Cliffbee.com Combiner Wars Blades Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Blades
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Rescue Helicopter



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 17cm Width: 6cm (rotorspan is 17cm)

   A long, narrow red copter with white stripes down the sides, silver missile racks on either side and a grey main rotor (with two blades). The rear rotor is painted silver and there's some grey blocks behind the missile racks - they're meant to be stabilisers but it's fairly clear that they're robot mode kibble (the shoulders, in fact). The cabin windows are painted black while there are "Autobot Coastal Rescue" badges on the rear vertical stabilisers with tiny Autobot logos inside them. It's a nice enough colour scheme, but it's not so much white-with-red of Blades.

   While this mould has its detractors, the chopper mode is nice enough in itself. It's well sculpted and despite this colour scheme not being perfect, this is more Blades than Not Blades. I'm not quite sure about a rescue chopper with giant missile pods, mind you. There re no wheels underneath but he'll happily sit flat on the table. The rotors spin freely, giving him some play value. The handgun can plug into holes on either side, above the missile racks. You can plug the foot in underneath as a sort of stand - which is actually a decent option, and this is something Blades has over most CW deluxes - the combiner accessory is genuinely useful in vehicle mode.

   A decent chopper mode overall, but the lack of landing gear is a flaw, no doubt. I don't really mind that, mostly because of the stand option. The missile racks don't really suit but I understand that the robot arms had to do something. My main gripe is that the colours aren't really Blades - but the paint job is detailed enough in itself.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the base of the rotors and lift them back. Unclip and lift up the roof of the cockpit. Split the cockpit itself and rotate the halves around to the sides, they tab in place. Unclip and swing down the bottom of the front, unclip the top and pivot forward to form his boots - sling the bottom half back in to form his calves. Unclipping that top half can be tricky - as can clipping in when going to chopper mode. Split the boots rotate the waist. Unclip the missile pods to form his arms. Swing the rotors back down, pivot the tail section up and clip down onto his back, fold the blades up so they're loosely held in place by the vertical stabilisers. Rotate the tail fin & his head. Give him his handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: ~6cm (depending on pose)

   A mostly red robot with white thighs, head and a white central stripe on his chest. His hands and the missiles sculpted on the outsides of his forearms are silver along with various details on his chest, The groin and shoulders are silver. His face is a metallic baby blue with mid blue eyes & there's an Autobot logo on the right side of his chest. While there's not enough white, the facial sculpt and colours make sure that this _is_ recognisable as Blades. I'm not quite satisfied with the colour balance, but I am happy enough with this as Blades.

   The sculpt is again good in robot mode. The face is excellent, and saves this bot mode for me. It's not that it's a bad robot mode, but the tail and rotor blades on his back are kibble. Plus the arms really should be white and it annoys me even if the colour balance is fine otherwise. The transition from the silver paint on the bottom of the chest to the grey groin is awkward (I don't see why the groin and shoulders need to be grey!).

   Poseability is fairly standard for Combiner Wars. Ball joints in the neck, shoulders and hips. His elbows and knees have hinges and rotators, with ratchets in the elbows. The feet are fixed in that slightly-spread pose. His wrists don't move but the waist rotates and the toes can hinge down. His gun can fit in either hand but works best in the right as the left side is hollow. The hand-foot weapon thing can of course fit in either hand, but looks silly.

   A decent robot mode from a standpoint of engineering - poseability is good and the sculpt is excellent. There's more backpack junk than I'd like to seem however. The colours chose on his arms do no work for me, and the use of grey plastic in this mode is a mistake. But hey, it's Blades, just not a perfect Blades.

VARIATIONS

   The Unite Warriors version has a different paint job, including white arms and a lot more white on the chopper mode. I'd definitely recommend it over this - with the caveat that he only came in a giftset, which isn't cheap!. Blades shares the mould with Alpha Bravo, Vortex and Hepter, although they all have a different head sculpt (and Hepter has four rotor blades). Skyburst, Stormclash, TFSS Spinister, Lunaclub & Moonheart also share the mould, with different headsculpts again. He combines with the other Protectobots to form Defensor.

OVERALL

   While the mould has some problems - notably the kibble on the back of the robot mode and a lack of landing gear - it works well enough for Blades, even if the missiles on a rescue chopper are a little odd. The facial sculpt and colours are very much Blades... but the overall colour scheme is a disappointment. It's not that he looks like anyone else, but I feel these colours were a missed opportunity - particularly in chopper mode. The weakest of the Combiner Wars Protectobots for me, but still not a bad Deluxe on his own - 7/10

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