"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Bisk Toy Review
Release Date: August 2016
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
This Decepticon Bisk figure changes between modes in 1 amazing step! They’ve done it on TV -- Transformers robots moving at top speed, then magically shifting between modes in 1 fluid motion. One moment they're high-performance vehicles, and the next moment they're towering robots charging into battle. Transformers 1-Step Changers bring home the magic of that instant conversion with figures that kids switch between modes in 1 awesome step! Choose from a variety of different conversion styles, all designed to create the same "Wow!" moment.
Bisk is a lobster-bot Decepticon who was a prisoner on the crashed prison ship, the Alchemor. He likes making up ways to rack up points and track his achievements during battle, even if he's the only one who understands how to keep score. (No one's really sure if he wants to defeat the Autobots or just level up.) He blasts steam from his antenna and his armored shell is strong enough to deflect blaster fire. This 1-Step Changers Bisk figure switches between modes in one quick and easy step! Change from robot to vehicle and back and seamlessly continue the battle. But the action doesn't stop there!
This 1-Step Changers Bisk figure works with Mini-Con Weaponizers figures. Each Mini-Con Weaponizers figure converts from robot to a unique weapon in a single step. Add a Mini-Con Weaponizers figure to the battle and imagine Bisk just got mightier! Mini-Con Weaponizers are each sold separately and subject to availability. Transformers: Robots in Disguise figures unlock content in the Transformers Robots: in Disguise app! Scan the Decepticon shield on this figure to unlock Bisk and a claw in the app. Download the app, scan the shield to activate the code, unlock, and play! App content is for ages 9 and up. See below for details. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The One Step Changers were introduced in the "Age of Extinction" toy line as a simplified alternative to larger, more complex Transformers figures. This segment of the line has generally been used to give us simplified versions of characters available in other scales. While Bisk was introduced very early on in the "Robots in Disguise" series it was not until summer of 2016 that toys of the character would begin to hit the market. One of the first was the One Step Changer version of the character.
Like the "Age of Extinction" One Step Changers, these are packaged in bubbles on small cards. Artwork is on the left side and the Transformers logo is on the right. The back does not feature any tech specs information, instead using the space for the instructions and multi-language legal information. The insert now features a green color that associates the figure with the Mini-Cons who now transform into weapons.
When we were first introduced to Bisk in the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon he roared onto the scene as a futuristic looking sports car. This figure manages to replicate a lot of the details from the cartoon model. The general shape of the vehicle is curved from the front all the way to the back. The headlight section has raised trapezoids with circles inside. The grille is a distinct "T" shape and the rear of the vehicle angles upward like the tail of a lobster. He even has layers of armor detail over the rear section that look like the shell pieces on a lobster's tail. There are some smaller details such as horizontal lights in the front and a small, raised area on the grille where a Decepticon symbol can be tampographed (sadly there isn't one there).
Bisk is cast in metallic orange and black plastic. The orange looks great and in the right light it sparkles really nicely. The black is used for the wheels. The hood has a scannable Decepticon symbol on top for use with the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. The windows and grille are painted black, offering some nice contrast against the orange plastic. The headlights are painted silver with the circles in them painted light blue. These colors match up nicely with the ones seen on the animated model. The biggest "missing" detail are blue lines on the wheels. I think between the unique sculpt and colors Bisk looks great, especially for a One Step Changer.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Hold on to the tab on the back of the vehicle (on the bottom) and swing it up to reveal most of the robot mode. Then bend the arms at the elbows and swing out the claw pieces. "One Step Changer" is a bit of a misnomer here, but the figure is better for it.
Most of the Decepticons in "Robots in Disguise" have robot forms inspired by some type of animal. In Bisk's case his robot mode is a giant robot lobster. No, really. For those who didn't get the joke, his name is based on the word "bisque", referring to the popular dish. Bisk has several design elements that come straight from a lobster. This includes his arms which end in huge claws. His head has antennae, tentacle like sections near his mouth and even round eyes on stalks. His feet are sectioned into two sharp "toes", similar to the way the ends of a lobster's legs look. On top of all this the armor on his back and behind his legs resembles the tail of a lobster. The torso skews more towards a traditional robot design, complete with a faux windshield on his chest.
From a design perspective, this is one of those "love it or hate it" things. Some people will see the name "Bisk" and the lobster-basted design and groan while rolling their eyes. Other fans such as myself laugh and spent part of Botcon 2015 begging Hasbro to create a Bisk action figure. I think this figure shows a real sense of humor in design, but it also offers something really original. Lobsters are not exactly the inspiration for a lot of Transformers, so I give huge kudos to the designers for being willing to try something so different than your average Transformer.
Like the vehicle form this mode mostly uses metallic orange plastic. There are some new black parts introduced including the lower half of his claws and the joints that connect his shoulders to the torso. Black and red paint are used on his torso and the face has silver and blue paint on it. Overall he looks great for a One Step Changer.
Bisk has four points of articulation. His arms can bend at the elbows and the lower claws can be moved up and down. Contrary to what the packaging claims, you cannot use any Mini-Cons with this figure. There are no 5mm ports and the claws are not strong enough to hold up a Mini-Con on their own. While I do think it's not cool that the packaging basically lies about this functionality, I do think the toy is fun, especially if you consider the One Step Change gimmick the toy's primary play feature.
Bisk is a fun, silly design and he looks good in both modes. If you want a more complex, traditional version of Bisk however, I recommend you wait for the Warrior Class figure.