"Tell me what's on your mind, or I'll splatter it on the wall and see for myself!"
The triple changers are definitely a fan favourite group. When the Classics line first launched, Astrotrain was one of the first figures out the door. Octane (Tankor) followed in the Universe line, and then it went quiet.
Until this year when Hasbro brought them back with a bang. Springer and Blitzwing were released together as Voyagers, in the newest version of the Generations line - and instantly became hits. Well, mostly Springer - but Blitzwing's not bad either.
Right out of the box, Blitzwing looks fantastic. He is a very faithful update of the G1 character - right down to having a bit ropey feet. The one big change is the seeker style cockpit chest - but it looks really nice. He's a big figure too, not like the deluxe triple changers we have had so far - or the recent tiny voyagers in the Transformers Prime line.
He has a good heft to him, and despite having a few hollow areas doesn't really feel like it. He has all the articulation you could ever want or need, with the exception of the head being able to look up and down. But its a minor complaint
What is not a minor complaint, is the famous shoulder problem. In what is clearly a QC issue, the shoulders do not lock into place as intended. There is a notch for them to do so, but for whatever reason they don't actually lock in. There are multiple fixes and mods for this, and one of mine does lock in if the you squish the whole assembly at an angle.Its actually quite a big deal, as without them locking, it means that every time you go to move the arms - the whole assembly lifts up. Its not that big an issue for collectors who just stand figures on a shelf, forever in one pose - but for kids playing with the figure its a pretty bad thing.The arm joints on mine are ultra tight, so if you go to move them at all - the whole thing move's.However, that's really one of the few criticisms I have with the figure, and hopefully Hasbro will fix it for the upcoming Double Dealer repaint/remold.
He comes with his sword and rifle, both of which are designed to look like their G1 counterparts. However, the rifle ends up looking way too small. The sword is really nicely detailed though, as well as not all being one colour - so it adds abit of variation
The robot mode does look incredible, and due its size and G1 look - it makes a nice addition to the Masterpiece shelf. The one thing I haven't mentioned is that there is a rotating face gimmick. However on mine, the faces are stuck - and I think it would require me to disassemble the whole thing to fix it. As G1 one I don't really have any interest in the Transformers Animated style faces - so I probably wont bother
Transformation into jet mode is surprisingly easy. I wont go into detail, but its very similar to how it turns into tank mode - which makes moving to tank mode from this really easy.
The jet mode is also pretty cool. It resembles the original, but its heavily influenced by Macross, so much so that every time I look it I find myself humming the Robotech theme tune .The way the arms fold onto the back give it a fast pack look, and it end up looking quite nice. Its gappy at the back, but the tank cannon folds back to give it the illusion of an exhaust. One that can fire a purple missile. Speaking of which, the cannon also flip forward, to give him an under slung firing cannon.
As you can see in the photos, the sword is used to fill in the gap on the top and it works, surprisingly. You pop the gun on top of that and gives him an extra mounted cannon.
There's a nice feature with the wings, which have an extra flap underneath that slides out to fill them out. There is also landing gear that can be pulled down, under the nosecone if you wish to display it in this way. Speaking of the nosecone, it brings me to one of my other issues with the toy.
The toy is made from hard plastic, except for the nosecone which is made from a soft rubbery plastic. Not only does that mean the colours don't quite match, but it means it warps easily. Its also a pain trying get it to close up over the head. You have to massage it into place, but the way the cockpit clips down over it makes it difficult. Not too difficult really, but frustrating.
It also means it can often be warped, so as to leave a gap - so you can see the head through the side.
The peg hole on top of the cannon, which is on the underside of the jet, is also compatible with many flight stands so you can pose him in all sorts of flying poses.
In the end the jet mode really works. Not if you want 100% real world accuracy, but if you like Robotech and cool looking jets - then it should be a winner.
Its also fun to play with, and easy to transform which is a fairly critical thing
Transformation into tank mode from jet mode is fairly easy. You just have to twist the legs around, squish the tabs into place, then twist the arms around and you are mostly there.
What is really neat is the way tank the treads form. You pull them down, and then flip out another piece of the tread and it then locks into place. Its a really smart little part of the transformation, that shows Hasbro are really on their A game.
Now, the sword and rifle peg into the top of the cannon, or can peg onto the sides if you wish as theres plenty of peg holes.
But it looks a lot better without the sword in my honest opinion
The turret rotates and can pivot up and down. So there are no sacrifice made here.
It ends up looking like a fairly solid tank mode. There are a few gaps and the back end clearly has the front of a jet sticking out of it - but it really works.
There are 2 panels on his waist, that are also supposed to flip out for this mode - but they are usually missed and I don't think they are in the instructions. But they really help to fill the modes front end out.
There is one issue which really stands out in this mode, and that is the difference in the sort beige colour on the front of the tank (the robot mode hips) and the side above the treads (the robot mode legs).
Most of the beige colour pieces are just plastic molded in that colour - except the bits above the treads on either side. That is paint.
Its not a deal breaker, but the difference is notable, with the paint being a noticeably brighter shade
This is where the cannon gimmick really comes into the play. You pop the purple missile in, and the you pull the cannon back to fire. Its a very suggestive motion that most men will be familiar with....
Inside the tip of the cannon, it has sort of teeth, which emulate the scene in the 1986 movie. That is a very nice touch (or it could be by accident)
Overall its a good looking mode, and probably the most fun to play with. Its also brilliant for posing with Kreon's
So that's Blitzwing.
Aside from a couple of arkward QC issues - hes a fantastic figure. He has a lot of play value, and has an intuitive transformation that isn't too complex, so should help pull kids back towards the brand. Its well worth the price he retails at, though I am not sure if he will ever appear on shelves over here in the UK, but he can be found for decent prices from (they ship it overseas) or the UK's own
One last gloriously over-saturated bonus outdoor flying shot