I started photographing this Autobot Blaster over two years ago when it first came out - and kept meaning to get back to it. This Soundwave remold was pretty great, but its days are also numbered as a Leader-class Blaster is due next year with a ton of cool features that put this one to shame. In short I can tell you Blaster has aged well, and Steeljaw is just as much one of the worst toys of the last decade.
Standing over 7-inches tall, Autobot Blaster's robot mode is solid. It's a sturdy toy that's fun to transform and has pretty decent articulation. Even two years later, this one is still nicely made and is one of the better toys from his era. (Especially when compared to Grimlock.) There are no wacky joints, no tricky bits, everything just goes nicely in place and the robot has no problems standing. His head sculpt borrows from a few G1 influences, and the coloring is unmistakably blaster. By giving him a specific head and torso, Hasbro is free to make other modifications to his body in order to serve his alt mode better. The end result is a great robot that doesn't have floppy joints or loose panels - it's the kind of thing we should.shtmlire to in any toy line. Granted, most of the Voyager-class toys have been pretty solid lately, but this one was unusually stable.
The vehicle is a rolling bread box with a gun port and a seat for the Diaclone drivers you might have (but I don't). The turret on top makes for a great weapon, and it fits as well in that slot as it does in his hands. It's super-sturdy and everything fits together without a hitch - I doubt you'll even need the instructions. I realize this isn't much to say, but it works, and it's a decent space vehicle tank thing.
So - Blaster is good, Steeljaw is not. The bonus disc folds up and fits in Blaster's chest, and has a launching mechanism that is designed to spit the disc out and auto-transform on a flat surface. It doesn't work well, either. It fumbles out and half-transforms, as additional positioning is required and the back half doesn't quite fold out. It's a convincing disc, but a terrible lion.
The cat is elongated and flat in weird places, with various panels and gaps that seem not unlike roadkill. The flat feline just doesn't look good - there's no way to get around it, the gimmick didn't work. Nice disc deco and a nice lion head sculpt don't save the terrible proportions, awkward automorph, and blatant burglary of Bakugan's gimmick. Thankfully Blaster is cool enough to warrant a purchase, because Steeljaw could go in a junk bin and you'd never miss it. Other discs were sold, and their secondary market prices have increased a bit. They're better functioning and looking, but for the time being this is the only tape/disc Steeljaw in recent memory that wasn't a G1 reissue.
With Titans Return, we've seen Stripes and Rewind so far and I assume someone has a concept board for a new Steeljaw. There's nothing at all wrong with this Blaster, so grab it if you can - but don't fret over his little buddy here if it's missing. It's just not worth the hassle.
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