body shape. The sides are inset a bit and there is a high spoilers on the back. The only very obvious "missing" detail are side windows. Instead you can see into the interior of the vehicle which just reveals robot parts.

Many of the key features of a Bugatti are present here. They include the distinctive grille in the front, distinctive wheels, thin headlights, on the back and a small spoiler with mechanical details in the back. He also has smaller details like the Bugatti symbol on top of the grille and the small circles behind the side windows. A bit of sleekness is lost on the hood of the vehicle as there are hinges there which play into the one-step transformation.

Drift shows mostly dark metallic blue and black plastic. Paint colors are done in metallic blue, silver and red. The metallic blue is used for the raised sections on the sides leading to the rear wheel well. There is also a metallic blue Autobot symbol on the front of the vehicle. Silver is used for the headlights, windshield, gas caps and on the rear. Thees are the basic colors on the figure and they look great. I'm really fond of the metallic blues in particular.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
While it is advertised as "one step", really there's sort of a mini-step before transforming the figure: separating the halves of the vehicle's rear section. Not fully, just make sure they're not pegged together. Then hold one half of the rear section and swing it quickly out (like a butterfly knife) and the robot mode will quickly unfold.

On my copy of this figure, there was one significant issue. After doing this transformation a few times his rear, right side wheel literally flew off the figure and I haven't been able to find it since. Now, I did tug on the other wheels a bit to see if they came off easily and they didn't. During Toy Fair, I saw the copy there transformed about half a dozen times without issue. I've also transformed this guy a bunch of times since and no other wheels detached, so I will chalk this up to a quality control issue. Your results may vary.

Robot Mode:
Drift's "One Step Changer" robot form sacrifices quite a bit thanks to the transformation gimmick. His legs have to contain most of the robot parts, so they are big and thick. The arms are big too and his torso details are rather wide. This all looks a bit out of proportion with his head which looks tiny in comparison. It's rather odd looking but keeping in mind the gimmick, it is understandable.

From a detail perspective I do like the sculpting. His arms and torso sections have the Samurai stylings seen on Deluxe Drift. This includes layers of armor on the arms and torso. The distinctive Bugatti grille also appears on his chest. The head has the crests inspired by Samurai armor and there are four small sword-like details behind the head. Since he has no accessories he has swords sculpted into the arms. Given the limitations of the figures' design, it is good to see so much detail on the figure.

This mode shows off silver plastic in addition to the metallic blue and black. The arms and the torso plates are silver. Each has metallic blue details. The Bugatti grille on his chest has red paint for the Bugatti symbol. It's a simple deco, but it works in the context of the figure.

Drift has four points of articulation, two on each arm. They can swing out as well as up and down. His fists have 5mm ports that allow you to attach weapons from most lines like "Generations" for him to use. This is a definite plus since the figure doesn't come with accessories.

Final Thoughts:
I think in general I'm very open minded with my "Transformers" reviews, but when it comes to Drift here, I am having getting past the wheel flying off and the weird proportions. In theory the "one step" transformation is fun. I like the idea of a "butterfly knife" style transformation and it does have some redeeming qualities such as the 5mm ports in the hands. However, this particular figure was better in concept than execution I think. Not recommended.