Sunday, May 19, 2013

Transformers Generations Voyager Class Blitzwing 30th Anniversary Action Figure Review

After a good year or so on hiatus the Transformers Generations line is back (once called Classics) and from what we've seen it could prove to have the most amazing offerings ever. Right off the bat we're treated to two VOYAGER class TRIPLE CHANGERS Springer and Blitzwing. Yeah, you don't see Voyager class TC's very often. In fact the only one I know of is the Transformers Animated Blitzwing tho I'm sure there's more. Today we're reviewing the 30th Anniversary Transformers Generations Blitzwing. Springer's review will follow a few days later. Let me spoil the review for you really quick, without the modifications mentioned at the bottom you're going to have a difficult time enjoying the figure. Get a screwdriver and some sandpaper handy.

Blitzwing's sculpt is solid. He's an excellent homage to the original figure. The chest designs, panel sections, and head make him seem very G1 in appearance. He sports three different faces as well which are based off his Transformers Animated design. They're sculpted in soft plastic but look great. The tank treads on his legs and flat feet are a welcome change from the jet-exhaust-legs he's always had and work for the overall look. The arms, hands, and everything else is sculpted in the Generations blocky form as well.

Articulation has been done quite nicely and is only lacking in a few areas.
Blitzwing's head is only a cut joint due to the face-change feature but doesn't hurt his look that much. His ankles are on great ball joints, all his major joints swivel or hinge, and he's only lacking a waist joint in terms of major features. Blitz can be posed in some pretty neat positions and could hold his sword in both hands if the handle was long enough. His knees are hinged towards the back leading to a gap showing in the front when bent but have decent range.

Paint application is clean but faded in some areas like his forearms and some of the grey on his limbs where there wasn't a strong enough spray to cover. Blitzwing's head is painted yellow instead of cast and loses some detail as the yellow paint is VERY thick in places. All three face applications are clean and detailed. There's a little tackiness to them as they're cast in soft plastic but the paint shows no sign of wanting to rub off. However...the yellow paint of his helmet will pick up the purple paint inside the nosecone unless you remove it which will be covered in the mods I suggest at the end of the guide

Transformation is dealt with in three forms. One being his robot form which is already transformed for you out of the box. Getting him into plane mode is relatively easy with a few flips and folds. The wings are a little short and the feet don't quite look like thrusters, more like flattened rocket boosters, but I do like how he has Jetfire-esq pods on the top now. Eveything pegs together fairly well except for the legs not snapping completely in against the torso which can be fixed as explained in a bit.

Blitzwing's tank mode is definitely recognizable as a tank but is the weakest of the three with gaps leaving it with a less than solid look. The arms just line up beside the cannon to form the turret (which can turn and raise) and the front has a fairly wide space on either side where his hips extend for clearance. The plane rear fins flaps and feet just kind of sit there in the back rather than fold up to make anything. But it's definitely a tank of some sort because I can see treads. A missile can be inserted into the barrel and fired by pulling back on the cannon thus replicating a cool 'recoil action'. It's a pretty neat feature and gets rid of any obtrusive buttons/lever fins so like to see this on more figures.

Accessories include the aforementioned missile, his trademark arrow-shaped sword, and a small rifle that doubles as the tank's top machine gun. The wings have ports underneath them where missile pods could have gone tho none are included. Blitzwing's action features are the launching missile and a neat feature where you can spin his face down to reveal the monocle-eyed face or black-and-red crazy face that he had in the Animated series. Each one looks great but some may find it difficult or impossible to spin the faces...leading me to the next section of the review.

Quality control... this figure is rife with issues. Right off the bat you will find the shoulder pegs are too short to lock inside the chest (or the chest is too wide) and thus the whole shoulder assembly unfolds whenever you move his arms up. Then there's the issue with the helmet being too large to fit inside the nosecone and paint rubbing off. Inside the helmet there's often too much paint inside and on the rod that the faces spin on making them hard to turn. These three issues led to many people returning the figure but there's a quick fix to each one.

To fix Blitzwing's shoulder issue one must unscrew the five screws
from his back and sand down the edges on his back that meet to the front of the torso, and alternately the screw posts that touch the back section so that the two halves come together. Take off the thickness of an American quarter on the sections circled in red in the picture and that should do it. To fix the nose cone issue you have two options. One, take acetone and wipe all the purple paint out of the inside of the cone and then take apart the cockpit and remove the spring that pushes his head up. But the best way is to take a large engraving Dremel tool bit and hollow more of the nosecone out. This removes the paint and gives the head more room all at once. To fix the spinning face just unscrew the head and sand off the yellow paint on the rod the faces spin around. If they still hit then glue the chins of each face to the back of the next head, making the three spinning faces one solid wheel.

So what's the verdict on the long awaited redesign of Blitzwing? Without the fixes in place he's going to drive you crazy unless you sit him on the shelf in robot mode and leave him alone. But if you want to pose/transform him more often you will need to fix him, otherwise he'd be a pass for me. His size is great, his articulation, paint, all that is great. But those QC issues hold him back from being a great figure. I can even forgive the gap-tank as the plane is a pretty neat design and I love how he looks in robot mode. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has him and Springer (who has NO qc issues and is a GREAT figure!) and you can also snag them on Amazon with free shipping on orders over $25. Blitzwing and Springer are also showing up at Targets tho they sell out the very day they hit the shelves it seems. Stay tuned for Springer's review!


Blayne said...

Hey John,

Since I do ESL, I picked up on how your modding directions could be mid interpreted:

"Take off the width of an American quarter"

That means the whole length of the quarter. You mean the thickness of a quarter, correct?

Most people would pick up on that easily enough, but if English isn't their first language, it could lead to a demolished Transformer. ;)

John Mallamas said...

Good catch! Changed that in the guide to thickness. Thanks for that!

Unknown said...

After completing the shoulder mod, I really do like this figure. There are so many more tabs and pegs than I expected, and it really makes his different molds quite solid.

One question about the nosecone mod. If you remove the spring from the head, can the head still stay up on bot mode?

John Mallamas said...

Yes, the head stays up without the spring.