It’s true; Five Below has their own line of knock-off Transformers figures called ‘Converts’. They are cars (totally not autobots) that ‘convert’ into robots. From rad car to rad robot, these ‘robot warriors’ come in two styles that by no means are trying to be Transformers movie legion class toys. Nope, not at all.
In Five Below fashion, this lovely little number cost $5 plus tax and it was the only one in the store. According to the back of the box, this item is made exclusively for Five Below by PlayTek, a humble little company in Hong Kong that produces…well…to put it bluntly, China Town Toys.
Here’s a funny little detail about Five Below and their array of discount toys. Really, it’s already a Hasbro Graveyard over there. Their toy aisle is filled with Playdoh, Roseart, slime toys, and discount Hasbro items. They have an entire board game wall dedicated to discount family board games, all five dollars or less (as is the shtick of the store). Every so often, you will find a random non-Hasbro item on clearance (like when I cleared my local Five Below of every pack of Super7’s MUSCLE Wrestlers), but for the most part, Hasbro it is.
But clearly, Five Below knew it was missing the Transformers market. Other than the occasional blind bag or those tiny little tchotchkes, there is no larger-scale Transformers presence in the stores. Even Star Wars has black box items and 12″ Barbie style Ray and Leia dolls.
Therefore, Converts needed to be born.
Check out this artwork on the box:
So damn rad.
Well, enough snark. Let’s crack this sucker open and see what this toy does.
The plastic feels very cheap, but it has these little tabs on the side that snap together to make sure that once it ‘converts’ into bot-car mode, it stays that way. When I raised the arm, the hood on the car that is over his head like an awning moved up and down, but I’m fairly confident that I broke that feature right away.
This toy comes with two gun accessories. Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I liked those the best out of everything else with the toy. Probably because they are big and come in two colors. For $5, I can’t really ask for much else.
This robot can almost stand up. The bulky feet, which is what will ultimately be the back of the car, are like hideous robot skis, perfect for when this item wants to make its Aspen escape from their harsh throes of reality. But enough stalling.
Let’s see a damn car.
Oh yeah. There it is. Converted, totally in disguise. Did I mention the wheels barely move? This gem doesn’t drive.
I don’t know; there’s definitely something about this toy that I like, but I’m unsure if its a state of positivity that I’m experiencing, or one of cynical amusement. On a technical level, point blank, the toy is cheap. The plastic is thin and wispy, it feels fragile, and I really think that in the hands of a child the thing would snap apart pretty quickly. There are some efforts made in the box art, but in the end, Five Below should try to make something work with Hasbro (license and budget allowing). I don’t control their money; I don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes.
I’m ultimately curious to see how this line works out for Five Below. I mean, they are the discount store, and these discount items are made exclusively for them. There’s sort of nowhere else these Converts can go if it doesn’t work out for them.
I’m taking bets that they sell them to Ross by next year.
I give Converts by Five Below 2/5 robot fists.
Toy Wizards’s Five Below ‘Converts’ by PlayTek Image Gallery: