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

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Underbite 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 Underbite figure is one of them! He's the same savage dino as always, but he converts in just 1 step from dino mode to vehicle mode and back. Can his Autobot enemies keep up? Not with you in charge! 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. 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. Underbite is one of the first entries into this sub-line of figures for "Robots in Disguise". He's also one of the few Decepticons in this initial launch of the line.

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. 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 assumign most of the kids getting these will wind up just throwing out the packaging.

Vehicle Mode:
My first reaction to Underbite's vehicle mode is "What is it?". This vehicle appears to be some type of futuristic car, perhaps a Cybertronian armored vehicle or both. It has four distinct wheel well sections with protrusions in the front that resemble the front of an "H" style tank (think "Armada" Megatron). The middle has a cabin section and a (very badly hidden) beast/robot mode head. This is one of the failures of the vehicle mode's design. The cabin cover piece is supposed to hide the beast mode head, but the spring on it pulls it forward so it looks more like a cabin section with a beast head peeking out of it. There are four distinct wheels visible on the side, not treads so he's not a tank in the traditional sense. He also has vertical fins on the rear half of the vehicle, adding to the sleek look of the vehicle. It's an interesting design and I hope we get to see another transforming version of this character in the toy line in the Warrior Class.

Underbite is cast in purple and black colors. The purple is a very dark shade, which enhances the appearance of the paint deco. Silver and red are used to provide additional detail, and the beast mode head has a Decepticon in it surrounded by a ring. This is intended to be scanned into the "Robots in Disguise" Transformers mobile app to unlock features.

The vehicle rolls on four wheels and that's about it for action features.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Push the two rear wheel wells in simultaneously to transform the figure into beast mode. When you do this, the beast mode legs will swing down and the head will swing up and forward. Press the rear wheel wells again to transform him back into vehicle mode. There have been some anecdotal reports of this transformation not locking in place, meaning you press the wheel wells and the figure transforms but does not stay transformed. I'm not sure how widespread this is, but keep it in mind if you purchase the figure.

Beast Mode:
The write up above calls Underbite a "dino", so I'm going to guess he's supposed to be a Decepticon Dinobot of some sort. The thing is I'm not sure which dinosaur he's meant to represent. He's four legged like a saurapod but he doesn't have a long neck or tail and his oval shaped head has gigantic, serrated teeth. Of course, this takes place in a fantasy world where anything is possible, so perhaps in the world of "Robots in Disguise" there was a dinosaur that looked like this.

There's no doubt Underbite looks fierce. Most of this is thanks to his head sculpt, which features the aforementioned teeth and eyes set at a mean looking angle. There are a few smaller details as well including nostrils on his nose and toes on the rear legs. I like the look of this mode, though I did find myself wishing there was some type of toe or claw detail on the front legs to make them look a bit less stumpy.

This mode features all the same colors as the vehicle mode, but this time out you see a bit more black on the back of the figure and the lower jaw. This also gives you a better look at the red details on his head.

Underbite's main action feature is his mouth. Push the tab on the back of his head up and the mouth opens and closes (it's spring loaded). The front legs can move up and down, but trying to move the rear legs seems to activate his transformation back into vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
Underbite is, sadly, underwhelming. Most of my problem with the figure is the cabin/cockpit piece not covering up the beast mode head. With such an ambiguous vehicle mode to begin with, the illusion of a "robot in disguise" is broken if the parts don't work correctly. If you add on the various reports about the transformation mechanism not working correctly jI would be very cautious of buying this figure (and if you do, and don't care about the packaging, take him out and test him at the store in case you need to make an exchange). I like the design, but not the execution. I hope in the future we'll see a Warrior Class version of this design.