"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Deployer Fracture Toy Review
Release Date: August 2015
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Jetstorm Mini-Con, Shoulder armor x 2, Helmet, Swords x 2, Shields x 2, Back Armor
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Get a dynamic duo of Mini-Con fighters with these awesome Decepticon Fracture and Airazor figures! Your Airazor figure is a small but mighty fighter who converts in 1 step from covert mode to warrior mode with a terrifying blade attack. But his Decepticon Fracture buddy is a Mini-Con Deployer who can launch Airazor into battle whether he's in robot mode or vehicle mode! With these Autobot fighters working together, Decepticons don't stand a chance! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
In the summer of 2015 "Robots in Disguise" added a new segment to the line: Deployers. These were Transformers figures a bit larger than the Warrior Class who had built-in launchers to fire Mini-Cons in weapon mode. One of them was Fracture, the Decepticon bounty hunter who was paired with the Mini-Cons Airazor and Divebomb. This particular set includes Fracture and Airazor. Divebomb was sold separately. For those wondering, this is a totally different sculpt than One Step Changer Fracture or the upcoming Warrior Class figure.
Fracture and Airazor are packaged in a box and set side by side. The package art shows Fracture launching Airazor in weapon form. Then it shows the Mini-Con transforming to robot mode. The back of the packaging has photos of the figures in the set along with tons of legal information below it. Between the window box showing off the figures and the dramatic package art the packaging is very eye catching.
The name Airazor originated in the "Beast Wars" toy line, referring to a Maximal who transformed into a falcon. This time out the name refers to a Decepticon Mini-Con and it seems the name is more of a reference to him being launched in his weapon mode. His robot mode is an odd looking one featuring a four legged mode with two arms featuring clawed hands. His face is wide and features savage looking teeth. For the most part this figure replicates the look of the character from the TV show, but the head is a bit wider and the eyes are slightly smaller. Some of the angles and contours of his armor are different from the animated series as well. From a sculpting perspective this figure is a good representation of the animation model.
Color-wise, this figure is not quite a match for his animated counterpart. His colors are a combination of metallic purple and silver plastic. The armor pieces for Airazor are cast in translucent blue. In contrast, the animated model looks mostly like a shade of purple with some light colored parts. Airazor has red paint on his face for the eyes and mouth while his chest has a scannable Decepticon symbol for use with the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. The colors are simple but they work for the character.
Airazor has several armor pieces, all of which are roughly shaped like blades:
- The piece that attaches to the head looks like a curved horn sticking out in the middle.
- There are armor pieces for each arm that look like hooked blades.
- There are two armor pieces that look like flames. These can either attach to his front legs as armor or he can hold them in his hands as swords.
- There is a "V" shaped armor piece that attaches to the chest.
- Two "L" shaped armor pieces attach to the rear legs.
I was especially happy to see two of the pieces could be used as either armor or weapon pieces. It adds a bit of play factor to the figure.
To transform the figure to its weapon mode, detach all the armor pieces and set them aside. Push each of the front legs back slightly, then push the robot arms in. This will "auto transform" the figure into torpedo mode.
Airazor's torpedo mode has the same arrow shape that the other Mini-Cons like Dragonus have in their weapon mode. The front and middle wind up mostly being purple while the back is silver. The Decepticon symbol shows prominently in the middle. He looks good but even better? All of his armor pieces can attach to him in this form! When you do so the result is him looking like a spaceship (or maybe even a boat) of some sort. I'm glad you can do this partly to keep the parts organized but it also adds a level of functionality to the figure.
Fracture's robot mode has to make that precarious balance of looking like the character from the show while including the key "Deployer" action feature. If you focus on the main robot (not the Deployer launching mechanism) the design manages to replicate a lot of the details from the cartoon model. He has the thin, lanky appearance of Fracture on the show along with the wide shoulders. His head has a series of spikes on top and his shoulders have blade-like details sticking out at angles. His forearms and lower legs also feature spiked details. Meanwhile the middle of this chest section is curved. Among my favorite details are the torpedo details sculpted into the shoulders. These represent the Mini-Cons he launches (though to be size accurate he'd have to be a Leader Class figure or larger to launch the Mini-Con figures like Airazor from his shoulders). He even has tiny details like the clawed fingers from the cartoon. Overall the sculpt of the robot itself looks great.
Where this figure differs quite a bit from the cartoon design is the launcher attached to his back. The style of the launcher fits with the rest of his body, with curves and pointed details. It is mounted behind his right shoulder. Keep in mind this piece has to be large enough to accomodate a torpedo Mini-Con, so it's fairly large. Thanks to his feet being so wide he manages to stand even with the extra weight on one side. It doesn't look great, but it's an understandable design compromise given the gimmick of the figure.
The promotional photos of this figure showed a much darker set of purple colors than the final product. The final figure is made up of metallic purple, silver and lavender plastic. The purple makes up most of the figure while silver is found on smaller parts like his thighs and parts of the shoulder. The lavender is most obvious on his feet. The paint colors on the figure include silver, lavender and red. These details are most obvious on the torso and the knees. Lavender is used for his face and hands. Red is used on his eyes and knees. It's not a very complex color scheme, but to be fair the character is mostly these colors on the show. Sure he could use some more red details to match the small "lights" on his body, but I'm not stuck on it. The deco is finished off with a scannable Decepticon symbol on the right side of his chest. Scan this to unlock the character briefly in the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app.
Fracture has six points of articulation in this form. If you're thinking that's not a lot well, it isn't. However it's important to remember that the design of this figure was centered around a gimmick. That gimmick is focused on the launching mechanism on his back. On the center of the back is a large tab. Push it down and his right arm points forward while the launcher swings forward. The launcher actually swings forward with enough force that the Mini-Con inside the launcher will launch. It's actually neat to see in action. Check out my video below from Toy Fair 2015 that shows off the prototype of the figure in action.
In addition to that, Fracture can hold a 5mm peg weapon in his left hand.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the shoulder armor over the robot head.
- Swing the legs up at the hips, then swing the lower legs down.
- Push the two lower legs together.
- Swing the feet forward.
- Push the arms in, with the sections of the hands slotting into the open gaps on the sides of the lower legs.
I mentioned in my review of One Step Changer Fracture that the vehicle mode chosen for that figure was not the same as what is shown on the cartoon. This time out the designers did base the design on the cartoon. The front end does have a small wheel, but really it's meant to look like the hoverbike shown on the cartoon. The front end accomplishes this much better than the middle to back. The section that should have a "seat" on it is a bit wide since it's formed from the robot torso. Also, the launcher essentially becomes a "side car" in this form, something he does not have on the show.
In terms of deco there's nothing new revealed here that you couldn't already see in robot mode.
To use the launching mechanism in this form, push a torpedo Mini-Con into the "side car" until it locks in place. Then press the silver button on top and the Mini-Con will launch. It's a much more straight forward launching mechanism than the robot mode has but it's fun in its own way.
Deployer Fracture is a fun figure and a good representation of the character. He's not perfect however. A lot of the design is sacrificed for the Mini-Con launching gimmick. This is not really a figure you should pick up to get a "show accurate" toy. Instead its focus is delivering a fun gimmick and acting as a centerpiece for the Decepticon Mini-Cons. In that respect, it succeeds very well.