"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Crash Combiner Shocknado Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Combiner / Gestalt, Combiner Force, Crash Combiner, Decepticon, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Shocknado General Information:
Release Date: July 2017
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
What happens when you crash and combine forces with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Shockdrive and Warnado figures? No, not a traffic jam. You get an awesome 2-bot Shocknado Crash Combiner figure! This Crash Combiner 2-pack features one Shockdrive figure and one Warnado figure. Crash these figures together in one awesome step to form a Shocknado combiner robot. These figures work with other Crash Combiner figures to form different 2-bot combinations. Shockdrive figure converts from robot to jet in 4 steps; Warnado figure converts from robot to jet in 5. Scan the Decepticon shield in combiner mode to unlock the Shocknado character in the mobile app.

Shocknado combines to send Autobots to their downfall. He electrifies their processors and jolts their systems into overload. Combine forces and join the battle with these figures based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • Crash Combiner Shocknado figure
  • Shockdrive and Warnado figures combine to form Shocknado figure
  • Crash and combine figures in 1 awesome, instant step
  • Works with other Crash Combiner figures (each sold separately)
  • Scan the shields to unlock the character in the app (see below for details)
  • Figure scale: 3.5 inches
  • Includes Shockdrive figure, Warnado figure, and instructions.

Concept:
After thirty plus years, it is not easy to come up with anything "new" when it comes to Transformers play patterns, but that does not keep the folks at Hasbro from trying. In early 2017 fans were introduced to a new sub-group in "Robots in Disguise": the Crash Combiners. Crash Combiners borrow a bit from the past but add some new functionality into the mix. They feature two characters whose vehicle modes can "crash" into each other and thus activating a transformation that combines the two into a single robot. Similar concepts have existed in past lines such as G1 and "Energon". In both cases there were pairs of robots that could combine with each other to form a larger robot. Crash Combiners are different in that they only combine one way (meaning not every character can be the upper and lower body, they are one or the other) and their combination mechanism is spring loaded.

Packaging:
Crash Combiners are packaged in a bubble attached to a card. The card has a vertical "Transformers" logo with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. Off to the other side is artwork for Shockdrive and Warnado. These are new characters so the artwork is brand new too. What is odd is Warnado is drawn with a head modeled after Cyclonus' head, but the actual figure itself does not have this head. There is no explanation for this so it is just an odd anomaly. Each of the characters is in vehicle mode set at angles inside the bubble. Inside the bubble is also an insert with artwork of Shocknado, the combined form of Shockdrive and Warnado. The insert also features the "Combiner Force" logo, connecting this to the theme of "Robots in Disguise" in 2017.

The back of the pckaging features pictures of both figures in robot and vehicle mode as well as their combined form. Off to the side is a cosell for Lunar Primestrong, the two pack featuring redecos of Optimus Prime and Strongarm. Below that is legal information and info on the "Robots in Disguise" app.

This set is a retool and redeco of the Crash Combiner Skyhammer, so check out that review for a detailed look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figures for this release.

Shockdrive

Vehicle Mode:
Shockdrive is a redeco of Skysledge. This mode features no retooling and represents a Decepticon ship. Most of the figure is a beautiful metallic lavender color. Smaller parts (the thrusters and fins in particular) are metallic purple plastic. A couple bits of black plastic are used for the clips in the front of the figure. The wings are painted purple and the cockpit windows are painted orange. A bit of green is used for the arrow on the Combiner mechanism in front. Overall the colors look great and they really call out his affiliation as a Decepticon.

There is still a 5mm port on the top of the vehicle, allowing you to attach weapons from other figures to give him some firepower in this mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Flip the vehicle over.
  2. Swing the chest panel down.
  3. Swing the robot head up.
  4. Close the chest panel.
  5. Swing the robot arms out.

Robot Mode:
Shockdrive features a new head sculpt in this mode. It has a three pointed section on the top of the helmet leading to a face in the middle. It is a cool head sculpt, but oddly, Shockdrive's head looks just like the head from another character: Riotgear. Riotgear appeared both on the cartoon and is part of the "Galvatronus" boxed set. There is no specific explanation for this. In my mind I will chalk this up to simply having a cool design on hand and just recycling it. After all, Transformers history is full of characters who share head sculpts (due to being redecos or retools of someone else).

This mode mostly shows off the metallic lavender plastic. The chest has purple paint on it and his eyes are painted orange. I do wish there was more paint on this figure, but I can't deny that the lavender is a really nice color.

The Crash Combiner figures are not exactly known for articulation and this is no exception. Shockdrive has only two points of articulation: the arms. They can swing out and in and that is about it.

Warnado

Vehicle Mode:
Warnado's vehicle mode shares its design with Stormhammer's. I maintain that the design is very reminiscent of the Seeker design from "Fall of Cybertron". Like that design the wings are sweeping forward on the sides and the cockpit section is triangular in shape angling inward until everything comes to a point in the front. That said, there are some elements unique to this design. The back has two vertical stabilizers sweeping back instead of a triangular point on top. Also the nosecone has two small vertical stabilizers sticking out to the sides.

This vehicle features a combination of metallic lavender, black and purple plastic. Throw in the orange on the cockpit and his colors are a nice callback to Skywarp. A bit of green is used on the arrow on the combining mechanism in the back. This deco is a lot less uniform than Shockdrive's and it looks really great.

There is a 5mm, hex shaped port on the top of this vehicle, allowing you to attach 5mm weapons and of course, Mini-Cons with 5mm pegs.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the nosecone end down to form the robot feet.
  2. Swing the robot arms out.
  3. Swing the hcest panel out, flip the head up and close the panel.

Robot Mode:
Warnado is a direct redeco of Stormhammer, so he does not feature a new head sculpt. Oddly, the artwork for the character features a Cyclonus-like head. My guess would be that at some point in the history of this figure a new head might have been planned but it was not done for cost reasons.

Like the vehicle mode, Warnado's robot mode mostly features the metallic lavendar color. The arms and head are made up of purple plastic and his feet are black plastic. His face is painted silver and the eyes are orange. Like the vehicle mode I find this deco pattern much more appealing than Shockdrive's.

The only articulation to speak of are the arms, which can swing out to the sides. That is pretty typical for the Crash Combiner figures but I can understand how some fans would not like it.

Shocknado

Transformation:
With both figures in vehicle mode, "crash" the clips on the front of Skysledge and the back of Stormhammer and press them together. Split Skyhammer's legs and swing the red foot pieces out. On each arm swing the black pieces back to reveal the fists.

Combined Form:
The combined form of Shockdrive and Warnado is Shocknado (get it, get it?). This combined form features a slight retool. Indeed, it is so slight that part of me wonders if it was a production issue more than an intentional change (most likely it was intentional). Specifically the change revolves around the head. For the most part the head is the same except for the horn like pieces that come up the sides to the top of the head. On Skyhammer, this section goes straight up. On Shocknado this piece has extra plastic filled in on the inside, which turns them into angled panels instead of "horns". It is a very subtle change but after staring at my Skyhammer and Shocknado side by side you can easily see the difference.

This mode shows a nice combination of the lavender and purple plastic colors with the purple mostly winding up towards the top half of the figure. The chest panel and forearms each have orange paint on them. The face is silver and the eyes are painted with an orange strip going across. This seems to be intended to give Shocknado "visor eyes" instead of the two separate eyes that Skyhammer has. The center of the chest has a scannable Decepticon symbol that unlocks the character in the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app.

Shocknado has 5mm ports in each fist, allowing him to hold weaponry. His forearms can move up and down, allowing him to point said weapons forward. Either member of this team can be "crash combined" with another Crash Combiner figure, making for some fun (and weird) combinations.

Final Thoughts:
As I have mentioned in previous "Crash Combiner" views, this is a set that is all about the gimmick. There is not a lot of high level sculpting, there is not a ton of deco or articulation. This figure is about having fun smashing two figures together to form a cool looking robot. For most adult collectors this figure won't be on your "must have" list, but for younger fans this may be a fun treat! Recommended for a very limited audience.

Pros:

  • Fun gimmick.
  • Shocknado's combined mode looks fantastic.

Cons:

  • Individual robot modes are a bit odd looking.
  • Barely any articulation in any mode.
  • Needs more paint deco.
  • It would have been nice if Warnado had a new head sculpt.