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TRANSFORMERSOver the past 18 months, I’ve noted a trend that “battling” has become a big thing again – one of those cyclical play patterns that’s been around for ages, but is back in vogue. The action aisles and game departments are loaded with battle sets, “arenas” and rings (many of which I’ve reviewed), and with each new entrant comes higher technology, and usually, higher prices. Now comes a battle set that’s decidedly low-tech, a throwback to the old-school Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, but even simpler… and that’s exactly why the TRANSFORMERS Battle Masters Fight Night: MEGATRON V. OPTIMUS PRIME works.

Recommended for Ages 5+ (though younger kids will dig it), TRANSFORMERS Battle Masters (sent by Hasbro for review) ask kids to suspend disbelief a bit (ok, not the kids, but the grownups who’ve been watching TRANSFORMERS for 30 years) to imagine the two most iconic TRANSFORMERS characters reinvented as boxers – ready to battle for Cybertron one-on-one. In this corner we have “The Diesel Destroyer,” Optimus Prime – getting ready to throw punches against “The Calamity of Humanity,” Megatron. But really, there is no “corner,” as there is no ring. Instead, we have really durable, yet simple figures of each character (non-converting) that can be used on their own, or attached to a dual-triggered controller. 

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Rock Father ApprovedThe play is exceptionally simple: just work the triggers to throw punches, and in classic “rock ’em” style, whoever’s head pops first is defeated. 

Reasonably-priced and well-built, the BATTLE MASTERS FIGHT NIGHT set is a Rock Father-approved fun new way for kids to enjoy the TRANSFORMERS world in a new realm of play. 

BONUS: With TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION out on Blu-ray and DVD later this month, it’s a Prime-time to take a quick look at some other TRANSFORMERS toys that the folks at Hasbro sent us to add to our growing collection…

TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS Roar and Rescue Optimus Prime T-Rex – Recommended for Ages 3-7, this one changes in one “twist,” perfect for kids like my Little Finley. Optimus as a T-Rex is kinda weird, but kids dig it! Personally, I think it’s funny that the packaging has to put a disclaimer of “fantasy scene” next to a painting of robot dinosaurs roaming a city.

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TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION One-Step Changers Autobot Hound – One of the big surprises for this year’s TRANSFORMERS line was the one-step changers, which the 80s kid in me originally thought was “too simple” in concept… but they’re perfect for what they’re designed for. With one flick of a switch or press of a button, the vehicles turn into robots, letting smaller kids enjoy that near-instant transformation that they see on TV. Here we have Hound (voiced by John Goodman in the movie) making a welcome addition to our Autobot faction.

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TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Construct-bots Dinobot Riders Lockdown (Decepticon) – The Construct-Bot line has been fun, but in all honesty, my kids are cooled on it a bit. These are the first sets to combine building play with full-on transformable action features, so kids can build their robots and then actually have them change from robot to vehicle and back. Lockdown may not be the most sizable Decepticon of the bunch, but he’s quite a formidable foe.

Want more 2014 TRANSFORMERS Toy Reviews?
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