Can the new boys live up to the G1 Granddaddies?
With Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise being about as coherent as a box of spoons tossed down the stairs, I had written off Hasbro’s latest toy line. The designs were too muddled, the characters were too different from their cartoon counterparts. I was happy in my robotic, nostalgic bubble. These ‘Premiere Edition’ releases however were about to make my apprehensions “move out”.
Three Autobot titans arrived on my doorstep. The Heroic Leader, Optimus Prime, the spunky second in command, Bumblebee and the tyrannical T-Rex Grimlock, and I have to be honest my first impression confirmed my bias towards my G1 collection. Light weight plastics moulded into confusing designs, it wasn’t looking good. But – yes, there is a but G1-ers – I was wrong to jump to such a speedy conclusion.
All three have a wonderfully in-depth transformation process, combining a little bit of shell-forming with some inspired trickery. Grimlock essentially turns himself inside out to go from robo to dino, Prime’s leg transformation is incredibly satisfying and Bumblebee surprised me with a hidden arm cannon. All three also showcase weapon storage in both modes, a feature those who have lost countless blasters can appreciate. The trio are also far more poseable than I had predicted. Unobstructed hip joints and ankle tilts give the team a wide range of movement and the waist swivels and ball jointed necks add character.
There are downsides though. Bumble has major panel-line issues in car mode and his colour matching is off meaning there’s two shades of yellow on show here rather than one. Grimlocks’ hip joints are rather loose and his weapon storage in dino mode looks a tad daft. Sadly, Prime does rely a little too much on panel forming with most of his truck mode simply folding away into a backpack rather than being incorporated into the robot mode.
Once all is said, and transformed though, I am impressed. If you, like me, turned your nose up at the idea of the ‘Bay-Formers’ have a cheeky peek at this Premiere Edition range. They are most certainly more than meets the eye.