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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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The Reverend's review: Bomb-Burst

Name: Bomb-Burst
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Predator
Sub-Group: Pretender

"The greater the foe, the sweeter his fuel!"
A vicious, vile automated vampire! Enjoys swooping down on unsuspecting Autobots and using his serrated metallic fangs to drain the fuel from his victims. Specially-textured outer shell causes rust rash on contact. Blinded by bright sunlight. The ultimate terror in darkness. Without shell, transforms into a vertical take-off and landing hover jet with dual lasers. Within shell, armed with corrosive slime shooter and armor-piercing battle axe!

The Tech Specs, along with Dreamwave's More Than Meets The Eye compendium, describe Bomb-Burst as "the ultimate hunter in darkness". That's quite an epithet, given the claims of Ravage to a similar role in the Transformers mythos. But I can't help thinking that much like the vaunted innovativeness of television executives (in other words, next to none), Decepticon commanders and Hasbro designers felt more than a little pressed to, um... copy and bloat a concept that worked.

Okay, I admit it, that's not a fair thing to say. Bomb-Burst is nothing at all like Ravage. Nothing at all.

I clearly remember watching a Godzilla movie on TV ("Godzilla Vs. The Cosmic Monster") somewhere around 1986, which among its starry cast of men in furry costumes included a vaguely dog-like beast named "King Seesar" (sometimes rendered as King Caesar or King Shisa, look him up). King Seesar slept in a mountain, was magically awakened by the singing of a young maiden with an invisible backup band, and... well, that was the extent of his notability. Anyway, the point of my mentioning this is that apparently the designer of Bomb-Burst's shell saw the flick too, because it looks suspiciously similar to King Seesar. He's a grey-furred, bipedal boy, with claws on his hands and feet and giant upturned ears, gold eyes and a mouthful of teeth. He's wearing a red chestplate, along with colored armbands and other pieces of grey armor on his body. His shoulder pads, looking oddly like the side mirrors on an old Chrysler (except bearing mini-bat wings instead of mirrors), can be detached from his arms and are often found missing on loose samples. He also has a codpiece of sorts that attaches to his body, but this doesn't need to be unsnapped to open the shell. Although the shell only has shoulder articulation, I don't think it's particularly bad as Pretender shells go, and the axe it can hold looks appropriately wicked. Probably one of the better, more conducive-to-imagination shells in the line overall - yeah, Bludgeon's the icon, but this is pretty good.

By the way, the shell can sort of hold one or both of Bomb-Burst's rifles. I say "sort of" because the long clawed thumbs get in the way and make positioning them in the hands difficult. The rifles can be stacked to make a larger "super rifle" - which would look better if he didn't hold it so awkwardly, but... well, they tried. I do wish the shell had some holes in the elbows (like Submarauder), so the weapons could be mounted on the arms, or perhaps on his backpack...

Robot Mode:
Opening the shell reveals Bomb-Burst's robot mode. Like the other Pretenders of this wave, he's a rather silly looking bot, with an oversized, overly round head and a skinny little body featuring little notable detail. He's a fairly attractive teal color with grey arms and shins. His rifles attach to holes in his forearms, meaning he CAN raise his arm and point his weapon directly at his target, Seeker-style - and because he's a Pretender, his arms' ability to fold inward does give him some posing abilities uncommon in the G1 line. Unfortunately, his tiny, thin little feet make said posing a hassle in their own right, so maybe he should just stay in the prone position. His head can turn, and he has joints at shoulders and hips. The head sculpt is fairly cool, with its visored red face, but the head looks so out of scale that its details are easy to miss. Still, as far as the Pretenders of that year went, he's really got the advantage of not looking like a TOTAL doofus, mainly because his weapons look impressive. Take them away and... yeah, he's just a skinny, scrawny robot of no real interest except for his color scheme. I guess you could give him points for his independently articulated legs. He can do a karate front kick. Not all G1 bipedals could.

Alternate Mode:
Bomb-Burst is a sort of "VTOL jet". Or perhaps it's an "attack hovercraft"? Or maybe it's a robot folded in half with... Nah, couldn't be! Look, its easy to pick on first-year Pretenders and Bomb-Burst is no exception. However, when you decide to skip over the obvious "he's a really funny looking jet, he has a cockpit in his butt" stuff, there are other details to note - the large turbines molded into the rear of the plane, the tail that rises from the back of the robot head, the red cockpit, and yeah, you need the rifles or the plane won't have wings. Depending on whether you have the robot arms pointing forward or backward in this mode, Bomb-Burst's wings will be in different positions - having them forward makes him look more like a UFO, having them at the rear gives him a slightly sleeker appearance. Since he doesn't have any real nose cone to speak of, he looks closer to a "flying wing"-style plane than the conventional fighter jet. Again... not the greatest of alt modes, but better than many of his Pretender brethren. The legs folded underneath definitely give him an aquatic look. So maybe he's a Cybertronian seaplane. That will do. You could wish for more, you could easily get less.

Transformation: 2/10. You COULD forget the plane has a tail.
Durability: 8/10. Aside from the removable parts getting lost, Bomb-Burst really is a nice knockaround toy.
Fun: 7/10. There's a fair amount of play value in Bomb-Burst, even with his obvious faults. Among his comrades of that year and wave, he's really not that bad.
Price: 3/10. I got the shell for pennies (I swear, it was like 25 cents), the figure for slightly larger coins (a dollar, maybe?) and the guns cost big bucks ($15). Funny how that works.
Summary: 4/10. Sure, there are better Transformers, but as Pretenders go... yeah, there's worse.
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