Hasbro Transformers Robots in Disguise Warrior Class Steeljaw Hasbro, 2014
Day #1,090: January 7, 2015
Steeljaw New Character!
Transformers Robots in Disguise Warrior Class
Item No.: Asst. B0070 No. B0909 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Claw weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Car to Wolfbot Retail:$14.99 Availability: December 2014 Other:Behold, the Werewolf Robot
When I first saw Steeljaw I showed it to my long-suffering wife and said "hey, werewolf robot." She doesn't care about Transformers or, on the whole, a good chunk of the toy population of this basement. She said "that looks like those wolf figures that you like" and dang if she wasn't right. Finding new twists for this kind of toy is tricky, especially as Hasbro tries to find ways to keep the toy decent without raising the price too much. These guys are made in Vietnam (and not China anymore), with slightly less in the way of paint and accessories. The packaging is now one-size-fits-all with multiple languages barfed onto the cardback along with the instructions for the toy - that's right, the fold-out pamphlets are gone. Clearly we're seeing a big change in how the toys are done so Hasbro can keep the deluxe-ish toys as close to $10 as possible, which we're already seeing not happen over in the companion Combiner Wars series. Those are going to be in the $17-$20 range at most places. I would say that the production values of Steeljaw are very close to one of my other recent favorite toys, Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime. The wheels snap in, there's not a lot of action here, and it's a little bit smaller.
Since the show hasn't aired yet we don't know his deal - he shares a name with a classic cassette transformer, but his persona is a new one. Since the toy decided any biographical information on the package was a waste of time, you can pretty much just guess that he's a Decepticon - it's on the goofy sticker thing on his windshield and can be scanned by an application on a smartphone that I don't have - which is a new attempt to integrate some sort of game functionality into the toy. I find it comical, mostly because they literally just painted a target on the chest of a character whose purpose is to fight in a robot gang war. I assume that must be over his spark chamber, so in terms of sensibility it's just a poor design. I'm theoretically all for toy-game integration but I'm not a huge believer that smart phone apps add much value to the toy, or vice-versa. That and it seems Transformers and gaming go together like pizza and a punch in the skull.
As robots go he looks pretty neat, but there are issues. The digitigrade-esque legs add some much-needed new personality to a robot, as does the tail. Tails on toys without beast modes are unheard of, so its inclusion here is a clever twist and something I am more than a little surprised to be seeing. It's slightly mistransformed in-pack - the forearms extend out, but they aren't this way in the box. There's also some massive nasty kibble hanging off the arms, while everything else seems to go away nicely. He's short - barely 5-inches at the top of the head, making it one of the shorter deluxe toys. Although technically it's a Warrior-class toy, so I guess we can't hold him up to the same standards. His claw weapon fits nicely into his left hand and is one of my favorite weapons in Transformers as of late, primarily because it's new and different. Also I'm thankful that he has a weapon, as Grimlock does not.
Articulation is acceptable, but rough - the elbows can bend but the right arm feels like it will snap if I keep pushing it. With 15 joints, it's on the lower end of most modern Transformers lines these days as he lacks articulated wrists or ankles. Also, the shoulders come undone pretty easily. The figure requires his tail as a tripod to keep standing upright, and the car windows hanging over the arms are somewhat loose. It makes it easier to convert the figure to vehicle mode making this one of the few reasonably painless toys. Keep an eye on the instructions, but they leave a few bits somewhat muddled - so yeah, you're in for a treat with this one.
As a car, well, it's a 5-inch long car. The vehicle has wolf-like features and you can see a long snout and whiskers here, with four unpainted snap-in wheels that roll adequately on a carpet but not on a desk. And of course I play with my toys on a desk, because I'm an adult. The vehicle tabs together nicely and the claw plugs in to the car's roof through a slot and a weird tab that I think is unique to this design, rather than making use of the 5mm grip. You can see bits of his tail sticking out the back and the spoiler just sort of is there. I'd have loved for it to have been a different color so it stands out, but it doesn't, so that's that. It's a perfectly good vehicle but not one where I think I can honestly say it's amazing - of course, I can probably count the vehicle modes I am bonkers about on one hand and they're pretty much all 1980s movie designs. But this is neat, because I don't have anything else quite like it.
So yeah, it's decent but not amazing. I bought mine from Entertainment Earth and no matter what any review said I wanted one to play with - it's hardly a perfect toy but it feels sturdy as a vehicle and pretty stable as a robot. Just because it's so different, I'd suggest getting it if the price is right - or waiting to see if another size version happens if you just want the character. The way Hasbro is going lately, we've already got a Legion-class mini one and I don't know for sure what all we're going to see for "Hyper Change Hero" toys or other, larger price points. Or for that matter, one-step changers. This is one of those rare times where it feels Hasbro was trying to do something very different, and we need more of that in the future.
Additional Transformers Robots in Disguise Warriors 2015 Wave 1 Images
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