Transformers Review: Blitzwing (Animated Voyager-Class)


Intro:
            Several years ago, during the height of the Classic line, Hasbro decided to bring back one of the most unique type of Transformers back into fore – the Triple Changers. I’ve always loved Transformers that have more than just two types of transformations modes, of which G1 Sixshot would be on the very top of that pile. However, one must not forget that it was the Triple Changers that set the stage for Sixshot to have his shot at fame. The designers used the basic ideas to making the Triple Changer figures in designing the various multi-changers. The most well known of these Triple Changers would be Astrotrain, Blitzwing & Octane (on the Decepticons and also the first three Triple Changers); and on the Autobot sides, Springer, Broadside and Sandstorm. There are many more of course, but these were the more prominent ones.
            In the Classic series, Hasbro actually brought back Astrotrain and Octane (Tankor) in the fore, both of which were excellent. However, I was looking forward to the release of my favorite of the Triple Changers – Blitzwing to be released, which never happened. I never had any of the G1 Decepticons Triple Changers, so having the Classic versions was some sort of redemption for me, and Blitzwing never happened.
            So we waited, and it was only during the events of Transformers: Animated that our hopes were finally answered – Blitzwing was reintroduced into the fore and he actually played quite a significant role in the show. I have to admit, that although I’m a fan of the show, I don’t actually like the designs of the various characters in the show. They are just too cartoony; too Teen Titan-ish; too Ben 10-ish for me. Barring the Beast Wars/ Machines moulds (acceptable since they do transform into organic beings), Transformers robots, to me at least, should look bulky and squarish – full of angles. I’m not against new animation method such as using CGI and stuffs, but having robots that look too organic just doesn’t bode well for me.
            So as far as the Animated line goes, I only limit myself only to those unique moulds such as Optimus, Megatron, the double-agent Longarm Prime/ Shockwave, the twins Jetstorm/Jetfire and of course, the Triple Changer Blitzwing. Blitzwing is portrayed to speak in a German/ Hungarian, which sounded like an Arnold Schwarzenegger-wannabe, and also has a severe case of split personalities. So, despite having a good characterization in the show, how does that translate into action figure? Read on…

Alternate Mode (Jet):
 
            Blitzwing first mode is a rather strange-looking jet fighter mode. Well, you would naturally call any jet as funny-looking, if they have tank-threads stickin’ out of ‘em like a sore thumb. While it may show-accurate, but a jet having a set of tank-threads as wheels is kinda awkward.
 
            While the front part of the jet looks good enough, the middle and the back of the jet looks very awkward, especially with that horrendous gap between the robot’s main body and the tail, and also the two guns that sticks out from the butt of the plane. I know that the later might be meant to look like jet propulsions, like the one on Classic Rodimus, but I still don’t buy into it that much.
            The wings can also either be opened or closed, depending on your displaying preference.
            My version of Blitzwing, which is a Takara-Tomy release, has a shinier paint coating as compared to the Hasbro version. The Hasbro version comes with a white-coat of paint and softer purple; the Takara-Tomy version comes in a coat of shiny silvery-golden base, and also shiny purple wings. 
 
            I personally prefer the Takara-Tomy version, which has a price tag of RM 50 (US$14) more than that of Hasbro’s. The projectiles still work in this mode, if you somehow wish to use them.
            So, for me, this mode is about 50-50.

Alternate Mode (Tank):
 
            Well, the tank mode is rather the case of either you like it or you don’t. It obviously does not resemble any modern tanks that I know of – it rather looks like a futuristic tank, if you ask me. While I do like the general look of the tank, I tend to have problem with the thread, where it doesn’t really locked in, like they would in jet mode. 
 
            The turrets can turn 360°, but it doesn’t move up and down, so Blitzwing is kinda vulnerable to aerial attacks in tank mode. 
            One thing I do like about this mode is how the jet wing folds in and down to form the tank’s cockpit. That’s kinda creative. 

Robot Mode:
            The robot is really the best mode of the three, and I really like the fact that it is very show-accurate. The paint jobs work very well here and the Takara-Tomy version looks even more attractive.
            Articulation-wise: head rotates 360°; the shoulders move in all directions, albeit limitedly and it doesn’t really move in and out that much; the elbows are double jointed and the arms rotate slightly above them; the wrists only moves in and out; the hips are on clicky universal joints; single jointed knees that can bend like a double-jointed ones; the ankles move up and down, and those are about it. 
 
All Hail Megatron!
            Although I do find that the jet wings at the back of the arms can be a bit of a bother for the elbow movements, my main gripe of the figure would involve the main attraction of the figure itself. Blitzwing comes with 3 different faces: a white face with one big eye and another small one; the red-faced dude that is depicted to sound awfully like Arnie; and of course, the crazy Jack-O-Lantern face, which is obviously my favorite of the faces. On paper, you should be able to switch the faces by turning the protruding dial at the back of the helmet. This is not the case with my Blitzwing. I’m not sure whether or not this is an isolated case, but the helmet on my Blitzwing doesn’t really lock into place that well – it’s just too loose, which is kind of a shame. The helmet would also drop off sometime during the transformations from one mode to the other. 
Arnold-Wannabe
The Meticulous One
Me... I mean the insane Jack-O-Lantern Face
Head Without Helmet
The Loose Helmet
            Another thing that should be pointed out is the existence of a spring-loaded trigger on each arm, which does not serve any purpose at all, in any modes.
            Apart from that complaint, he looks fantastic.

Overall:
            All of the Blitzwing incarnations, since the days of G1 until now, are quite interesting. Good characterization and storyline involvement made them quite memorable. Having marked a return to the world of action figures since the days of G1, many had high hopes for Animated Blitzwing. It was simply a figure that many have been waiting for, for ages. Unfortunately, several existing small issues untimely distract this figure. Still, for those who like both the G1 Blitzwing and the Animated versions, and also fans of the franchise, this is probably your best and only chance to own an actual Blitzwing figure, and for better or for worse, I will not miss it for the world.

            Final verdict: 7.5/10. 

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