Toy Review: "Generations" War for Cybertron: Earthrise Bluestreak

01/03/21

General Information:
Release Date: October 2020
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Walgreens Exclusive (US), EB Games (Canada), Takara Tomy Mall (Japan)
Accessories: Blaster, Shoulder Cannons x 2

Official product photos are from the the Walgreens Web Site, but the listing has since been taken down. I have also included the photos from Takara Tomy Mall in this review.

For several years now, the Walgreens chain of stores in the United States has carried exclusive Transformers figures. For the Earthrise era this figure was Bluestreak, one of the classic "Datsun Brothers" first introduced in G1. The basic engineering and some of the sculpting behind this figure are shared with Earthrise Prowl and Smokescreen.

Packaging:
Bluestreak is packaged in a standard Earthrise box. The box is rectangular in shape but the left side is set at an angle. The figure is visible via a large plastic window. To the right of the figure is the Generations logo and under the figure is the Earthrise logo. The angled panel has Bluestreak's artwork featuring him running on the battlefield. The back of the box features Bluestreak in both modes calling out a fifteen step transformation. Continuing the use of symbols from Siege there is a large symbol next to Bluestreak (though I could not find its exact meaning on the Hasbro Pulse article on the subject. Despite being a Walgreens exclusive in the United States, there were no Walgreens stickers or anything on my copies of this figure.

Accessories:
Bluestreak includes three weapons. Two of these are his shoulder cannons, featuring a circle at the base and a small barrel in front. Each features a 5mm port on the sides. Each cannon has a 3mm tip, allowing you to attach Blast Effects from other figures. His main weapon is his "Beam" Rifle which, according to his G1 tech spec can fire a lightning like bolt of 80,000 volts! The design is heavily based on the G1 weapon including a vertical panel in the back, a targeting scope and a barrel end that narrows towards the front. The weapon features a 5mm peg on either side, allowing you to connect the shoulder cannons to it. The end of the barrel has a 3mm end, allowing you to connect a Blast Effect. All three accessories are cast in silver with no paint applications.

Robot Mode:
In the previous chapter of the War for Cybertron series, Bluestreak appeared in his Cybertronian form which looks a lot like a futuristic Earth vehicle. This time out Bluestreak is meant to represent how he would appear if he took on an Earth form (presumably in the 80's). For those curious, both figures measure a little over 5.25 inches (about 13.33 cm) and both figures weigh 2.6 ounces (including their accessories).

If anyone was worried this figure was a simple "re-shelling" of the Siege Bluestreak, have no fear! While Earthrise Bluestreak shares a lot of the engineering of that figure, it is actually a whole new figure. There are obvious new parts such as the head and chest, but even smaller parts like the shoulders and thighs are new pieces. A couple parts even move differently. For instance, on Siege Bluestreak the heel pieces swing back. On this figure they swing down from a horizontal hinge. There are also differences in the way the pegs for the Blast Effects are placed. On Siege Bluestreak's shoulders the pegs are set towards the top, on this figure they are set towards the bottom. All that said, the silhouette of the figure makes it easily identifiable as one of the classic "Datsun" brother characters (which include Prowl and Smokescreen). He has the "horns" sticking up on his head out of a central crest, the car doors form "wings" on his back and his chest is formed from the front of the vehicle mode.

From a smaller detail standpoint there was a definite move to "smooth out" the look of the character. The Siege figures had a lot of greebles on them from larger parts like the legs to smaller bits like the elbows. Earthrise Bluestreak has plenty of details, but certain parts like his legs have toned down the greebles a bit in favor of "Earth vehicle" detailing.

Bluestreak is made up of silver, black, red and clear plastic. The black paint on the figure has a nice matte finish to it and some red paint is used on smaller details. The face is painted silver with blue eyes. A large Autobot symbol is tampographed on his chest. Were this a more "G1 toy"-based deco I would want more details calling back to G1 Bluestreak's stickers, but as a more "animation inspired" deco this works and looks good.

Bluestreak has twenty six points of articulation, which is above average for a Deluxe Class figure. This includes six in each arm and five in each leg. This articulation still includes the ankle tilt, a feature I am happy to see continuing in the Generations line. Each fist has a 5mm port for his rifle and there are slots on either side of his head to fit his shoulder cannons. On top of this, each shoulder has 5mm port on the side, as do the forearms. The sides of his legs also feature 5mm ports to attach accessories. There is also a 5mm port on his back for weapon storage or arming him up with Weaponizer parts. All this really helps Bluestreak act like a core robot who arms up with a ton of additional weapons and/or armor.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the heel pieces up.
  4. Push the lower legs together.
  5. Swing the chest/arms section up.
  6. Swing the panel on the middle of the hood section up.
  7. Rotate the lower body around at the waist.
  8. Push the legs in, with the thighs tucking into the open slots on the back of the lower legs.
  9. Line up the panels that form the rear window with the cabin cover.
  10. Swing the rear section of the vehicle (the robot feet) up.
  11. Rotate the arms at the shoulders so the wheels face up, then swing the arms in and down.
  12. Close the doors to lock everything in place.

*Note: There are two variants of this sculpt. The initial release is the one being reviewed here, and it lacked tabs on the cabin cover piece and in the knees to help the vehicle mode "lock" into place. A later release had additional tabs that allowed the cabin cover piece and knees to hold together better. On my copy of this figure this means that the vehicle mode has more visible seams than is ideal in vehicle mode, but I think it looks fine.

Vehicle Mode:
Bluestreak's vehicle mode feels very much like a fictionalized version of the Datsun 240Z (aka Nissan S30). The vehicle is a two door car with a rounded front end with "tear drop" shaped headlights in place of the real life Datsun's round headlights. The back of the car is different however, featuring a flat spoiler while the real life Datsun featured a spoiler that had a vertical section in the back. The lights on the back are also different, featuring thin rectangular shapes instead of the more boxy ones used on the real life car. Overall I really love the look of this vehicle. It has a retro vibe with some modern styling while calling back to the original figure.

This mode mostly shows off the silver and clear plastic. A lot of black paint is used on the hood and cabin section. Silver paint is used on the sides of the wheels which surprised me since it is not a detail Hasbro usually paints. They have gotten better aobut it in recent years, however. The large Autobot symbol from the robot mode really takes center stage on the hood and it looks great against the black paint.

The slots that allowed you to attach accessories in robot mode carry over here. On top of the cabin section is a 5mm port for the rifle. Right in front of the windshield are the slots for the shoulder cannons.

Final Thoughts: I think it is super cool that the character of Bluestreak is getting this much attention in the current toy line. However, despite being a new sculpt, there are so many similarities to Siege Bluestreak that some fans may not want to shell out $20-25 for another version of the character so soon. My take on it is this: if you just want a "G1-ish" version of Bluestreak, then the Siege version does the job. However if you want a more 80's-esque "Earth" based version then this is the figure for you. Recommended!

Pros:

  • I am glad this is not just a simple "reshell" of Siege Bluestreak.
  • Good sculpt in both modes.
  • Plenty of attachment points for accessories.
  • Excellent articulation.

Cons:

  • Shares design and aesthetics with Siege Bluestreak, which may put some fans off.
  • The "tabbed" versus "not-tabbed" versions are a bit annoying given that this figure is not very easy to obtain.