"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Activator Combiner Optimus Prime with Hi-Test Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Activator Combiner, Autobot, Combiner Force, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: July 2017
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Hi-Test Mini-Con

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Optimus Prime battles Decepticons in truck mode. The enemies take off into the sky! That’s when Activator Hi-Test combines with Optimus Prime, giving a jolt to his system, fueling him into flight mode!

Kids can combine forces and activate awesome pop-out battle modes with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Activator Combiner figures. This Activator Combiner 2-pack features one Optimus Prime figure and one Hi-Test figure. Attach Hi-Test figure to Optimus Prime figure to activate a supercharged flight mode. The Optimus Prime figure converts from robot to truck in 8 steps; Hi-Test figure converts in 1. Activator figures work with other Activator Combiner figures (each sold separately). Scan the shields on these figures to unlock Optimus Prime and Hi-Test characters in the mobile app (see below for app details).

Combine forces and join the battle with these figures based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. Includes Optimus Prime figure, Hi-Test Activator figure, and instructions.

  • Activator Combiner Optimus Prime and Hi-Test figures
  • Combine figures and activate awesome pop-out battle modes
  • Attach Hi-Test figure to Optimus Prime figure to activate flight mode
  • Works with other Activator Combiner figures (each sold separately)
  • Scan the shields to unlock these characters in the app (see below for details)
  • Figure scale: 5.5 inches
  • Ages 6 and up

The theme for "Robots in Disguise" in 2017 is "Combiner Force" where combination in various ways informs the gimmicks built into the toys. One segment features "Activator Combiners". Riffing off of the "Armada" series these two packs feature a larger figure with a Mini-Con. The Mini-Con can be attached to the larger figure to activate a feature. Each larger figure measures larger than the Warrior Class figures, but not as large as the larger 3-Step Changers. They are in a size class all their own. Summer 2017 brought a new wave of these figures including Optimus Prime with Hi-Test.

Packaging:
The Activator Combiner figures are packaged in a window box. The border primarily uses white and red colors with the "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right side (if you are facing the box). Above that is the "Robots in Disguise" logo along with an Autobot symbol inside a circle. Towards the bottom of the packaging is the "Combiner Force" logo. Above that are the names "Optimus Prime" and "Hi-Test" inside arrows that come together in the middle, symbolizing their ability to "combine" (yeah, we're using the term pretty loosely here). The artwork on the packaging features Hi-Test in robot mode charging forwrd and transforming to connect to Optimus Prime in vehicle mode. Both figures are in robot mode in a plastic tray inside the box. The back of the packaging shows CG renders of the figure in all its various modes. This includes Optimus Prime both connected and not connected to Hi-Test. It also mentions that the Mini-Con feature can work across figures including Optimus Prime and Hi-Test (pictured in vehicle mode off to one side). Below all that is legal information in various languages.

Hi-Test

Hi-Test was part of the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon where he did indeed combine with Optimus Prime to power him up. His design does look a lot like the cartoon model. This includes a very blocky torso and shoulders with a head design that features panels flaring out at angles and "horns" across his head that angle upward. I like his chunky appearance. It makes him look powerful in spite of his small size.

This figure is cast in metallic blue and black plastic. The face is painted silver. On his chest is a scannable Autobot symbol that unlocks the character in the "Robots in Disguise" app. The blue makes up most of the figure with the arms and cannons cast in black. The cannons swing down over his arms, mirroring Optimus Prime's own cannons. They look very cool and it makes me wish the figure had shoulder articulation so he can point the cannons forward.

Swing the legs back and swing the cannons forward to form the tank mode. The sides feature tread details and he winds up with dual cannons in the front. To change the tank into a weapon, swing the arms back and swing the peg on the bottom of the figure down. I really like how easily the tank mode changes into a hand held weapon. It adds play value to the set and it looks cool at the same time.

Optimus Prime

Robot Mode:
Optimus Prime's robot mode is mostly based on his animated appearance. That includes his classic head design featuring a thin crest, antennae and mouthplate. His shoulders are wide and angled with three notches on the right side. His chest has a "V" shaped window on it and his legs are thick complete with knee armor going over the thighs slightly. Where he differs from other Optimus figures in this line are the huge freaking cannons attached to his forearms! These are not your typical tube shaped cannons. Instead they are rectangular with lots of angles and small mechanical details on the barrels. These cannons look awesome and they are a huge part of this figure's appeal.

Optimus Prime is cast in metallic red, metallic blue and black plastic. The red makes up most of the torso, back and arms. His forearms, head and lower legs are blue. The black plastic is used on smaller parts such as the shoulder joints and elbows. Silver paint is used on the head, mid-body and thighs for detailing. The knees are painted black and the mechanical details on the cannons are painted light blue. The left shoulder has a scannable Autobot symbol that unlocks the character in the official "Robots in Disguise" app.

The Activator Combiners are not known for their articulation. Optimus Prime only has three points: the head and the forearms, which can swing up so he can point his cannons forward. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing him to hold Hi-Test (or any other Mini-Con) in weapon mode.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms.
  2. Push the feet down.
  3. Push the lower legs together.
  4. Swing the lower legs up.
  5. Swing the arms up, then push them down.
  6. Swing the cab section out from the bottom and swing it up.

Vehicle Mode:
The vehicle mode follows the same design that has been seen in other figures representing this version of Optimus Prime (including the Legion and Warrior Class figures). The front is a sleek cab section, angling upward with a "V" shaped windshield. The trailer sweeps back and then angles upward at the rear. He also features a series of three angled lines on either side of the hood and on the sides of the trailer. Presumably these are inspired by similar details on the Autobot symbol (at least I like to think so).

While the sculpt looks cool, the deco in this form leaves a lot to be desired. Most of this vehicle is a combination of metallic red, metallic blue and black plastic, but there is very little paint. The only paint is on the front end where the windows are painted black and the grille is silver. The wheels are unpainted as is most of the trailer so he winds up looking unfinished.

In the "Combiner Force" episode "Collateral Damage" Hi-Test combined with Optimus Prime to form an extra engine that powered him up, giving him extra strength and weaponry in vehicle form. Here however Hi-Test transforms into weapon mode and attaches to the top of the vehicle. When you push him in, the cannons from the robot mode spring up and flaps on the sides swing back, revealing (non-functional) rocket launchers. You can activate these features without using Hi-Test by pressing the black button on the top of the trailer. I love this feature. It is fun and looks great at the same time. Doing this helps to reveal some new deco and details. The rockets are painted silver and the mechanical details revealed are painted light blue. This almost makes up for the lack of deco when these weapons are not deployed.

Final Thoughts:
Activator Combiners are about one thing: the Mini-Con/figure gimmick. This set has the benefit of having two figures with good sculpts and really cool looking weaponry. If you are looking for a fun set to play with, this is a good choice, but do not expect a lot of articulation or deco. I personally like it and I think kids will get a kick out of it.

Pros:

  • Good sculpt on both Optimus and Hi-Test.
  • The weapons on both figures look awesome.
  • Hi-Test has three modes instead of just two (yes, one is just a slight variant on the other, but it counts).
  • The weapon deployment gimmick is very cool.

Cons:

  • The vehicle mode deco is very lacking.
  • Relative lack of articulation compared to some other figures.