"Generations" Combiner Wars Blast Off Toy Review

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Combaticon, Combiner Wars, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation One, Generations

Generations

Blast Off General Information:
Release Date: December 2015
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Blaster

The theme for the "Generations" segment of the "Transformers" toy line in 2015 is "Combiner Wars". The focus will be on updated versions of Combiners from the past (with some new elements thrown in for good measure). The idea is to take lessons learned from the Bruticus released a couple years ago and create better Combiners featuring a Voyager Class central body piece with Deluxe sized limbs. To spice things up a bit, some of the Legends Class figures released for "Combiner Wars" will be able to serve as weaponry for the combined giants.

Blast Off is one of the aerial members of the Combaticon team. In Generation One he transformed into a space shuttle, but in "Combiner Wars" he has taken on a jet fighter mode instead. This figure is a redeco of the Aerialbot Quickslinger (aka Slingshot) so you'll want to check out that review too. This review focuses on changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
Wave one of the "Combiner Wars" Deluxes were rushed onto shelves due to production issues, so the were largely released without comic books and with a trading card featuring artwork from the "Transformers Legends" game. From wave two forward, the figures now include comic books with the cards removed. Blast Off comes with a reprint of "Robots in Disguise" #11 from IDW Publishing. The cover is new artwork (I believe from artist Ken Christiansen) featuring Blast Off holding his weapon. Surprisingly this is not Quickslinger's artwork in all new colors but rather a whole new piece of art. The back of the comic has a long form tech spec written from the perspective of the Decepticon Soundwave. The tech specs focus heavily on Blast Off changing his mode from a space shuttle to a jet, acknowledging the character's history. It's a really cool way to work "Marvel Universe" style tech specs into the toy and I really appreciate this addition.

Accessories:
Blast Off comes with the same accessories as Quickslinger, which is a bit disappointing. Since he's a direct redeco of Quickslinger, I was hoping at least his accessories would be different. The hand/foot/weapon piece is now cast in silver. The blaster is painted gunmetal grey - which looks great. There's nothing wrong with the pieces mind you, but it makes this particular figure release feel a bit less special.

Robot Mode:
"Combiner Wars" Blast Off has many of the same colors as his G1 counterpart. This includes military green which has been used for a bulk of the robot mode. This includes his arms, most of the legs, the head and the jet mode pieces on his back. Purple plastic is used on his shoulder joints and the front panel of the torso along with the thighs.

The paint colors on this figure include metallic purple, gunmetal grey, yellow and lavender. The metallic purple is used heavily on the torso panel. Gunmetal grey is used on parts of his torso panels, the fists, face and feet. The combination of the metallic purple and gunmetal grey are really gorgeous. Under the right light they both really sparkle. Yellow is used for vent like pieces such as the knee sections. Lavender is used on the eyes, mirroring the G1 toy. The finishing touch is a Decepticon symbol on the left side of his chest.

The deco does a good job of paying homage to G1 Blast Off. I really dig the metallic colors and incorporating the yellow (inspired by G1 Blast Off's stickers) was a nice touch. What kills me about this figure is that there was zero retooling done for this release. Blast Off is the only Combaticon whose form has been changed so drastically from his G1 counterpart. Sure it does make more sense for a "Combat"icon to have a jet fighter mode than a space shuttle, but since the other Combaticons appear to be modern day updates of their G1 predecessors this feels oddly out of place. It also doesn't help that Quickslinger/Slingshot has a very distinct head sculpt. Not many Transformers have a round head sandwiched in between two rectangles, usually the sides are part of a "helmet" over a face. Having seen this character year after year in different media, it is hard not to look at this toy and see Quickslinger pretending to be Blast Off and not Blast Off himself.

Much to my surprise, the joints on my copy of Blast Off are actually a bit tighter than those on my Quickslinger, so I'll give it some kudos for that. He can also hold onto his accessories nice and tight, so I would not worry too much about mold degradation.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms, legs and head.
  3. Pull the jet cockpit piece a bit and swing it back.
  4. Rotate the robot head around.
  5. Swing the jet cockpit forward and down over the robot head.
  6. Swing the pieces on the back of each lower leg up.
  7. Swing the lower leg pieces forward, each has a tab that connects to a slot on the robot waist area.
  8. Swing the pieces from the lower legs forward.
  9. Push the halves of the lower legs (now the rear of the jet) together.
  10. Swing each robot arm down. There is a notch on each forearm that connects to a red tab on the rear of the jet.
  11. Swing each wing and horizontal stabilizer fin down.
  12. Swing the vertical stabilizer fin up.
  13. The weapons can be attached to the underside of each wing.

Vehicle Mode:
The green color makes up most of the vehicle mode. The paint patterns take their inspiration from G1 Blast Off's vehicle mode. The cockpit is colored lavender, just like the windows on G1 Blast Off. The nosecone is black, just like G1 Blast Off. Each wing has metallic purple designs on them with silver outlines. On top of each is a small Decepticon symbol. The purple lines call back to purple stripes on G1 Blast Off's wings. The vertical fin has gunmetal grey on the edge with Decepticon symbols on the sides, another reference to G1 Blast Off.

There were no mold changes in this form, so you pretty much just have Firefly and Quickslinger's vehicle modes in another color. To be fair, other than retooling this into a spaceship of some sort, I don't think there would have been any point in any retooling.

Blast Off's weapons fit nicely under his wings and they hold on tight, so again there has been no mold degradation.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
  3. Press the two lower legs together.
  4. Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
  5. Push the robot head section back, this will swing out the square peg that serves as the Combiner connection point.
  6. Swing the jet cockpit piece back into place.
  7. Swing each robot arm down.
  8. Bend the arms at the elbows so they roughly line up with the angle of each wing.
  9. Rotate the waist around so the green parts on the back of the lower legs face forward.
  10. Attach the hand piece to the port under the robot feet.
  11. The weapon can be attached to the hand.

Arm Mode:
Of the two limb forms of this sculpt I prefer Blast Off as an arm. The sleek, curved lines look more like an arm to me. I also like the way you can attach weapons to the undersides of his wings to give Bruticus additional firepower. From a color perspective he is reminiscent enough of G1 Blast Off (who traditionally formed Bruticus' arm) that I think he looks pretty cool in this form.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
  3. Push the robot head section back, this will swing out the square peg that serves as the Combiner connection point.
  4. Swing out each half of the lower legs, then swing them forward and condense them (as if you were forming the rear of the vehicle mode).
  5. Push each arm down against the sides (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
  6. Unfold the fist/foot accessory so it's flat. Make sure the "thumb" is now a heel piece.
  7. Attach the fist/foot piece to the hole on under Blast Off's feet.

Leg Mode:
Blast Off is a perfectly good leg limb for Bruticus. He's solid and thanks to the design of the foot piece he can be posed in various ways. However because his jet mode parts are so front and center (literally), he looks a bit too much like an Aerialbot masquerading as a Combaticon. I personally find him distracting more than anything else in this form.

Final Thoughts:
Here's the conundrum with Blast Off. Objectively as a toy it's cool. He looks great in both modes, fun transformation and being a Combiner limb adds to the play value. His weapons are cool too. The problem is that it feels like Quickslinger cosplaying as Blast Off and the character deserved better. If you're not particularly attached to the character and you want a complete Combaticon team this isn't a bad purchase, but keep in mind a Unite Warriors Blast Off is on the way.