Wednesday, June 25 2014 14:25

Review - TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Power Battlers & Smash Change #TransformersToys #TRANSFORMERSweek

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thrilling30When we came home a few weeks back to find Optimus Prime peering from within an obviously-Dinobot ravaged crate of TRANSFORMERS goodies sent to Rock Father HQ direct from Hasbro, it was a surprise. Now, as we've been trying out the different assortments represented within the sampling, we're knee-deep in Autobot Vs. Decepticon action... and it's glorious. With TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION opening Friday, today we're featuring the POWER BATTLERS (aka POWER ATTACKERS) and FLIP & CHANGE toys, right here on THE ROCK FATHER as part of #TRANSFORMERSweek!

Reporting for Duty: Crosshairs | Autobot

Before Crosshairs was even out of his package, Addie swore to me that he is "a garbage man." Now, other than the fact that he's green like the Waste Management trucks that pick up our trash, I couldn't figure out why, exactly, she zeroed in on that - he's based on a Chevrolet Corvette, one of several vehicles worked into the TRANSFORMERS world through the folks at General Motors. Weird thing is, there actually is a TRANSFORMERS Waste Management truck - a Decepticon called Junkheap... but to the best of my knowledge, Addie's never seen it. Now we may have to have it... but Crosshairs?

Her favorite of all of our TRANSFORMERS, hands-down.


She loves him in robot mode, and his Power Battle function is a mighty punch with the twist of his torso. This year alone, Hasbro is planning 15 figures in this assortment, and the first batch is on-shelves now, with characters such as Optimus Prime, Duke, Lockdown, Strafe, Scorn, Drift and Bumblebee out there and ready to rock.

The more traditional transformations here are pretty cool, but this assortment limits the steps to ten or less. Cool for beginners.


Reporting for Duty: Optimus Prime | Autobot Leader

Now, while the name of this line may be "Flip & Change," they don't all "flip," and the prime example (yes, a pun!) is Optimus Prime himself - with "Smash & Change" action. Essentially a larger-scale spin on the One-Step Changer concept that we reviewed previously, these toys are geared toward younger fans ages 5 and up, and allow that "instant" transformation like the kids are used to seeing on-screen. She might be younger than the target, but even my Little Finley digs the way you can old Optimus' "handle" for vehicle mode play, then bash him for immediate robot action. Hearing her call Optimus both "robot" and "friend" warms my heart.


This assortment also includes Bumblebee, Grimlock, Drift and Lockdown, each sold separately.



James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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