"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Heatseeker Toy Review
Release Date: June 2017
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:
Experience the excitement of instant conversion with figures that change between modes in 1 step. Convert this 1-Step Changer Heatseeker figure from robot to SUV in 1 quick, lift-switch motion. Imagine charging into battle in the blink of an eye with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Combiner Force 1-Step Changer figures. Scan the Decepticon shield on this Heatseeker figure to unlock a token in the mobile app (see below for app details). When Heatseeker gets his wheels on the road, there’s no stopping him. The reckless Stunticon gets a thrill from messing with others and wreaking havoc of roadway destruction. Equipped with long-range, heat-seeking missiles, Heatseeker could turn the Autobots into a pile of colossal road wreckage from miles away. Join the battle with this figure based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The "Combiner Force" season of "Robots in Disguise" introduced new versions of the classic ground based Decepticons: the Stunticons. However instead of being the traditional five (Breakdown, Dead End, Drag Strip, Motormaster and Wildrider) a few of the team members are new characters. One of these is Heatseeker. His colors suggest a very loose link to Wildrider, but he is definitely a different character in terms of abilities and design.
This figure uses the same engineering as "Patrol Mode" Strongarm. Both figures pretty much transform the same way and have similar vehicle modes in shape and size. However so many parts have been changed (read: almost all of them) that the figure deserves to be reviewed as a standalone release.
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 compatibility with Mini-Cons.
Heatseeker is an SUV type vehicle in his alt mode. However the vehicle rides pretty low to the ground, giving it an extra aggressive appearance. A lot of the details from the animation model do carry over in this sculpt. This includes a vent on the top of the hood, a cage over the front grille that leads to three raised rectangles in the front of the vehicle. He also has the same "L" shaped headlights as the animation model and he has rails on top of the cabin section. Overall he is a good representation of the character's animation model. That said, there are some minor differences between this figure's sculpt and the cartoon model.
First off the front end has three small cylinders located underneath the headlights. These do not appear on the Heatseeker in the cartoon (though I can imagine them being something that comes out in the front, perhaps to fire weapons). Also the sides have a rectangular piece that looks like machinery on the doors. Fortunately these details add to the overall visual appeal of the figure.
Heatseeker is cast in silver and black plastic. The windows are painted red on the sides and front. The same red is used for a pattern on the doors. A tiny bit of purple is used on the "headlight weapon barrels" in the front. The finishing touch on the deco is a scannable Decepticon symbol on the top towards the back. Oddly, scanning this does not unlock the character in the game (as of June 2017). Instead it unlocks some crystals and a ticket to use the slot machine.
There is a 5mm port on the top of the vehicle. This is the "Combiner" feature in this mode. This allows him to "combine" with Mini-Con weapons or just weapons to add some play value.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Hold on to the two tabs in the back, lift them up and flip them to the back. This will reveal the robot mode arms, head and chest. Push the arms down.
Heatseeker's robot mode sculpt features many of the details from the character's animation model. This includes:
- The head shares the design with the cartoon model including a rounded helmet section that wraps around a part that sticks up in the middle. His left eye is covered with a targeting scope which is not normally activated in the TV show, but makes sense given his launchers on the shoulders in this mode.
- The chest panel has two raised panels with a V shaped piece along the top edge.
- The shoulders feature smaller versions of his vehicle mode headlights near the trio of "launch tubes" on each arm.
- The waist area features three horizontal lines, one on top of the other.
- The knee armor comes up to two points on top with a V shape in the middle.
- The ankle area has a raised armor piece that wraps around almost like cuffs on pants.
- The sides of the arms have the vehicle mode wheel wells on them.
Overall I was very happy to see so much cartoon accuracy in a 1 Step Changer figure.
This mode mostly shows off silver plastic with some black parts such as the shoulders. Purple is used on the tubes on his shoulders. Red is used on the chest and knees (matching the cartoon model). The face is painted white and there are two shades of blue used for the eye and the targeting scope. The cartoon model does have a lot more detailing than this, mostly in the form of small purple details on the hips, feet and legs but those are absent here. This is to be expected given that this is a 1 Step Changer.
Heatseeker's arms can move up and down. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing him to hold Mini-Con weapons or regular 5mm peg weapons. Some Mini-Cons may be too heavy for the arm to stay up however.
Heatseeker is a pretty cool 1 Step Changer. He looks bulky and powerful in both modes and he has some of the personality of his cartoon model. I also appreciate that he is a heavy retool instead of just having one or two parts swapped out. Other than the Combiner 5 pack of Stunticons and Legion Class, this is the closest we may get to having a Heatseeker who is roughly the size of a Warrior Class figure so fans may prefer this one over the others.
- Good sculpt in both modes.
- Nice colors, especially the red (it just needs more of it).
- Even though this is a "heavy retool" it looks almost nothing like its predecessor.
- Lack of articulation.
- Not a lot of deco.