One of my all time favourite Transformers (Blaster) is being released this year in a shiny new Headmaster version as part of the Titans Return toy line.
I was kind of weighing up whether to get it or not, but man it’s fucking Blaster!
YEAH I’m getting it. Decision made.
I’ve had a G1 Blaster for a while, I’d say 25 years at least. Don’t remember exactly when I got it. My grandfather gave it to me, and I’m pretty sure it was second hand then, as it was missing some bits and was loose, with no box. For whatever reason, I love the chunky G1 aesthetic. Metroplex, Blaster, Soundwave, I just adore their toy designs, the characters and the character art. Loved them then, and now, my taste in robots has never really changed.
For some people those collections of squares and rectangles are a bit of an eyesore. I get it. Some people love nice curves like Galvatron, Cyclonus or Arcee. Some folks like super-duper-sexy robots or mecha like Gundam, Robotech, Neon Genesis Evangelion or Virtual On type designs. Or even just other modern Transformer toy designs. I admire all those designs too, but I LOVE my old school Transformers – big ‘n burly boxy weirdos that they are.
As far as robot designs go, I love big, blocky and brawny. The wrestler look, no neck, all muscle baby. That I grew up a skinny underweight weak kid certainly plays a part in it.
It’s part of the same appeal when you watch Ah-Nold films, you see a big tree of a man and want to grow big and strong too.
TRANSFORMERS ARE CRAP MATE!
Some people feel like Blaster is a crap character and a crap toy. But not me.
I think G1 Blaster was a decent toy design back when it was released, and it’s a decent toy design now. My old one still transforms perfectly. LOVE the aesthetic. It stands up, the limbs work fine, nothing has ever broken or fallen off in all those years. He’s been transformed literally hundred of times.
When I spotted a more complete, better condition Blaster on ebay last year going dirt cheap, I grabbed it right away. Now I had a Blaster with the handle on top in boom box mode, his ears antennas were longer (I never noticed they were half snapped off, I’d never seen another one before) and he was bit a brighter, having not absorbed as much sunlight as my old one.
Ebay Blaster sits proudly on top of the closet, next to my other old timey Blaster. I’ve never owned two of the same Transformer toy before, (in this scale) having him in both modes at the same time is really cool, and still a novelty and total luxury to me.
We grew up pretty poor, so I never had more than 3-4 Transformers when I was a kid, and all but two of them were really boring ones I didn’t care for.
The best two I had as a kid were Blaster and Doublecross (a two headed dragon monsterbot) and both of those came from my Grandfather, except Doublecross I actually chose myself in the shop, he came with the box, the weird red piece of plastic for “tech specs”, instructions and everything. It’s still my number one favourite Transformer toy, and favourite toy, period. Well I also had Beachcomber, he’s tiny, but very cool. Still have him too.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN
I’ve bought new Transformers, and toys made from the most recent decade of toy lines that were falling apart either in the packet, or bits fell off after you opened it, and to me there is a BIG difference in quality from the G1 and G2 toys, to the modern day toys.
The G1 toys were strong toys, they lasted, they stood up to being played with. They rarely broke, with rare exception. Modern Transformer toys tend to be made of thinner plastic, they don’t hold together so well, bits fall off, all too often the limbs are hollow, their joints go loose and floppy in under a year of play, rather than taking a decade or more to get loose as a goose.
Some people write this off as nostalgia.
I tend to go more with “observable reality” that anyone can test for themselves by comparing toys from different lines, and seeing the difference in build quality first hand. Modern Transformer toy by and large have more and more cost cutting measures applied, leaving them feeling cheap and hollow. Not every toy and not every toy line suffers so much from this, but it is distinct trend that any long term fan has noticed over the years.
Sometimes I see comments online such as “But modern Transformers have so much better articulation, sculpting, yadda yadda yadda, they’re better” and I think, sure they have those things, but a decently sculpted toy can ALSO have good quality joints, plastic and other things that made those G1 toys last build-wise.
The truth is that Transformers are TOYS, not models or die-cast or whatever, they are toys made for kids. That sell (relatively) cheaply in chain stores around the world. So there is always going to be an element of cheapness to them.
DESTROY ALL ROBOT DESIGNS
Nothing beats quality, great toy design, and cool art design.
I’ll be happy to pick up a Titans Return Blaster and most likely KFC Transistor/Blaster at some point too.
Coolest most laid back bot in the galaxy if you ask me… well next to Beachcomber.
As far as robot designs go, I love big, blocky and brawny. The wrestler look, no neck, all muscle baby. Check out Metroplex, Soundwave, Blaster and Overlord in the picture below, you can see the toy on top and art based on the toy underneath. Love those chunkimus proportions. Arr-ARGG-AHH!
I’ve got nothing against other types of robot designs, but the big Gladiator / Titan look just excites me. It’s the same basic appeal to those old Godzilla movies, where Godzilla would fight MechaGodzilla or some other monster of the week, just two giant bad asses knocking seven shades of shit out of each other. Who doesn’t want to watch that?
So yeah, I love the big ‘n boxy look. And Blaster pulls that look off perfectly.
Blaster also received a Generation 2 fresh coat of paint and was re-released as the toy Twincast. I didn’t care for that color at first, but seeing more pictures of it recently – it has really grown on me, and I would like to pick one up at some point. Being an exclusive Japanese release, it is of course silly expensive to buy.
But there have been various reissues of the toy over the years… also silly expensive to buy.
While there is not yet an official MasterPiece Blaster by Takara/Hasbro, there have been three unofficial MasterPiece Blaster toys by Keith’s Fantasy Club (KFC).
Well more like three variants and one mould to rule them all.
KFC’s Blaster is called “Transistor”. It is a damn sexy toy, and while I don’t own any of them, I am determined to pick up at least one of them.
KFC have made the regular G1 RED/YELLOW/GREY colored Blaster, his Generation 2 toy (and cartoon) variant Twincast in primary BLUE/YELLOW/GREY and another really cool variant. an evil Mirrorverse Blaster in GREY/BLACK/BLUE.
All three are fantastic looking highly detailed toys, and super-duper expensive, as most 3rd Party limited production run Unofficial Transformers toys tend to be.
So I look forward to picking up Titans Return Blaster this year, and hopefully a KFC Transistor, maybe that cool evil version, just for something different.
No doubt I’lll have more to say about one of all time favourite TOP 5 Transformers character/toy and you’re gonna hear it right here on this fan-gushy blog.
Next I’ll be looking at some G1 era box art, vs the animation models vs the toys, and seeing where they differ or are similar.
Stay tuned Bot fans!
**Thank to TFW2005 and Brr Icy’s blog for some of the excellent toy photos used for reference in this post. Images remain property of their respective owners.**
You can find Brr Icy’s fantastic blog at http://brr-icy.blogspot.com.au/