Revenge of the Fallen Blazemaster Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: October 2009
Price Point: $11.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Helicopter blades/weapons x 2

Images:

*Images and text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
There are a lot of AUTOBOTS who think BLAZE MASTER is a little haywire. He likes to hover over DECEPTICON squads, letting them notice him, and relying on his defensive systems to protect him from their fire. It isn’t until his targets notice him that he drops his payload of corrosive gel right on their heads. Watching a bunch of DECEPTICONS break into a panicked sprint while their armor smokes and melts is what he lives for. Gear up for “high-flying” fun with this trusty AUTOBOT defender! This advanced conversion figure features a spinning combat blade in robot mode while a spinning rotor in news helicopter mode really gets this good guy’s motor runnin’! Recreate exciting movie scenes or get rolling with your own adventures!

I enjoy redecos as much as the next guy, but it is always fun to welcome a brand spanking new sculpt and character into a Transformers universe. In the case of "Revenge of the Fallen", one of the late year entries to the line is Blazemaster, an Autobot whose character actually has G1 roots. Back in the G1 era, there was a Micromaster helicopter also named Blazemaster, and like this Autobot, G1 Blazemaster was also rather fond of hovering above his enemies, dropping a corrosive on them and laughing as they met their doom. It's a really creepy and quirky character type that you wouldn't expect from an Autobot and it's always fun to know that Hasbro is doing its research into characters when they do homages, emulating not only the character's look but also their personality.

Vehicle Mode:
The goal of the vehicle modes used in the movie toy lines is to create forms that you could conceivably see in real life. Unlike the more fantasy based vehicles in lines such as Energon and Cybertron, this harkens more back to the core of the Transformers line from the 80's in concept. Most of the time these "semi-real life" forms are cars or trucks, but in this case the vehicle in question is a Dauphin Eurocopter, a vehicle that seems to be a preferred Transformer helicopter form partly due to its sleek design and its lack of landing rails, giving it a very distinct appearance. It's also a good choice since the Dauphin has been adapated for all sorts of tasks including military, search and rescue and civilian applications. In the case of Blazemaster, his deco labels him as part of the "Channel 7 Action News" team. A quick google search for this term shows that this is a real news channel in Detroit. This adds to the "realism" of the form since the average person is much more likely to see a news helicopter on a daily basis than say, a search and rescue helicopter.

Considering how hard Hasbro has to work sometimes to vary a vehicle from its real life source vehicle due to licensing issues, it is really cool to see just how easily identifiable Blazemaster's vehicle mode is as the Dauphin. There are some key details here that are represented in the toy that come directly from the real life vehicle:

  • The nose on the Dauphin is short and rounded off, looking almost like a shortened duck bill.
  • High angled windows in the front that wrap around to teh sides on the front of the vehicle.
  • On the right side of the top engine section, there is a small pod attached to the side.
  • The vertical stabilizers on the back of the vehicle are angled forward.
  • The fenestron tail rotor has a unique shape, with angled lines on the top, a cuve on the bottom and a vertical piece angling back on top.

There are a lot of line details sculpted into the vehicle mode. They range from what appear to be armor panels on the front to doors on the sides. On the top engine/rotor section there are curved notches on the front and back which look like air intakes. There are even curved and straight line details.

Blazemaster is cast in three primary plastic colors: gold, white and translucent blue. The gold color makes up most of the vehicle mode, with white appearing mostly on the rotor blades and the small pod on the right side of the vehicle. Translucent blue plastic can be found on the windows in the front and for the button you press to spin the rotors. Dark metallic blue paint along with black, white and orange are used for paint details. Metallic blue is the most evident color, running from the front nose of the vehicle in a curved shape all the way to the back. Black paint is used for the Autobot symbol on the left side of the vehicle and white is mostly used for the text on the sides of the vehicle which include "Channel 7 Action News" on the sides and "7 News" above the rotor on the tail. White and orange are found on the ends of the air intakes on the top of the vehicle. This combination of colors is not exactly new. G1 Blazemaster had a very similar combination of colors, most notably the gold and blue. I really love the metallic look of the colors used in this form and how they harken back so well to the original Blazemaster. The "Action News" logo on the side is awesome as it really does look like something "in your face" that you would find on a news vehicle.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the rotors and fold of the blades on the halves together before separating them from each other.
  2. Swing up the panels on the underside of the vehicle behind the nose.
  3. Split the front windows of the helicopter apart then rotate them forward and down.
  4. Swing open the blue panels on the top of the windows.
  5. Split the tail sections and swing them outward.
  6. Swing the tail down on the central plastic piece running down the center of the vehicle's underside.
  7. Detach the sides of the vehicle from the top section and swing those sections down.
  8. Swing the nose of the helicopter down.
  9. Split the top engine section and swing the halves forward to form the robot arms.
  10. On each robot arm swing the thumbs forward and rotate the upper arms around so the forearms can swing forward. You can swing the panels together (that is how the officialphotos show it transformed) but I prefer them only partly closed.
  11. Pull each half of the tail rotor out a bit, and swing it down before folding each half of the rotor in.
  12. Swing each horizontal stabilizer so they point back.
  13. Swing the central hinged pieces up and connect the tail section to the white hinged section.
  14. There are notches in the center white hinge piece that connect to tabs on the white horizontal plastic strips that attach to the arms. Connect those together.
  15. Swing the tail piece against the back.
  16. Swing down each lower leg and angle the legs back in a "chicken walker" type pose.
  17. Attach the rotors to the underside of each arm.

Robot Mode:
It's funny what spending some time with a figure can do to your perception. When I first saw the pictures of Blazemaster's robot form I was pretty darn unimpressed. What really weirded me out were his odd chicken legs. They're not just chicken walker legs, they look like a mechanical chicken's legs complete with the backward angling and three claws on his feet. Then I looked at his arms and their rather flat and pointed design resembled a bird's wings and the next thing you know, I have this picture of a chicken Transformer in my head.

However, as I played with this figure a bit more, transformed it a few times and really took a good look at it I began to develop an appreciation for its rather odd form. I think part of my ability to appreciate it at all is due in part to its resemblance to robots from another favorite giant robot series of mine: Battletech. Battletech featured many different types of robot designs, including "chicken walker" type robots that generally looked like pods sitting on top of legs, sometimes with arms, sometimes without. Examples of these kind of Mechs include the Catapult and the Jenner. Blazemaster's robot mode reminds me a lot of these designs. Since the front of the vehicle mode forms his upper body, it resembles the oval pod-like sections on these Mechs. His legs are thin and have a very avian quality about them, adding to his resemblance to Battletech Mechs. His arms are rather unique and have a wing like shape complete with a point at the ends. I really like the way his rotors wind up on his back. They look like additional wings of sort on the back and add some nice angled, dynamic looking design.

The way Blazemaster transforms involves a lot of his armor panels splitting up and opening up, especially on the chest and arms. This opens up a lot of detailing including tech detailing on the panels above the helicopter windows and a lot of details on his arms and legs including springs, gears and tubes. The way the official pictures show him, the panels on his arms should be folded together to form the forearm, but I actually prefer leaving them open which allows you to see his claw/thumb and the sculpted detail within. His head sculpt is really nice, and reminds me of the head sculpts used on many Transformers from the 90's in Europe including Clench. The top has a crest with circle details on the side and the center of the face is a mouthplate in a tirangular shape . I also like the way he has details that sweep back on the sides of his head coming to a point at the back. Considering how simple his robot mode looks at first, it is nice to see this level of detail on the figure. He also has odd looking three clawed feet like a bird. I call this odd not because it's never been done on a robot before, but because it is a rather unusual detail for a Transformer to have.

The same colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, but the gold gets a bit less emphasis and the blue and white colors take over. Newly revealed parts include his white thumb/claw and a cockpit-like piece on his chest. His arms are the focal point of the gold color in this form. His upper legs are blue with his lower legs cast in white. The claw feet are cast in blue. His upper arms are white, with the connecting piece between the forearm and upper arm cast in blue, but painted partly gold. The panel on his chest is cast in blue but painted white with a red stripe. His head is cast in blue with gold used on the face.

Blazemaster has nineteen points of articulation including three in each arm and five on each leg. While his rotor blade halves attach to his arms, they're not really that useful as weapons. It's more of a place just to put them, and if there really is a failing of this figure that is it.

Final Thoughts:
Blazemaster is not for everyone. I think you really need to be able to appreciate a somewhat funky and weird Transformer to like Blazemaster. While I am listing him as recommended, I can totally understand why someone might be put off by him.