Transformers: Age of Extinction Preview – Autobot Drift and Dinobot Slug

TF4 TNLast week I was surprised by an awesome box from Hasbro containing some early samples of upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction toys. In this post I’ll be looking at two Generations Deluxe figures – Autobot Drift and Dinobot Slug.

Before I get into the details on each of the figures, I wanted to talk about the packaging. The new packaging for the line is fantastic, carded figures feature large and bold character art, the bubble art shows the figure in it’s alternate mode (vehicle if packaged in robot mode, robot mode if in vehicle/beast mode) and the left side of the bubble features a big red ‘TRANSFORMERS’ against a white background. Boxed figures also have this red text/white stripe motif giving the line a very unified look. These should look great on shelves at retail and really stand out. The back of the packages feature a brief bio, large character photos and a blurb that says how many steps it takes to Transform the figure. both Generations Deluxe figures transform in 16 steps.  The graphic design team at Hasbro deserves a pat on the back for this packaging.

Autobot Drift
Package Bio: AUTOBOT DRIFT used to fight for the DECEPTICONS. Now, he wields his swords against them, alongside the heroic AUTOBOTS.
Dinobot Slug
Package Bio: This fiery warrior hates taking orders, unless it means he gets to destroy something. He’ll level anything in his path with a fit of white-hot dino rage.

I love surprises, and after 30 years of playing with and collecting Transformers, it’s tough to surprise me. However, when I cracked open Drift and Slug, I was surprised by how much I liked them. Typically I’ve not been the biggest fan of the movie toy lines, I found them unnecessarily complicated and not particularly fun to Transform.  In fact, I think I have a half Transformed movie somebody in my desk drawer at work – stuck that way as I didn’t know what to fold next and opted to lock him away instead of figuring it out. I gave Drift and Slug the ultimate test, could I transform them without looking at the directions? In both cases, the answer was yes…off to a good start. The fact that I could do this “blind” though didn’t mean that the transformation was uninspired. There was one step with Slug’s transformation that particularly novel.  I’m glad that the Transformers: Age of Extinction line have focused on this element – particularly since it’s intended for a kid.  A Masterpiece Transformers difficulty is ok on a toy aimed at a 30 year old – on a toy aimed at a 7 year old, it’s not fun at all.

I’ll touch on the other aspects of these figures quick – another plus for both of these is that there’s a good balance between the two modes…both are fairly strong. I do like that they both have unique faces, while very different in styles they both feel fresh.  Both figures include sword accessories (Drift has knives also) which look great in robot mode but have no home in car / dinosaur mode.  Yes, Slag has ports in dino-mode for the swords, but that’s a feature best ignored.

I enjoyed both of these figures a good bit more than I expected. If you like what you’ve read and seen, you can pick up your very own in stores starting May 17th, 2014 – the official shelf date for the Transformers: Age of Extinction toys. Thanks to both Hasbro and Hunter PR for providing these early review samples.

 

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