"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Crash Combiner Dragbreak Toy Review
Release Date: August 2017
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images are from Amazon.com. Text in italics is from the official Hasbro web site:
What happens when you crash and combine forces with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Decepticon Dragstrip and Wildbreak figures? No, not a traffic jam. You get an awesome 2-bot Dragbreak Crash Combiner figure!
This Crash Combiner 2-pack features one Decepticon Dragstrip figure and one Wildbreak figure. Crash these figures together in one awesome step to form a Dragbreak combiner robot. These figures work with other Crash Combiner figures to form different 2-bot combinations. Decepticon Dragstrip figure converts from robot to sports car in 5 steps; Wildbreak figure converts from robot to sports car in 4. Scan the Decepticon shield in combiner mode to unlock the Dragbreak character in the mobile app.
All road and no rules makes Dragbreak a devious destructor. He’s a bot bent on wreaking havoc on the roads. Combine forces and join the battle with these figures based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. Includes Decepticon Dragstrip figure, Wildbreak figure, and instructions.
- Crash Combiner Dragbreak figure
- Decepticon Dragstrip and Wildbreak figures combine to form Dragbreak figure
- Crash and combine figures in 1 awesome, instant step
- Works with other Crash Combiner figures (each sold separately)
- Scan the shields to unlock the character in the app (see below for details)
- Figure scale: 3.5 inches
- Ages 6 and up
- App content ages 9 and up
- Available through June 30, 2019.
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise app works with select iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices.
- Check Transformers.com for details.
- Updates may affect compatibility.
- Not available in all languages.
After thirty plus years, it is not easy to come up with anything "new" when it comes to Transformers play patterns, but that does not keep the folks at Hasbro from trying. In early 2017 fans were introduced to a new sub-group in "Robots in Disguise": the Crash Combiners. Crash Combiners borrow a bit from the past but add some new functionality into the mix. They feature two characters whose vehicle modes can "crash" into each other and thus activating a transformation that combines the two into a single robot. Similar concepts have existed in past lines such as G1 and "Energon". In both cases there were pairs of robots that could combine with each other to form a larger robot. Crash Combiners are different in that they only combine one way (meaning not every character can be the upper and lower body, they are one or the other) and their combination mechanism is spring loaded.
Crash Combiners are packaged in a bubble attached to a card. The card has a vertical "Transformers" logo with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. Off to the other side is artwork for Dragstrip and Wildbreak. These are new characters so the artwork is brand new too. Each of the characters is in vehicle mode set at angles inside the bubble. Inside the bubble is also an insert with artwork of Dragbreak, the combined form of the two Stunticons. Interestingly, the artwork for Dragbreak shows the television show's animation model but its colors match the toy instead of the character seen in the cartoon. The insert also features the "Combiner Force" logo, connecting this to the theme of "Robots in Disguise" in 2017.
The back of the pckaging features pictures of both figures in robot and vehicle mode as well as their combined form. Off to the side is a cosell for fellow Decepticon Shocknado, a two pack featuring Shockdrive and Warnado. Below that is legal information and info on the "Robots in Disguise" app.
Dragstrip (now one word instead of two) is a name that has been associated with the Stunticon team since G1. This time out however he is not a race car. Instead he looks like a futuristic luxury car in vehicle form (one that can achieve ludicrous speeds of course). The odd part however is that unlike the version of Dragstrip that came with Menasor, this version's vehicle mode only has some superficial similarities to the animation model. For instance, it has a "V" shaped section on each headlight but these areas do not extend outward as much as they do on the animation model. Like the animation model, the rear section has several angled panels over the rear wheel wells and fins sticking up on the back but there is no spoiler like he has in the cartoon.
To push the differences even further, the top of the cabin section has Dragbreak's knee armor on it (whereas the Dragstrip in the show would have a flat panel on that area). He also has two large vertical vents on either side in the back which also do not appear on Dragstrip's vehicle mode in the cartoon. My speculation is that these differences are a combination of factors. One is that this vehicle basically forms Dragbreak's legs, so extra details were needed (such as the knee details). Also, the design needs to accomodate the Crash Combiner gimmick, which alters the design of the vehicle's front end from the animation model significantly.
Dragstrip is mostly cast in a beautiful metallic yellow color. It really sparkles nicely under the right light. His wheels and clips on the front are black plastic. Metallic red is used for the windshield while purple is found over the rear wheel wells. A bit of green is used for the arrow on the Crash Combiner mechanism in front. I understand this is essentially meant to be a simplified version of the character but I do wish it had more paint to bring out the details in this sculpt (or at least paint the windows on the sides).
There is one 5mm port on the back of the vehicle, allowing you to attach weapons from other figures to the vehicle form.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing out the sides of the vehicle to reveal the arms.
- Swing the chest panel down, then swing the head up and push the chest panel back in place.
Unlike the vehicle form, the designers had more freedom with sculpting Dragstrip's robot form and so a lot of its details come right from the animation model. This includes the design of the head, the chest with its distinct mandible-shaped "points", the shape of the knee armor and the feet. However, you will notice some details that are not part of Dragstrip's animation model including thin tabs sticking out from his shoulder area and points on the top of this knee armor. To understand where these details come from, you only have to look at the character he is packaged with: Wildbreak. On the TV show, the two characters share many details in robot form with some minor differences, including the two aforementioned details. Basically it seems that aside from the head sculpt, this body was meant to be Wildbreak, not Dragstrip. It looks like there was some type of mix up in the planning stage for this figure.
Like the vehicle form, Dragstrip is mostly metallic yellow in this form with the black wheels showing on his arms and legs. Like the animation model, his face is painted light blue and his eyes are red. The chest is painted metallic purple, which is sort of similar to the character's appearance on the cartoon. In fact, the cartoon model has several small purple details spread out on parts like the arms and legs. It would have been cool if the same amount of purple paint had been distributed throughout the figure, but I believe it is a matter of time and effort that prevented this.
There is no articulation on this figure unless you count the ability of the arms to swing out to the sides. Really the primary play value of this figure is the Crash Combiner feature.
In Generation One, the character of Dragstrip was a Formula One style race car (as seen in his "Combiner Wars" incarnation). However when the character appeared in "Robots in Disguise" it turns out his vehicle form was a futuristic car instead. This figure represents Wildbreak's vehicle form is a Forumla One style race car - which is not at all what he is in the TV show. However, given the whole "body swap" issue mentioned above in Dragstrip's review, it looks like at one point the plan may have been to make this Dragstrip's vehicle form and whatever weirdness occurred during the planning stage, this wound up becoming Wildbreak. Confusing? A bit. Also very odd. Hasbro seldom makes errors like this so when they do appear it is significant.
Wildbreak's vehicle form has some of the distinct design elements of an F-1 race car including a front section that slopes down to the front wing. The cockpit is set in the center with enough room to accomodate one driver (there is even a seat sculpted into it!) and the rear wing/spoiler rises up in the back. The rear wheels are also larger than the front. The middle area has both barge boards and engine intakes sculpted into the sides. I rather like this vehicle form's sculpt as it is very different from the other members of the Stunticon team.
This vehicle is cast in three different colors. There are two different shades of metallic blue. The front half and rear wing/spoiler have a dark metallic blue with a lighter shade is used for the back half of the vehicle. All the wheels are black plastic. Some red is used in the middle in front of the cockpit, adding a splash of color.
There is a 5mm port behind the cockpit section, allowing you to attach weapons from other figures.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the front wing panels down to form the robot feet.
- Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
Wildbreak's robot mode brings up more evidence of an accidental "body swap" with this set of figures. If you look at the details of this robot mode, they match up better with Dragstrip's animation model. Some of these details include the "collar" near the head, the chest design and the knee armor. The head however is based on Wildbreak's animation model, making this design a weird, accidental mash up of character designs.
This form uses the same three plastic colors as the vehicle mode. The face is painted red and some metallic dark blue paint is used on the hip area. Thanks to the way the dark and lighter blue plastics alternate, the colors are broken up and it enhances the visual appeal of the figure.
There is no meaningful articulation on this figure. The arms can swing out and the toes can point down (for the transformation) and that's it. This is almost like a G1 throwback to figures like the Throttlebots who had no articulation but relied on a gimmick for play value instead.
Start with both figures in vehicle form. "Crash" the "Crash Combiner" connection point on Dragstrip to the one on Wildbreak. This will cause the front half of Wildbreak to split open and swing down, forming Dragbreak's arms and revealing his head. Now swing the ends of Wildbreak's vehicle mode up. On Dragstrip, split the legs and swing out the feet.
For the most part, the sculpt is about as accurate as it can get given that Wildbreak does not have the "correct" vehicle form. Dragbreak has most of the right detailing from the animation model. This includes a head with a high crest and pointed pieces angling upward in a "V" shape on the sides of his head. The chest has distinct, angled designs on it and his mid-body curves downward to the waist/hip area. His knees have "V" shaped armor details and his forearms are thick with one of the vehicle mode wheels on the sides.
The major difference in design is the shoulder armor. On the TV show, it is mostly just thick looking, bulky armor. Here it is literally the front end of an F-1 race car folded up and it gives him a very distinct silhouette. Within the limitations of the Crash Combiner gimmick I think this 'bot looks cool and mean at the same time. He is also very different than most other Transformers figures on the market right now.
As if we needed more proof that the character bodies were essentially swapped in this two pack, this mode brings the point home with the deco. In the cartoon, Dragbreak's upper body mostly shows off Dragstrip's yellow colors while the lower body shows off Wildbreak's dark blue tones. On this figure those colors are swapped, with the blues from Wildbreak on top and Dragstrip's yellow on the bottom. There are some newly revealed paint details in red on the chest. The face is blue and the angled details are lavender. These colors match up nicely with his animation model. In the center of the chest is a scannable Decepticon symbol that unlocks the character in the official "Robots in Disguise" app. This was cool to see because many of the later "Robots in Disguise" characters such as Bludgeon were not in the app as playable characters.
Dragbreak can move his forearms up and down and that's it for articulation. His fists have 5mm ports, so you know the drill. Borrow some weapons from other 'bots and load him up!
If you look at this set from a purely "show accurate" perspective he's kind of a mess. Swapped heads, sculpts, decos etc. all make for a figure that seems to be some artifact of a couple of memos that were ignored or never written. However from the perspective of a couple of fun little pocket sized 'bots with a neat action feature/transform this is a fun toy. As I've said in other Crash Combiner reviews, this is not a highly articulated, super detailed figure with tons of weapons. It is a two figure set that revolves around a single gimmick and it does that well. I think these are fun as 'bots to have on your desk to fool around with while on a call or something. It is also the only toy representation of the Dragbreak character, so there's that as well. Recommended only within the parameters laid out above.
- Fun gimmick.
- Beautiful choice in plastic colors.
- Sculpts are nice and detailed.
- The whole "design swap" issue is an odd one and will put off anyone who wants heavy show accuracy.
- More paint deco (or a different distribution of deco in Dragstrip's case) would have been preferred.
- Limited articulation.