"Robots in Disguise (2015)" 3 Step Changer Optimus Prime (Clash of the Transformers)

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Clash of the Transformers, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015), Three Step Changer, Toys R Us Exclusive

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Three Step Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: August 2015
Price Point: $21.99
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: Sword

*Images and text below from The Toys R Us Canada web site:
Decepticons beware, because this 3-Step Changers Optimus Prime figure converts in a heartbeat from robot mode to combat vehicle mode, and hes not messing around! Convert him in 3 easy steps to either mode, and keep converting him back and forth so his Decepticon enemies cant keep up! When the battle is over for the day, you can scan your figures badges into the Transformers Robots in Disguise app (device not included) and unlock the characters for awesome virtual battles. The battle is never over for you and your Optimus Prime figure!

The "Robots in Disguise" toy line is aimed at a younger audience than the "Generations" segment so the folks at Hasbro and Takara Tomy decided to continue the theme of having figures that could transform quickly in the line. While there are One Step Changers in "Robots in Disguise", there is now a new segment: Three Step Changers. Also known as the "Hyper Change" assortment, these figures are roughly Voyager Class in size, but transform in three simple steps featuring limited articulation.

As part of promoting the "Robots in Disguise" program, Toys R Us launched an exclusive line of retools and repaints in late summer 2015. Titled "Clash of the Transformers" the focus of this sub-line was the addition of the dreaded Megatronus to the roster of the TV show. This story line also includes the return of Optimus Prime and this figure represents how he looks upon his return from training with the Primes. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Check out my original 3-Step Changer Optimus Prime review for more details on the sculpt and functionality of this mold.

Packaging:
The Three Step Changers are packaged in a cardboard box with an open window. There is no clear plastic blocking you from poking at the figure at the store, though it won't do a whole heck of a lot. The front and side features artwork of Optimus Prime as he appears in the television show in his new body. The front also has a "Toys R Us Exclusive" sticker on it. The back shows the figure in its various modes with transformation instructions, but there are no tech specs. Instead there's a boatload of safety information in different languages. It also features instructions on scanning the Autobot symbol on the figure to interact with the mobile Transformers app.

Robot Mode:
Unlike some of the other figures in the "Clash of the Transformers" toy line, this one has some extensive retooling based on the new armor Optimus Prime is equipped with when he returns to Earth. Here's a rundown of what's changed:

  • The head sculpt features a more dramatic design. The crest is thinner and higher than the previous figure and the antennae on his head come out at angles on the sides.
  • The chest has a more intricate set of angles and shapes instead of mostly being one large rectangular piece.
  • The shoulder armor has points at the end which come up at angles. This is based on the armor as seen in the TV show. It also has a layered look, with the sections that angle out overlaid on top of shoulder sections underneath.
  • The forearms have a more curved shape and have sections near the elbow area that overlap on top of the forearms themselves.

Not only do these details make this figure look dramatically different than its predecessor, but they are also very accurate to the designs of the character as seen on the TV show. All the extra angles and points add a sleek and futuristic appearance to the character.

Like his TV show counterpart, this version of Optimus Prime takes on a decidedly darker color tone than the previous 3-Step Changer figure. The main plastic colors are metallic red, blue, silver and a dark metallic black. The red makes up much of the upper body. Blue is used for the head. Black makes up most of the arms, the hip/waist area and the lower legs. Silver is used for smaller sections like his thighs and sections near the shoulders. The darker colors fit the more dire story line where Megatronus returns and must be stopped by the Autobots. It also helps make this figure look dramatically different than the previous release.

Several paint colors are used to provide detailing on this figure. Indeed, there appear to be more paint applications on this figure than its predecessor, something I was very happy to see. The most dramatic color used on this figure is white - which shows up on his shoulders, forearms, hip armor and lower legs. Some blue is used on the forearms and torso. The face and the are around his eyes are painted silver while the eyes are blue. Some black is used for the truck windows on his chest. Red paint is used on the upper body, filling in details like the shoulder armor. Of course, being part of this toy line Optimus has a symbol on his chest that you can scan into the official "Robots in Disguise" app to unlock the character in the game.

This figure features the same articulation as the previous version: the arms. That's not a lot, but the designers decided to add a tiny bit of value by including a weapon: a sword. This sword has a two blade design that is based of the one seen on the TV show. However, instead of being blue and dark grey like it is on the show, the sword is cast in a bright orange plastic. The orange color is a bit off-putting, but my guess is it was gang molded with the weapon included with the Bumblebee figure that is part of the "Clash of the Transformers" line. Still, I would've preferred something like a light blue or even silver color instead. The sword (along with any 5mm weapon) can fit into either hand. It also has a peg on the side, so you can store it on the back of his arms.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Most of the play value in this figure comes from its super quick transformation. Make sure the arms are down to the sides. Now pull the chest piece up then swing it back and back up to form the front of the vehicle. While you're doing this, the arms will swing in to where the chest was and the front panels of the legs will form over the wrists/hands.

Vehicle Mode:
When I saw this figure in Toys R Us, I have to admit I was surprised at how much the robot mode had been retooled. What I did not expect however was that the vehicle mode had also undergone a significant retooling as well! There are two main sections that have been redone, and they are significant enough to change the look of the truck mode significantly:

  • The cab section is now thinner and has more angles to it than the more blocky one from the original 3-Step Changer. Even the windows are angled and the front grille has layers inside of it. I also love the way the front of the cab comes to a point in the center.
  • The rear section on top of the vehicle now has large panels on the sides. There are vent details in the front and points in the back that echo the shoulder armor in robot mode.

The rest of the parts on this mode are the same as the previous version, but the colors are dramatically different. This mode shows off much more of the silver plastic on this figure, which makes up most of the side along with the black plastic. Red is found on the back and front.

The cab is the section that gets most of the deco in this form. The windows are painted black, the grille is silver and the headlights are light blue. Sadly that means none of the details on the trailer section are painted except for those carrying over from the robot mode. The vehicle mode looks good, but there were definitely some missed opportunities to paint some sculpted detail and really knock this deco out of the park.

This mode has two 5mm ports on the sides towards the back. This allows you to store his weapon or attach other weapons with 5mm pegs.

Final Thoughts:
If you are doing a head to head comparison between this figure and its predecessor, this one wins hands down. The design is more dynamic looking and he includes a sword. Since he's about the same price as the first 3-Step Changer Optimus Prime this makes him a better value for your dollar. Recommended if you haven't picked up 3-Step Optimus Prime yet and you don't want to spend $30 on the other 3-Step Changer Optimus Prime that represents the same version of the character (aka "Mega" Optimus Prime).