"Robots in Disguise (2015)" 3 Step Changer Steeljaw Toy Review
Release Date: May 2015
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Autobots beware, because this 3-Step Changers Steeljaw figure converts in a heartbeat from robot mode to combat vehicle mode, and he's not messing around! Convert him in 3 easy steps to either mode, and keep converting him back and forth so his Autobot enemies can't keep up! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Steeljaw is one of the main Decepticon characters in "Robots in Disguise". It is Steeljaw who is partly responsible for assembling the Decepticons in the show into a team. Given that it makes sense that he has been featured in every size scale of the toy line thus far (including Legion Class, One Step and more). Now he joins the ranks of the 3 Step Changers (which include Optimus Prime and Grimlock).
With a 3 Step Changer figure you're always going to lose some fidelity to the TV show's CGI model in toy form. That said, I was happy to see not that much was changed. The shoulder pieces are not shaped the same as those on the TV show and a lot of his shapes are a bit more blocky than the TV show model (particularly the fists and claws) and part of the vehicle mode sticks out prominently in the back (while in the TV show it does not). He does however have sharp and angular details all over including the head, the torso, lower legs and feet. His legs are even arched back a bit, reflecting some of the animal-influenced inspiration in the design of this figure. In particular I'm really loving the head sculpt which has layers of detail including very pronounced eyebrows and sharp looking teeth. The sculpt looks great given the limitations of this style of action figure.
Steeljaw is cast in metallic blue, black and light grey plastic. Blue makes up most of the figure with grey being used for the forearms and legs. Back paint is used heavily on this figure. You'll find it everywhere from the chest to the waist, the hands, the knees and the feet. I was actually surprised about how much black was used because red and orange are also used to paint in smaller details including the knees and mid-body respectively. On the face yellow is used for the eyes and his face is white. Finally the center of his torso has a scannable Decepticon symbol on it. Overall I'm really impressed with the deco. It's layered and looks great.
There are only two points of articulation on this figure: the arms. The forearms can move up and down and that's it. A lot is lost due to the 3 step transformation (which is really the toy's main gimmick). The fists have 5mm holes in them, allowing him to hold weapons from other figures.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Straighten out the arms.
- Swing the back panel up and over the robot head. Push it into place against the section with the windshield.
- Rotate the section with the windshield and the top of the cabin section to your left and the other parts will collapse in to form the vehicle.
- Make sure the tail from the robot mode is flat against the underside of the vehicle.
Steeljaw's vehicle mode is a super sleek SUV complete with animal-inspired designs. This includes angled points in the back and even "teeth" on the front. The entire vehicle angles upward from the front. It has a really awesome design and it's one of my favorite "Transformers" vehicle forms in the show. This figure reflects all these design elements and like the robot mode, it has a lot of layers in the design. It gives the figure a complicated and intricate appearance that I really appreciate, especially from a "simplified" figure.
This mode mostly shows off metallic blue plastic with some grey appearing on the sides and back. The wheels are cast in black. The most notable "new" detail featured here is a bit of orange on the wheels - which surprised me since this is a detail that appears on the television show but has been left out of most of the "Robots in Disguise" figures. Steeljaw does indeed have orange details in vehicle mode on the show, so it's great to see them here.
Steeljaw rolls on all four wheels but that's it for functionality in this mode.
3 Step Changer Steeljaw is not for older fans who want tons of articulation and functionality form their figure. However, for fans who like a simpler figure whose main gimmick is the transformation with some good detailing and deco, this figure is worth it.