In case you haven’t noticed, I never featured Fall of Cybertron Soundwave here. The truth is that I just wasn’t tempted to buy the figure. He’s basically a larger version of the Deluxe War for Cybertron design, which puts him out of scale with my WFC/FOC collection. If Hasbro had managed to nail the disc gimmick, I would have certainly picked him up as a stand-alone figure, but I just didn’t think that was the case. Now, Blaster on the other hand… I had to get him! There hasn’t been a Blaster figure since the repaint/remold of that terrible, terrible Cybertron Soundwave figure we looked at a couple of Transformers Thursdays ago, so it seemed like the Generations release was worth my time. Let’s see if I was right…
Blaster comes packaged in his robot mode in the same style of Generations window box that we got with the Triple-Changers. I still dig this presentation a lot, but not enough to try to kid myself about having enough space to keep it and store it. So, yeah… it’s about to get shredded and tossed. I’m starting with Blaster’s robot mode. The back points out that he is from The Fall of Cybertron. Funny, I don’t remember him in the game, but it’s been a while since I played it. I think I’m overdue to bust it out and play it again. Anyway, let’s kick it off with his alt mode.
According to the box, the official name for Blaster’s alt mode is a “Communication Truck.” Well, we ll knew he wasn’t going to be a boom box and even if this mode is a bit of a stretch, at least they tried to keep it within his function. Yes, it’s obviously the same alt mode as Generations Soundwave, but hey… if this is what a Cybertronian Communication Truck looks like, it stands to reason that each side would have one. It’s also a bigger and slightly tweaked version of the War For Cybertron Soundwave’s alt mode. I know, I already established that, but just in case you forgot.
It’s Ok for what it is, which is basically a big box rolling along on wheels. Hasbro did their best to add what style they could to it. The Autobot emblems sculpted into the wheels is a nice extra touch to separate him from Soundwave and I like the way the gun plugs into the top and there’s a little chair behind it for a gunner’s station. Why have that on a Cybertron vehicle mode? I don’t know, I already spend way too much time over analyzing this shit. A little something like an dish or antenna would have helped establish this as a “Communications” vehicle, because as it is it just looks like a chunky APC.
The deco is kind of thoughtless, or rather made to work with the robot mode as upposed to the vehicle mode. You just get red plastic in the front, black on the sides, grey in the back and some yellow and blue accents. As far as color schemes go, it’s rather haphazard. Probably what bothers me the most about Blaster’s alt mode is how obvious it is that the front piece is his chest and doesn’t look anything like the front of a truck. It looks like there should be some kind of cab piece on top of that. I think Soundwave’s door worked a lot better as a windshield, but, hey, I didn’t buy this guy for the alt mode. Let’s transform him and check out his bot mode.
Oh yeah… that’s where it’s at! I love it!!! The arms and legs may be totally unorthodox for Blaster, but the “tape door” on the chest and the G1 head sculpt still make this figure work as a beautiful homage to the Blaster I know and love. While the torso is quite boxy, I rather think it’s supposed to be, and the rest of the figure’s proportions work rather well. I especially like the way the bumper mimics the buttons on the front of the old G1 boombox mode. Well played, Hasbro. Blaster’s gun is also a nice homage to the G1 figure’s weapon. It’s shorter and looks more like a carbine than a sniper rifle, but it fits the update beautifully.
And then there’s the disc gimmick and here’s where things fall apart. The idea is simple enough, instead of tapes we get these chunky discs. I’m cool with updating the tapes to discs. The discs fit into Blaster’s chest compartment (in either robot or vehicle mode). When you eject them, they are supposed to hit the ground and auto transform. The problems start with the disc door. There’s one button to spring it open, but then you need to push a rod in his back to push the disc out and my disc usually gets stuck on the edges leading me to apply a lot of force to finally shoot him out. Other times I just need to pry him out. You can hold several discs in Blaster’s chest, but then the rod in the back has to be pulled further and further out and it looks rather silly. Ah, but if that were the only issue.
Blaster comes with Steeljaw, which I understand to be the weakest of the disc designs, and perhaps you can see why. He’s pretty f’ugly and nothing really locks into anything. Hey, for a figure that auto-transforms from a disc into some kind of big cat, I’m trying to be a little forgiving. The original Steeljaw was a lion, but Hasbro streamlined him to use the same mold as Ravage. It’s not a big deal and I’ll concede that this couldn’t have been an easy figure to design and engineer. The thing is he really doesn’t auto transform, I still have to tweak the back legs and fold out the tail, so why bother with the auto feature at all? I’m sure this figure could have looked better without it. Plus, if I have to tweak him into his alt mode anyway, at least make it so I can peg his back into place or something. He’s the only disc I have, and while I’m not terribly impressed by him, I will still likely pick up some of the others.
Questionable disc gimmick aside, I really do love Blaster. Hasbro did a great job tweaking him from the Soundwave mold, and he’s easily the best homage to the G1 character we’ve had since… well, since G1. So, yeah, the update is long overdue. While the size issue is still there, Blaster always was rather tall, so I can get away with displaying him with my WfC/FoC Autobots or even my Classics. Heck, he even scales pretty well against G1 Soundwave, which certainly wasn’t the case with G1 Blaster. The truth is I like this figure enough that I may wind up picking up the Soundwave too, just to have as a stand-alone figure, or to display alongside Blaster.