Cliffbee.com: Animated Blackout Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Blackout
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Helicopter

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Blackout, making this review possible.



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 21cm Width: 11cm (19.5cm rotorspan)

   A grey chopper with red, black, gold & silver details, Blackout has black rotors, gatling guns on his roof & black windows. There are purple Decepticon logos stamped on the side (over silver painted sections). He has a gold radar dome under the cockpit which tips off that he's inspired by Movie Blackout. It's a fairly standard sort of colour scheme which works well through it's simplicity. While Animated never strives for realism his colours are quite realistic for a military style chopper.

   While he's stylised & lowish on detail, Blackout has a realism we don't see so much in Animated. The fuselage is a long submarine shaped affair, but between the outriggers (with two gatling guns each, for a total of six), bombs under the rotors, six rotors, tail rotor, radar dome & sculpted windows above the back of the outriggers. There are no wheels underneath but he sits on the table flat & despite the tail hanging out the back doesn't tip him over at all. The outriggers stay in place only due to reasonably tight joints - they wiggle around a little.

   There's not much play value here for a voyager. The rotors spin and do so quite well. There's a trigger underneath the rear rotor which causes that rotor to fly out backwards, spinning as a projectile. This feature is more for the robot mode but works here. There's just not enough happening given the size class - and the tail rotor gimmick is only really available rather than being a feature of this mode.

   A good looking vehicle which manages more realism than most Animated vehicle modes while still fitting that design paradigm. The rotor spinning isn't enough to make this vehicle worthwhile from a playability point of view - it ends up feeling unfinished, so it's a decent vehicle mode but not a good one.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach & set aside the tail. Fold down the back half of the fuselage & split to form his legs. Flip out his feet & heelspurs. Fold back the rotors & collapse as on Movie Blackout. Split the cockpit & swing the halves back to form his torso, revealing the head. Swing down the outriggers to form his arms, rotate the gatling guns forward & flip out his hands. Fold back the winglets on his shoulders and you're done. The tail can attach to either forearm as a weapon, which will involved leaving the fist stowed & the guns pointing up. The rotors pop off during transformation reasonably easily.

ROBOT MODE
Height: cm Width: cm

   The colours are essentially the same here - Blackout is mainly grey with some black in the places you'd expect - feet, thighs, hands, elbows & upper arms. There are some red & gold details - much of the chest is gold along with his monobrow. The eyes are red while there's a purple Decepticon logo stamped on his chest. Again the colours are simple and straightforward & work well.

   While the vehicle mode is more realistic than most Animated toys, this robot mode is very stylised & not especially humanoid. He's is essentially a giant bulb with legs & arms. The head sits on the front of top-heavy pear shaped torso - giving Blackout an extreme humpback. There's a visible backpack - the winglets & rotors. I'm not a fan of the idea but it is very well executed considering that the fuselage had to transform to form the torso - and neither mode looks like they've been assembled from different (movable) pieces. The rotors hang somewhat awkwardly from his back. The idea is good - and it worked for Movie Blackout - but one ends up kinda sticking out.

   Blackout might be stylised but he's also well armed. There are two gatling guns on either forearm & two more on either side of his hunchback. Those winglet bombs are visible behind his shoulders rounding out the visual weapons. The tail section can clip over either wrist (with hand stowed) to form a melee-weapon which is actually a disc launcher. The tail rotor gimmick now comes into its own. It gives him a rather unique gimmick, which is just as well since Blackout isn't very poseable. His head is fixed & his waist turns. The shoulders swing but can't lift out. The elbows and wrists hinge inwards while the hands can open & close (even though he has nothing to grasp). The hips swing & lift out to the sides while his knees are hinged with rotators. The feet & heelspurs are on hinges for transformation but his footprint is too small to provide much stability - Blackout's range of stable poses is quite narrow.

   A distinctive looking robot mode with a good weapon & white the transformation that gets us here is clever, the end result doesn't really inspire. With limited poseability & small feet, he's just not much fun. Still, the stylised look the designer was going for here is successfully achieved, so from that point of view this robot mode is actually worthwhile.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He was only released in Japan.

OVERALL

   Blackout's aesthetics work as intended & his colour scheme is kept simple & coherent, so he displays well - although he's too stylised for my liking. Sure that's the point of Animated, but it's not for everyone. What disappoints me more is the general lack of play value - the gimmick works well in robot mode but the poseability there sucks while in vehicle mode it's awkward & there's nothing else happening. One for real fans of Animated - 6.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.