As a cartoon, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, the great 2015 direct sequel to the immeasurably awesome Transformers Prime series (but not to be confused with the equally wonderful 2001 cartoon starring everyone’s favourite shark) is a super-fun, welcome, change of pace.
As a toyline? It is a series of infuriating disappointments. That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom. The few “Warrior” (read: “Deluxe”) class toys we’ve received are quite good. Both Fixit toys we’ve received are excellent, especially the Legends class toy, but even that is lacking in one aspect.
Fixit is a Mini-Con, I am a huge fan of Mini-Cons, and the Legends class toy suits him perfectly. The problem is that his toy has no connection point. Invariably, a Mini-Con is a smaller transforming ‘bot that has the ability to join with the larger ‘bots to provide some form of power-up. Instead, Fixit is a small robot that transforms into a small drill thing with no discernible method of joining with any other ‘bots.
In previous incarnations,the connection port for Mini-Cons was circular, but these new Robots in Disguise Mini-Cons have rectangle connection slots.
While the definition of what a Mini-Con is/does has changed for the Robots in Disguise universe, the primary concept of connecting to the larger ‘bots hasn’t. This is what makes it quite annoying that Fixit doesn’t have a connector slot. Of course, that’s the least of the problems with these new Mini-Cons toys and their interaction with the larger Autobot and Decepticon toys.
First, these new Mini-Cons don’t have different alt modes from each other. Decepticons are missile-shaped and Autobots are discs.
The only application of this in the cartooon so far has been Drift with his Mini-Cons Slipstream and Jetstorm,
And Fracture and his scary little Mini-Con minions, Airazor and Divebomb,
The moment I saw them in the show, I decided I must have toys of them.
Woohoo! So far, so good! Now, in the show, Drift’s Mini-Cons attach to his forearms and Fracture literally launches them like missiles from his shoulders.
So essential to this gimmick are Drift and Fracture, you actually have to buy the “Mini-Con Deployer” releases of them to get your hands on Jetstorm and Airazor. Which, of course, I did, because I “gotta catch ’em all” when it comes to Mini-Cons. So, let’s load up some Mini-Cons for some deployin’,
What in the name of Primus is this nonsense?!? Why would they put these absolutely massive, barely functional launchers on the toys when the gimmick is already clearing shown in the show?!?
Then, to add insult to injury, Drift doesn’t even have pegs on his arms to at least attempt the proper use of his Mini-Cons. They could have at least included some harmless extra pegs on his deluxe class toy’s arms, but nothing. I’d say the same about Fracture, but he hasn’t even received a deluxe class toy. Another infuriating move by Hasbro, despite filling the show with some of the most imaginative and unique Decepticons, with the exception of Steeljaw none of them appear to be receiving deluxe class toys and a good portion aren’t receiving any proper toys at all. I will personally consider it one of the greatest failures of the Transformers franchise of all time if we do not receive a toy of the Insecticon combiner, Chop Shop.
But, I digress.
Sorry, I seriously could just watch that .gif on a loop all day. Where was I? Oh, yes, the lack of proper interaction with the Mini-Con Deployer releases of Drift and Fracture. Confusingly enough, Fracture — the one of the two that stores his Mini-Cons in his shoulders, not on his arms — does include a single post to attach a Mini-Con to his left arm. Also, as if to add further insult to further injury, both Fracture and Drift has slots on their arms into which you can insert the smaller, translucent plastic weapons that come with Mini-Cons.
Speaking of which, there are soooo many little plastic pieces that come with these guys.
Most are random adornments for their robot modes.
Some are extra weapons.
As a collector, I appreciate the pieces, but I can’t imagine these tiny little extras are going to last long in the hands of kids.
An undocumented feature we were actually given a heads up about at BotCon is that each wave has a special “energy animal” that can be built by combining pieces from all the Mini-Cons in that wave. Wave 1 is a cat and wave 2 pieces form a shark.
Speaking of animals, we’ve seen the four Mini-Cons that appear in the show, but what about the rest of wave 1 and 2? All the remainder have animal-based robot modes.
The Decepticons get Dragonus,
I like Dragonus and Sandsting, but Ratbat’s lack of proper wings is quite disappointing. Not to be outdone, the Autobots have Sawback,
And my favourite of all of the Robots in Disguise Mini-Cons, Beastbox,
They can also be armored and armed,
Beastbox looks particularly awesome in his.
I didn’t mean this post to come off as negative sounding as it did. Even the Mini-Con Deployer figures aren’t without their somewhat redeeming factors. I mean, anyone that has seen the show can probably figure out why Drift’s commanding pointy-finger when he deploys a Mini-Con delights me to no end,
I just hope there will be a figure released that will be able to interact with these great little guys properly– oh, what? There is? There’s an Optimus specifically retooled to add Mini-Con ports? Awesome! I’m so freaking happy-wait… he’s a Takara-only mold?
Every now and then, this franchise feels like a gutpunch from a Triceratops.