"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Legion Class Clampdown Toy Review
Release Date: January 2016
Price Point: $5.99 (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 Clampdown is out to cause some major mayhem for his enemies! This hardcore Clampdown warrior figure converts in 5 steps from robot mode to heavy-duty combat vehicle mode and back. Can his enemies handle what he's got? Not as long as he keeps converting back and forth! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Kicking off 2016's "Robots in Disguise" figures was a wave of Legion Class figures that featured characters who had not been previously seen on this scale. Among them was the Decepticon Clampdown. This makes Clampdown's first appearance in the main "Robots in Disguise" toy line (he also has a KREO and Hero Mashers figure, both of which only saw limited release). Given his relatively wacky form (more on that in a bit) it's kind of amazing we have a transformable version of the character in toy form at all.
Clampdown is packaged on a blister card. The bubble is formed around the figure roughly in the shape of the figure. The packaging features artwork for the character in front and instructions on the back followed by a ton of legal information. I do with the "Robots in Disguise" packaging had some type of tech specs, but to be fair, most of the target audience is more likely to rip the figure out and toss the packaging away than to save it so I can understand why it doesn't have any bio information at all.
In an effort to make the Decepticons look distinctive in "Robots in Disguise" they incorporated many animal inspired design elements into their robot modes. Some of the Decepticons look more like animals than others. In the case of Clampdown, he has such an unusual robot mode it almost looks like a beast mode! Instead of a land-based animal, Clampdown looks like he took a form based on a crab. Crabs are rather uncommon in the Transformers toy line. Even in the age of "Beast Wars" there were only a handful of characters who transformed into crabs.
Several of Clampdown's features come right from the animation model and reference an Earth crab as its inspiration. These include:
- The front end of the vehicle becomes the head, so it looks wide and flat.
- The eyes are set on top of stalks on the sides of the head.
- Each arm is long with huge claws at the end.
- The legs on the figure have pointed ends, similar to the legs on some crabs.
There are some features that are unique to this design that have nothing to do with crabs. For one he has a wide mouth of sharp looking teeth in the front, formed from the grille of the vehicle form. His shoulders have vehicle mode wheels on them and the car doors wind up on his back, looking sort of like wings. Overall the design is a really wacky and weird one, which makes it fun in my book.
Clampdown is cast in orange and black plastic. It's an interesting choice since the animation model is orange and purple for the most part. There are purple details painted onto the figure. You'll find purple on the arms and lower jaw. Silver paint is used for the teeth and white is found on the sides of his head and on the eyes. You'll see bits of black on the car doors on his back and the insides of his claws. The deco is rounded out by a scannable Decepticon symbol on the left claw. You can scan this using the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. The deco isn't really "show accurate", but it uses that deco as its basis so he is still instantly recognizable if you watch the show.
Due to the way this robot form is designed, you can't just stand him up on his feet. Instead, he relies on a combination of his arms and legs to stand, effectively leaning on the arms. Clampdown has eight points of articulation in this form. This includes ball joints on his legs, the arms and the ability for the eye stalks to move side to side. It's kind of interesting, depending on the position you put the eye stalks he winds up either looking confused or angry! Technically the mouth has a small gap which you can close by moving the jaw piece up. If you're feeling generous you can count that as well.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Rotate the robot legs up, tucking them underneath the cabin section.
- Swing the robot head up.
- Swing the eye stalks under the hood.
- Swing the robot arms back.
- Rotate the claws around.
- Push the arms forward, tucking the wheels on the robot shoulders under the front wheel wells.
Clampdown transforms into a Hatchback style car. The front end slopes upward to the cabin section which then sweeps back straight, leading to small spoiler-like extensions in the back. Much of the shape of this mode matches the animation model including the very pronounced front bumper, the angled headlights and an air intake on the hood. In the cartoon his vehicle mode looks a bit underwhelming compared to some of the other Decepticons but that's kind of the point. He seems harmless in this mode but he can definitely cause trouble for the Autobots!
This mode mostly shows off orange plastic with black wheels. Due to the way the arms are constructed there is a significant rectangle of black plastic on the sides as well. Purple paint is used for the front bumper and the top of the vehicle. Black is found on all the windows. White paint is used on the headlights while beige is used on the sides. The beige color is a call back to the animation model which has a distinct "wood paneling" pattern on the sides. I will say that for a Legion Class figure I find myself not really wanting a ton more paint on this figure. Most of the main deco points have been accounted for and I'm quite happy with how it looks.
Clampdown rolls on all four wheels. While he does not include any accessories, a 3mm port has been placed on the top of the vehicle allowing you to attach weapons from other Legion Class figures such as "Transformers Prime" Breakdown.
I absolutely adore this figure. Clampdown is super weird and strange and I think it's a very cool example of how Transformers can take on forms other than the traditional humanoid design. He's not for everyone though. I can see how some fans would find his form too weird, but he's awesome in my book.