Cliffbee.com: R-Blade Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: R-Blade
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Interceptor Knight
Alternate Mode: Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 11cm Width: 7cm, 11cm with wings out

   A white swing wing fighter jet with a black missile launcher claw on top, black undercarriage and red trim here and there - notably on the nose. R-Blade has red Autobot logos stamped on both the nose and right tailfin. The wings are actually black plastic with white paint over must of the surface. G1 fans will take one look at this toy and recognise that R-Blade is very clearly a Jetfire homage, and looks more like the G1 toy than the G2 Cyberjet Jetfire does. The canopy is transparent yellow and the missile is a solid yellow. On the whole it's a good colour scheme, and the Jetfire homage is very strong. My only complaint is the yellow missile, which doesn't really match the rest of the jet. But then you can always leave it off.

   The top of the fuselage is actually mainly white, which struck me as rather odd, since the previous versions of this mould have had busy paint masks (and stickers, something R-Blade lacks). Once I got over my surprise I've taken to the largely unpainted fuselage, because it helps make R-Blade different from Cyberjet Jetfire and Hooligan. It's also accurate to G1 Jetfire.

   There's a little bit of undercarriage, namely the red and white robot legs and waist. None of it really stands out, and the red blends into the shadow anyway. The rear wheels fold down from his robot legs and the front wheel folds out from under the nose, while the red groin sits under the cockpit minding it's own business. One mine at least, the front wheel's hinge is quite loose, and it doesn't take much for him to slump forward - a possible case of mould rot?

   Aside from the already mentioned wheels, the swing wings and missile launcher give R-Blade pretty good play value for a small toy. The missile launcher is a ball-pressure affair. Basically, you push on the back of the missile until the ball slips out of the claw and the missile flies across the room. The upside is that there aren't any moving parts to wear out, but these aren't as powerful as spring launchers. R-Blade comes with a single yellow missile, as well as a silver gun which is new to the mould. You can deploy his left arm underneath the jet to hold this gun, or slide the magazine of the gun into a groove on his launcher - I'm not sure if the latter was intentional or not, but it works better than I'd have expected, since my other Robotmasters repaints are unable to wield their new weaponry in their alt modes. The launcher is on a ball joint, so if you unclip it from the top of the fuselage it'll point in any direction other than those blocked by the tailwings - you can even swing it underneath the plane. Added to the ability to swing out his arm, he can aim in two directions at once. There's a strong veritech feel to a toy which can deploy its arms in plane mode, ironic considering the toy it's paying tribute to!

   On the whole, this is a very good fighter jet. The homage is really well done, and the vastly different paint mask to the G2 toys help make R-Blade worthwhile as a repainted jet. The launcher is a lot of fun, and now he has another gun. On the downside, there are some plane lines on the mould, which tend to be lost amongst all that white. I wish the missile was white, red or even grey.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty involved for a small Transformer, and difficult to really describe. Basically, the landing gear folds away and wings retract, the legs swing out from underneath, the front of the jet becomes the front of his torso and the rear his back. The missile launcher becomes his right forearm while the left arm was buried inside the toy.

   There's actually a slight canonical difference to the Cyberjets - there's a panel that covers his head, which was stowed inside the torso during G2 but sits behind R-Blade's head. Sadly, there seems to be some mould rot affecting his central hinges, on mine the shoulderblades slope forward slightly. Granted, this is fairly minor and in the end inconsequential, but still kind of annoying.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 7cm

   Again mainly red, but now the red is more prominent - - he has red upper arms and thighs and a red head along with all the red on his nose (now the lower torso). The right forearm is the black missile launcher, and his feet are painted black. You can swing the wings out in this mode if you like, although they're not really meant to stick out the sides and look pretty kibbly if you do, since the undersides are unpainted. The back is pretty much a pile of wings and fins, but it's all close to his centre of gravity so there's not really a problem with stability. His face is a transparent blue "T" shape and works really well as a lightpipe, which is proportionally huge.

   The missile launcher come right hand works just as well in this mode, and if unloaded, the claw is about the right size to be a claw-hand for R-Blade. The left hand can hold his missile, but I'd suggest placing the gun there. It's a chromed silver affair, with the handle left unpainted (revealing a transparent green base plastic). As weird as the green handle looks, it makes sense to leave it unpainted so that the handle will fit into his fists without the paint scraping, eventually wearing off leaving a loose handle. The gun looks really nice in R-Blade's hand, and I'm glad the mould came with this provision - even if it took ten years to actually score a gun!

   The weaponry is only half the coolness of this robot mode. The neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball jointed and with the exception of the neck have wide ranges of movement. A wide range of poses are possible, and he can aim his missile and gun or use the missile as a club.

   I can't really fault this robot mode. Even now the poseability is great for a basic, the colours are great and work well as a homage to Jetfire again. The yellow missile is again slightly out of place, but the silver gun makes up for that IMO. The blue lightpipe is really cool, much nicer than the yellow of the G2 toys. All up a great robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Two good modes, a complex but not difficult transformation, good colours and tremendous play value for a small toy make R-Blade a great toy. He's a terrific homage to Jetfire and the new weapon works really well. The only significant downsides are the choice of yellow for the missile and some slight mould degradation. This is a mould I'd strongly recommend, so if you never got the Cyberjets, I recommend R-Blade, even if you have to import him. If you have Cyberjets, the homage and gun still bring something new to the mould, so I'd still say take a look - 9/10

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