Hexbug Warriors Battle Arena - Transformers 4: Age of Extinction - Toy

Length: 6cm each without accessories.

Colors: Bumblebee molded yellow, clear, and black plastics, painted black and red(Autobot symbol). Galvatron molded silver-gray, clear, and black plastics. Painted orange and purple(Decepticon symbol).

Accessories: Battle Arena, Armor x2, Motion Weapons x2, Advantage Weapons x2.

Release Data: Released May 2014 at an SRP of US$19.99.

Author: RAC

Warriors race into battle using vibration technology!

Last time we looked at the Hexbug Nano, the basic and nonviolent version of the Hexbug. But if you watched the UK show Robot Wars on PBS in the late `90s and early 2000s, then Warriors will probably be more your speed. Battle-ready bristlebots with Transformers themed weapons and armor and damage sensors? Sure, why not? We'll start off with the Battle Arena playset that includes Bumblebee and Galvatron.

The armor on the Warriors is significantly different from that of the Nanos. For one they're more directly trying to evoke the armor plating of the Transformers themselves- thanks to the Gipsy Danger-esque shape of Galvatron's torso it's really easy to see what they're going for there. Bumblebee is a little less obviously Bumblebee, but considering Hexbug probably can't use car shapes without paying Chevy, this is understandable. And they've got the yellow and black to sell it, and it does definitely make the connection. Beneath the surface of each armor plate is a printed layer of detail, presumably showing the inner workings of the robot. Those are unique to each figure, but again a creatively abstract piece of design work rather than direct copying of details from the character model. Each Warrior also has six hardpoints to attach weapons and armor: one on each end and two on each side.

The accessories are designed to modify the battle capabilities of each Hexbug. Armor helps deflect the opponent while weapons can be one of two kinds. Motion weapons move thanks to the vibration of the bug, while Advantage Weapons are positioned by hand to help the bug out at certain angles of attack. Each bot comes with one of each type. Bumblebee gets a spinning-blade Motion Weapon and a sliding bar Advantage Weapon that can be positioned to one side or the other to deflect attacks. Galvatron has a pair of vibrating mandibles and a pair of horns on hinges that you can adjust for better deflection.

Battle works like this: holding the button on the bottom of each bug for a second activates Battle Mode, which turns on both the motor and an LED on top of each bug. Put them down on a flat surface or in the arena (which we'll get to below,) and let them run around. It actually is pretty impressive to watch them run around the Arena and spin each other around. As the Warriors take "damage" their LEDs will go to yellow, and then flashing red. A solid red LED means the bug is deactivated, and the opposing Warrior is the winner. I'm not entirely sure how the sensors calculate damage- I do know that it's entirely possible to "damage" a single Warrior while you're just holding it, but whether the trigger is impact, light, or something, I don't know. For a time I thought it might just be a randomized timer, but I'm leaning towards it being something else. Another thing it's possible to do just by holding a running Hexbug Warrior: make your fingers numb.

And lastly we come to the Arena, which makes up the remainder of the set. More or less shaped like a shoe, it plugs together using two identical halves and three feet. It's a shallow, curved dish that does a much better job than I expected of keeping the Hexbugs inside. As strong as those motors are I expected them to push one another out pretty quickly. Not that Sumo Bugs would be a bad idea for a toy either, but the way the toy does work is more satisfying.

Closing Remarks

Again, rating these on the same scale as an action figure really makes no sense. But I was right in that these feel significantly more satisfying to play with than the Nanos. The fact that there's a goal to the skittering and that you can customize your Warriors makes it feel more like a solid toy than an "Oh, well that's neat" kind of novelty that ends up at the bottom of the toybox. So for $20 you get two little fighting robots with accessories, light-up features and a battle arena, which feels like a much better deal than individual Nanos. Individual Warriors are $9.99 apiece, so this set is a better deal than those too when you get down to it. If you're going to get into Transformers Hexbugs, this seems like the best way to do it so far.

The items featured in this review were provided to TFormers by the manufacturer for the purposes of the review.

DateJune 2nd 2014  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  

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