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

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, One Step Changer, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Strongarm General Information:
Release Date: December 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
The One-Step Warriors are 2-in-1 speed-changers and your Strong-arm figure is one of them! He's the same Autobot warrior as always, but he converts in just 1 step from robot mode to speedy police car mode and back. Can his Deception enemies keep up? Not with you in charge! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.**

**For several of these profiles it's clear that Hasbro simply takes the same basic text and substitutes a name in. However, for this figure they forgot to change the pronoun of the character from "he" to "she". Of course, sometimes the Amazon descriptions wind up being early drafts and the Hasbrotoyshop versions wind up being correct, but as of this writing, the "Robots in Disguise" figures have not yet been put up on Hasbrotoyshop so it is hard to tell if this error will carry over there.

The One Step Changers were introduced in the "Age of Extinction" toy line as a simplified alternative to larger, more complex Transformers figures. The name is a bit of a misnomer in some cases but for the most part, a majority of the transformation is accomplished in one movement. Strongarm is one of the first entries into this sub-line of figures for "Robots in Disguise".

Packaging:
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. This version uses the same artwork as the Warrior Class Strongarm figure. The back does not feature any tech specs information, instead using the space for the instructions and multi-language legal information. It's a shame but Hasbro seems to be refocusing any efforts at more traditional packaging into the "Generations" segment, which I get since I'm guessing they're assuming most of the kids getting these will wind up just throwing out the packaging.

Vehicle Mode:
Strongarm's emergency SUV mode shares a lot in common with the design of the Warrior Class figure. The vehicle is very bulky and it looks like it can take some seriously rough conditions thanks to its layered and beveled surface designs that give the impression of thick layers of armor. The front is also relatively tall with an imposing looking grille and front bumper. The back section seems a tad shorter (proportionally speaking) than the Warrior Class figure, but it still looks cool. Some details on the vehicle are exaggerated in ways they were not on the Warrior Class figure including thin blocks sticking out the sides of the vehicle and raised fins in the back. I can imagine these "fins" are actually used to brace something that Strongarm would hold in her back section.

This figure may be simpler than most in design, but there's still some cool sculpting. The front grille has a shield shape in the middle for an Autobot symbol. The hood has a thin air intake piece while the rear bed section on the vehicle has some small, raised patterns that mirror those on Strongarm's legs. There is also a lightbar on top of the vehicle and the rear section has some futuristic looking lights with very angular designs.

Strongarm is cast in white, black and blue plastic. White forms most of the upper half of the vehicle with blue making up most of the lower half. The wheels are black. There isn't a lot of paint work on this mode. The lightbar has red and blue colors on it and the windows are painted black. I was a bit sad to see there was no Autobot symbol on the front grille. It's a lost opportunity to elevate an otherwise simple looking color scheme. The figure doesn't look bad,?i> mind you, just a bit incomplete.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Holding the lower front and back ends of the vehicle, swing them down together. At the same time, the robot body will begin to unfold from the center and then swivel around. You wind up with the front and back ends of the vehicle on Strongarm's back.

Robot Mode:
Since most of Strongarm's robot parts had to fold up and fit inside the top of the vehicle form, from a profile view it looks like a very thin robot with a big back pack (okay, that's exactly what it is). However, from the front, the designers clearly made it a point to maintain Strongarm's bulky appearance complete with her looking like she's been outfitted with tactical gear. Her chest has a raised section looking like a protective vest. Her belt has pouches on it with a "buckle" design in the center. The legs each look like they have knee and lower leg armor built on top of them. Her shoulders are also wide, maintaining the bulkier look of the character, even if the actual pieces themselves are not bulky. The head sculpt on this figure reinforces my belief that some inspiration was taken from characters like G1 Prowl, complete with the crest and "horns" on the top of her head.

This mode focuses on white and blue plastic for its colors. The top part of the body has most of the white plastic while the lower section is mostly blue. Blue and white paint are used for the paint detail such as blue on the "vest" portion on the torso and white on the lower legs. The Autobot symbol with the round circle around it can be found on the right shoulder. Even though this is a One Step Changer figure, you can still scan this code for the mobile app developed by Hasbro for "Robots in Disguise". The crest/horns section of the head is painted yellow, with silver used on the face and blue on the eyes. This adds a really nice splash of color to the figure.

Do not mistake my comments about parts being thin to mean they are flimsy. They're quite sturdy and she can stand just fine thanks to the "fins" from the vehicle mode, which now form heel pieces. Her arms can move up and down at the shoulder in this mode, and each fist has been designed with a 5mm port, allowing you to attach weapons from other lines such as "Generations". I'm glad this touch was added since this figure does not come with weapons of her own.

Final Thoughts:
I really like the unique, origami like transformation gimmick on this figure. Though I'm sure we'll see this type of transformation again if the One Step Changers continue, for now it's a unique way to transform a character and do it quickly. The sculpting is good in both modes, I just wish there were a bit more paint detail in the vehicle mode. A cool toy to play with and a good representation of the character. Recommended if you're into the One Step Changers. If not, get the Warrior Class figure instead.