PDA

View Full Version : Construct-Bots Thoughts


Jaynz
2013-07-08, 09:39 PM
Blitzwing
I got a mildly pleasant surprise today at Toys R Us (The store that never has anything new) in that it actually had one each of the “Construct-Bots” Blitzwing and Bumblebee kits. I decided to go for Blitzwing as my first of this line to see what I thought of it. It’s a pretty hefty box, kept somewhat simple in décor. The nicest thing you’ll notice right away is the large purple reusable tray that all the pieces come in. After the legion of mess that was KreO, this was a nice and welcome addition.

Blitzwing is constructed in a way strongly resembling some Gundam ‘creation frame’ toys from some years ago. The robot has a basic skeleton (body, waist/hips, arms, legs) to which panels and finishing pieces are added. Bltizwing gets a bunch of robot parts in a nice shade of beige and violet, resembling his G1 color scheme. (Sadly, the parts re-use here is a little obvious, as Blitzwing’s lower-body armor is an unpainted purple version of Soundwave’s. Not that huge of a deal here, but a slight mark against this more-expensive piece). Plating includes the back, shoulders, forearms, hands, upper and lower legs, and feet. There is also a separate piece for the head, which pops on will a ball joint link. Robot mode isn’t bad, and it holds up well with the ball joints and ratchets giving articulation all over the place.

As for transforming, it should be noted that “Triple-Changer” is a bit of a misnomer. Blitzwing can be built to either transform into tank or jet modes, but not both. The main figure isn’t more-or-less complicated than the ‘regular’ figures in the line, so the ‘cockpit/wing/turret’ pieces are swapped in order to form the new mode.

Tank mode makes use of the four wheel-assemblies and large turret included. The wheels go on the legs and back of the arms, with the turret going on the back. We’re not talking a very detailed or impressive tank mode here, more like if a G1 Pretender got a little bit of delusions of grandeur going. The resulting assault 4x4 vehicle isn’t too bad, though, but it’s clear that this vehicle mode is an afterthought. A nice feature here, though, is that the tank turret has a ‘pressure missile’ build included.

Jet mode makes use of the wing assemblies and other weapons included in the box. As with the tank mode, the vehicle mode is clearly not the focus of the toy, though it’s a slightly more passable alt-mode this time. It is also extremely heavily armed. Blitzwing swaps the turret for a large cannon (also with pressure missile), and two chain guns to mount on the wings.

Optionally, you can forgo a good transform all together and just put all his parts and weapons on his robot mode, which makes Blitzwing look like “Death Warmed Over”, or something out of a more traditional robot-anime line.

All in all, it’s clear that Construct-Bot is trying to hit the ’build and customize’ market for giant robots, making it pretty clear that this is more of a Takara/Tomy initiative than a Hasbro one. Overall, yeah, it works, so long as you don’t mind fairly weak alt-modes. The kit-building, and ‘fiddling around’ aspects of the toy are definitely worth the price of admission. It’s harder to say if more ‘traditional fans’ will get past the unusual play-style and lack of decent alt-modes to ‘get’ what Blitzwing is going for, but I hope they do. There’s a lot of idle fun to be had here.

Denyer
2013-07-08, 10:15 PM
http://www2.unicron.com/2013-transformers/construct-bots/triple-changer/721-blitzwing.html

Bit weird to be seeing Bionicle / Hero Factory style TFs after all of the Kre-O stuff, but a better fit than traditional blocks I suppose.

Jaynz
2013-07-08, 10:22 PM
http://www2.unicron.com/2013-transformers/construct-bots/triple-changer/721-blitzwing.html

Bit weird to be seeing Bionicle / Hero Factory style TFs after all of the Kre-O stuff, but a better fit than traditional blocks I suppose.

Like I said, it works pretty well, and it's a bit closer to the 'Gundam' line I mentioned (where you have a frame and put on a lot of Gundam panels and parts to make the suit you want) than it is either Bionicle or KreO. I'm curious how much will hold up when my Starscream finally gets here.

(Does anyone else find it amusing that Unicron.com made a point to thumbnail HASBRO'S stock photography?)

Jaynz
2013-07-09, 09:26 PM
(Denyer, feel free to move this to toys... where it probably belongs)

Starscream
Going to keep this one short and sweet. Starscream is, effectively, a remold/redeco of Blitzwing without the tank and 4x4 pieces, the case, and the shootable missile weapons. When in robot mode, he's a little less meaty than Blitzwing is , due to some key panels being more open and the back piece not going on snug. He looks a smidge 'cheaper' overall, despite being the same size of robot. He only comes with two small 'chain guns' which attach to his wings in either mode, making miss the big missiles and null rays, which are painful for their absence.

Vehicle mode is similar to Blitzwing's jet mode, of course. A bit like a Pretender's 'flight mode' from back in the day. It's not going to fool anyone into being a real jet, of course, but you MIGHT be able to say 'it's Cybertronian' if you squint at it. Cockpit assembly isn't all that great, unfortunately.

A weird issue I had was that the included head was partially painted black, on the left side, leaving the helmet mostly the flat gray base color. Eyes were also colored blue instead of red. Gundam Markered that one but I'm seriously considering a replacement for that. Very annoying.

Anyway, Starscream is worth the price but a bit of a disappointment after Blitzwing. He definitely could use some bolstering-up with some additional pieces and firepower... which, I suppose, is what Takara/Tomy had in mind in the first place.

Notabot
2013-07-10, 01:33 AM
What's the cost on these? I haven't heard much about them.

Jaynz
2013-07-10, 02:05 AM
What's the cost on these? I haven't heard much about them.

$24.99 for Blitzwing/Bumblebee
$10.99 for Ironhide/Starscream

Others aren't out yet.