"Generations" Blast Off Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2

*Images above with asterisks(*) and text in italics below from The Official Transformers web site:
BLAST OFF disguises the horrible loneliness he feels behind utter contempt for anyone who can't reach orbit under their own power. From his isolated position in orbit, he can fry any AUTOBOTS his comrades designate with powerful x-ray lasers, or descend to join his fellows in forming the mighty DECEPTICON BRUTICUS. This vicious DECEPTICON warrior is big trouble for the AUTOBOTS all by himself, but he's also part of something a lot bigger - and scarier! Your BLAST OFF figure comes with awesome firepower, and he can convert to Cybertronian rocket plane mode and back whenever the battle calls for it. But when it's time to bring overwhelming force against his AUTOBOT enemies, he can combine with other COMBATICONS (sold separately) to form a giant DECEPTICON BRUTICUS robot figure! His weapon combines with other COMBATICON weapons to form DECEPTICON BRUTICUS's sonic cannon!

Get one piece of an invincible DECEPTICON BRUTICUS warrior with this hardcore BLAST OFF figure! Robot-to-vehicle warrior! Converts to Cybertronian rocket plane vehicle mode! BLAST OFF figure combines with other COMBATICON figures (sold separately) to build a giant DECEPTICON BRUTICUS robot! Figure becomes an arm or leg! Collect all 5! Includes BLAST OFF figure and accessories. Deluxe Class Series 1 008 BLAST OFF Ages 5 and up.

2012's big "Transformers" multimedia event was not a movie, but rather a video game. Following up on the success of "War for Cybertron", High Moon Studios was due to release "Fall of Cybertron" in August of 2012 so a large portion of the "Generations" toy line became dedicated to characters and designs from the game itself. One of the key characters in the game is Bruticus, the Combiner giant formed by the team known as "The Combaticons". Providing aerial support for this team is Blast Off, the Combaticon who transformed into a space shuttle in Generation One.

The existence of a new Bruticus figure caused quite a stir among fans. For years we've wanted a new Combiner figure, and lucky for the fandom at large we now have one. Even better? This guy was composed of five Deluxe Class figures, each one with its own unique transformation and identity. Before the initial retail release of this figure, the summer of 2012 saw the release of the entire set in a special box (with different colors)as a San Diegeo Comic-Con exclusive. This guy sold out within minutes of being available on Hasbrotoyshop and by the following week went for easily double the price on ebay. No doubt, this is one figure tons of Transformers fans wanted!

However, those fans who did not attend San Diego Comic-Con would also get a chance to purchase Vortex (and the other Combaticons) at mass retail several months later. In October 2012, the Combaticon team was released as one wave to mass retail. Each of these figures featured new decos that were intended to be brighter and more "eye catching" on toy store shelves. This review will focus on the changes made to Blast Off for this release. Check out my previous Blast Off review for a closer look at the figure's sculpt and mold.

Robot Mode:
Most of the Combaticons in this release were brightly colored to stand out more on toy store shelves, however Blast Off is one of the exceptions to this. In his case, his colors are actually darker than those found on the previous Blast Off figure. Whereas that figure was mostly beige, this figure's colors are focused on dark blue, black and purple. Most of the upper body (including the torso, head, shoulder armor and forearms) are made up of purple plastic. The smaller parts including the upper arms and thighs are black. The weapons and lower legs are cast in a very dark blue plastic (which looks almost black or purple under some lighting). These are colors reminscent of the classic Decepticon symbol, making them perfect to use on any Decepticon, including Blast Off.

What surprised me about this figure was the amount of paint applications found in this mode. The mass release figures generally have less decos than their San Diego Comic Con counterparts, and while this is no exception there are so many deco points here that you don't miss them. The most prominent color is yellow, which you'll find on his chest, waist, head and weapons. This contrasts really nicely against the darker colors and curiously, evokes another Decepticon's colors. To give Blast Off some emphasis on being a machine, gunmetal grey is used on parts ranging from his shoulder armor, to his mouth plate to the torso. Many of these points are carried over from the San Diego Comic Con version's paint pattern including the pointed part of his waist and the mechanical details on his shoulder armor. Taken as a whole, the colors balance out really nicely, with the yellow looking like the inner "glow" that eminates from many of the Transformers in the "Fall of Cybertron" game.

If one were to critique this deco, you could say a couple things. First, this is not game accurate at all. The video game's Blast Off CG model was largely grey/silver and neither the San Diego Comic-Con version or this one match it. Second, there have been some decos eliminated for the mass release including some paint on his legs and back. That doesn't mean there's none however. He has a small, black Decepticon symbol on his back and his knees have small purple details painted onto them, but these aren't as many as the previous release. I would say the former critique irks me more than the latter, but even given that there is no way I can truthfully say this figure doesn't look great.

All of Blast Off's joints are nice and tight in this mode. His weapons also still attach really nice and tight to his hands. I wouldn't worry about any mold degradation (and it would be really early for that to happen anyhow).

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Rotate the hip joint around so the legs wind up in a wide stance.
  3. Tuck each forearm under the shoulder armor.
  4. Swing the robot chest up, snapping it into place using the tab on the back.
  5. Rotate the lower legs around and push them up against the body to form the wings.
  6. Swing the shoulder armor pieces back and connect them together and to the lower legs.
  7. Attach the weapons onto the wings.

vehicle Mode:
Since most of Blast-Off's vehicle mode parts are visible in robot mode, there aren't any big surprises here. However, what works brilliantly is the way some details represented one thing in robot mode, but another in this form. For instance, the yellow in the front of the vehicle now looks like a glow eminating from a cockpit. Also, the gunmetal grey parts on his shoulder armor now look like machinery behind gigantic rocket boosters. I really like the way the yellow on the weapons works as vertical stabilizer details in this form. The colors on this figure are an exercise in contrast and it looks great.

Thanks to the design of Blast Off's weapons, attaching additional weaponry is as easy as connecting them to the holes on the sides of the blasters attached to his wings. If you pick weapons that can also have other weapons attach to them, you can begin creating one heavily armed vehicle!

Arm Mode:
Traditionally Blast Off formed one of Bruticus' arms. However, the original toy could form either an arm or leg of the Combiner. The same has been done with this figure.

To form the arm, start in vehicle mode. Push the legs down and then swing them out as if you were forming the robot legs. Rotate the wings so they point downward. On the underside of each wing you'll find a fist and a thumb. One for each side depending on which arm you want to form. Swing out the appropriate fist and thumb pieces. Swing in the outer parts of the wings and connect the two halves together. Then swing the front of the vehicle out a bit to reveal the purple connection point. Swing it down to connect to the connection point on one of Onslaught's shoulders.

Blast Off looks fine on his own as an arm, but when attached to Bruticus, the arm looks very long. It doesn't actually go past his hips that much, but in proportion to other limbs such as Vortex or Swindle in arm mode, he looks way too long. You could, theoretically play around with the transformation, perhaps tuck the lower body up to make it shorter, but that would stress the figure in ways I don't recommend. He can hold 5mm peg weapons in either hand. Overall I'm sorry to say that Blast Off's arm mode is perhaps his least successful form.

Leg Mode:
The leg mode winds up being a much quicker to transform from vehicle mode than the arm mode. All you need to do is swing in the wings to form a solid base for Bruticus to stand on. Then swing the front of the vehicle up to reveal the connection point and plug that into Onslaught's leg connection points.

It's odd for a Generation One fan like me to admit this, but I actually prefer Blast Off as a leg limb. In this form there are no issues with him looking out of proportion with the rest of the Combiner figure. He's also really stable thanks to the width of the leg's base.

Final Thoughts:
Blast Off looks gorgeous in both forms. I'm usually one who doesn't like dismissing a "media" representation of a character such as his "in game" appearance, however I will make an exception in this case. I'm also pleased to see so many decos on this figure when they could have been sacrified for cost. The only downside to this figure is its comically long arm mode. Recommended!

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