Robotmasters Toy Review: R-Blade

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Robotmasters

Robotmasters Transformers

General Information:
Release Year: July 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $15 (Depending on Import Retailer)
Accessories: Missile, Gun

Images:

Robotmasters sees the return of a mold that has not been used in quite some time: the Hooligan mold from Generation 2. Hooligan was one of six "Cyberjets" released for Generation 2, a group of basic sized, highly posable jets. Hooligan's mold was later given a new deco and released as Jetfire in Generation 2, but with a color scheme that didn't resemble his namesake in any way whatsoever.

So here we are about nine years after the original Cyberjets were released with Hooligan's mold in Jetfire colors with a new identity: R-Blade. Since Hooligan was reviewed fairly recently, check out his review for details on the toy. This review will focus on the changes
made to the toy for this release.

Tech Specs (Translated by Doug Dlin):
Name: R-BLADE
Function: Interceptor Knight

Profile: A member of the Cyberjets, an aerial combat team who have weapon-firing Gauntlet Frames for right arms. His Sonic Lance is loaded with a variety of scientific weaponry. Normally devotes himself to diplomacy with Earthlings as a consulate.

Weapon(s): Sonic Lance, Flare Gun

Rank: 9 Power: 7 Defense: 6 Stamina: 8 Speed: 10

Robot Mode:
R-Blade's robot mode screams G1 Jetfire. Strating with the head, you have a very sleek looking piece, made even nicer by the triangular "visor eyes to mouth" piece. The forward section of the jet (including the cockpit) becomes the chest and main body, keeping in the design spirit of the G1 Jetfire toy. The wings mounted on the back also help add to this design similarity.

However, it is ultimately the color scheme of this mode that solidifies the connection. R-Blade is mostly white, with black and red forming details. The black and red stripes on his upper chest for instance are straight out of the color designs on G1 Jetfire. The upper arms and upper legs are red,
while the lower arms and lower legs are white. His feet are black (like Jetfire's were) with red right above the foot, then another black piece. This is reminscent of the alternating black and red stripes on G1 Jetfire. You'll also note two small red angled strips on his chest, these are designs directly lifted from red vents on G1 Jetfire's chest. Finally, translucent blue has been used for he eyes (including light piping) and the cockpit. This harks back to Skyfire, G1 Jetfire's cartoon incarnation, having blue eyes (as all Autobots did back then).

R-Blade does not come with two missiles as Hooligan and G2 Jetfire did. He only comes with one, although it snaps into his claw arm just fine. I do find it strange they kept its color yellow (albeit a different shade) considering there's no yellow anywhere else on the toy. A white or red missile would have worked just fine. However, Takara didn't take something without putting something in its place. R-Blade also comes with a gun. It is a medium sized weapon with a handle and trigger section, but it's actually held by a peg at the back. The gun is sculpted in translucent green plastic, but it has a silver vacuum metallized layer over it. I would personally prefer they had left the weapon translucent green, but it's still nice to
have an extra gun for this guy.

Vehicle Mode:
The Hooligan Cyberjet design was obviously intended to serve as Hasbro's version of Veritechs from Robotech. The designs are very similar, but in this case the jet is not a transforming F-14 or F-15, it's actually a NATF, an experimental Naval jet. But the general design principles of a Veritech jet are there. The long, sharp pointed nose, the wings that swing forward and the two smaller wings mounted on the top. It's a great looking vehicle, and aside from the missile launcher on the back, it could easily pass as a smaller version of G1 Jetfire.

Here the G1 Jetfire homages come in the form of the details on the wings and how the line designs from the robot mode come together with the vehicle mode details. The wings are black with a white and red striped sticker on them. The white sticker with the red strip duplicates the colors and design of G1 Jetfire's wings. There's no mistaking who they were paying homage to with this deco design.

Final Thoughts:
I'm a big fan of Cyberjets, I think their molds were very well done and look awesome. I noticed the "Veritech connection" years ago with the Cyberjets, and now things seem to have come full circle with the perfect Cyberjet chosen with the perfect color scheme. I've found many current fans don't actually
own Cyberjets, and it's not like they've been reissued since G2, so I whole heartedly recommend this guy.