Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 17, June 1986 / Issue 80, July 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 91, March 7th 1987 / Issue 254, January 27th, 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 30 (Season 2 #14), September 25th 1985 / Episode 95 (Season 3 #30), February 25th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
AKA 'Broad Blast'
Manufacturer - Takara
Toyline - Device Label
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest (covering the smaller tampographed one)
Blaster was the trendy hipster who made his debut in Season 2, and quickly established himself as a fan-favourite. His persona in the comics was immediately at odds with this, as he was a serious character who much mourned (and blamed himself for) the death of his partner, Scrounge. I actually like both aspects of the character, and always wanted the toy, because he was a garish boombox who also had mini-cassettes - not as many as Soundwave, but still, another great figure with lots of play value. Obviously the days of cassettes are long-gone, and there are 3 versions of Blaster to consider in this modern era: The first is a retool of Universe Soundwave, which is an odd spindly looking robot which becomes a plane; The second is a retool of 'Fall Of Cybertron' Soundwave (notice a pattern here?) but I decided to pick up 'Device Label' Blaster. Was it a good choice?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 7/10
The first thing to say about this figure is that the headsculpt is brilliant. It seems to homage both the cartoon and comic appearances in a nice blend which also incorporates some fabulous light-piping. The chest is perfect, and can even fit a G1 sized mini-cassette in situ. The arms are pretty nice, but you can't help but notice some very bulky-looking 'wings' hanging off the backs of them. Ditto the back, which is similarly encumbered with kibble, the reason for which becomes clear when the alt mode is revealed. The lower legs are quite strange looking, a bit cumbersome if you will, and there are some very obvious USB ports on both. He came sans weapon so I gave him a spare from my BTS Nemesis Prime trailer. I think it resembles the original rather well, despite the lack of a stock. This is a voyager figure, so displays very well with 'Music Label' Soundwave, being a fair bit taller (as with the original toys)
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
It's funny that what appeared modern just a few years ago is already feeling dated now. This is a very good approximation of a laptop however, resplendent with its 'Toshiba' logo. Actually this figure has a great bonus, in that it is a working USB hub - I have never tested it but have no reason to doubt it works. The 'lid' can open and close, with a satisfying ratchety click as it moves between the 2 states. Somwhat unusually for a modern figure, several large stickers are applied to make up the computer screen. If I ever feel particularly resourceful, I might remove these and paint my own custom 'Teletraan II' mural onto the screen - but then any website redesigns would be out of the question.
The transformation is fairly simple but not without its issues. The chest cavity is opened and the head rotates and hides in there, this means that no cassettes can be stowed in alt mode. The forearms become thinner and elongate and loosely clip into the upper arms - I find this works better if the fists are rotates 180º first. The shoulders then move down the torso. I find it tricky to rejoin the panels that become the laptop screen, but maybe I'm just dim. In one final humiliation Blaster than has to do the horizontal splits before his legs clip into place, forming the rest of the faux keyboard.
The head is on a swivel, but he has no waist rotation, shame. He has ball-jointed shoulders which can also pitch up and down thanks to his transformation. He also has double jounts in his elbows, and his wrists are on balljoints too. He has 2 joints in his hips, as well as 2 in his knees. No articulation to speak of in the ankle region though but those bulky lower legs pay dividends when it comes to posing, giving Blaster very good balance. The kibble on the arms and back can also be adjusted depending on your preferences. This guy would be worth a 9 if he had a ball-jointed neck and any movement in his waist.
Everything about this figure feels reasonably solid, the plastic is good quality, anthough unusually for a figure of this size there are no ratchet joints which does worry me slightly that he will suffer from 'Infernoitis' in later life. I don't particularly like the way that the screen joins together, the 'pins' used are very thin and could break if you let a careless oik near them.
Overall - 36/50
I'm pretty happy with Blaster. He displays well with Soundwave and his mini-cassettes which is really one of my main criteria. I'm happy that also my Blaster and Soundwave are both distinct and different moulds, and not just retools of the other. I would recommend this figure, and he looks great in an office with your various devices plugged into him.