"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer Galvatron Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Dark of the Moon, Decepticon, One Step Changer

Age of Extinction

Galvatron General Information:
Release Date: November 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Galvatron is back, and he's tougher than ever! This Galvatron changer fights his Autobot enemies every time he can, and he converts so fast they'll never be able to keep up. Twist him to convert him from mighty robot mode to semi truck mode in just 1 step, then convert him back again when the battle calls for it! The Autobots will never be able to handle your fast-changing Galvatron figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

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 late 2014 One Step Changer releases was Galvatron, the reincarnation of Megatron who led the Vehicon forces in "Age of Extinction". Check out my Voyager Class Galvatron review to get my thoughts on the Galvatron design.

Vehicle Mode:
Galvatron's vehicle mode is a Freightliner Argosy truck cab. Even though this is a simpler "One Step" figure, it represents the real life vehicle nicely. The truck cab has a flat front end, a curved wind vane section on top and rectangular sections on the sides. Among the smaller details represented are:

  • A row of three lights above the windshield, with two others to the sides.
  • A grille with lines that move in to the center, dip and then even out in a repeating pattern.
  • There are vertical side view mirrors sculpted near the side mirrors.
  • The headlights are angled in shape with vertical lines in the middle.
  • There are two smaller lights under each headlight.
  • The spare tanks on the sides of the vehicle are rectangular in shape.
  • There are two smokestacks that are sculpted right up against the cab.

Of course, design concessions are expected for a figure at this scale (and with a gimmick). One design element added onto the figure is a platform in the middle. It looks like something a human could stand on, complete with a cross hatch pattern on the top of the platform. This piece is actually used to initiate the transformation. Another design concession is the very prominent presence of the robot heel pieces on the back of the vehicle. They both stick up and can't be folded or tucked away. Neither of these really destroys the look of the figure, but they may bug those who want a more screen accurate appearance.

Galvatron is cast in a gorgeous gunmetal grey and black plastic. Most of the figure is gunmetal. I don't kjust call it silver because it's not flat. Instead it's metallic with a very rich appearance. The black plastic is used for the smaller parts including the wheels and the platform. Silver paint is used to paint the stripes that start on the front of the vehicle and run along the sides. A flat, black paint is used for the grille and the windshield. Galvatron is definitely missing a few decos here and there (most notably none of his lights are painted) but given the simpler nature of the figure this is hardly surprising. The deco looks okay, but the real centerpiece is the rich gunmetal color.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Press the black platform down, then beghin spinning the wind vane to the left. As you do so, the front of the vehicle will fold down to reveal the robot head, the robot arms will swing out and the legs in the back section will widen out. You can stop once the robot mode is fully formed. To transform him back into vehicle mode, press the platform down and turn the vane to the right. I have to give a lot of credit to the designers. This is not only a "magical" transformation (as the One Step Changers were advertised to be) but also a really fun one. It's neat to just twist the wind vane and watch all these parts move. Even better, it works consistently!

Robot Mode:
One Step Changers sometimes wind up with design concessions made in order to accomodate the gimmick. In the case of Galvatron, he is rather tubby looking. His torso is wide, mostly because most of his body is tucked into the underside of the vehicle mode. Now, add in that the arms and head are very small in proportion to the torso and Galvatron does look rather odd in this mode. That said, Galvatron is really nicely detailed. He ha the distinct oval opening on his chest, curved armor panels all over the legs, tubes on the arms and even some wires on the side panels near the hips. Odd proportions aside, Galvatron is really nicely detailed.

Color-wise it looks like most of the paint applications were reserved for this mode. Silver is used on his face, waist and thighs. Metallic blue is used on the head, arms and knee armor. Gold is used for the oval design on his chest and eyes. Finally, the center of the chest has a purple Decepticon symbol. For a One Step Changer the deco is really nice, and I like the use of metallic colors.

Galvatron has two points of articulation: the arms, which can move up and down. Unfortunately due to their small size his fists cannot accomodate 5mm peg weapons (or 3mm for that matter). Most of the play value in this figure comes from the transformation.

Final Thoughts:
Galvatron is a neat little figure. Most older fans probably won't like it, but I think for its intended audience of younger fans it's a really neat toy to play with. I really dig the gimmick and appreciate that it works so smoothly and consistently.