Editor's note: Today we're reviewing Hasbro's SDCC Bruticus box set, so we'd normally review all the figures together. However, since they'll soon be available single-carded, it made sense to give the pieces the full reviews they deserve. To save time, we're posting them all at once, so follow the links for the whole story.
Blast Off disguises the horrible lonliness he feels behind utter contempt for anyone who can't reach orbit under their own power. From his isolated position in orbit, he can fry any Autobot his comrades designate with powerful x-ray lasers, or descend to join his fellows in forming the mighty Decepticon Bruticus.
Aww, sad for poor lonely Blast Off. Maybe he should switch sides, then he could hang out with Cosmos and they could keep each other from succumbing to Space Madness. That personality is straight out of G1, but that's the only thing that is.
The original Blast Off was a "Scramble City" combiner, which means that his head was essentially a cube with some vague facial features carved into it. The modern head keeps some of the design sensibilities - the mouthplate, the "hooked" ridges on top of the head - but put them on a much more dynamic shape, giving us a head that looks like a head.
The rest of the body is even more awesome.
There are large, mechanical shoulder pads that look like they belong on an anime robot, rather than a Transformer (not that that's a bad thing). His chest is angled to a point in the center, and has panels that probably light up and glow in the game, but here are painted solid. The arms and legs are proportioned well, and the variety of spikes all over the place make him look fast and powerful.
Blast Off has a swivel neck, balljointed shoulders,
ratchet and balljointed elbows, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs and hinged knees. He's armed with two blasters that can be held in his hands or, like on the original toy, attached to his legs. This set is supposed to be more G1-styled than the solo-carded releases are, but G1 Blast Off was a dark chocolately brown, not the pale caramel used on this toy. What's going on, guys? Did somebody send the wrong Pantone swatch to the factory? And did no one check the samples before the set went into production and got shipped to San Diego?
Converting Blast Off is pretty easy. You fold up the arms, raise the chest to hide the head, swing the shoulder-things back to create the engine, and tuck the legs away. Really, that's it.
Blast Off is no longer a space shuttle (nor is he
an unmanned drone-type Launch Vehicle) - at least, not any time we'd have on Earth. Come to think of it, with the small, angular cockpit and the giant engine in the back, he's vaguely reminiscent of Serenity; you know, the ship from Firefly. And also from Serenity. It's a Firefly class vehicle. The engine really makes the ship look like a powerhouse, and the two guns mount on the wings. Blast Off is 5" long, 4" wide, and 2⅛" tall.
While Blast Off's nominal place is as the right arm of Bruticus,
the design of the combination system means that any figure can become any limb - and so, Hasbro had to design them all with the capability to be an arm or a leg. Blast Off's leg form is basically just his rocketship mode, with two flanges folded around the back for stability. It's not much, but it's solid, and it looks like it would hurt to get kicked by all those spikes.
I do wish Blast Off were a darker brown, but that's the only complaint we can muster about him. Even without being an arm or leg for Bruticus, he's got two cool modes and a conversion that's easy to get the hang of. The blue and yellow on the standard release isn't our cup of tea, but if you like it, the toy it's wrapped around is a good one.
Onslaught | Blast Off | Vortex | Swindle | Brawl