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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Justin's review of: Blaster

Name: Blaster
Function: Autobot Communicator

"When the music is rocking, i'm rollin'."

Finds all Earth music interesting, but it's rock 'n' roll--- good, hard and loud---that really sparks his circuits. In the forefront of any situation he's involved in. As AM/FM stereo cassette player, he can perform as deck plus receive radio signals of all frequencies with power outputs as low as 1/1,000,000 watt. Acts as Autobot communications center... can transmit up to 4,000 miles. Carries electroscrambler gun that disrupts electrical devices.

Alternate Mode:

As the Autobot communicator Blaster carries the burden of transforming into a cassette deck, a boom box to be specific. While he plays a significant role in post movie episodes of the cartoon, it is hard not to feel sorry for him given this alt-mode. I like to think of Soundwave as a Walkman. This rational helps explain Blaster being a couple inches longer and about an inch taller than Soundwave in this mode. (As long as I give myself an excuse for the less than important factors in life I will sleep much better). It is nearly impossible not to automatically compare Blaster to Soundwave; he seems to be a product of the unwritten Transformers law that states for every specialty soldier possessed by the Decepticons someone of similar function must fill the Autobot ranks.

The tape deck opens by pushing the button marked eject (better reread that sentence). When I got my Blaster from EBay the cassette door did not open. A little work with a screwdriver and this problem was fixed, so don't let a non-opening door stop you from picking up Blaster if the price is right. The proportions and colors in this mode resemble one of the portable rechargeable radios seen on construction sites. The molded details of this figure look pretty good, these include a fixed tuning dial, bass boost switch, and even a faux 8 ohm headphone output on the rear side. There are only really a couple downsides to this figure's alt-mode. When viewed from the rear the top of Blasters folded down head is clearly visible, the carry handle serves to cover this up from when looking from the front. The carry handle unfortunately doesn't fold back as one would expect from a real radio. Overall the cassette deck is a convincing disguise, but its time to move on to the robot beneath the disguise.

Robot Mode:

The transformation here is going to be pretty intense. Hold on tight, fluff your pillow and let's go. To begin pull back the small black grip on the carrying handle and grab the silver edges housing the 'speakers' pull them towards the bottom of the cassette deck. You can take a breather here if you'd like but I must press on. Pull the forearms straight down and slide out the hands. Almost there. Flip up Blaster's head, turn it 180 degrees, and flip out the small black feet and you have before you a fully transformed Blaster. In this mode the figure bears a pretty strong resemblance to his cartoon incarnation featuring a red body and arms paired with silver legs. The yellow and clear tape deck takes up a good portion of the chest on this figure. It being larger than Soundwave prevents the cassette door from looking unnaturally large like it does in the case of Soundwave.

The head sculpt is the only part of this toy which I wish would have been done differently cosmetically. For some unknown reason the designers decided to give blaster a Leno-esque protrusion where his chin should be. The area around the mouth is recessed in a rather strange fashion. Normally this kind of detail work wins me over. In the case of Blaster however it makes the face look slightly odd. Blaster's face seems cold and somehow more machinelike than many other Transformers figures. The silver accents on the figure's head compliment the color scheme better than the white used in the cartoon. The big downfall of Blaster as a figure is shared by many of his G1 brethren: Articulation or in this case lack thereof. The brick known as Blaster's motion is limited to 360 degrees of rotation at the shoulders, turning of the head, and doing the splits with his legs out to the side. The legs and head only move as a consequence of the transformation sequence, the shoulder rotation is the only intentional point of articulation poor Blaster was given.

Transformation: 3 - The alt mode does a good job of hiding the robot beneath its surface. The transformation of this guy is second to only the Throttlebots in ease. The joint design allows for Blaster's joints to remain tighter much longer than Soundwave's but at the expense of articulation.
Durability: 9 - Assuming you don't attempt to move this figure in any way which resembles a humanoid range of motion I don't see it breaking. The cassette door can stop opening, but it is a relatively easy fix.
Fun: 10 - For some reason that I don't really understand I can't help but pick Blaster up off the shelf. He is a brick, but I love this figure just the same.
Price: 10 - For being such a major character Blaster is cheap ranging from $10 missing his gun and sometimes with the cassette door not opening, to about $75 MIB.
Overall: 7 - If you like the character you will like the toy. As a toy the lack of articulation takes away from its play value. He seems necessary for a G1 collector. If you like to spend your time carefully posing your figures avoid Blaster like the plague.
 
 
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