"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Warrior Class Steeljaw Toy Review

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

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Steeljaw General Information:
Release Date: December 2014
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Claw weapon

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Autobots beware, because this Warrior Class Steel jaw figure converts in a heartbeat from robot mode to combat truck mode and he's got a slashing claw to slash his foes to scrap! Convert him in 9 steps to either mode and keep converting him back and forth so his Autobot enemies can't keep up! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

While much of the press material around "Robots in Disguise" has focused on the Autobot characters in the show, we haven't yet learned a ton about the Decepticons. What we have learned so far is that many of the Decepticons will be based on some type of beast, making them very non-traditional in design. One of the Decepticons prominently featured in the full trailer for the series is Steeljaw. He is also the only Decepticon in the first wave of "Warrior Class" figures.

The "Warrior" Class is a new class created to take the role that the "Deluxe" Class once held but only in the "Robots in Disguise" line (so far). The "Deluxe" Class lives on in name via the "Generations" segment (making it the last class of figure to survive from the era of "Beast Wars" to now).

Packaging:
Steeljaw is packaged in a bubble that is both glued and taped to a card. Similar to many Japanese Deluxe Class figure releases, the bubble is glued onto the card except one side that overlaps onto the back. That section is taped on. Steeljaw is packaged in robot mode. Don't worry if you can't see his weapon, it's actually behind him in the bubble. The card design feels like a descendent of the "Age of Extinction" packaging, with a white background and the "Robots in Disguise" logo on the upper right hand side. It would appear (based on Steeljaw's packaging) that no matter the affiliation of the character, the "Robots in Disguise" logo utilizes the Autobot symbol in the corner. The package art mirrors the style of the TV show animation and I was happy to see just how prominent the art is. Not only does it appear on the card, but it is also on the insert.

The back of the packaging has no tech specs information at all. The instructions are printed there and below that are disclaimers in multiple languages with a blurb for the "Robots in Disguise" app in the center. As packaging goes it's rather dull on the back, but looks great from the front. As a long time fan this bugs me, but honestly most kids are just going to toss away the packaging so I get the desire to not invest tons of money into the back of the card.

Robot Mode:
"Robots in Disguise" has a running theme of the Decepticons taking on features of beasts. In Steeljaw's case, he looks like a robotic werewolf. The big give away is the head design, which has big triangular ears, a helmet section that angles out to the sides and a snout with distinct fangs and teeth. The "helmet" section is layered, almost like sections of fur and it looks fierce! Another section that has an animalistic feel are the legs. The thighs are pretty standard Transformers design, looking like curved metal, but the lower legs are arched back, and there are distinct three claw designs on each foot section. On top of those details, Steeljaw has a tail which is shaped to flare out at each segment, resembling the fluffy tail of wolves. His primary weapon is a three bladed claw, which adds to the wolf theme. Taken together, this makes Steeljaw a very unique looking robot in this assortment.

The rest of this robot mode is pretty standard Transformers design, but with extra flair added in. The sdes of the vehicle wind up on his arms, the windshield of the car is on the chest and he has distinctive shoulder panels that angle upward. In fact, if you take in the look of the figure as a whole, he looks almost like a walking, animal version of the Decepticon symbol. The way his ears sweep up and back and the way the shoulder armor sweeps up is reminiscent of the top part of the Decepticon symbol. It's a very interesting design choice and I quite like it.

Some to do has been made about the size of the figures in this line, but I don't see a lot of reason to worry. Steeljaw stands at roughly 5.75 inches (about 14.6 centimeters) tall. That is from foot to the top of his shoulder armor. This puts him at roughly the same height as "Transformers Prime" Ratchet. For those who are really keeping track, both figures weigh in around 2.7 oz.

Steeljaw is cast in metallic blue, silver and black plastic. The blue dominates most of this form, with the silver used for smaller sections like his upper arms and thighs. The black can be seen as the wheels of the vehicle mode on his legs and back. Black paint with a nice matte finish is used on several parts including the windshield on his chest, the knees and the feet. Silver is used for detailing on the head and his eyes are painted yellow. A Decepticon symbol inside a circle is tampographed onto the right side of the chest. This is designed to be scanned into the upcoming Transformers app to unlock features in a mobile game. The weapon is cast in black with the claws painted silver. Overall I like the look of this figure a lot but I can't help but think of another blue and black Steeljaw when I look at him!

There are eighteen points of articulation on Steeljaw in this form. This includes four in each arm and three in each leg. On the arms, you need to make sure the fore arms are pulled all the way down and locked in place for the joint to bend at the elbow. Interestingly, three of these points of articulation are in the tail, one at the base, one in the middle and one at the end. I appreciate this since the designers could have taken the easy way out and just made it one solid piece. Steeljaw's hands are sculpted in a partly open position, but they do accommodate 5mm peg weapons. This includes his own claw weapon which can be held in either hand.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Pull each of the arms out to the sides.
  3. Holding onto the back piece, swing it up (which will hide the robot head).
  4. Swing the section with the rear wheels down.
  5. Swing the tail up, tucking it into the underside of the vehicle form. It's subtle, but there is a tab on the back section that fits into a corresponding slot towards the end of the tail. You then rotate the end of the tail around and down so everything is neatly tucked into place.
  6. Swing the forearm panels out.
  7. Push the forearms up.
  8. Push the arms in, securing the side panels of the vehicle mode in place.
  9. Swing each lower leg up to form the front halves of the vehicle form.
  10. Rotate the swivel joint on the thigh sections so the sections with the headlights face each other.
  11. Swing the front halves up and together.
  12. Attach the claw weapon to the top of the cabin section.

Vehicle Mode:
Just as the robot mode is a fusion between a robot and beast, the vehicle mode looks very much like a fusion between an SUV and some type of racing vehicle. It's a bulky vehicle for sure, complete with a high front end and an even higher back section. The wheel wells even have armor over them, giving him an even tougher look. The shape of the vehicle is very sleek however, with all the lines curving or angling back leading to a really cool looking spoiler in the back. The rear wheel wells even have armor that comes to a point in the back (really the shoulder armor from the robot mode). The end result is a vehicle that looks like a hybrid of something built to be tough and looks futuristic at the same time. If you look at the vehicle a particular way, it also echoes the werewolf design of the robot mode. The front end is long, much like the snout on his face and the way the pointed sections sweep back echoes the look of his robot mode head and shoulders. If you look at the front, the headlights are shaped like eyes and the grille in the front has pointed sections that look like fangs! I like the design of this vehicle quite a bit!

This mode shows off mostly metallic blue plastic, but now all the windows come together. While I was happy to see all the windows painted, I did find myself wishing the sides of the wheels had some silver on them. The front end is black with orange on the headlights. One interesting detail is a spot of red embedded in the front of the rear wheel wells. This may be to emulate some of the lights that are drawn onto the characters on the TV show. I'm always open to a nice, unexpected splash of color on a figure so this was neat to see. Interestingly, there is a small "shield" section in the middle of the grille with a purple Decepticon symbol painted on it. The purple is the traditional "Decepticon" purple so it almost blends in with the black matte color. I was pleasantly surprised by such a small detail and I really appreciate it.

Other than the wheels rolling, there's no other functionality to call out here. I think if this were "Prime", the vehicle would probably have 5mm ports for additional weapon placement, but this line seems to be focusing less on weaponry and accessories so it doesn't surprise me that there aren't any here. There is a school of thought among fans that the extraneous ports actually make vehicles kind of ugly. I don't subscribe to that line of thought, but I can understand it. For those who don't like the 5mm ports on their vehicles, this is perfect as it looks really clean and solid.

Final Thoughts:
It's kind of rare when you can say you like the aesthetic of a figure, find it fun and have no real significant problems with it. Any quibbles I have are minor and really took a stretch to nit pick. Overall this is a great figure in my book. If you enjoy the aesthetic and if you dig the idea of "beast robots", this figure is for you!