Transformers Generations Voyager
Item No.: Asst. A1403 No. A2563 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Rocket, sword, gun Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Jet to Tank Retail:$22.99 Availability: April 2013 Other: 02 Series #002
Over the years I've had the fortune to review thousands of toys, action figures, and collectibles ranging from art pieces to high-end collectibles for adults to colorful plastic meant for children. Generally these items are best when they are designed for one specific purpose, and with toys like Blitzwing I assume most people will tell me I'm wrong, but my first impressions were "eh." Some pieces don't fit together too well, the instructions are incomplete (robot to tank, robot to jet, no "back to robot") and in some steps feel unhelpful. I'm not saying ignore the instructions, but perhaps you should consider it.
It is not exactly "fun," but it is neat - if that makes sense. If you're the kind of collector I think many of you are, you will likely buy this, transform it 2-5 times, and place it on a shelf. You will like this. I figure I'd be frustrated with it as a kid, as some parts are instructed to go strange places. Why should the firing cannon appear at the bottom of the jet so it gets in the way of the landing gear?
This isn't to say it's a flop - his legs are floppy, but the fact the face has three different options and both weapons are pretty nice is going to make this a figure you will be unable to resist buying. If you like "classics" toys, and you bought Astrotrain in 2005 and were waiting for Blitzwing, there's nothing I can say to you that will stop you from wanting to go buy this. Considering Astrotrain (a fine toy) was $9.99 in 2006 dollars, and Blitzwing is like twice the size in the inflation-heavy 2013, a $22.99 Blitzwing is significantly more impressive on every measurable technical and manufacturing level.
As a tank, it's adequate. It's sort of ugly, but it looks like a tank and not the cheaty h-tanks we've seen so many of since Transformers Armada. Mr. Wing's turret spins, the wheels are small but functional, and I have to confess I absolutely love the firing mechanism. Pull back on the barrel, and the rocket shoots out - there's no visible button, and it's pretty easy to do. Functionally the vehicle is good and has a few clever panels which pop up during transformation that I assume will be a) forgotten or b) snapped off by kids in the future. Were Blitzwing just a tank and a robot, I bet this would be a fantastic toy. I expect to see a bunch of half-transformed ones at Goodwill in the next few years. (I saw a few busted-up Darkmounts.)
I went from tank to plane with some help from the box picture and instructions, and this was the tricky one. Numerous pieces have to be precise, with the tabs locking the robot legs next to the body, and then the tank turret splits apart and connects to the legs, and if anything is out of place you're hosed. It's also really easy to pop out one piece while you move another. Unlike the tank, the jet is basically a Veritech/Jetfire-looking thing - it has a few places to store 5mm-peg weapons, plus a slot for the sword on the bottom and a gun on top. It works, but it's kind of frustrating and the little wings on top don't seem to stay the way I want to.
The robot mode packs a surprising amount of articulation considering all the concessions it has to make for three modes, with knee-like joints, articulated feet, swivel wrists, and a good deal of arm articulation. Like many recent figures, the shoulders aren't stable so bits will swivel around and it's sort of frustrating. The fists are a little too tight for the weapons, but you can get them in there with a little force. The deco is good, the sculpting is great, and the fact that the heads rotate up or down is awesome. Referencing the three faces of Transformers Animated Blitzwing, this one has a head similar to the original toy, plus a "jack-o-lantern" head and the icy, quasi-Mr. Freeze head. Considering that Animated is the best incarnation of the franchise, mashing it up with the overwhelmingly nostalgia-driven Generation One could make for a ton of great toys in the future.
This feels like a toy generated by Hasbro to appease the increasingly generous third-party crowd as it delivers as an adult collectible but I scoff at "Ages 5+" on the box. Yes, a child will be able to figure it out, but I assume there may be some anger in there. It's still great to see Hasbro return to "classic" triple-changers after so many years, although this one isn't as simple as 2006 Astrotrain or as iffy as 2008 Tankor/Octane. Actually, I don't think anything was as questionable as Octane except maybe Galvatron from that era, so know that while Blitzwing is more than a little iffy. You may want to throw him into the wall when you start with him, but it's probably going to make a great display piece if you can resist.
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