"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Drift Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, One Step Changer, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Drift General Information:
Release Date: March 2017
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text in italics below from Walmart.com:

Autobot Drift was one of the first significant additions to Team Bumblebee in 'Robots in Disguise". He is basically the cartoon equivalent of the character of the same name from the live action movies, but this character focuses more on being a strict mentor and teacher to his Mini-Con students. Most of the major segments of "Robots in Disguise" have featured versions of Drift, and the early 2017 wave of One Step Changers is no exception.

Packaging:
After a few years of using the same style of 1-Step Changer packaging Hasbro has changed things up this year. In a move that (I assume) saves some money, the figure is no longer sealed inside a bubble on a card. Instead, there is a backing card that wraps around a plastic tray that the figure sits inside in vehicle form. The vehicle is tied down with a cardboard tie onto the plastic tray. The card still features character art and the back shows the toy in both modes. The packaging calls the figure out as a part of the "Combiner Force" line since he has compatability with Mini-Cons.

Vehicle Mode:
Drift has a very interesting vehicle mode in "Robots in Disguise". While he is pretty much a futuristic looking sports car, there are layers of armor and detailing on the vehicle that suggest it was built partly for combat operations. The parts that call this out to me the most are in the front. The armor on the sides of the front half of the car curve around and go over the front a bit. Then the middle section has a detail on it that resembles a bull's head (but is really a visual reference to his crest in robot mode). The vehicle also has a very low profile. The overall effect created is a very aggressive looking car. All these aforementioned details are represented in this sculpt and it looks really good. I also wanted to take a second to point out the design of the wheels. Nowadays most Transformers have "clip on" wheels, presumably this saves money compared to the old system of using metal rods to hold the wheels in. Unfortunately these clips can look really ugly if not painted over. No need in this case. Drift's wheels are sculpted so the wheel itself has the clip on it that attaches to the main body of the car. This gives the wheels a nice "clean" look that I appreciate.

For those who want to be sticklers, you will notice the car is a bit thicker than you would expect, but that factors into its transformation to robot mode, so I have no issue with it.

Drift is cast in orange and black plastic. The orange is a really beautiful, deep shade of the color that contrasts nicely with the black. In terms of paint deco, I have to say that as I looked this figure over I was absolutely astonished at how much paint it has. Most of the time I am used to One Step Changers maybe having one or two points of deco. Not so with Drift! The "bull head" in front is painted red and the headlights are blue. His windshield is painted black. You will also find small black panels at the back. The doors and spoiler have red paint on them, which really took me by surprise. For a One Step Changer, this figure really looks great in vehicle form.

Since he is part of the "Combiner Force" sub-line, Drift has a 5mm port on top of the vehicle that allows him to "combine" with a Mini-Con (or weapon) with a 5mm peg. Yes, we are stretching the definition of "combining" here but given the limitations of the price point, I think it was a good idea to integrate this feature.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Drift uses the "switchblade" method of One Step transformation first introduced in the "Age of Extinction" line. The original idea was that you could hold one corner of the vehicle, flick your wrist and it would expand in one dramatic motion to form the robot mode. However with Drift the hinges that both leg sections connect to are ratchet joints, so you're more likely to fling the figure across the room than transform it if you try the "wrist flick" method. Instead, hold on to the two halves of the car's rear section, then pull them apart and bring them together. The cabin section will fold open and the robot parts will be revealed. You will most likely have to reposition Drift's arms to complete the transformation.

Robot Mode:
Like the vehicle mode, Drift's robot mode really impressed me with its attention to detail. He has a lot of the key design elements of the character including the head which looks like the helmet from Samurai armor, the face-like design on his torso and even his large shoulder armor (which has been shrunk down a bit here out of necessity). However he also has some smaller, unexpected details such as the armor on his knees. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me were his forearms. Each one has one of his Mini-Con partners sculpted into it in "buzzsaw mode"! The two Mini-Cons are a bit condensed in the sculpt, but it is great to see them recognized in this sculpt since they work alongside Drift so often.

This mode mostly shows off orange plastic. Black is used pretty heavily for detailing. You'll find it covering a large chunk of the torso, waist and of course the knees. His crest and horns are painted red (matching the same detail from the vehicle mode). His face is painted silver with blue eyes. Blue is also used for the eye like details on his chest. Some of the red from the vehicle mode carries over on his feet. Again this is quite a lot of deco for a One Step Changer and I find myself quite impressed.

There are four points of articulation on this figure, all centered around the shoulders. The arms can move up and down and out to the sides. Each fist has a 5mm port that can hold a weapon or Mini-Con with a 5mm peg. In general he has no problem holding the weapons up (unless they are heavy). the problem is that the figure itself is relatively light and the feet are not very large, so if you try to have him point a weapon forward he will most likely flop over unless the weapon is very light or the weight is distributed vertically (like a light sword or axe weapon).

Final Thoughts:
I am not often super enthusiastic about a One Step Changer, but in the case of Drift I have to say he impresses me on many levels. The sculpt is fantastic and he has more deco than I expected in both modes. The One Step transformation is also fun and works well. I still recommend the One Step Changers mostly for younger kids who want to have a "quick change" figure but as an older fan I appreciate the work that went into the figure.

Pros:

  • Great "One Step" level sculpt.
  • Excellent deco by One Step standards.
  • Fun transformation gimmick.

Cons:

  • Lack of articulation.
  • Figure cannot stand up if holding certain weapons in its hand and pointing it forward.