Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $5.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Fire Blast accessories (pink) x 2
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
- Build the ultimate battlefield - the generations War for Cyber Tron trilogy introduces an expansive ecosystem of collectible figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability). War for Cyber Tron: Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and deception battle to control Cyber Tron. The time of peace is gone. Cyber Tron is a war-torn battlefield, overrun by the Fighting between two factions: the deception resistance Army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters.
- Featuring classic G1 characters – experience classic G1 characters through the lens of the war for Cyber Tron: Siege story. The Siege line offers thrilling throwbacks to G1 toys and exciting play patterns for all generations. Adult fans nostalgic for the original Transformers animation can explore a new chapter of Transformers lore, while young kids can discover classic characters for the first time. Share the experience across Generations by uncovering the epic story of War for Cybertron together.
- Awesome weapon mode – The WFC-S1 Firedrive action figure stands at 1.5in in robot mode. Convert the Battle Masters action figure into its Duo-Charge Electrostatic Photon Cannon mode in 5 easy steps. Simple conversion for kids and adults 8 years old and up.
- Compatible weapon mode works with all other Siege figures – Convert the WFC-S1 Firedrive toy into its weapon mode and use it to create a larger mission loadout for Deluxe, Voyager, and Leader Class Siege figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.) Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian Omnifuctional Modular Battlefield Assault Tech) System weapon ports enable fans to attach weapon mode Battle Masters toys to other Siege figures and their vehicle modes in custom configurations.
- Add battle effects with Fire blasts accessories
In 2018 the "Power of the Primes" line finished off the "Prime Wars Trilogy" which had begun with "Combiner Wars". To kick off a whole new G1 inspired series of "Generations" figures, a new line known as "War for Cybertron: Siege" started in late 2018 (with a planned wide release in 2019). This line introduced new Classes of Transformers figures into the mix seen the last three years. In place of the "Master" price point at $5.99 USD MSRP, Titan Masters and Prime Masters have been replaced with Battle Masters. G1 fans will remember these as "Targetmasters", figures that transform from a robot mode into a weapon! Each Battle Master also includes soft plastic "Fire Blast" effects that can attach to the weapon modes, bringing the figures to life in a new way in "Generations".
In 1987 the Headmasters and Targetmasters were introduced into the Transformers line. One of these characters was named Firebolt. This character was paired with the popular Autobot, Hot Rod and he transformed into his weapon for a brief time. This character (and others inspired by him) have popped up a few times over the years including 2017's "Legends" Hot Rodimus. Now the character appears again with the name "Firedrive" due to trademark reasons.
Similar to the Titan Masters and Prime Masters, Firedrive is packaged on a small bubble card. However, Hasbro has stepped up the artwork to deliver a stronger visual punch. The card itself has artwork for the individual characters against a Cybertronian backdrop. Firedrive is shown leaping over something to (presumably) charge into battle. Below him is a large symbol which represents his rank (As of early December 2018, Hasbro has not yet released a comprehensive guide to what symbols correspond to what rank). The name "Firedrive" and his rank symbol appear in a vertical chevron on the left. The figure is packaged in robot mode. His "Fire Blast" effects are on the right side. Under him is the package insert featuring the word "Siege" in giant letters and the "War for Cybertron Trilogy" logo under it. The "Transformers" logo is on top in a much smaller font. Under all that is the term "Battle Masters" next to the age recommendation and Hasbro logo. On the right is a black strip with the vertical "Transformers" logo seen on most "Generations" packaging, the "Generations" logo above it and the Takara Tomy log above that.
The back of the card features the figure in both modes indicating a 5 step transformation. It also shows Optimus Prime holding Firedrive with his Fire Blast effect on the Autobot leader's shield. There is of course a ton of legal information towards the bottom.
Perhaps the question most asked about the Battle Masters before their release was "Are these just the Takara Legends Targetmasters repackaged?" and the answer is no. This is a completely new sculpt. Some details are different from the "Legends" figure and even the proportions and size of the figure is different. Just look at the side by side photo above and it is very obvious at first glance.
While he may be a new sculpt, Firebolt has several elements that pay homage to his G1 predecessor. These include:
- The head features a round "helmet" section with a central crest. The face also features visor eyes shaped sort of like sunglasses.
- Each shoulder is a cylinder with notched details running vertically.
- The torso features several angled sections sloping downward.
- The lower legs each feature a raised, vertical strip in the center that is a visual callback to the vertical gap on G1 Firebolt.
- The sides of the lower legs each feature a panel towards the top and horizontal strips under that.
While the similarities above are great, there are some significant differences. For one, his weapon barrels are not built into the legs like the G1 version but rather they are a separate piece attached to his back. Also there are a lot more details on the arms, legs and torso than the G1 Firebolt figure.
Firebolt is cast in black and a very light grey plastic (it almost looks white, but it is a bit darker than most white plastic). Grey and red paint details are used on the torso section. The middle of the torso has grey and two shades of red are used on the upper body and head. I was most impressed by the tiny Autobot symbol on the top of the head.
Firedrive has four points of articulation: the shoulders and hips. All four are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. In this mode he features 3mm ports on the sides of the forearms, allowing you to detach his weapon barrel piece (or use the weapon barrels from another Battle Master) and attach them as his own weapon! I love this little extra bit of play value. To add to the fantasy element of the figure, Firedrive includes two "Fire Blast" accessories that can be attached to the ends of the weapon barrels. These pink, soft plastic pieces look like bursts of energy weaponry firing from the barrels and I love how they look!
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- Detach the Fire Blast accessories if attached.
- Swing the weapon barrels up over the head.
- Push the legs together.
- Swing the waist section up.
- Connect the tabs on the feet to the corresponding slots at the base of the weapon barrels.
- Swing the arms back and attach the small tabs on the insides of the forearms to the corresponding slots on the hips.
G1 Firebolt transformed into a weapon that, for the most part, looked like a pair of legs and two weapon barrels. In that respect this figure does call back to that original Targetmaster, but there is a lot more going on with this sculpt. First, the legs are swung forward on this figure, as opposed to back on the G1 figure. The designers took this opportunity to sculpt additional detailing into the bottom of each foot, making those sections into rocket launcher pods! On top of that there is a lot more detail thanks to ridges on the back of the lower legs (now on the top of the weapon) and some cool detailing running along the length of the weapon barrels. The result is a more robust looking weapon that has the appearance of a complicated machine. I think the sculpt looks fantastic.
This mode mostly shows off the light grey plastic and a bit of the black. The paint details are mostly covered upin this form so I do wish at the very least the rocket pods had been painted or given some type of wash to bring out the details.
Firedrive has a 5mm peg on the bottom, allowing larger figures to hold him as a weapon. In front of that is a 3mm peg, allowing him to attach to other Battle Masters. Since Firedrive has two 3mm ports on the sides, you can conect other Battle Masters to him making him a "super weapon"! This mode is the one where the "Fire Blast" effects can shine the most when attached to the ends of the weapon barrels.
Firedrive is fun and there is a surprising amount of play value in such a small figure. His Fire Blast effects are very cool and I love the addition of the "rocket pod" details. Recommended!
- Cool sculpt that pays homage to G1 Blowpipe.
- Good deco in robot mode.
- Fire Blast effects are fun.
- Additional 3mm and 5mm attachment points are a great idea.
- I do wish Firedrive had a 5mm port to allow him to combine with another Battle Master in a similar manner to Blowpipe.
- Needs at least one or two paint applications in weapon mode.
- Some fans may want more articulation.