Transformers Generation 2 (1993) Blaze Toy Review
- On Card
- On Card (Back)
- Vehicle Mode
- Vehicle Mode (Side)
- Vehicle Mode (Back)
- Vehicle Mode (Angle view)
- With Fizzle (Vehicle Modes)
- Robot Mode
- Robot Mode (Side)
- Robot Mode (Back)
- Robot Mode (Close up)
- Robot Mode (Focus on head)
- Robot Mode (Angle View)
- Robot Mode (Posed)
- With Fizzle (Robot Modes)
In 1988, the "Transformers" toy line consisted of several sub-groups. You didn't just have one gimmick selling the line. Instead some sub-groups could be made up as little as two to three characters who had their own gimmick. One of these were the Sparkabots, an Autobot team who all had friction motor that would cause sparks to fire out of the vehicle's rear section when rolled quickly on the ground. As the "Generation 2" line moved forward in Europe, several Generation One sculpts were picked to be given new decos and in some cases, new names in the G2 line. One of these was Generation One "Fizzle", a Sparkabot who was given new colors and a new name as "Blaze". Later fiction would reconcile Fizzle and Blaze as the same character.
Further confusing fans in the 90's was the packaging of Blaze, which had fellow Sparkabot Sizzle's G2 artwork. There were sometimes odd anomalies in packaging during that era, and while fiction from various sources (the "Fleetway" comic series in the UK for G2, the Transformers collector's Club etc.) have tried to reconcile this over the years, I think in the G2 era there were just quite simply errors made. The figure is packaged in vehicle mode on a card with a bubble that sticks out both ways, a style that was popular at the time. On the one hand it looks cool, on the other it makes the figure hard to store with others and keep the card from warping. His tech spec amounts to little but a motto, but this was common to figures not released in the US for "Generation 2".
Blaze's vehicle mode is an off road race car, complete with a giant spoiler in the back, a closed cockpit section and a thin front end. It also has large tires in the back and smaller in the front. It's a good looking vehicle and not one seen often in the ranks of the Autobots.
Blaze is cast mostly in translucent blue plastic replacing the dark solid blue from the original Fizzle toy. The wheels are blue and the spoiler is neon green. The blue itself looks great and the solid blue wheels go with it but wow does the spoiler hit your eyes hard. In the context of the time the figure's release these colors were less uncommon, but nowadays you're less likely to see these colors on a mass release toy. It's hard to say it looks "good" because that's rather subjective to your individual taste, but to me it looks good taken in context.
The windows on the figure are painted gold (adding a bit to the garishness a bit) and there are hazard stripe stickers on the panels on either side of the cockpit. The front has an Autobot symbol with the symbol in orange and yellow against a black background. This seems to be a bit of a callback to the heat sensitive symbol stickers from the G1 series and in that respect it works well.
Blaze's main action mechanism (and what makes him a "Sparkabot" in toy terms) is the ability to use a friction motor built into the toy to create "sparks" that shoot out the back. There's a couple problems here. First, the rubber on the wheel used to activiate this mechanism is a bit softer to the touch than the original Sizzle, so the sparks are harder to activate. Also, like his G1 counterpart, the chest plate of the robot mode sticker out a bit at the bottom, so when you do roll the figure along you wind up scraping the chest plate a bit. Now, I'm of two minds on this. One th e one hand, these are toys. They're meant to be batted around and played with, not kept in pristine condition in a glass case. However, the collector in me cannot help but think about what such a piece would cost you nowadays and if that is worth the price of the sparking mechanism. Overall it's a great gimmick when it works, but it's unfortunate one has to even debate this at all.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the panel with the Autobot symbol on it back.
- Pull the rear of the vehicle back.
- Stand up the robot and swing the sides forward to reveal the arms.
The theme behind Blaze's design appears to be partly based on a medieval knight's armor. The biggest indicator of this is the head design, which features a visor on the top of the "helmet" section complete with vertical lines running across it. His face has visor eyes and a nose and mouth. His body design is a bit asymmetrical. While the design focuses on panels that approximate a chest, waist and so on, the small details on the chest plates differ from left to right. The right side has two angled lines and the left has one longer line. It's a rather basic Transformers design and looks good, but it doesn't stand out much in the pantheon of Transformers designs.
The panels that make up the robot head/chest/waist/legs are all neon green. The arms are translucent blue. The face is painted red. I do wish there was some more color variation on the figure but this was typical for the Sparkabot designs.
Blaze has all of two points of articulation in this mode, his arms. Not terribly exciting, but back in the day imagination played a huge role when playing with "Transformers" and this was not seen as unusual at all.
After years of highly articulated and detailed figures, Blaze comes off as a bit of an anachronism in terms of design. Even in the time frame the figure was released, more articulated robot modes and more intricate sculpting had emerged in the "Transformers" toy line. I wouldn't go out and spend a ton of money on it, but I do have a genuine affection for the figure mostly borne of fond childhood memories. Most fans however probably won't share this affection.