Alternate Mode: Jet/Tank
Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Blitzwing for this review.
Height: 8cm Length: 26.5cm Width: 15cm
A grey plane with purple wings and tailfins, Blitzwing has some painted metallic silver detailing, notably around the black canopy. There's a silver Decepticon logo on the canopy, which looks weird in that location. There are long black thrusters hanging out the back with transparent orange flames trailing behind. There's a lot of black and grey kibble underneath - tank treads. The basic colour scheme is a good one, but the kibble distracts too much visually here and the placement of the logo is just incongruous - it should have been on the nose (but they've tried to use one logo for plane and robot modes). The colours don't really allude to those of his G1 counterpart.
There's a lot of kibble on this plane mode - one aspect where he does tribute the G1 toy, if you want to call it that. There's actually more kibble here, which is disappointing considering he has 30 years of toy technology to work with. The treads underneath are huge - he looks like a flying tank. The thrusters hanging out the black are almost half the total length (including the flames). There's an awkward section between the tail and the main fuselage where there are some panels that float (and flop around), making this a slightly disjointed jet. While it's true that the original had a turret under the jet mode, this toy has more kibble and is less realistic. While I can deal with the lack of realism in the context of the Animated line, realism would have helped sell this jet mode. it's still clearly a jet, and has some detailing such as rivets on the wings.
There's not a lot much play value here. There are four small plastic wheels under the treads, but he'll slide along rather than roll. The flames at the back are missiles which can be fired via buttons under the thrusters, but fire backwards - they're really for the tank mode. This is some sort of swing-wing plane, but the wings don't swing.
While it's clearly a jet fighter, and the colour scheme is good, Blitzwing's plane mode has a lot of kibble and almost no play value. The kibble really ruins this mode for me - there's just too much that's Not A Plane.
TRANSFORMATION TO TANK MODE
fold the tailfins up, fold the tail over onto the top of the jet. Swing the wings in and fold the tips down slightly. Fold the cockpit down, rotate the tail to form a turret. It's a pretty simple transformation considering how different the two modes' shapes are.
Height: 7.5cm Length: 16cm Width: 8cm
A rather compact grey tank with black treads, a purple armour skirt at the front and twin black cannons with transparent orange flames. There's no allegiance symbol here, although there's a small red "slit" window on the front, purple section. The colours aren't quite as successful here compared to the jet mode, but there's much less kibble. Again the colours don't really provide a G1 tribute, although it's worth noting that this toy's alt modes match those of the G1 toy.
As with many Transformer tank modes, there's a feeling of "it's a tank because we say so" here. This is especially common for intermediate or "attack modes", and while there's enough of this toy devoted to this tank for it to class as either of those, it's far from a realistic tank. Despite the fact it's not as realistic as his jet mode, I prefer this alt mode, purely because there's little kibble. Sure it's a made up tank, but I prefer that to a jet which carries a bunch of tank crap.
The treads are a triangular shape, with the "tip" on top, while the twin cannons are more flamethrowers than traditional tank weapons. The armour skirt is a nice way to use the plane wings. In an interesting tribute, there's a cylindrical bit at the back of the main body (the robot head) which reminds of the plane nose prominent on the front of the G1 tank's mode.
Play value is limited to the wheels underneath the treads and rotating the turret - the guns cannot move but can fire the flames as missiles. The turret's movement is better than quite a few more realistic Transformer tanks down the years. The treads don't lock into place properly, and tend to wiggle around a little.
While it's a rather unusual tank mode, there's some play value here and not much kibble, so this is his stronger vehicle mode despite being conceptually weaker than the jet mode. The colours are okay and there's some hints of a tribute - it's decent without being great.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Pull the treads back and into place as legs, open the shins, fold out his feet and heelspurs, close the shins. Unclip the turret, split the main body of the tank and fold out to the sides, forming arms. Fold up the head, clip the turret onto his back, swing the cannons up to sit behind his head. Pivot the elbows, extending the forearms, fold the wings back to sit behind the arms, stand him up.
Height: 22cm Width: 13.5cm
A grey robot with black boots and forearms, Blitzwing has the canopy in his chest - and it's very well integrated - giving him some black on his torso, along with a silver Decepticon logo, and now the symbol works well. Still, it could have sat on either side of the canopy here and allowed a better placement in plane mode. There's not a lot of purple here - there's some flanking the canopy and some on his waist, but most of it is on the wings hanging behind his arms. The head is grey with two black aviators goggles on top. There are three faces available, so I'll come back to that aspect of the colour scheme later. At any rate, the colour scheme works well here, with the black on all four extremities working very well.
As with many Animated toys, Blitzwing has an unusual body shape, but unlike some he's in proportion with himself, which is a good thing. The head is conical, but rounded at the toy, so it's more cartoonish than seeker-like. The wings hang as a nice cape while the shoulders have low-detail pylons. In keeping with Animated, all three faces have huge chins. It's an attractive robot mode with a good shape. Thankfully there are no overly awkward proportions here.
There are no weapons here, aside from the missile launches on his back, which can only fire up. They make a nice feature, mind you. The only real action feature is the face gimmick. There's a dial at the back of his head, turning it alternates between the three heads in a quintesson-like fashion. One is light blue with a large, monocle left eye, and a smaller right eye (all three have red eyes). The next is black with a jagged red mouth and triangular eyes, for a demonic look (which reminds me of Kremzeek!), the last is copper with regular eyes and a gruff mouth expression.
Poseability is good, with a neck that turns through 360° and a fixed waist. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are double hinged with rotators above them and the wrists can fold inwards. The hands are open and relaxed, since he doesn't need to grasp a weapon. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators. The heelspurs are hinged, allowing for a fairly wide range of poses.
This is a good robot mode with an interesting gimmick, good colours and a strong visual appeal. The only real shortcoming is the lack of a handheld weapon, but the gimmick is unique and the poseability is enough to give him good play value. There's pretty much no tribute in this mode.
None that I'm aware of.
We don't see many true triple changers, and this is one which tributes an original G1 triple changer. It's a better effort than many triple changers down the years, and while the plane mode is a weak link, it's stronger than many triple changer modes down the years. While all three modes have only mediocre play value for a modern toy, between the three of them there's enough. The tank mode is abstract but works well, the jet is well defined but awfully kibbly and the robot mode executes the cartoon feel of this line without being overly awkward. Recommended if you're a fan of triple changers, or Animated - 8/10