Thanks to Pulse for donating High Wire & Blastcharge for this review
Name: High Wire
Alternate Mode: Bicycle
Height: 4cm Length: 7cm Width: 3cm
A white, blue and red bicycle with black tyres and a black saddle. There's a black Autobot logo on the front, flanked by blue stripes containing three white stars each. The colours and stars combine for a distinct Evil Knievel feel about this paint job. He's a more vibrant repaint of Energon High Wire, and both are essentially based around white. This mode doesn't really lock into place - instead it stays together only through tight joints. It's not a bad bike mode as such, rather a delicate one.
The wheels roll, but the toy is too precarious to roll him along - if you put any real pressure on him the whole thing collapses. There's a rather unsubtle stand underneath the centre of the toy - the block that becomes his robot head - but even then he's tricky to stand. There's a powerlinx port underneath the stand. While High Wire's bike mode looks nice, it's just too unstable for me.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Quite complex - especially for a Minicon. The saddle swings around and down to become the the legs, the front wheel becomes the left arm while the left arm is hidden underneath the saddle. The rear wheel becomes a right shoulderblade and the stand becomes a head (as mentioned already).
Height: 6cm Width: 7.5cm
There's a lot of white here - the upper half is mainly white, save for the black tyres and blue on his right forearm and shoulderblade. The boots are red and black while his feet are blue. There's no paint on the face, even though it badly needs some. The legs feature a lot of paint, which really only serves to highlight how spartan his head looks. Having said that, the blue on his right arm means that this robot mode doesn't look as bare as the Energon version. The right arm is fairly well sculpted, with an integrated cannon, which has been painted this time around in a silver paint which really enhances this feature. Sadly the left arm is nothing more than the front wheel and fork.
High Wire's articulation is pretty good, which is no surprise when you consider how many twists and turns are in his transformation. His head turns, the shoulders and right elbow are ball jointed. High Wire has no left elbow, since that arm is the front fork. The waist turns while the hips are ball jointed. The knees and ankles are hinged. While the effectively poseability of his left arm is poor, the other limbs are quite limber. If the knees were ball jointed (and he had slightly bigger heelspurs), High Wire would have excellent poseability.
As mentioned, he is a repaint of the Energon toy of the same name, but comes without the other components of Perceptor. Perceptor isn't mentioned on the packaging, but is covered in the instruction booklet.
An ambitious toy - probably the most ambitious of the Energon Perceptor moulds, and while High Wire's a decent attempt, there's just too much dragging him down for me to really enjoy him. The bike would be good if it were stable while the robot mode needs smarter jointing. These two ask opposing things of the toy - what we get is essentially a stunted compromise. While I do still appreciate High Wire, I'm not really a huge fan of the end result here. Having said that, the colour on the right arm in robot mode and the interesting Evil Knievel theme in bike mode make this repaint a step ahead of the original - 6.5/10
Alternate Mode: Spacecraft Transport Truck
Height: 2cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 2.5cm
Blastcharge is one of those giant trucks that transports spacecraft around the Kennedy Space Center, done in white with some grey and purple. He's got eight sets of non-functional, moulded, tiny wheels and two sets of hidden functional ones underneath. The tiny size of the wheels gives you some idea of the scale of these giant moving platforms, and hints that a Minicon turning into such a large vehicle is a little silly.
Anyway, he's essentially white, although the middle section is purple and grey (it's well disguised robot kibble). He has some blue paint on the roof, black windows at the front and some gold on the front edge of the roof along with his headlights. There's a powerlinx socket underneath him, on the front left side. On the same side there's a purple stamped Decepticon logo.
This is a decent vehicle mode, although paint applications don't really line up with the plastic colours. He gets away with is thanks to the white backdrop. It's a boring choice of vehicle, but it's also something different, so for me those two facts cancel each other out.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Split the front into the feet, flip out the handle of the Requiem Blaster, rotate the legs 180°. Fold down the rear to form his chest, folding the arms right down to his sides, and then swing the handle up onto his back.
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm
Blastcharge is still mainly white, although there's a little more colour now. His head is grey with yellow eyes while the groin and thighs are purple. His shins are painted blue and his feet are gold. The purple gun handle pokes up behind his head and it blends with the grey head quite well. This colour scheme fits together better than that of the truck mode, although the two colour schemes are quite similar.
Blastcharge's facial sculpt is good, he has a drone like face that still conveys a sense of strength, perfect for a Minicon that turns into heavy moving equipment. The yellow eyes don't work so well - they're thin slits which doesn't look that great. He's also got a well proportioned, stocky, shape, which I really like. His knees bend, the hips are ball jointed and the waist swivels. His shoulders rotate and his head turns, so his articulation is good for a Minicon.
Blastcharge is a repaint of Armada's Payload, but comes without the other components of the combined blaster - which isn't mentioned on the packaging, but is covered in the instruction booklet. For some reason that blaster has had a name change this time - to the Umbral Blaster.
Blastcharge has an unusual and unique alt mode with a mix of colours that acquit themselves well against a white backdrop. I prefer the black and read of Payload even if this colour scheme is a little more unified. Payload's robot mode is pretty good also, with a nice stocky feel and a good layout of colours. The mould isn't all that interesting, but he's a solid toy overall - 6.5/10
A good repaint of a flawed but interesting mould in High Wire mixed with a fairly straightforward but good mould in an unusual but decent colour scheme in Blastcharge. Neither figure is terribly compelling on their own, but Blastcharge's mould is good enough that I would recommend it without the other two components of the Umbral Blaster, although whether or not you believe this makes the pair worthwhile is another matter. If the Evil Knievel theme on High Wire appeals, then I would recommend this pair. Obviously if you plan to complete Perceptor & the Umbral Blaster you'll want this duo - 6.5/10