Deployer Mounting for Fun and Profit, Mostly Fun

In the current Transformers cartoon Robots In Disguise, which is a sequel of sorts to Transformers Prime, there are a number of Mini-Cons: small (from an Autobot/Decepticon perspective) robots who can symbiotically combine with their larger cousins, or who can be deployed into battle from the the larger ‘bots arms.

I choose you, Slipstream!... yeah, I went there.

Drift’s gauntlets are about to transform into his Mini-Con allies Slipstream and Jetstorm. Drift wants to be the very best, like no-one ever was…

It’s not clear what the advantage is for the Mini-Con of spending so much time attached to their larger partner whilst shaped like a tortoise’s shell, but it is clear that it’s pretty cool.

Funnily enough, where you’d think it would be a no-brainer for Hasbro to put a couple Mini-Con-attachment points on every Deluxe Warrior-size toy in the RID toyline, they’ve actually decided to do something completely different.

Only two figures are being released that have any real interaction with the “Deployer” Mini-Cons: Deployer Drift & Deployer Fracture — characters who use Mini-Cons extensively in the show. These toys are pretty much built around their launcher gimmicks:

Top: Warrior-Class Drift. Bottom: Deployer Drift.

Top: Warrior-Class Drift Bottom: Deployer Drift
(Images from Hasbro’s own stock photography.)

Let’s not beat around the bush, the Deployer version looks terrible compared to the Warrior. In robot mode, the huge launcher hangs of to one side. In car mode, there’s a huge hole in the front. This is what toy collectors calls a gimmick toy, i.e. one that is built around its gimmick (in this case the Mini-Con launcher). I know that there are collectors who bitch about the very existence of such toys, but to be honest, collectors are not the primary market for this figure: this is aimed at kids, pure and simple. I would guess that Hasbro thinks they’re doing enough to please the collectors and the Geewuns this year with Combiner wars, and its Takara counterpart Unite Warriors (which contains even more G1 homages than Combiner Wars does).

There’s a great review of these Deployers at ‘Til All Are Mine, wherein the reviewer discusses exactly the same things I don’t like about the figures: the large Deployer ‘bots are boxy; their launchers are huge; you can’t mount the Deployer Mini-Cons on other ‘bots; and WHEN ARE WE GETTING A CHOP SHOP TOY HAS/TAK???

Chop Shop rules.

Chop-Shop .gif shamelessly stolen from this ‘Til All Are Mine article. The list of non-existent RID2015 toys that I would pay good money for can be a separate article.

Anyway, I figured I could solve one of these issues: the inability to attach Mini-Cons to other ‘bots. I reckoned it wouldn’t be rocket science to knock-up a peg adaptor in Blender, so I could mount Deployer Mini-Cons onto other ‘bots.

Composite of screen-shots from Blender showing pegs.

Composite of screen-shots from Blender showing pegs.

So yeah, I made two pegs – one to peg into the many 5mm-post attachment points on Transformers of various vintages, and one with a longer handle so that bots who don’t resemble Swiss cheese can still join in the fun. Both of these pegs will neatly attach Autobot Deployers onto other bots, but Decepticon Deployers appear to use a different connection (I only have Dragonus to work from), so they’ll have to wait for now until I can get a second mean little ‘bot to work with. The pegs are for sale in my Shapeways store here and here.

If you can call pull a lever a transformation, but cut the disc-bot some slack, he's only little.

Slipstream models the pegs in his alt-mode. Since the peg just clips onto his back, it doesn’t interfere with his transformation.

Drift holds Slipstream.

Drift holds Slipstream by the handle. Since this is my prototype handle, I’ve only got the one, but I plan on getting a second one so that I can display Drift in the pose shown in the screen-cap I put at the top of this post.

From certain angles the handle is much more visible, but I didn't want to make a hole in my Drift to mount Slipstream on him.

From certain angles the handle is much more visible, but I didn’t want to make a hole in my Drift to mount Slipstream on him.

The Peg connector is a nice fit on Sawback, too.

The Peg connector is a nice fit on Sawback, too.

Usually I get anything made by Shapeways in Polished or Detail plastic for the finish, but these are in regular WSF — the slightly rougher texture compared with other plastics seems to grant a bit more traction: it’s a nice tight fit, but it can be pulled out easily.

I would totally watch fashion shows if more robot wolves were involved.

Ultra Magnus (Arms Micron version) modelling this seasons latest on-trend accessory — a robot wolf attached to his arm.

So, that’s one mild annoyance with RID2015‘s toyline solved. I guess my next jobs are to make a mounting point for Decepticon Deployers, make a post-handle I can fit into Fixit’s rear-end so that Warrior-class bots can wield him when he’s in drill-mode, and sculpt 5 cockney spiders that combine… I’ll probably get the first two done, but the last thing is a bit beyond my skills.

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