Blackjack reviews Thrust
: ROTF Breakaway
In every toyline, repaints and retools are inevitable. Creating new molds every time is expensive, thus repainted and retooled toys have to be produced in order to pad up the shelves, as well as to introduce new toys. Most of the early waves of the Revenge of the Fallen
deluxe class toys have been repainted or retooled. (Sideways into Dead End, Sideswipe into Swerve, Rampage into Red Rampage) Thus, it is appropriate for their wave-mate, the Autobot jet Breakaway, to be repainted. In this case, the result is Thrust.
Breakaway had a more illustrious career than other toy-only characters. He was one of the main playable characters in the excellent XBOX/PC/PS3 Revenge of the Fallen game, to give the Autobots some air support. Concept art have shown that Breakaway (then named 'Firestorm') was among the unused transformers in the movie. Those concept arts had also included what would later be known as Ransack, Depth Charge and Springer in the toyline. So, anyway, on the not-so-good PS2/Wii game, red and black Decepticon jets were used as mini-bosses. While not an exact match for the Breakaway character model (a different transformation scheme, for one) it was close enough that Hasbro decided to repaint Breakaway based on this colour scheme, which is also the colour scheme of Generation One Thrust. Thus, we now have ROTF Thrust, a homage to G1 Thrust and a representative of the red jet Decepticon drones.
I had missed out on Breakaway, as the face and the bland paint job made me decide not to pick him up. However, playing the PC ROTF game made me fall for Breakaway's design. Seeing that there's going to be a retool of Breakaway down the line in homage of G1 Thrust, I was excited. Thus, I picked up this guy.
The tech specs characterize Thrust as basically a coward who loves to scare and terrorize humans, but retreat as soon as the larger human weapons arrive, nevermind Autobots. This was a departure from G1 Thrust's 'scare the Autobots with your loud and flashy arrival' persona, but is similar enough.
The name Thrust was first used in G1, as a retool of the Starscream mold with VTOL wings and new weapons. G1 Thrust was among the second wave of Seekers, who were portrayed with their nosecones pointing up in their fictional appearances, thus earning them the name 'Coneheads' in the fandom. Japan's Beast Wars II series reused the name Thrust for a Predacon jet, although this Thrust was yellow in colour. The next Thrust would be in Beast Machines, as a Vehicon motorcycle. This Thrust was a reincarnated Waspinator, and one of my all-time favourite Decepticons. Judging by some of the toys in ROTF, the designers there love BM Thrust too. The name Thrust reused again Armada, where it was used as as a Decepticon with a conehead. The name Thrust was slapped on Cybertron as a toy-only MiniCon repaint. Then, there's this guy.
Thrust's alternate mode is based on a F35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Jet. It looks sleek yet powerful, and really looks like the real deal. The main colour is dark red. Burgundy, I think. It's like Demolishor, only slightly darker. Black colour the nosecone, rear wings and basically break up the pallette. A silver finish on the side-things and on the Cyberglyph on his rear fins lighten up the sombre colour scheme. A darker shade of silver is used for the single engine of the F35. The colour scheme is rounded up with translucent purple for the cockpit. The purple cockpit (possible reference to Armada Thrust?) works better with the colour scheme than G1 Thrust's yellow.
The F35 Joint Strike Fighter looks powerful, and it's about time we got a jet with an F35 as the alternate mode. Thrust/Breakaway isn't the first transformers who transforms into an F35 fighter jet, not by a long shot. Hell, even Armada Thrust's alternate mode is based on an F35, albeit with (inaccurately) two engines instead of one.
There are three Decepticon insignias littered throughout Thrust's body. One is in black, in the silver portion beside where his nosecone meets the main body. Two black insignias (replacing the star in a military design) decorate Thrust's wings. Two silver Cyberglyphs resembling the letter 'G' decorate his vertical fins.
Thrust passes off for a realistic replica of a real F35, except in several key points. His gatling gun can be seen on the body of the jet mode, but it could be passed off as detailing. More severe are his stomach, hips and massive toes, which are visible at the underside of the jet mode. From the side it's not that noticeable, though. Still, it could easily pass as undercarriage junk, and it's not as obvious as, say, Classics Starscream. The main problem lies in the cockpit, where his head sits. It's not even rotated or anything, it just sits there, staring through the translucent plastic. Sheesh. However, it's not such a big deal, really. You won't notice it unless you're looking at it directly.
A landing gear can fold out from the nosecone, and the wheel could actually roll, which is rather surprising. Two smaller wheels could be found in the undercarriage, on what would be the lower legs of the robot mode.
Overall, an excellent jet mode. The colour scheme is not too bland, but not too tacky either. It is one of the few G1 colour schemes which translate well to the Movieverse toys. I can only think of a few others (Jazz, Hoist, Skywarp, and maybe Optimus Prime) where G1 colour schemes work. I mean, just look at the 'G1 colours' editions of Starscream, Ratchet, or Ironhide. For G1, they might work. In movie designs they look... tacky. Thrust works, though.
It is refreshing to have a fighter jet whose transformation doesn't include cockpits being attached to chests. Thrust is an all new transformation scheme, and I must say it works well, even if it produces a rather lanky robot mode. The transformation is similar to an Aerialbot in some aspects, namely due to the tail part and wing part folding on the robot's back. However, the similarities end there. Thrust's entire upper body is comprised of the front of his jet. Instead of the cockpit being kibble stashed on his chest, but rather it becomes the head. The cockpit splits apart to reveal Thrust's head, nestled comfortably inside. I don't recall any transformer having a unique head placement like this, so kudos to the toy designers.
The head is original, replacing Breakaway's goofy-dopey head. Instead, it's a more serious head-sculpt, with frowning purple eyes and a Seeker-esque helmet, albeit rounded instead of square. There is a hint of those vampire jaws you see in IDW comics, like Thunderwing or Iguanus. All in all, an improvement in terms of head-sculpting compared to Breakaway.
The colour scheme translates well into robot mode, with the red and black still taking up the majority of the paintscheme. The silver ends up on the sides of his chest, which is a good spot to brighten him up a little. Brighter red (think G1 Sideswipe) could be seen in some detailing such as his shoulders and his crotch. a little dark gray/brown appear for the joints as well.
I like the look of Thrust. The large wings end up above the shoulders, but it's not exactly attached to the shoulders and do not impede articulation. The engine ends up on Thrust's back, so it looks like Thrust could fly in robot mode, a la Megatron or Starscream in the movie. The lower wings arrange themselves so that Thrust looks actually cool, and he doesn't have half a jet hanging off his back. The overall feel is like the jet transformers in the movie, like Starscream or Jetfire. You could see where the parts like the cockpit and the wings go, but it doesn't look like kibble. Instead the wings and jet parts wrap themselves around Thrust's body, so it looks like a robot made out of jet parts instead of a robot with jet parts hanging off him.
Posability is excellent. The head's fixed in place, but Thrust has his shoulders, elbows and wrists on joints, as well as his thighs, knees and ankles. He has a waist joint but it's nullified by the rear part of the jet which pegs onto Thrust's back. The large wings can move too, if that counts as articulation.
What I don't really get about Thrust is his legs. I mean, look at them. Four massive toes. Robot toes! It looks... odd, for some reason. It would've been much better to mold is as a single block like more traditional transformers, or have it clawed like many of the Bayformers. But it isn't that ugly and you'll get used to it. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Thrust's 'Mech Alive' gimmick is on his right hand, on his gatling gun weapon. When you turn the weapon around, the gear on his wrist turns too. Um, yeah. Whatever you say, then. To a lesser extent, the Mech Alive also extends to his shoulders, which also has moving gears. It's negligible, but at least it doesn't get in the way of transformation or posability, unlike Ravage.
Overall, I'm satisfied with Thrust's robot mode.
Marks out of ten for the following:
8/10 Thrust is a rather solid toy, but some pieces (like his gatling gun) seem to be able to snap off. The silver paint on his sides also looks as if it could scratch off easily.
5/10 Simple and straightforward, a welcome change from the unnecessary overcomplexity of recent toys like, say, Sideways or Mixmaster.
6/10 Could use a larger gun, but he's decent fun and a nice troop builder for your Decepticon collection.
5/10 Eesh, Deluxe class toys keep increasing in price over here. Using the 'normal' deluxe price listings, Thrust would get a decent '7' or '8'.
7/10 Thrust is a decent toy, but there's nothing too special for him. Definitely not worth getting if you already have Breakaway. Nothing special, but it delivers. Good posability, great transformation and a homage to a personal favourite. Also, he at least have a weapon. Still, he's a decent toy with few problems and a nice addition to any Decepticon collection.