Cliffbee.com: ROTF Blazemaster Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Blazemaster
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Helicopter



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: cm Length: 18.5cm (20.5 including rotor blades) Width: 5cm (15.5 including rotor blades)

   A gold news chopper with navy blue on the nose, lower edges and the back of the tail, Blazemaster has white rotor blades. The sides read "CHANNEL 7" in large white lettering with "ACTION NEWS" underneath in gold, surrounded by white. The tailfin sports "7 NEWS" in white lettering. His cockpit windows are transparent blue while there's a black Autobot logo stamped on the portside and a white fuelpod on the starboard side. The colours loosely match those of G1 Blazemaster, and while this is a civilian chopper and the Micromaster was a military one, the colour scheme makes this tribute pretty obvious (along with the fact that the name Blazemaster has never been reissued until now). It's a good colour scheme which is credible enough, even if most news choppers tend to be white rather than gold - the colours on the body of this vehicle are kept simple and look decent.

   There are a few seams here and there but nothing that really wrecks the illusion here. Small red and white navigation lights on top, blue stabiliser on the tail and that fuelpod are nice touches which add to the realism. This chopper holds together very well, once the tail is properly assembled. The shape is very good - the long slender tail is surprisingly well done considering it has to go somewhere in robot mode.

   Blazemaster's play value is better than you'd expect of a movie deluxe. There are three wheels underneath which all roll. The rear ones fold away but the front ones don't, so there's no point trying to retract them - but many deluxe aircraft Transformers have fixed wheels. The four blades are all sculpted at a slight dip - as seen on real choppers to generate lift. There's a transparent blue plunger on the port side of his engine which will cause the rotor to spin for around three seconds. It spins fairly well and makes a clicking sound as it spins.

   A good helicopter mode, Blazemaster has a nice civilian helicopter mode, and is quite realistic. Civilian chopper Transformers aren't very common, so this is something different. The colours work well and tribute the G1 toy well while the play value is pretty good. The gimmick is simple but works effectively.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Complex and hard to describe, since there are lots of twists and turns, so I'll summarise. The cockpit opens to to become his chest, revealing the head. The roof splits and folds down to the sides, becoming arms. The rotors split with the base and two of the blades staying attached to what becomes the left arm while the other two detach and plug into the robot arm. The underside of the fuselage unfolds to become his legs while the tail splays and folds up as a backpack.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm (exact height depends on how you fold up the tail) Width: 12cm

   A mainly navy blue robot with gold arms and some gold on his face, Blazemaster has white on his chest and white lower legs. There's some white paint on his chest along with parts of the transparent blue cockpit window while the gold face is flanked by transparent blue eyes (and a barely functional lightpipe). The Autobot logo is now on the back of his left elbow, which is pretty much no use. The blue tailtip forms a backpack. The colours still tribute the Micromaster - which also features more blue and less gold in robot mode, but it's not as obvious now since the blue on that toy was a lot lighter. The colours work well, if not quite as well as in chopper mode.

   For some reason there's a police theme here. The rounded white dome on his chest resemble a police helmet (kinda like a motorbike helmet, but I'm calling it a chopper pilot helmet). The navy and white also add to this theme. I'm not sure if this was an intentional effect, mind you. As you might expect from a toy with such a slender vehicle mode, Blazemaster is fairly skinny, but the tail isn't what makes him skinny - instead it's the legs, formed from the underside of the fuselage. The rotors are split and hang off his long forearms, forming an interesting feature and adding to the slender nature of this toy. The tail on his back is kibble, but it's dealt with well. The rotors are also kibble, and while they're pretty obvious as kibble, there's an inevitability about them ending up as kibble, and they've been dealt with creatively.

   The main shortcoming of this robot mode - and of the toy as a whole - is the forearms. They're basically the folded up engine cowling, forming in a similar way to those of Jazz from the last film. Thankfully they align quite closely so Blazemaster doesn't have the floating forearm problem of that toy, but it does mean he has ill-defined claws instead of hands. There are white hooks which deploy to help create the illusion of hands, but the end result is immovable and somewhat unconvincing claws. As I said, it's not the disaster that Jazz was, but with short upper arms and long forearms that end in poor attempts at claws, his arms are a clear flaw. The rotor half on the right arm falls of fairly easily.

   Poseability here is limited, thanks to the weird arms and small feet. His head is on a restricted ball joint while the waist is fixed. His shoulders and elbows are ball jointed but the effective range of motion is limited to hinged elbows. The hips and ankles are ball jointed while his knees are hinged with rotators in his thighs. There are also hinges mid shin, which can help a little in some posing. The arms are very static and while the legs have a much wider range of motion, the range of stable poses is fairly small. Unusually for a ROTF deluxe (or any deluxe, for that matter), Blazemaster lacks a weapon in robot mode.

   A limited robot mode and while the tribute and colours work well, the play value is very poor for a modern toy. With bad poseability, no weapon and no gimmick, Blazemaster stands there wishing for proper hands and some decent heelspurs. It's not a total disaster, but this robot mode displays reasonably well and that's about it - it's not fun.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Blazemaster is quite intricate in engineering, and this does deliver a good helicopter mode with an effective gimmick and no real flaws. The robot mode looks okay even if the arms don't quite work, but the play value is non existent and the arms needed more work. The clever engineering, well worked tribute and chopper mode are all positives, but the robot mode really holds this guy back. I liked the original Micromaster, so I like the idea of the tribute, but I'm keeping him chopper mode, and can't really recommend this toy - 5.5/10

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