Review: Transformers Robots in Disguise (2015) Deluxe Strongarm

Well, TFSource finally got their stock of Wave 1 Combiner Wars figures in and my order got shipped… but it’s still going to be over a week until they get here. In the meantime, the Robots in Disguise toyline has hit full retail, which means the Deluxes are no longer exclusively priced at TRU’s ludicrous $17 a pop. Since I really like the new line’s take on Bumblebee, I wanted to see what more this line has to offer, going for the other vehicular Autobot in the wave: the Elite Guard fembot Strongarm. Does she live up to her leader’s standards, or is she really one of the weakest in the wave? Let’s find out.

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Vehicle Mode

Following the trend of Bumblebee, Strongarm’s alternate mode is surprisingly large compared to the somewhat-smaller Deluxe class vehicles we’ve grown used to. The impressiveness of her size is dulled somewhat when you realize that she’s mostly entirely hollow, but she still manages a fair amount of heft. Sadly, the paintwork is incredibly lackluster, being inaccurate to the show model and severely lacking in detailed areas like the front and rear of the truck (the rear window is especially bothersome). There’s a lot of nice detail in this mode, but without proper paint it’s hard to pick out. Expect Reprolabels to make a killing on this toy.

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Transformation

Like her wavemate, Strongarm has a similarly simple transformation that is quick and smooth, but also not terribly dull. I like the way her arms unfold from the front of the truck. There’s not much else to say, though I do wish there was an extra joint on her back kibble to allow that rear window panel to fold away.

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Robot Mode

Strongarm defies your typical fembot appearance of thin and curvy by instead being big and bulky, but still recognizably feminine. Maybe it’s my love for blue and white, but I think she looks great. At first glance, I was afraid the robot mode would be a kibbly mess, but the only real kibble she has is on her back, which is actually much cleaner in person than in pictures. The cut of the doors make really cool wings, and if only that top piece folded down, I’d call it a perfect backpack.

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As with the vehicle mode, Strongarm’s colors are still very wrong in robot mode, if not even more so. Weird gimmick badge aside, her head and chest should be mostly white, and her arms should be mostly blue. It’s kind of a bummer, but it’s only a problem if you demand show-accuracy; on its own, the colors on the toy look fine, though it’s a shame her arms are solid white plastic. I’d call her arms the weakest part of the toy, but despite how they look, they’re still perfectly functional.

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Strongarm’s articulation really took me by surprise. She has a nicely ball-jointed head, shoulders (with an extra hinge), and hips; waist, thigh, and bicep swivels; and simple hinged elbows and knees. There’s also something of a mid-upper arm joint for transformation that effectively acts as a double-jointed elbow. The only thing she’s lacking is wrist articulation, but given her transformation and weapon choice, I don’t think she needs it. All of her articulation is relatively unhindered, which is surprising given her bulkiness. The waist joint in particular helps her pull off some impressive poses.

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Strongarm’s gun is… kind of weird. It has a sculpted blue muzzle flash, which means she’s always shooting. It’s pretty cool for action-y poses, but you can’t really put her in a neutral stance without looking like she’s pumping bullets into the ground. That said, she holds it well and it’s a nicely-detailed gun, plus it has great altmode storage, so I won’t fault it.

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Overall

Strongarm was initially the only toy from the RID line that I was interested in, but when early reports came in saying she was one of the weakest, the toy quickly dropped in priority. Now that I have her in-hand, I can definitely say that Strongarm is my favorite of the wave, just beating out Bumblebee and completely outshining the supposed “best,” Grimlock (spoiler alert: I despise that toy). She’s got big, beefy truck mode, a solid transformation, and a surprisingly fun robot mode. The only real problem she has is her colors, but I’m sure Reprolabels will help make her shine. You could also go for the more-accurate Japanese version… but I wouldn’t put this toy’s worth at $25. That said, I do think she is the best of the line so far, and if you’re into cool new fembots, pick up Strongarm.

Where to Buy

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