Transformers Review – Blackout (2007 Voyager-Class)


Intro:
            Ah… Blackout – a Transformer character that will always have a special place in the hearts of millions, and millions of TransFans all around the world. Not just because of the fact that he is one bad@$$ Decepticon, or the fact that he was marked as the largest Decepticons in the movie, he means more than that. Blackout represents the end of a very long, long wait. The fact that he was the first ever Transformers to transform in live-action, made him a legend. I remember watching that first part of the movie when Blackout transformed and destroyed the entire SOCCENT base like it was a children’s playground. I can still hear that transformation sound playing for the first time ever, and two things occurred to me that day: it was definitely worthwhile to be a TransFan, and of course, Blackout was definitely at the very top of my Movie to-get list.
            Apparently, I wasn’t the only who had that idea in mind, as Blackout proved to be one of the most difficult to get figures in these parts of the world. I, however, was one of the lucky few to have managed to get him, and by God (!), I was like a kid with a candy when I got him. So, here it is, the long-overdue review of 2007 Movie Voyager Blackout.
           
Alternate Mode:
            The first thing that you would definitely notice the moment you take Blackout out of the box, you’d noticed how beautiful the alternate mode is, which is a Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low helicopter. Predominantly bluish-grey in color, Blackout’s alternate mode looks very convincing. As far as the looks may go, the main attraction of this particular figure, in my book would be the rotating helicopter blade, activated by repeatedly pressing the stick-trigger right below the tail fin. The effects are just simple, and yet amazing. I could imagine kids playing with it, reenacting the first scene of the movie where Blackout is first seen, flying to the SOCCENT base. That’s not all, just so happen if you have a Movie Scorponok figure, or even a ROTF redeco of Scorponok, you can attached him to the underside of Blackout, and by pressing the same stick-trigger, you can operate both the rotor blades and Scorponok’s drill-claws – awesome concept!!! 
video
Stick Trigger Below the Tailfin
Pegs and Holes Underneath the Helicopter for Combination with Scorponok
Blackout-Scorponok Combined Mode
video
            However, there are several slight issues with the Blackout-Scorponok combination that I’ve found on mine, which then again, might due to the fact that my Scorponok is a redeco. First is that Scorponok doesn’t seem to lock in very well to Blackout’s underside. The holes on top of Scorponok just seem too big of the pegs underneath of Blackout to peg in, so the former must be held in place at all times when fiddling with the combined mode. 
 
 
            Secondly, since the trigger has to activate both the rotor and the drill-claws, it will feel kinda heavy. While the trigger may turn the drill-claws smoothly, the rotor blades however will be unaligned at some point, and you may have to realign them constantly. I honestly don’t know whether or not these issues will be prevalent when Blackout is paired with the original movie Scorponok, I would appreciate if anyone could confirm it with me.
            Anyways, apart from the issues with the combination mode, there is also another QC issue that I have found with mine, and I do not quite know if it’s just mine or is it prevalent because of the mould design, the robot legs which form the main cabin of the helicopter are attached quite loosely to the craft’s spine, so you might need to hold the figure from the bottom, rather than holding it just by the tailfin. 
Scorponok Figurine inside a Cage with Trigger
            The rotor blades on the tailfins are also rotatable, but not with a trigger. And also, just in case if you do not have a Scorponok of your own, Blackout also comes along with a little Scorponok figurine which is more in scale in terms of size and is kept in a small cage-like contraption near to the tail end of the helicopter. There is also a trigger near the cage and pressing it will cause the cage to open and little Scorponok is released to wreak havoc at SOCCENT base in Qatar. 
Anyways, despite the issues and flaws, I still find this figure to be very exciting. In fact, I haven’t had so much fun with a helicopter Transformer since, well, the Combaticon’s Vortex and Protectobot’s Blades, and that’s saying it lot!

Robot Mode:
 
            Blackout’s robot mode, despite of being billed as the largest individual in the Decepticon armada, he is ironically the smallest robot in the entire Voyager line (as pictured with ROTF Voyager Optimus Prime & ROTF Deluxe Scorponok below). Having said that, Blackout looks absolutely bad@$$! 
 
            As for the head sculpt itself, you either like it or you don’t – it is very alien-ish, that also has red-colored light piping, which is not that obvious really.  
Blackout vs Scorponok
Blackout vs ROTF Optimus
            Articulation-wise: the head rotates limitedly; the shoulders rotate and there are another set of joints that allow the main arms to move up and down, and also rotate; the elbows bend and the wrists can only bend in and out – mostly due to the transformations; hips are on clicky universal joints; tight clicky knees with a rotation joints above them; and finally the toes move up and down. It is quite unfortunate that Blackout has no waist movements and the design of the robots itself hinders a lot of the posing options. 
 
            One thing that has to be said is the massive contraption at the back of the robot. Obviously if it was left to dangle there, it would’ve made Blackout extremely back-heavy, and HasTak actually provided us with two methods to overcome this problem.
 
            First, when you put the robot in a perfect stand position, you will see that the rotor stick-trigger below the tailfin would provide the “third” leg to the robot, which in turn would hinder a lot of possible pose-abilities. 
 
            Or secondly, you can just detach the humongous contraption and let Blackout wield it as an awkwardly designed and outwardly huge mother-of-a-gun. Due to the designs of the hands though, Blackout would have no way of holding the darn weapon, except to have it pegged to its shoulders.
            The side panels of the helicopter, that is supposed to lock the arms and the main body in place can also be a bit loose. 
            The robot itself may look extremely menacing on its own, but when displayed with the rest of his comrades, he will look a bit out of place.

Overall:
            Blackout is definitely one of those hot figures that people would always love, but could not get hold of. I remember back in 2007, Voyager Blackout only cost about RM90 (US$25 – by conversion), but now, the price of an MISB Blackout can go up to as high as RM450 (US$115) – which is almost five times of the original price. Despite of the several issues and gripes that plagued this figure, as far as visuals are concerned, he looks awesome. Coupled with the fact that he was the first ever live-action Transformers that we saw endeared him even more to the TransFans.
            To me, he is just so fun to fiddle around with, and although may be a bit limited in terms of articulations, I would still recommend him to any Transformers fans out there.
Recommended.

            Final verdict: 8.5/10.

2 comments:

  1. About the QC issue of the spine of the heli mode, yes it is coz mine is the same and my friend's one also.

    This is by far the best figure. At the end of 2007, they were selling Premium Blackout for RM250 at Bukit Bintang! Didn't buy that anyway.

    Blackout in Voyager class is one of the figures with the most gimmicks.

    1. Blades rotate in robot mode as a weapon.
    2. Blades rotate in vehicle mode.
    3. Mini scorponok
    4. Deploys the minion.
    5. Attach Scorponok deluxe class
    6. Both blades & drill claw rotate (I just found out TODAY of this Gimmick AFTER reading ur review!)
    7. Automorph techno.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bro... thanks for the QC confirmation, really appreciate that... Yeah, Blackout does come with a lot of gimmicks and surprises, and I am also glad that this post managed to provide you with infos regarding the figure... Thanks for reading!!!

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