On June 21, Transformers: The Last Knight will hit the big screen. With just over a month to go before release, that can only mean one thing: toys! Hasbro sent me a giant box containing all the various types of Transformers movie toys currently hitting the shelves. From Tiny Turbo Changers all the way to Premium figures, there’s something in here for every kind of Transformers movie fan.
Tiny Turbo Changers
I started off with the Mini Turbo Changers, because, well, I’m a blind bag addict. There are a dozen or so possible characters from the Transformers movies, some in various shades. I got a gold and a black version of Grimlock (teeny spiky dinos are never a bad thing) and a chubby little Optimus Prime from my three bags. They’re cute and easy and perfect for carrying around in your pocket when you simply can’t be without a Transformer. The blind bags have twelve possible bots inside (though there are ways of figuring out who). If you want to cheat the system, you can get an entire case from Hasbrotoyshop.com for $69.99. Otherwise, you can pick them up individually at your local toy aisle or from Amazon for $4.99 each.
1-Step Turbo Changers/3-Step Turbo Changers/Legion Class
1-Step Turbo Changers are a great way for the youngest Transformers fans to experience all the fun of transforming toys without having to continuously ask their parents for help (not that we mind). 3-Step Turbo Changers are just a tad more involved for when they’re ready to graduate to something more complex. Ironically, the Knight Armor Turbo Changer Grimlock that was in the box was easier to transform than the 1-Step Barricade and Optimus Prime figures that were included. The thing with 1-Step Changers is that you have to find exactly the right spot to start tugging or pushing, otherwise the bot won’t budge. With Grimlock it was simple – you start at the gnarly headgear and pull – everything else falls into place. Barricade and Optimus Prime looked better than I expected for being such simple toys. It’s obvious that the detail has improved greatly since this line of toys was introduced. Grimlock is the clear winner here. He’s huge, has greater articulation than the 1-Step Turbo Changers, the Knight Armor upgrade gives him some great visual flair, and, c’mon, who doesn’t love a giant robot T-Rex? Barricade and Optimus Prime retail for $9.99 and Grimlock goes for $19.99.
I wanted to make a quick mention of the Legends Barricade that came in the box as well. He’s an odd figure with a complex transformation (for such a small toy) and a face that’s obviously not movie Barricade’s. In vehicle form, he’s been decoed to look close enough, but in bot mode, it’s obvious this figure started out life as a Transformers: Robots in Disguise figure. This one is for completionists only. You can find him for $5.99 at Hasbrotoyshop.com.
The Premium toys are going to be the main attraction for collectors and Transformers fans who want their figures to be as screen-accurate as possible. Hasbro included two in the box: Dinobot Slash and everyone’s favorite bad cop, Barricade. While I wish that Barricade had a few more paint applications so that he matched his box art, the sculpt is nicely detailed (I’m really digging the new head). Thinking back to the first Transformers movie and the Barricade toy I picked up then, it’s apparent that the aesthetic has shifted away from “pile of metal shards” to “reconfigured car parts.” When you’re talking Transformers, that’s a good thing. He also has some great accessories, with a Gatling gun attachment for his arm and sidearm and baton weapons that actually store on his hips. Surprisingly, he’s a bit of a shell-former, as most of his transformation involves folding out panels to make a shell to hide the robot bits in. It’s a bit disappointing; but I can’t argue with the results – his cop car alt mode stays solidly together and looks great.
Dinobot Slash was cut from Transformers: Age of Extinction, but maybe he’ll get some onscreen time in Last Knight. He’s got a distinctive bot mode, with a ridiculous amount of spikes, and a satisfyingly cybernetic “robot velociraptor” mode. Getting him from one mode to the other, though, is one of those exercises in trust. At least once during the process, you’re going to look down at the explosion of limbs and bits in your hands and wonder how he ever fits back together. Then a step or two later, things just fall into place. Slash and Barricade can both be found on Amazon for around $20.
He wasn’t included in the box, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Hasbro’s Masterpiece figure released in concert with the movie: Optimus Prime MPM-4. Developed in concert with Tomy, this rendition of Prime was created to commemorate the original 2007 Transormers movie. With a more accurate movie deco, die cast parts, interchangeable faceplates, and articulated fingers, this Prime is meant to be the ultimate rendition of movie Prime’s original form. I haven’t been able to find just how much die cast is included yet, but for a $99.99 retail price, I’m hoping that it’s a good amount! Prime will be available this Summer.