Generation One Blaster has the same simple transformation as Soundwave. It’s simple fun and intuitive. Personally I’m a big fan of simple transformations, rather than needlessly complicated – these are kids toys after all – not rubiks cubes. Then again, some fans enjoy more complex transformations, no doubt people who may enjoy slide puzzles or the dreaded rubiks cubes (I hate both of those things), and Titans Return Blaster has enough complexity to satisfy that crowd, while still simple enough that once you learn how to switch between Bot, Base and Boom-box, it’s still fun and challenging without being a headache.
4. PLAY VALUE
Blaster is now a triple changer, along with many other Voyager and Leader class figures in the Titans Return line. The base mode is a fun battle station, or in my mind, a night club with upper floor, the little Titan Masters enjoying the groove and phat beats. The base mode configuration is already proving popular with various fan modes popping up online.
As fun as it is seeing Blaster fighting Soundwave in the cartoon, I like the idea of a music based battle in a nightclub even more. So much so that I turned a bit of one of my favourite G1 episodes where Starscream and Soundwave run a nightclub into a 12 page parody comic (I’ll post the full 12 pages in another blog soon). Click on the below image to see it at full size.
3. PROPORTIONS AND AESTHETIC
Titans Blaster has a great overall aesthetic to him. He’s big and blocky like his G1 brother, he’s got nice modern articulation, and best of all he looks the shit. He’s stylish, has his own look that just can’t be beat, and is all around one classy Bot.
Check out the pics below to see him with my KFC Mirrorverse Transistor, Generation One Blaster and FOC / WFC Blaster. I think he fits in great with a Titans Return collection, a classics collection or just as a cool stand alone figure. He’s in that great place where he just works in almost any type of collection.
2. BUILD QUALITY
Leader class figures are obviously more expensive than Voyager and Deluxe figures. For the price you want something a bit MORE. Not all figures manage it, some are still a bit crap even at the higher price point. But Titans Return Blaster feels nice and solid, his joints are lovely, there is a sense that you are getting a classy looking figure that compares favorably to upmarket expensive toys, but still with the play value of the cheaper toys, toys that look great but you can also play with without fear of breaking them.
T.R. Blaster ticks all the right boxes for me. KFC Blaster is gorgeous, but I don’t transform him simply because I don’t want him to break, and value him as more of an action figure than Transformer. WFC Blaster is kind of fragile too, and his chest gimmick thing constantly jams. T.R. Blaster however I can’t wait to Transform repeatedly and take some silly photos with like this Chthulu inspired Blaster pic below.
1. THE HELMET a.k.a. MARVEL COMICS STYLE BLASTER
The single feature that at first put me off the most Titans Return Blaster was the big mask over his head, along with being a Headmaster rather than just a regular robot. but the mask/helmet came to be the feature I now love the most.
The mask face is more like the Marvel Comics versions of Blaster than the G1 toon Blaster. Having just read the entire Marvel US Transformers run for the first time this year, I can say that I loved reading those comics, and one of the best stories in the entire run, was Blaster on Cybertron, as a pseudo-leader, soldier and with a very different characterization than the cartoon.
The US Marvel Comics Transformers issue #17 was a very dramatic action packed issue written by Bob Budiansky (who also wrote character profiles for toy boxes and created many names for the original G1 characters along with comic legend Denny ‘O Neil). Bob did not watch the cartoon, and was free to make up his own interpretation of the characters, personalities and stories within certain limits, such as the initial loose ideas and character bios written down and shared between Hasbro / Marvel / Sunbow.
I love vanilla G1 Blaster just fine, and this new Titans Return version appeals to me as the Marvel version of Blaster, that is who he is to me. It’s cool to have a G1 Ultra Magnus, and IDW (Combiner Wars) style Magnus AND a movie style MP Ultra Magnus. As fans we can enjoy any or all of those interpretations of our favourite classic characters. It’s great to have options to choose between for different toy representations of character we love – or we can choose to buy them all.
Titans Blaster is a nice mix of the G1 toy, the cartoon model and the Marvel Comics version.
In this image below you can see Blaster’s face as he appeared in the G1 show and 1986 movie.
Here is KFC Transistor, a third party MP style Blaster that has the white face of the cartoon model, but with the helmet and yellow eyes of the toy version.
The Generation One toy has yellow eyes, pointy Prime-like antenna ears, and a silver helmet/visor that sits over the top half of his face.
Marvel Comics Blaster has a yellow face, and full red helmet and visor with blue overlay on top of presumably his eyes and the top half of his face, and longer antenna ears, but with the slight curve on the end of the antenna’s like the cartoon model. Or maybe the visor is meant to be clear and blue is the glow of his eyes underneath. Hard to tell with the simple color palette of 80’s newsprint comics.
The Titans Return version has a mix of these elements. The cartoon style ears which bend outward at the tip, the silver top half mask like the toy, a full visor overlay like the Marvel Comics version, and silver (or white) face under the helmet. All together it gives Blaster a cool unique look that faithfully blends previous different versions into a cohesive whole that works.
Here’s a final face comparison with Titans Blaster, KFC Blaster, Generation One Blaster and the cartoon Blaster, all of which I dig, as Blaster is my all time favourite dude along with Prime, Grimlock, Shockwave and Soundwave.
Thank to TFW2005.com for the base mode pic.You can find their full HD gallery of photos here