The hot newness around the Transformers world is the Legacy series, but it really just seems to be a continuation of the previous lines, with a heavy lean in to the old favorite Generation 1 designs and a smattering of Beast Wars here and there. And in keeping with their sometimes irritating habit of recent redos, Hasbro is taking another crack at everyone’s favorite Autobot boombox, Blaster!
I say recent redos, but to be fair we last saw Blaster about five years ago in the Titans Return line, and it was about four years before that when he was released in Generations. Now, I wouldn’t call three Blasters in the course of about a decade overkill, but there are still other characters who are overdue for their time in the spotlight. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t I see this figure released in Kingdom packaging as well? To be honest, it’s getting hard for me to keep track of some of Hasbro’s releases these days. Anywho, Blaster comes in the colorful new packaging we last saw with Skids, and there’s still a big open window so kids can stick their disgusting little peanut butter fingers all over my toy. Also billed in this package is Eject, which is thankfully a cassette tape and not a Headmaster head, like we got with Twin Cast. Let’s check out the alt modes…
For a long while, Hasbro seemed to be ashamed of the old tape player modes. That was especially the case with Soundwave, but Hasbro seems to have gotten over it, as the last Blaster we got was a boombox, and so is this one. And because we aren’t dealing with any third base mode, this one looks pretty damn good. You get the red body with gray side speakers, a yellow tape door, and a carry bar up top. There are some non-working knobs, and a row of buttons, which can be pressed to open the tape door. There’s not much happening on the flipside, although as you can see, I have a few pieces that aren’t aligned perfectly, which just goes to show this is a fairly forgiving transformation. Colors aside, this looks a lot like the Emerson boombox I used to record songs off the radio with when I was a kid!
The tape deck is pretty small, but I still think it scales pretty well with the Netflix War For Cyberton Soundwave release. A figure, which I never got around to reviewing, but here’s a comparison, nonetheless. Personally, I think they look good together.
As I mentioned earlier, the tape door is spring loaded, and pops open when you press the row of buttons under it. At which point you can pull out Eject in his cassette mode. Eject is mostly cast in this beautiful blue transparent plastic, with some gray parts and gold trim. They didn’t really go overboard with any cassette tape markings, but you can clearly see the two tape reels as part of the sculpt. I wan’t a big fan of the days when Hasbro was turning the cassettes into bombs or data pads, or data discs. It’s nice to see them as cassettes again. The flipside isn’t very polished, and if you’re a goofball like i am and don’t turn the head around, you can see Eject peeking back at you. Let’s check out his robot mode, before getting back to Blaster.
Eject is a pretty cool little guy, and while some may have issue with the use of translucent plastic, I actually like it a lot. It looks gorgeous with the gold paint, and Eject’s proportions aren’t too bad for a little cassette bot. And thanks to some ball joints and rotating hinges, he’s got plenty of articulation too.
Blaster’s transformation is a bit more complex than his old G1 toy, but the principle is pretty much the same. The robot mode is clean and well-proportioned and looks great. You still get the tape door on his chest, the speakers on his lower legs, and I dig the way the carry bar splits and locks into the outside of his legs. Those hollow forearms are a shame, but nothing that’s going to ruin the toy for me, and he even looks surprisingly polished from the back, and includes a whole slew of ports back there so he can store his gun and a bunch of other stuff. They even hit a homerun with the head sculpt here.
Hasbro sculpted Blaster’s right hand so that he has a pointing index finger to allow him to push his own buttons and eject a tape while in robot mode. Seriously, can these guys not just activate eject internally? Why they gotta push their own buttons? Either way, it’s worth mentioning that Blaster has some serious ankle tilts, to keep them feets flat on the floor even in dynamic wide stances, and I sure do appreciate that!
Blaster comes with his very distinctive sniper-rifle style gun. There are plenty of Transformers out there who could get away with any old weapon design, but you can’t mess with this design. It just wouldn’t be Blaster without it!
And if you were playing with Transformers back in the 80’s, you know what a triumph it is to have a Blaster and a Soundwave that actually scale well together. Blaster is just a tad taller than that Netflix Soundwave. Just enough to keep with tradition, but not enough to make it awkward when you want to have them fight. And boy do they look fantastic together!
What’s one of the things that bug me the most about Transformers in the last ten years or so? Hasbro puts out a figure and I really like it. Then four or five years later, they put out a new version and it makes the previous figure, the one I was perfectly happy with, look like poop. That’s probably why my Transformers toys are the only aspect of my collection that I purge with some regularity. There are some older favorites that I keep, but even though the Titans Return Blaster is a distinctive figure with its own charms, now that this new Blaster has come along, I really have no need to keep him in the collection anymore.