Cliffbee.com: Armada Blurr Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Blurr
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Futuristic Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 15cm Width: 8cm

   A silver sports car with transparent yellow windows and headlights, Blurr has cobalt blue missile launchers under his spoiler, as well as cobalt blue wheels. The missiles themselves are a pale orange, and there are some mid blue bits visible. The sides are painted black at the bottom, which fades nicely back to the base silver as you move up. It's a really nice colour scheme. The orange is a little bright, but it's used sparingly, and doesn't hurt Blurr's aesthetic.

   If you're thinking Blurr is anything like his G1 counterpart, stop it. While they're both futuristic cars, this guy's vehicle mode is actually quite similar to that of Hot Rod. I'm not sure if they were going for a futuristic look, but they've achieved one - he looks like he belongs in Back To The Future II. It's a sleek car mode, and in my opinion a very nice one. I should point out that there's a distinct G1 feeling to this toy (in both modes).

   Blurr's canopy actually opens, adding to the G1 feel. No, it's not a Diaclone cockpit, rather it opens and springs shut to facilitate his transformation. Blurr has dead hardpoints on either side of his spoiler, which look like they should activate the launchers underneath, but don't - you can mount the missile launchers on these hardpoints, which is why he has these ports. The launchers look pretty good on the spoiler.

   Blurr's main gimmick in car mode is one that's designed specifically for Incinerator. If you slide Incinerator underneath the spoiler, he'll activate two small orange catches, releasing the sides, which fold down like pontoons. There are cobalt blue moulded turbines on the sides now, so they're quasi-wings (again, reminiscent of Back To The Future II). He looks pretty cool in this configuration - which is almost a third mode - although he can no longer roll since the rear wheels are now on their sides. The launcher triggers are now exposed, and the launchers can be fired by attaching any Minicon to the live hardpoints on top and sliding forward. Meanwhile the launchers can be mounted on either the wings or spoiler. Incidentally, if you don't have Incinerator handy, you can actually manually slide the orange catches back to deploy the wings.

   It's a fun car mode, and looks very good, in a G1 kind of way. He has two sets of hardpoints, so can potentially wear four Minicons - five if you include Incinerator's rear slot. My only real complaint is that when the wings are deployed the missile launchers tend to fall off the wings fairly easy. They do hold onto the spoiler firmly, however.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Firstly, you'll have to open out the wings, and you might want to remove the launchers to prevent them falling off during the transformation. Fold the doors down, swing the front out to either side, swing the robot legs down and extend them. Fold the rear half of the car down onto his back, slide up his shoulderpads. Fold down his groinplate and swing his arms down. Lastly fold out his feet and heelspurs and attach Minicons or missile launchers as desired.

   Hmm that last bit sounds like medicinal instructions. If symptoms persist, go buy more Minicons!

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 14cm

   Remember that hint of mid blue in car mode? Well, it now dominates Blurr - his head, chest and lower legs are mid blue, while his shoulders, groin and feet are cobalt blue. The elbows are orange while his forearms are silver. Aside from the forearms, the shoulderpads are a mix of mid blue and silver, and the cape formed by his car mode is silver. There's a lot of red paint in his mode, notably the shins and the Autobot symbol on his chest - sadly, both the raised logo and relief are painted. There are red painted details on the shoulderpads, and I'm impressed by the fact the details differ on either side. Blurr has a transparent yellow eyestrip (although no lightpipe), a blue mouthplate and silver exhausts on either side of his head. All told, it's a good colour scheme, although the Autobot symbol is painted badly.

   As I said, the car mode - well most of it - forms a cape. Blurr is what some call a "shellformer", which is why the silver car becomes a blue robot. I should point out that the forearms and shoulderpads are actually the front 1/3 of the car, so he's not entirely shellformer. The cape is fairly bulky, but the heelspurs do their job and prevent Blurr from being backheavy.

   The robot mode is more reminiscent of G1 than the car mode, and whether or not you like this depends on how much you like G1. I think he looks pretty good, and he has enough car parts visible, namely the canopy behind his head, fender-shoulderpads and hood-forearms. Many Armada toys have few or no vehicle parts as part of the robot mode.

   Blurr's poseability is, thankfully, better than G1 standards. His head rotates, the arms lift out to the sides and the elbows are double hinged. The hips are a combination of rather tight ball joints and swivels that allow the legs to spread. His knees and feet lack articulation, making Blurr relatively unposeable for an Armada toy (although there are worse Armada toys).

   The missile launchers can remain on his back or his cape (the car wings), although the proper hardpoints on his back will anchor them better. You can also attach them to his forearms, giving Blurr either long weapons or short, stumpy blocks if you leave the missiles off. Not that you'd set the missiles aside. The missile launchers work well as handrifles, but not so well as launchers since you'll pretty much have to grasp the entire toy to get enough force to activate the missiles - sliding the Minicon along the launcher becomes tricky with two elbow hinges - it's a lot easier to just bend the arms.

   The missile launchers represent most of Blurr's robot mode play value, since his poseability is fairly poor. Personally, I don't care since I love the look of this toy. It's a great looking robot mode, but ultimately how much you like it comes down to whether you prefer display or play value.


Name: Incinerator
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Dragster

DRAGSTER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7cm Width: 3.5cm

   A blue dragster with a giant orange wing on the back and orange engine block behind the closed canopy - which is painted cobalt blue. Like Blurr, his wheels are cobalt blue rather than black, and the rear ones are about twice the size of the front wheels. Incinerator may be a dragster rather than a sports car, but the pairing is great - they really fit together.

   There's no play value here other than his attaching to bigger toys and spinning wheels. Still, being sold with Blurr, the main point of this mode is to compliment Blurr - and he's the only Minicon that can activate Blurr's winged mode.

   Like his partner, Incinerator manages a G1 look, although he doesn't really look like a Micromaster. Again, I really like the look of this car, despite the robot boots that sit behind his spoiler (which is a G1 type of feature).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip out the robot legs, detach the left side from the nose, rotate the nose out to the right and swing it down to form the right arm. The left side becomes the left arm. Incinerator is one of the few partner Minicons with an asymmetrical transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm, Width: 5cm

   Incinerator's colours go the other way, relative to Blurr - he gains silver. The head and torso are silver, while his limbs are mid blue. The yellow spoiler sticks out from behind his shoulders and his eyestrip is painted red. Again he has a very G1 feel, and thanks to the colours, reminds me of Beachcomber. There's a Minicon insignia on the left side of his chest and a powerlinx socket on his groin.

   Incinerator's left arm has a well defined fist, the right has no hand. Instead the nose section of the car sits on the outside of the forearm, and is proportionally gigantic. It's technically kibble, but it doesn't bother me at all, since the airdam on the front gives it the look of a giant melee weapon. If you don't like this effect, well then it's just kibble.

   Incineratorís shoulders both rotate, the right elbow is a ball joint. His hip swing and his knees bend. His effective articulation is actually better than Blurr's, despite having fewer joints.

   I like this robot, but whether or not you do really comes down to what you think of the right arm. Everything else about this mode is good, but it's such a dominant aspect of the toy that it'll make or break Incinerator's robot mode.


VARIATIONS

   The Japanese version (called Silverbolt - a much better name for this toy) has his Autobot symbol painted properly - only the raised parts painted. TFU Swerve is a repaint of Blurr, while Cybertron Blurr is a G1 tribute retool, sans Minicon.

OVERALL

   Blurr's a G1 toy trapped in an Armada body - he looks great but has somewhat limited articulation. The car mode is very strong, the robot mode isn't as strong but still has it's good points. Incinerator fits like a glove, and has a nifty dragster mode and interesting robot mode - although it's dominated by his right arm. If you like G1 toys in general, you'll probably like Blurr. Beast Wars & Car Robots fans won't be as keen - 8/10 for G1 fans, 6/10 otherwise

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