When a new Transformers movie comes out, there’s one thing in my household that gets critiqued more than the movie itself…the toy-line.
My husband has been an avid collector of Transformers since he can remember. With that in mind, you can imagine the look on his face when a box with Transformers written all over it arrived at our house unexpectedly. The box itself was a work of art, and I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it (which is why it now holds two of my costumes).
Inside of the box was a humble sampling of what is to come with the toy-line, from the new one-step-changers to the more complicated pieces.
My son was crazy excited over the simplicity and ease of transforming the new one-step-changers and was quick to claim every toy in in the box for himself. My husband and I didn’t buck him on that because when we took one of the one-step-changers out of the box, we were more critical of it than a comic book fan on Reddit.
The difference between my husband and son is that my husband enjoys the beauty in the details and the complicated steps for the transformation. My son doesn’t look at a Transformer and see a piece of art; he sees a toy that he wants to play with, and he doesn’t want to look at instructions in order to do it.
As a parent who has no clue how to transform these things, the old line frustrated me because I couldn’t help my son when he needed it. As bad as it sounds, I’d have to wait for my husband to come home to pull out the instructions and do it himself.
Regardless of my own reservations regarding the new line’s design, I’m happy that Hasbro has finally come out with a line of Transformers that can be transformed by the ages they specify on the packaging.
While playing with the Flip and Change Grimlock, I thought about my 9-year-old nephew who has a disability with one of his hands that makes it difficult for him to play with certain action figures. He could never play with the old toy lines because of how difficult it was for him to do the transformations with his bad hand. The new one-step-changers, on the other hand, are something he can play with and work out his hand at the same time.
From the toy collector side of things, this new line lacks the details of the older lines. Arms and legs are clearly visible when in vehicle mode and the movement capability in robot mode is ridiculously restricted.
From the view of a child, the new line is awesome and just what Optimus ordered.
When it comes to our favorites, my husband and I both agreed that Dinobot “Slug” (previously known as “Slag”) was the best of the bunch. Our son, on the other hand, loves his Flip and Change Grimlock, especially since he’s big enough to play the part of a destructive dinosaur in his home made Lego movies.
My second favorite Transformer in the box was the one-step-changer Grimlock. He was too cute not to love. My son wasn’t that interested in him because he’s really small, so I was able to take him to my office with little argument. I posted a picture of him on my desk on Instagram and laughed when a friend of mine asked if I got him at Burger King or McDonald’s.
For kids who like to build, Kreo sets are a fun alternative to Lego bricks. I’d buy stock in them if they were softer on your feet (which they are not…). On the upside, they work with Lego sets so you don’t have to worry about them getting mixed up when it comes to clean up time.
The battle arena is a fun activity for kids who are into the Hexbug line of toys. I can see the added accessories being a problem, though, because they are itty-bitty in size. Neither of the bugs looks like their cartoon counterpart with exception of the paint job, but they are still fun to watch (for about five minutes…).
In the end, I’ve decided that this line was designed with the younger fans in mind. For many children, this will give them a new sense of independence when they want their Transformers to “roll out” or “transform.” Collectors who appreciate the complex transformations and hidden details, should probably skip this line for now, but keep their eyes open for more complex Transformer toys to come.
Toy prices range from $2.99 for Kreo figures to $49.99 for the larger and more complicated Transformer models.
GeekMom received these items for review purposes.