My main focus when picking up Transformers are what I call the "ten dollar" level, or as Hasbro has named them, the "Deluxe Class" of figures. I should probably give in and call the figures by the name given to them by Hasbro as that size of figure hasn't cost $10 in about a decade at least. And if you're in Chicago, things cost about $2 more at our Toys R Us and Target locations. That being said, I rarely look to the smaller figures as I don't consider them toy "cannon" (who wants a tiny Optimus when all the other figures are inches taller than him?) and it helps that I'm not a completist when it comes to newer Transformers figures. But this being the first time I saw the new line in person, I checked the aisle for everything I could find. There were no larger (Voyager Class) figures to be seen other than quick-change Bumblebee and Grimlock figures. But when looking at the smaller figures I saw they were keeping with the quick-change for the $8 range as well. One of the three or four figures I saw was Underbite.
The quick-change feature on the figure works both from alt mode to animal/robot and back. By squeezing the back "hips" or rear fenders the figure converts automatically. It's hard to not do this continuously, but when he all of a sudden had a hard time staying in animal/robot mode, I did what I could to align his parts so he could transform properly again and gave it a rest. I do have to give some props to the team that came up with the ability to have the figures not only quick change into their alt mode, but to have the same feature change them back again. I think the quick-change feature started with the figures from the fourth movie and they probably all did the same thing, I just never opened one to see this in action. The last quick-change figure I had was the mid-sized figures from Machine Wars, and those only went one way seamlessly, transforming back you had to do a few parts yourself here and there.
I don't know if the show has aired yet or not, all I've seen so far online was a preview with Bumblebee and his team in some junkyard. But I've got big hopes for Underbite. He definitely reminds me of this show's iteration of Ravage - but I'd love if they went extreme one way or another with his character/voice. Either make him a mindless pet that doesn't speak, but communicates with grunts, or make him a very conniving genius, a la Shockwave, that speaks with a very regal tone. I'd love it either way.
One last thing to mention before ending this is that all the figures in this line carry a unique Transformers branded QR Code of sorts, cleverly mixed in with their allegiance symbol. As the packaging shows you can scan this and unlock different characters, abilities and weapons in the app Hasbro has released to accompany the toy line. I personally know that this is something that has been in the works for quite some time and I'm glad to see it happen. Further integration between physical toys and those (damn) video games that (those damn) kids are playing now is a great way to get old farts like me to stop complaining and using the word "damn" so much.
Liz: I am too tired. Just go on without me. Leave me here.