Transforming from rugged tractor trailer into badass robot superhero isn’t enough anymore. Today, if you want to capture a kids’ imagination, that big rig has to morph into an action figure with dramatic flair and come with a collect ’em all game. That’s the latest trend in Transformer-esque robot toys. And the latest vehicular bots to join are Screechers Wild.
Almost identical in concept to Mattel’s new Mecards ⏤ themselves based on the popular Korean toys ⏤ Screechers Wild are also part of a growing trend of toys based on web shows. In this case, an animated series on YouTube that first aired in January. (Launch the show, sell the toys. That seems to be the name of the game these days.)
Essentially, Screechers are race cars/trucks that transform into robots ⏤ or “part hot rods, part animal spirit avatars.” Except, like Mecards, instead of just twisting and turning them into droids, you have to drive them into/over an object on the table ⏤ in his case, a plastic disc. When the spring-loaded car hits the disc, it skyrockets into the air and does a 360-degree flip, landing as a battle-tested robot ready to tear things up.
Of course, Screechers are collectibles and there 19 available in one of three “levels.” The discs are also collectibles and each vehicle comes with two, along with a kickass name like T-Wrekker (it’s a dinosaur, naturally), Sting Shift, and V-Bone. Also, CrocShock, RattleCat, and StormHorn. Seriously, they’re not messing around. As for price, Level 1s cost $7, Level 2s are $10, and Level 3s run $13. They also sell two types of launchers ⏤ one that shoots cars across the table and another that shoots discs ⏤ for $15. All are available online and in stores.