Generations San Diego Comic-Con 2012 Blast Off Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: July 2012
Price Point: $99.99 (included in five pack with Onslaught, Swindle, Brawl and Vortex)
Retailer: San Diego Comic-Con/Hasbrotoyshop Exclusive
Accessories: Blasters x 2

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". The only non-military vehicle based member of the original Combaticon team was Blast-Off, who transformed into a space shuttle. Now he's back in his Cybertronian form and part of the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive five pack of Combaticons.

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!

While all the San Diego Comic-Con Combaticons were packaged together, I will be reviewing each individual robot separately for the sake of space (otherwise the review will involve insane amounts of scrolling). Here are links to the other reviews for your reference:

Vehicle Mode:
In the Generation One television show, Blast Off was a space shuttle, but we were told he had existed on Cybertron before but we never saw what he transformed into. While the "Fall of Cybertron" universe is in a new continuity, Blast Off's new vehicle mode seems to be inspired by the general shape of a space shuttle. The back of the vehicle is large and bulky and thinner sections splay out to the sides in the back and at the very front is a pointed section that is analagous to the cockpit section of the space shuttle. What's neat is the placement of Blast Off's weapons. Each blaster has a vertical fin/stabilizer on it extending to a barrel in front. They attach to the "wings" on the sides and wind up creating extra stabilizers for the vehicle. This is inspired by weapons that were included with Generation One Blast Off. These weapons also connected to a similar section of that figure and also formed weapons that wound up over the wings.

Unlike the space shuttle, Blast Off's vehicle mode isn't covered in smooth panels running along the surface of the vehicle. Instead, there are several layers of raised details including a series of vertical stabilizers that wrap around the back part of the vehicle from left to right. Towards the front are several raised details including raised lines, hex patterns representing what look like windows and raised panels on the middle section. Overall, the vehicle is definitely not a traditional "space shuttle" in any way but it has enough influences from the original version of the character that I'm quite impressed by the way they managed to take something so (pardon the word) "alien" looking but still remind me of the G1 character.

Blast Off is cast in a tan color, slightly darker than Swindle. This color actually makes up most of the vehicle form. There are some black and purple plastic parts, but they mostly form parts of the robot mode so they only peek out from certain parts here (mostly in the back). This is just a canvas however. There are a ton of paint applications on this figure. Paint applications are done in silver, purple and gunmetal. These three colors are used perfectly. The part in the back with all the vertical stabilizers have silver painting the details in between each. All the parts with the cross hatch patterns (resembling windows) are painted purple while other panel details are painted gunmetal. What's awesome is the way these colors work together such as on the wings where the top is outlined with gunmetal and the details on the front part of the wings are colored purple. I'm really impressed with the deco on this figure.

Each of the wings have two 5mm peg holes to attach weapons. His weapons can attach there and what's even cooler is that each of his weapons have pegs on the sides allowing you to attach additional weapons. Of course if you want you can take those weapons off and attach alternative weapons.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1.     Detach the weapons if connected.
  2.     Move each wing down slightly, then extend it out to the sides and back.
  3.     Split the large engine section in the middle, then swing each half up.
  4.     Push the front end of the vehicle down to reveal the robot head and for the torso.
  5.     Swing the robot arms up and swing the forearms down.
  6.     Rotate the thighs and lower leg sections around.
  7.     Attach the blasters to the fists or the sides of the forearms.

Robot Mode:
Blast Off's vehicle mode is really striking looking. Unlike his rather blocky G1 incarnation, this version is very sleek and powerful looking all at the same time. He has several angled sections that give the look of speed including pointed fins on his forearms, angled thighs and lower legs. His shoulder armor and chest panel are relatively thick and bulky giving him a powerful look, but thanks to the vertical stabilizers on the shoulder armor even that manages to look sleek. Many of the vehicle mode details carry over to the robot mode, but they become more prominent here. That includes the mechanical details and tubes on the shoulder armor and the layers of details on the torso. The final detail that makes the sculpt is the head. Modeled after the Generation One Blast Off head sculpt, it features a high crest, mouthplate in three sections and thin eyes. Overall, this figure looks fantastic.

This mode shows off a bit more of the black and purple plastic only hinted at in the vehicle mode. His upper arms are black with purple elbows. His thighs are black while the rest is tan. There aren't many paint details added on here, mostly because he doesn't need them. All the intricate paint decos from the vehicle mode show off prominently here. The wing paint details are now on the legs and the paint from the middle to front of the vehicle winds up on his torso to the waist. What is newly revealed are purple details painting the eyes and parts of the head and black on the hands.

Blast Off has seventeen points of articulation. This includes four points of articulation on each arm and leg. These are a combination of ball and swivel joints. He has six connection points for weapons with 5mm pegs. There are his fists, holes on the sides of his forearms (near the elbows) and one on each side of his legs. The leg connection points are interesting as they also serve as a call back to Generation One Blast Off who also had weapon connection points on his legs. If you attach his blasters to the sides of his legs it is a nice visual homage to the original toy.

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. He "works" as a limb and can hold 5mm peg weapons in either Bruticus hand.

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 is a great looking sculpt in both modes. It's funny, in the initial promotional images I had a lot of reservations about his rather unusual vehicle mode, but once I had it in my hands I really have to say I liked it a lot. The robot mode looks fantastic and I really dig the paint deco on the figure. My only reservation is its proportion issue in arm mode.

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