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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Blackjack's Review: Prime Flamewar

Name: Flamewar
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Legion Class
Accessories: Gun-Blade Weapon

Who’s Flamewar? Before Transformers Animated and Slipstream came along, Flamewar is technically the only female Decepticon for quite some time – Blackarachnia is nominally a Predacon and a side-changing one to boot, Strika’s a Vehicon and Nightracer is a total nobody – so since evil psychotic women is a thing, Fun Publications invented and included Flamewar in their first BotCon set, and she was some kind of competent super-spy super-assassin deal with a scientist background and utmost loyalty to Megatron. (Basically every female fanmade Decepticon ever is either that or a backstabbing angry bitch like Slipstream.)

Still, Flamewar didn’t appear quite enough or be much of a Mary Sue in the few times she appeared, but she wasn’t likable at all, and there are a lot of characters with her black-and-red deco; it’s pretty generic.

The reason I brought this toy is this rather nice fanfiction I read, set in the Prime verse with shades of the Movies worked in. It hit me in all the right places, and I really, really liked Flamewar there. And she’s a legion class toy, so she’s cheap. And no one cares about Flamewar, so there. Also, while the Flamewar in the fanfic I read is basically a less-Mary-Sue’d version of her original bio, Prime Flamewar is a psychotic madwoman obsessed with Arcee. Like a stalker. So much of a stalker she has her body modeled after Arcee? Eh, whatever.

Alternate Mode:
Flamewar transforms into a motorcycle. It’s predominantly an almost-black shade, with orangish-red flames on her front and sides. She’s got a bit silver for detailing, whereas her wheels and some other bits are molded in gray plastic. The end result makes her stand out from other more mundane colours. Of course, with a smaller size, steps must be taken and she doesn’t look 100% like a motorcycle replica, and is definitely more clunky than Arcee’s show model, but compared to, oh, the Legends toy of Animated Prowl, at least Flamewar still looks like a functional motorcycle. I find it odd that each wheel only has one… fork, I think it’s called? Those things that extend and clamp the center of the wheels, anyway. Each wheel has only one of those things, but on different sides.

Anyway, it’s a tiny motorcycle. It’s serviceable, I suppose. You can put the blaster gun thingamagig on her seat if you want her to shoot her own windscreen apart. It’s all up to you.

Robot Mode:
Flamewar’s transformation is rather similar to that of Animated Prowl, albeit with different details to accommodate the different kibble distribution. The end result impressed me when I played with Prowl, and still does now. This transformation layout results in both wheels ending on different feet, yet still has a symmetrical robot mode. Although I suppose they had some time refining the transformation from their days of making Animated Prowl toys. Articulation wise, for a Legion class toy I suppose Flamewar’s got a rather decent range, although not much more than average modern toys of her size: shoulders, thighs, knees, and a little waist and wings due to the transformation.

Flamewar looks rather decently like the show model of Arcee, on which she’s based on, but the paint scheme differs enough to make her look distinct. She’s still mainly purply black, but her entire chest, shoulders, head crest, eyes and crotch are orange. I do like the orange eyes. The orange eyes look positively lethally angry. As a bonus, due to the transformation scheme, Flamewar’s kibble makes her look like she’s got deployed arm-blades or something, which (while I might be iffy on if this was Arcee) suits Flamewar perfectly.

She’s a nice-looking little angry Decepticon. Only one small problem, though: her weapons. Hasbro seems to package every legion class toy with a clear weapon that can attach to each other, Arms Micron-style. I don’t mind weapons on legion class toys. In fact, I support this. So what’s the problem? They’re made out of clear plastic. Worse, soft clear plastic. They’ll probably warp in no time. Flamewar comes with a gun that’s modeled after the Vehicon triangle-barreled gun, with a knife-like attachment on the side. She can hold it like a gun or like a sword. If the plastic doesn’t warp.

Marks out of ten for the following:
Transformation Design: 7/10 Pretty good, although it is simply mimicking that of Animated Prowl and her larger toys.

Durability: 6/10 Swordblade can warp, and she’s pretty skinny, but otherwise I don’t think she’ll break apart that easily. Apparently the original legion Arcee has extremely terribly durability issues, but the Flamewar I own doesn't exhibit any of this.

Aesthetics: 8/10 Flamewar’s not ugly, and I do like the black-purple and orange-red, shades you don’t normally see on Transformers toys. Her sculpting isn’t bad either.

Articulation: 5/10 Standard affair for a legion class. She’s got posability, but not much in lieu of balancing any other pose than standing.

Fun: 5/10 Again, standard legion class. Great for fiddling around since she’s small.

Price/Value: 6/10 She’s more or less what you should expect from that price range..

Overall: 7/10 She’s a fun little toy, and I can’t find much fault in her design other than the ridiculous soft plastic used for her weapon. Of course, she's cheap and should you desire a Flamewar toy for whatever purpose, she'll do fine.
 
 
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