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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 24, January 1987 / Issue 43, August 1988
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 63, May 31st 1986 / Issue 137, October 31st 1987
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 58 (Season 2 #42), December 10th 1985 / Episode 98 (Season 4 #3), November 11th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Crossfire
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the nosecone
- Added Decepticon symbols to the wings
"Houston, we have a problem." This is the line which has become synonymous with space-bound disaster, and it is a phrase I thought was appropriate when I first saw the 'Revenge of The Fallen' Bruticus set, which had only 3 unique moulds to cover off 5 distinct characters. Arguably, the worst affected by this mess was Blast Off, who had gone from being a Space Shuttle to a tank! A problem indeed. To understand why this happened, we have to go back about a decade and look at the budget available for some forthcoming Energon combiners, where it was decided to produce 3, with 9 unique moulds, as opposed to 2 with 10 unique moulds. For me, this was a terrible decision but one that did not have any repercussions for me until the Energon moulds were re-released as legitimate G1 homages of my favourite combiners. Luckily for Blast Off and fandom alike, FansProject decided to up their game from their Superion upgrade and produce entirely new figures to replace the originals. Thus, so it was that Blast Off ended up with a shuttle mode again. Was it worth it?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
Blast Off is one of my favourite FansProject figures, he scales perfectly with his other 'limb mates' but the superior aesthetic makes a huge difference. Blast Off is a scout-sized figure with a superb headsculpt. The colour scheme is very G1, this being the second release of the figures, which sport more authentic palettes. The mould itself is richly detailed and the only real downside for me is the kibble on his upper back, which I think could have been integrated more elegantly. Blast Off comes with a large sword which can also be weilded as a hatchet type weapon by folding it in half. It is also cleverly integrated as the shuttle tailfin in alternate mode. Overall this figure is a great success.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
In its unadulterated form, this vehicle was spectacularly dull, with there being very little in the way of paint apps and there was even no windscreen. This is because FansProject attempted to address the size disparity between the huge Space Shuttle and the miles smaller Humvee etc. by claiming that Blastoff was now an unmanned drone in alternate mode. This didn't wash with some fans and the second release of this figure saw FansProject add a rather rubbish tampograph for the cockpit. Still, a rubbish cockpit is better than no cockpit. Otherwise things are still rather dull but at least the Decepticon symbols I placed break up the monotony sonewhat. Colour scheme aside things are pretty good, but the tailfin is a little odd looking, because of its dual purpose as a sword. There is also no landing gear which is poor, but thankfully this isn't an issue when the shuttle is sitting on the back on Onslaught's trailer. I would just dread to see this thing land.
Blast Off's transformation is pretty simple fare, and you will be mostly concerned with aligning the panels properly, with everything else being pretty intuitive. The head is hidden by the arms which are obscured by panels, with the aforementioned back kibble becoming the nosecone. The legs tab together and the thighs are slotted into the lower legs. The wings are then unfolded and of course the sword needs to be folded in two and placed into position, which can be pretty fiddly.
FansProject seldom let anyone down in this respect and here we have another figure which is no exception to the rule. Blast Off has a ball-jointed neck, although alas waist articulation was lost somewhere along the line. He has ball-jointed shoulders, elbows and hips. He also has thigh swivel and jointed knees. For his size class, this is all you really need and the lack of a wrist joint is forgiven because the ball-jointed elbow is versatile enough to allow him to wield his sword at a variety of angles. The panels neatly tuck away and do not interfere too much with the articulation.
Every FansProject figure I have ever held in-hand has at least one issue with their design or plastic thickness which makes me worry. On Blast Off it is the sword which I worry about, most of the thin panels are on ball-joints so in theory they will not break easily but there are some tight clearances on this figure so I advise caution when aligning the panels. It is an issue which FansProject continue to struggle with.
Overall - 37/50
This incarnation of Blast Off is 100% superior to the Hasbro offering, this is not to say that this figure is perfect in any way, because it is not. However Hasbro really did this character as disservice by thinking that no-one would notice if someone called 'Blast Off' was no longer a shuttle. Even if Hasbro had used Blast Off as the other helicopter and not Swindle, things may have made more sense. No matter. FansProject have ensured that those dark days never have to be referred to again.