Kenori's review: Premium Blackout
The only goals BLACKOUT ever had were to serve for MEGATRON, fight for DECEPTICON dominance, and be the most perfect soldier he could. He follows orders without question, even to the point of self-termination, and maintains himself and his weapons in pristine condition. The other DECEPTICONS may choose the easy road, letting their bodies gather scratches and dents, but BLACKOUT knows discipline is the prerequisite to power
I decided to pick up Blackout after reading Numbat's Review
of the original version. I was a big fan of this helicopter transformer in the movie, he just oozed a lot of bad ass. Anyway, on to the review.
We will start with the mode straight out of the box. Vehicle mode is truly where this figure shines. As per Wikipedia, Blackout's vehicle mode is a MH-53 Pave Low Helicopter
nicknamed the "Super Jolly Green Giant." The paint job is done mostly in a dark grey-blue, much darker than the original figure, with most of the detailing done in black. Also the entire figure appears to have a wash coat of black on it, giving it a darker, more used look. There is also some silver paint done at various points to resemble scuff marks, and some tan on the connections to the jet intakes on the side.
The level of detail in the paint job on this figure is simply astounding. Finding all the little points of detail is actually fun to do. So far here are the ones I've found: on either side of the back panel is a small "blink and you'll miss it" Decepticon logo.
On either side door there is an arrow with RESCUE printed in it, which I assume to be for the rescue hoist. The right arrow, however, has a screw going threw it, so it sorta breaks the realism a bit, but the left arrow is unblemished.
There is an arrow on either side of the jet intakes with the words JET INTAKES written into them. For added realism, the jet intake sticker on the right appears to be scuffed off slightly, with silver paint showing through.
The premium has the two red stripes like the regular figure does, but between those stripes is also a white stripe with the code 551-SOS, which Google told me meant that Blackout belongs to the 551st Special Operations Squadron.
Also underneath the tail on the left and right side is the letters BLK-OT with 4500X underneath that. Its a nice little touch. One of my favorite things is when Transformers hide their names somewhere on their vehicle mode bodies. Also there is a scuff line in silver on the right side of the tail, between the BLK-OT and the 4500X.
The toy is very solidly put together, with few missing gaps or anything. The only two noticeable gaps are the two on either side between the jet intake, and the roof of it. There is also one between the cockpit and the roof, but that one is small and inconsequential.
The action feature is very simple, but fun to do. By pressing a button behind the tail, it causes to the rotor blades to spin. It is very solid and looks realistic. The rotor blades themselves are not necessarily loose, but they come off a little easily. They do fit tight in there little holdings, but I think they're designed to come off instead of snapping in half or something.
The figure also has a cage underneath the fuselage which holds the Scorponok mini-fig (more on him later). There is a release switch you use to open the cage, but honestly it works maybe one out of ever ten times you use it, and the hinge the cage sits on is incredibly loose. I'm always afraid of it just falling off, but it is holding for now.
The transformation can be annoyingly nerve-wracking until you realize that the rotor blades, and thereby the entire back section, can be completely removed. This makes the transformation LOADS easier. Unfortunately, the instructions have you do the transformation as if you had it attached which, as I said, will give you a headache very quickly. The instructions also don't tell you exactly how to use the automorph feature (you have to pull on the legs as you flip them around to do it) nor does it tell you that the rotor blades have to be split apart between two certain ones to have them sit properly (their is a small arrow between the two, but if you're not looking, you won't know). In other words: get rid of the instructions.
The Robot Mode for Blackout is, for lack of a better term, dumpy. He is very Igor-like, with his "Shoulders" coming up to his head. He looks very different from a lot of figures in the line, but hey they can't all look the same.
There aren't any new colors in this mode than in the Vehicle Mode, but they are portioned out a little differently. There is a lot more tan, mostly on the arms and legs. Also the same grey-blue color appears in patches on the legs, but it is a much lighter color, due to the absence of the shot-through black like on the rest of the figure. There is also more silver, mostly on the codpiece, waist, and chest, and the head is blue, with silver highlights. The eyes are red, and the back of the head is also red. I guess it was supposed to have a back light thing going on, but the whole back coves up the back of his head, so no glowing eyes for this guy. There is also two decepticon symbols on the backs of each of his forearms. as well as a the mandatory silver Decepticon logo on his chest.
Kibble is prevalent in this mode, but it doesn't really take away too much. Except for the cage on the bottom of the fuselage, and the rotator blades folded back, the entire back section of the plane is completely unchanged, also the two pieces of the roof that split apart really don't have anywhere to go except to sit right on top of the highest point of the shoulders. While they tried to detract a little bit away from this by adding missiles to this part, it still looks too bulky.
For the most part, the joints on blackout are pretty tight and offer ok movement. The hands are jointed at the shoulder and elbow, and offer enough movement for a few nice poses. The legs are also jointed at the hip and knees, with the knee joint being a ratchet joint, giving him a solid base. The head is on a pin joint, so he can move left or right faily well, but with the way his shoulders stick out from his chest, the dude has tunnel vision something fierce.
The action feature for this mode is the same as the vehicle mode, but used in a different way. By removing the back section and placing it in a peg on Blackout's shoulder, you can turn the propellers into a blade weapon like in the movie. Now you can have fun getting into blade fights with Blackout and Incinerator.
Bonus! Like the original Blackout, the premium version comes with a scale model Scorponok figure that you can put in Blackout's little cage. Unlike the original, however, this version is fully painted in Scorponok's gold and brown/bronze color. It looks most bad ass indeed. There isn't much articulation, but you can raise and lower its tail. One of my favorite poses is to put Scorponok in the little space between Blackout's shoulders, right behind his head. It's an almost perfect place for him, even if it is a little comedic.
6 (or 4, depending)/10. If you try to do the transformation by way of the instructions and with the rotor attached, its extremely frustrating, but without the rotor blades it really isn't too bad.
7/10. Overall, the figure is solid, with only the rotor blades
and the under carriage being loose.
8/10. I love playing with this fellow, transforming him back and forth, and just flying him around in helicopter mode. He just looks amazing and goes really well with all the other figures on my desk.
10/10. At only 20 bones before sale prices, this figure is an absolute steal. I would say get him ASAP.
9/10. The robot mode looks a little odd, but it definitely makes up for it in his beautiful vehicle mode. Plus the fully colored Scorponok mini-fig just sweetens the deal. Hasbro, take notes, this is how you make a premium figure.