Cliffbee.com: Blastcharge Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Blastcharge
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: All Terrain Combat Specialist
Alternate Mode: Missile Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 13cm Width: 8cm

   A gold six-wheeled armoured truck with red camouflage patterns and black tyres with rough tread. Blastcharge looks more like a tank than a truck, since there is a turret mounted at the back of the vehicle rather than a straight missile launcher. Still, there's an armoured cabin cabin at the front, so there are armoured truck aspects here also. The front section is actually gold chrome - proportionally there's more chrome here than on most G1 toys (Only Swoop and Sludge compare). There's some silver plastic and some metallic blue paint here and there - notable on the rear hubs and the front bumper. There are small transparent green windows on the front, rounding out a colour scheme that ends up being far more uniform than it might sound. The gold and red dominate with the silver, blue and black providing support and the green almost lost underneath the missiles (which is a good thing).

   The level of detail here is pretty good, which is to be expected of a Vehicon. The sculpt of the chrome section really gives the impression of this being one tough vehicle - and the small windows reinforce this. The bumper, turret and tyres are also quite detailed. The only spot which is relatively bare is a silver block on the back of his turret which is the robot head - it's not meant to grab your eye in this mode.

   There's a lot of play value here for a deluxe. The turret can turn right around, and there's a little wheel at the back which will cause it to turn in the opposite direction (there's obviously a gearing mechanism inside the toy). His turret also lifts up and holds three missiles. The two missiles on either side sit in storage holes while the central missile fires courtesy of a small red button on top of the turret.

   The wheels all turn, and will happily roll on a surface with some traction (although being plastic they don't do so well on flat tables). There's a silver button just behind the chromed front section which will pop forward about 2cm when the button is pressed. There's a joint in the connection, allowing Blastcharge to bend around corners now, which is pretty spiffy.

   On the whole Blastcharge's truck mode is a lot of fun - lots of play value, good colours and great detailing make an excellent deluxe. The only real drawback is a tendency for the two sets of wheels on the back section to detach and flop around a little. But this is easily offset by all the positives here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the front, detach the rear wheels and swing forward. Lift the arms out from underneath and rotate the front and back. Fold the front underneath the toy to become the backpack and swing the turret up to become his chest. Lift up and rotate the head, lift up the front wheels to form shoulderpads and clip on the backpack. The rear wheels contort to become his legs, with the support struts as thighs and the tyres themselves pile on top of one another as shins, while the feet and heelspurs flip out from the rearmost hubcaps.

   This is actually a rather involved transformation for a deluxe, and while there's nothing difficult it takes a while and certain things need to be done in the right order. There's an official third mode, a Wheeled Robot mode which is little more that the robot mode with legs still folded up as wheels.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 10cm

   Again gold and red, although this time the gold chrome is on his back and the black and silver are more prominent. The torso is mainly gold with some red here and there - notably the semi-transparent missiles that protrude from his chest. The head, thighs, feet and forearms are silver while the black tyres are very noticeable as shins and shoulderpads. Again the colours work well together, even the splash of lime green paint on his groin. His face has black eyes and some yellow details on his forehead and mouthpiece.

   This is probably one of the most distinctive and unusual robot modes the Transformers toyline has seen. With a giant missile rack sticking out on his chest (that puts Warpath to shame) and tyres for shins, Blastcharge is unmistakable. He does end up with a strange bodyshape, including legs that attach to the sides of his hips (like those of reptiles) and the impressive rack, but the overall look is so unusual and powerful that the shape isn't at all a liability.

   There's nice play value here again. The hips allow the legs to swing back and forth, as well as lift out to the sides. The head turns while the shoulders are ball jointed and the elbows hinged. You can detach two of the missiles for use as clubs (they work very well as clubs, too), while the missile in the centre can still fire. The missile rack no longer lifts up - well not without popping the head off. For some reason there are springs inside the lower tyres on his shins (the ankles, I guess), allowing Blastcharge to bounce up and down.

   Blastcharge does have his shortcomings here. There's nothing stopping the lower wheels from spinning, and when they do the feet move around with them. On the one hand this does mean he can stand in a "spread toes" stance, which looks very natural, on the other hand the feet spin out of place easily. The missile rack is a pretty menacing weapon, but there's no option to fold it out of the way, which would have been nice.

   Despite the problems, this is still a fun robot mode with a lot of detail and some standout features that make Blastcharge a great display piece. Granted, if you hate the missile rack or the tyre theme this robot mode is likely to annoy you, but as intentional features both work well.

VARIATIONS

   None as such although he was recoloured in Transformers: Universe.

OVERALL

   Definitely one of the more unusual Vehicons, but therein lies the appeal. With a great vehicle mode and a distinctive robot mode, Blastcharge offers a lot that other Transformers can't. With good colours and a detailed sculpt there's an awful lot going on here for a deluxe - including the official intermediate mode. If you like the Vehicons you should like Blastcharge - 8/10

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