Release Date: January 2013
Price Point: $22.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Electro-Scrambler rifle, Steeljaw
*Text below and images from Transformers.com
Autobot Blaster has amassed an incredible collection of music from across the galaxy. From hundreds of worlds, he’s gathered the loudest, fastest, most brutal, earsplitting, guitar-shredding rock-and-roll he could find. When you charge into battle alongside Autobot Blaster, you are accompanied by a thunderous soundtrack of which the mightiest Viking would approve.
This dynamic duo will be your fiercest Autobot team yet! Your Autobot Blaster figure converts from dangerous robot mode to communications truck mode, where he can launch his sonic assaults on his Decepticon enemies. At his side is a tough Steeljaw figure, who ejects from data disc mode at the touch of a button to auto-convert to robot mode! Together they’ll make double trouble for the Decepticons, and the outcome of the battle is all up to you!
Includes 2 figures. Series 1 004 Autobot Blaster. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
2012's "media event" for "Transformers" was the "Fall of Cybertron" video game. One of the characters in this "universe" is Blaster (aka "Autobot Blaster" due to trademark reasons). This gave Hasbro the opportunity to take the sculpt previously used as Voyager Class Soundwave and retool it as Blaster. Technically the two characters had different alternate forms in Generation One (Soundwave being a microrecorder, Blaster being a "boom box" radio) but thematically having the two share an alternate form works well. Included with the figure is one of Blaster's Mini-Cons/Deployers/Partners (take your pick on the term) Steeljaw, who shares the same disc form as a lot of the former "Cassette robots" who have been given new forms in the "Fall of Cybertron" portion of the "Generations" toy line. Steeljaw himself is a retool and redeco of the sculpt previously used for Ravage.
This review will focus on the changes made to the two sculpts for this release. For Blaster himself, read over Soundwave's review for a detailed look at the sculpt. For Steeljaw, take a look at Ravage's review.
Inspired by Generation One Steeljaw, the beast mode here is a robotic lion. This feline based form allowed the mold for Ravage to be used as the base for this figure. Several pieces on the figure have been replaced including:
- The head is now a distinctive lion head complete with wide snout and a layered mane on the top and sides.
- The panel on the back connected to the head/mane area is a new piece, with tube like details on the insides towards the middle.
- The rear panel forming the back of the main body has a layered series of panels sculpted in going down the back.
These three changes make up most of the body of the figure, giving it a significantly different look than Ravage. I'm really glad the designers didn't just repaint Ravage and I was very surprised they went so far as to not only replacing the head, but also the panels on the back. Quite impressive!
Steeljaw is cast in yellow and white, with most of the figure in yellow. This was G1 Steeljaw's primary color, but this shade is lighter than the one used on the original Steeljaw. Smaller parts such as the upper parts of each leg and the "belly" area are white. The only paint details on the figure are the eyes, which are light blue. While it would have been cool to have more colors on the back pieces he doesn't really need them. The sculpted details already look great as is and it seems the designers saved most of the paint detailing for Blaster in this set.
Transformation to Data Disc:
- Position the front legs so they are pointing forward.
- Push the beast mode head back into the opening behind the neck.
- Swing the tail up against the back panel.
- Swing the back panel up, covering the head.
- Push the lower legs on the rear legs up.
- Rotate the rear leg sections around.
- Push the rear leg sections up.
Data Disc Mode:
Like the other "Data Disc" modes seen previously, Steeljaw is a thick disc in his alternate form, intended to fit inside Blaster's chest compartment. In this form Steeljaw's yellow parts concentrate in the front and his white parts show in the back. Like the others, they have a "circuit" pattern painted on the front. This time the background is gold with the circuit pattern painted in black. In the center is a black Autobot symbol set against a gold circle. The use of the gold color in particular is a nice touch since gold was the color of G1 Steeljaw's weapons.
Autobot Blaster Review
From the initial photos, I thought Autobot Blaster was only going to have a new head, but a bit more has been done to this figure. Here's what's changed with the sculpt:
- The head is a new one, replacing Soundwave's. It takes both Blaster's G1 animated appearance and his G1 toy into account. The helmet section is rounded with "ears" sticking up at the top. Over his face is a visor. In the cartoon, the face was the model used, in the original figure he had the visor. It's really cool to see both represented here.
- The chest panel is a new piece, mirroring the design of his G1 chest panel complete with a four sided window angled in the center. Underneath that panel are "button-like" designs that serve as a callback to the buttons on G1 Blaster's chest.
- The weapon included with this figure has been replaced with an updated version of G1 Blaster's "Electro-Scrambler" rifle. This includes a scope on top, a shoulder rest and a circle in the middle.
All these changes really do "transform" the figure into Blaster. My biggest fear about this figure is that it would have just looked like "Soundwave with a new head" but it definitely doesn't. These few changes do the job of making the sculpt look distinct.
Blaster is cast in several plastic colors: red, two shades of silver, black and translucent blue. Like his G1 counterpart, the top part of the body is mostly made up of red and black plastic. The lower part of the body (and the panel on his back) is cast in a very light, metallic silver color that looks almost tinged with beige. However, his wheels are a darker silver and the differentiation between the two colors is very strong. The translucent blue color is used for the eyes (allowing light piping) and his chest panel. Altogether, his colors are distinctly "Blaster".
Paint details on the figure mirror some of the plastic colors. This includes black and silver details on his arms and black details above his feet. Another "G1 Blaster" color on this figure is yellow, which is used to paint the panel on his chest and the "visor eyes" on his head. A tiny bit of yellow forms thin lines on his shoulder armor, which gives it welcome detail. Silver paint is used on the "buttons" on his chest as well as the face. Finally, white paint is used for an Autobot symbol on the right side of his chest. This is not the traditional "Generation One" Autobot symbol but the more modern one with slanted "eyes" on the symbol. Overall, the color scheme is bright, eye catching and true to the character.
All of the joints on the figure are tight. Press the button near his left shoulder and his chest panel pops open. Inside is a circular slot that fits up to three of the "Disc" Mini-Cons/Deployers such as Steeljaw. You pull the back panel out to accomodate more and then push it to "eject" the discs. Ideally they would drop to the ground and transform (though results will vary from attempt to attempt). Both of Blaster's hands have 5mm holes, allowing you to attach his rifle to either hand. Even better? He still has the hole next to his right shoulder (carried over from Soundwave) and his Electro-Scrambler has a hole on either side in the center. At minimum, Blaster can carry up to four extra weapons while storing another on his back thanks to the 5mm hole sculpted into his back panel.
Blaster's robot mode looks great and manages to stand on its own instead of "just" being a redeco. The newly sculpted parts are fantastic as well.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the rifle if attached and set it aside for now.
- Pull the back panel all the way out.
- Push each fist into the forearms.
- Straighten out the robot arms and swing them back so they are horizontal.
- Swing the arms up at the shoulder hinges, making sure they connect to the sides of the figure (there's a peg and hole that match up).
- Swing the wheels on his back forward.
- Swing each forearm up against the shoulders.
- Swing the back panel out to give some clearance for the robot legs.
- Swing the waist piece back and the legs forward.
- You will need to rotate the wheel pieces on the legs to match them up with the arms, forming the sides of the vehicle.
- Swing the panels from the shoulders in towards the center to cover up the robot head.
- Push the top most part of the chest panel up, using the tabs on top to fit under the panels from the last step.
- Push the back panel up and onto the top of the vehicle.
- attach the cannon to the top of the vehicle.
You can angle his front panel at an angle or not in vehicle mode and it won't really affect the vehicle. My photos above show the panel angled out or up against the front of the vehicle.
Blaster's vehicle mode has two significant changes from Soundwave's. The first is the front panel, formed from the chest panel in robot mode. Here, the panel is a lot more flat and he lacks the aggressive looking "claws" on the front end of the vehicle in the center. He does still retain the large claws angling up on the sides however, so he's not completely benign looking, but changing the center panel goes a long way in making him look different than Soundwave. The second change are the wheels. They have all been replaced, with wheels that feature a stylized Autobot symbol on the sides. This goes a long way in differentiating this form from Soundwave as well. The rest of the sculpt is the same including the angled details on the sides and the tiny seat on the top of the vehicle (which, in an undocumented feature can fit the "Diaclone" drivers that predate the Transformers toy line).
With his robot parts condensed, the two main robot mode colors (red and light silver) wind up making up the front and back respectively while overlapping in the center. A bit of the black plastic shows on the middle section and the "claws" in the front. Plenty of paint applications provide detailing in this form including silver along the sides and on the "claws" in front. Light blue is used for the hex shaped details on the sides. Yellow shows prominently on the panel in front as well as lines running down the either side of the front section. Yellow is also used to paint the seat on the top of the vehicle. A bit of red is used on the silver parts on the back above the rear wheel wells. Finally, the sides of the wheels are painted gold, a welcome detail given how wheels in general aren't painted on Transformers anymore.
Any 5mm pegged weapon can attach to the hole on the top of the vehicle. In Blaster's case, it's even better because the weapon itself can accomodate more weaponry, giving him more potential firepower in vehicle mode.
Blaster is an awesome redeco and retool of Soundwave. Through the smart use of new parts and colors that fit the personality of the character, the designers have managed to make this toy distinct from its predecessor. Steeljaw is also a cute little guy and a great retool in his own right. Highly recommended!