"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer Prowl Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Generation One, One Step Changer

Age of Extinction

Prowl 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:
Prowl is back and he's tougher than ever! This Prowl changer fights his Deception enemies every time he can and he converts so fast they'll never be able to keep up. Flip him to convert him from mighty robot mode to speedy sports car mode in just 1 step, then convert him back again when the battle calls for it! The Deceptions will never be able to handle your fast-changing Prowl 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 additions to this line is a character who did not appear in the "Age of Extinction" film: Prowl. The idea of a "Prowl" in the movie universe is not new. He appeared in the IDW Publishing comic book series set in the movie universe, however this is the first action figure made of the character.

Vehicle Mode:
Prowl's vehicle mode is largely influenced by the Generation One character of the same name. The police car mode looks aggressive and modern. It has a thick front end but a low cabin section. The rear section angles upward with a thick spoiler that looks more like something you'd see on a race car than an emergency vehicle. Even the lightbar on top is interesting. Instead of one single "V" shaped piece, it's segmented into seven distinct rectangles arranged in a V shape. One very "G1" design flourish is found on the front hood, a curved section that comes to a point in the middle. This design comes straight from G1 Prowl's design. Add in a guard sculpted onto the front of the vehicle and this makes for one cool looking police car.

Just like the sculpt, Prowl's deco is based on his G1 counterpart. The fiure is cast in white and black. The top half of the vehicle is white while the bottom half is black (through a combination of plastic colors and paint). The windows are painted black, as is the front end with the distinctive "point". The lightbar is painted red. On the doors are white Autobot symbols with the word "Police" next to them. The colors help make the sculpt look instantly recognizable as a G1 Prowl homage.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Prowl uses the same transformation mechanism as Drift. However, his joints are tighter than Drift's, so he doesn't totally "swing" into robot mode. Instead you swing the figure and it mostly opens up but you'll have to push one leg down all the way to complete the transformation. You'll also have to reposition the arms as they wind up out to the sides by default. I personally don't mind this, and unlike my Drift figure no parts went flying during the transformation of this figure, much to my relief!

Robot Mode:
The G1 homage continues in this mode. Prowl has the same basic form as the One Step Changer Drift with a bulky body, a single panel forming the torso details and thick legs. However, there is no part reuse here. All the parts are new sculpting. The design meshes aspects of G1 design and "Bayformer" design. The G1 elements are most obvious in the chest, back and head designs. The chest is basically made of the front of the car, down to the headlights and the curves coming to a point in the center. The back has two "doors" on it, similar to G1 Prowl. The head sculpt is basically G1 Prowl's head sculpt with some added line details on the face, down to the "horns" and crest on the top of the head.

The more "Bayverse" style designs appear on the arms and legs. The arms each have curved layers of armor over machinery underneath. The right arm has a sword sticking out of it (reminscent of Optimus Prime's) and the left has spikes coming out of it at the end. Prowl may be about law and order, but it seems he is perfectly capable of shredding Decepticons if he needs to!

This mode is also mostly black and white plastic, bu a lot of the black detail is actually painted on. This includes the details from the front of the car on his chest, his thighs and shoulders. Red paint is used on an angled section on his chest with an Autobot symbol in the center. Red is also used on the crest/horns on the top of his head. His face is painted silver. The blade on the right arm is painted light blue. All the colors work well together and pay proper homage to G1 Prowl.

Prowl's posability is focused on the shoulders. His arms can swing forward and out to the sides on ratchet joints, giving them a lot of stability. On the bottom of the right foot is a metal circle. This is used by "Stomp & Chomp" Grimlock (and the upcoming Japanese exclusive Optimus Prime with trailer set) to activate specific lights and sounds. Being on the right side the circle indicates this is an Autobot whereas Decepticon One Step Changers have this circle on the left.

Final Thoughts:
Prowl is a fun surprise in this toy line. It's rather random to have this homage come out of nowhere, but it looks great and he's fun to play with. If you're into the One Step Changers at all, this guy is recommended!