Cliffbee.com: DOTM Commander Blackout Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Blackout
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: MH-53 Pave Low Helicopter



CHOPPER MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 25.5cm Width: 11cm, 22cm across blades

   A dark bluish-grey military helicopter with six charcoal blades, a four blade rotor on the portside of his tail and black windows. There are some silver elements here and there, most notably a Decepticon logo stamped on the nose. The charcoal Scorponok accessory can clip underneath, adding more charcoal (and a lot of kibble). It's a dark understated colour scheme, but works well enough,.

   This is a fairly realistic helicopter, with a refuelling probe on the starboard side of his nose. There's also a gold dome on the portside of the nose, which I assume houses radar or something similar. There are numerous seams, sculpted wheels underneath and various other sculpted details - there are also random silver clips just in front of the tail which are actually his robot hands. The tail rotor is counterbalanced by a winglet on the starboard side of his tail. Play value is minimal, but it's about what we can expect here. The rotors both spin freely while Scorponok can clip under the tail as mentioned. He lies flat on the wheels but can't roll.

   This is detailed chopper for the size and Blackout is clearly a Pave Low, and while the play value is minimal, the colours are good. My only really complaint is that attaching Scorponok really doesn't look very good - but hey we can always leave him to the side anyway.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove Scorponok if attached & set aside. Swing the blades together (there's 3 pieces of two blades each). Fold the end of the tail out to the portside, split the tail itself & unfold the tail & sides of the aircraft out to the sides. Unfold the engines to form his legs & fold out his feet. Rotate the nose section down to form his chest & reveal Blackout's head. Pivot the shoulders into place, swing the sides of the tail forward & rotate the arms into place. Scorponok's belly folds out to form a gunbarrel & reveal a post, while the tail clips in, forming a handgun for Blackout to hold.

   It's a fairly complex transformation for a toy this size, and it's notable that Blackout's arms dominate his mass. The transformation of his weapon is unusual at this pricepoint.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 18cm

   The dark bluish-grey still dominates here, although his arms a combination of charcoal & silver while his thighs are also charcoal and his shins feet feature extensive silver paint above large paddle-like. His head is charcoal with tiny red eyes while the Decepticon logo is now central on his chest. I dislike the extensive silver on his shins, but otherwise this colour scheme works well enough.

   The wide shins are accentuated in a bad way by that silver paint, and the wide feet aren't so prominent in themselves (they're actually fairly movie accurate) but serve to make his boots ungainly. His head is very well sculpted and the arm design is quite clever - even if the hands don't look so great. The refuelling probe on his chest is a little odd while the backpack is fairly movie accurate; I like how the roots fold up as seen on film.

   Scorponok's gun mode isn't a fantastic weapon in itself, but for a rubberised accessory of the size it's an excellent weapon - and at this size any sort of hand weapon is a bonus. It's the highlight of the Scorponok accessory and the most notable aspect of this robot mode's play value. Blackout's poseability is decent enough, with ball jointed shoulders & hips, hinged elbows and knees, he also features independently hinged ankles and heelspurs.

   A somewhat flawed robot mode but one that has some strong upsides; the boots are bad but the weapon is remarkable at this pricepoint and the facial sculpt is also a highlight. The colours are unremarkable and the poseability nothing interesting.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good chopper mode and a mixed bag of a robot mode make Blackout a middle of the road Commander - but the clever Scorponok accessory is enough to make this toy worthwhile. The gun mode is a great touch that makes the robot mode interesting. He's also a fairly movie accurate toy with a rather realistic chopper mode, making Blackout a worthwhile toy despite his flaws - 6.5/10

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