TFU Obsidian Toy Review

Individual Review

Name: TFU Obsidian
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Combat Helicopter

Height: 6cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 12cm

   A dark navy blue and dark grey twin rotor helicopter with transparent red cockpit, rotors and tailfins, this third version of Obsidian is strongly reminiscent of the Wreckers character Rotorbolt from the BotCon 2001 comic (Bottom right panel), to the expect that this toy might as well _be_ Rotorbolt - name aside. As with the two previous versions of Obsidian there's no black on the toy, but there's dark grey this time around so we're making progress. This is a great colour scheme, the dark colours and transparent red work well together, and there's some subtle silver paint apps on the wings and around the canopy adding some texture to the toy. Easily the best of the colours schemes on this chopper so far. The blood red has a nice evil feel about it, especially if there's a light source behind it (my eMac is doing the job nicely at the moment).

   Obsidian is clearly not a real helicopter. The twin rotors are big, tall and obvious. They sit on the ends of a wing above the fuselage, below the wings are beefy looking gunpods, which have five yellow barrels each (these were red on Rotorbolt, by the way). There's also a grey gun underneath the cockpit which can swing up and down, giving Obsidian a total of eleven barrels. Adding to the already impressive armoury are the missile launchers - swing the rotors forward and press the red buttons at the back and you'll fire the rotors, which are designed to double as buzzsaw blades. They don't spin and will only fire maybe 20cm, but still provide some play value.

   The styling is very military and Obsidian looks like he could almost be a real chopper, although I can't imagine an air force adopting these colours. The big rotors and proliferation of weaponry make for a powerful looking combat machine, even at this scale.

   Adding to the play value in the rotors is a semi-detachable cockpit, which can fold forward to rest on a ball joint, allowing it to pivot around like a bird's head. The rear landing gear can fold up, while the front gear are moulded underneath the gunpods and don't move. I'd recommend leaving the rear wheels down otherwise he'll tip back.

   A pretty tough looking chopper you wouldn't want to mess with. The colour scheme rocks, and the semblance to Rotorbolt is ridiculously strong - if the Hartmans didn't own the copyright to that name I suspect they'd have called this guy Rotorbolt. Ironically we finally have a colour set that isn't contradicting the name Obsidian.


   Fold down the tail, which will cause the nose to also fold down thanks to a series of gears. The torso will have formed and the head swung out, although you'll have to fold it forward. Fold down the gunpods to form his arms, split the legs and rotate the tailfins back to form heelspurs.

Height: 11cm Width: 12cm

   Again a mix of blue and grey with red highlights. The grey is more prominent now, and the divergence from Rotorbolt's purple is more obvious - but the overall look is very close (and hey, it's a better match than cartoon Astrotrain!). The colours again work well, although the dark colours do hide his detailing, particularly on the head. The red is peripheral now, on his shoulderpads and ankles. We also see some red on the top of his head, which is a simple angular affair with a transparent red eyeblock but no lightpipe. The face is typically Vehicon, simple and drone-like, so I don't object to the lack of value there - although a working lightpipe would have been nice. The colours don't work quite as nice now, simply because the red is on the edges and the silver paint isn't as prominent - making this an awfully dark toy. That's not in itself a bad thing, but it makes Obsidian less striking.

   Big, blocky and top-heavy, Obsidian again gives the impression of a fighting machine, despite his size. The wings sit over his shoulders as giant shoulderpads, the rotorblades on the tips make for a toy that's more or less triangle shaped. Instead of hands he has gunracks, which works for an instrument of destruction. The top of the torso is the gear mechanism while the lower half is the cockpit of the chopper. The nose gun is pretty phallic, but in dark grey you don't really see it.

   The rotor-missiles can again swing forward and fire in this mode. There's also a flight mode, which is achieved by leaving his legs attached and folding down his feet. He's unable to stand in this configuration but you can hold him, for enhanced play value I guess. Rotorbolt used this mode in the BotCon comic, incidentally.

   The head is on a ball joint and the neck is hinged at the bottom, the shoulders are restricted ball joints that function as swivels while the elbows have both hinges and ball joints. The hips are ball jointed while the knees and ankles are ball joints, with the heelspurs able to rotate allowing for stable posing. The end result is great poseability for a basic, despite the top heaviness of this mode. Add in the rotors and you've got great play value for a toy with no handweapons (or true hands, for that matter).

   My only complaint here is that the main chunk of this toy is so dark - but then the colours are appealing anyway, so it's barely a negative. The colours are still great and do a great job of representing the Wrecker character. This is a well designed robot mode with great poseability and some cool design elements like the gunrack hands. The aesthetic is unmistakably Vehicon, so if you don't like that look you probably won't think much of his looks, but the play value is is hard to argue with.


   The third version of this mould - all three are called Obsidian (sigh). Easily the coolest of the three colour schemes (and the others are both good). Sold in a two-pack with Tankor.


   A great repaint of a great basic, that really should have been called Rotorbolt. Even if you have the other versions of this mould, this one is worthwhile if you can find it on it's own. Annoyingly it was only sold with the larger (and far less inspiring) TFU Tankor repaint. I managed to get the pack on heavy discount - and only did so for this toy - and wouldn't really recommend the set at full price, but if you can manage Obsidian at a basic price (or close to it), I very much recommend you grab him - 9/10

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