Transformers Fall of Cybertron: Blast Off by Hasbro

Yesterday’s Lego set was a brand new purchase, so it didn’t help me weed out the receivings pile that has been growing ever larger over the last couple of weeks. In an effort to start chipping away at that, we’re going to delve into some Transformers. Later in the week I’m going to check out an older one from the Cybertron line, but today’s feature is one that should be showing up on the pegs by now. It’s another Combaticon from the Fall of Cyberton game. A game, I might add, which I still haven’t finished because my Xbox is still lying in pieces on a desk in my spare room.

Ah, the new Generations packaging. I never tire of admiring its beauty. But we’ve looked at it more than a few times now, so I’ll try not to dwell on it. Blast Off comes carded in his robot form and the package points out in various ways that he is but one component in your quest to… BUILD GIANT ROBOT!!! Delightful! You get a pretty cool little bio on the back along with the welcome return of Tech Specs. As usual, I’m going to start with Blast Off’s alt mode.

Awww, yeah. Now that’s a cool alt mode! Blast Off pays homage to his G1 roots with a purple space shuttle as his vehicle mode. Of course, he’s a Cybertronian shuttle. But, “FigureFan, that makes no sense. Blast Off was created on Earth by Starscream so he shouldn’t even have a Cybertronian mode.” Well, my friend… Firstly, Blast Off was given a new body on Earth, but his Spark (or whatever they called it in G1) was stolen from Cybertron to give him that new body. Obviously he had another body before his Spark was imprisoned on Cybertron, so maybe this is his original body. Secondly, Blast Off’s new body was a derelict WWII fighter that miraculously turned into a space shuttle, so this is all bullshit anyway. May I proceed?

I absolutely love this shuttle design. It has the vague profile of an Earth-type Space Shuttle, but it’s beefier and obviously built for combat. The detailing in the silver engines is really striking for a Deluxe Class figure and makes this thing looks like it’s ridiculously overpowered. I’d like to imagine it leaves a trail of thick, black exhaust fumes wherever it goes. Everything about Blast Off’s hull looks jagged, like he was made to inflict pain and destruction.

The coloring is almost perfect. The traditional Decepticon purple looks great with the black accents and the silver-grey of the exposed engine. I’m not terribly keen on the fluorescent yellow. It’s bright and gaudy and while I think it would have worked ok for just the window area, I don’t like it at all on the weapons. If Hasbro had just toned down the yellow a bit, I would have had zero complaints.

Blast Off has a pair of detachable weapons that are very reminiscent to the weapons of the G1 toy. You can clip them onto his wings in two different configurations. One way gives him extra tail fins on his wings, the other way extends his wing tips just a bit. Either way you clip them on, they provide him with some serious wing-mounted cannons.

Transforming Blast Off is fairly simple and when you’re done you one very cool looking Decepticon warrior. He has good proportions and, like his shuttle mode, he’s brimming with sculpted detail. He doesn’t really have any feet, and while he stands just fine, I think some actual feet would have complemented his aesthetics quite a bit. I do love the way his giant engines form his shoulder armor, they give him a powerful, linebacker kind of look. Or maybe he’s cosplaying World of Warcraft. The head sculpt includes two beady yellow eyes and a mouth plate. I can’t say as I remember his G1 headsculpt all that well, so I won’t comment on the homage. You have a few options on what to do with his wing cannons. He can hold them like guns, or you could clip them onto his arms two different ways.

So where’s the problem? The problem is with articulation and the design of Blast Off’s arms and shoulders. While the shoulders do peg in during transformation, they still float around on a ball joint. When you articulate the arms at the shoulder, the entire shoulder plate has to move with it and I can’t help think how much better Blast Off would have been if the shoulders remained static while the arm moved. It also inhibits the arm’s articulation a lot and will pop out if you try to over articulate it in the slightest. The legs feature ball joints at the hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles, which is all very good in theory, and yet the legs still feel kind of stiff. I think it’s because there are no feet.

Blast Off and Onslaught really have a lot in common. Both are amazing looking figures, but have some serious design flaws in their arms. And like Onslaught, I’m going to give Blast Off a pass despite his design shortcomings. His shuttle mode is one of my favorite Transformers alt modes in a long while and his robot mode is no slouch either. The toy is packed with great coloring and superbly sculpted detail, making him feel like Hasbro actually put about fifteen bucks worth of love into this figure. Alas, the design of the shoulders and the overall articulation make him not all that much fun to play with in robot mode. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with having that third alt mode (i.e. Bruticus’ right arm), but it definitely detracts from him as a stand-alone figure. Still, I have no regrets having picked him up.

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