I mentioned a "new" function in 2018; I believe it has been around longer, just not exposed.
The Coerce To Type has been a hidden function since at least LabVIEW 2009. I know NI tried to release it before (2014?) but then found a major bug with it when classes were used and so delayed the official release. If you want to use the Coerce To Type in an earlier version, use the snippet found in the Idea Exchange (Officially Support the Coerce To Type).