Dave's TF Legacy Rant: Leader Blitzwing

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Dave Van Domelen

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Nov 26, 2022, 1:10:17 AM11/26/22
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Dave's Transformers Legacy Rant: Leader Wave 2

Blitzwing (Jet/Tank Triplechanger)

Permalink: http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/BW/Legacy/LBlitzwing

They seem to have broken the habit of having each Leader wave being one
new toy and the previous wave's new toy, as when I did see this hit shelves
(about a week after my Pulse order arrived) it was purely Blitzwing, not a
mix of him and Laser Optimus.


CAPSULE

$50-55 price point.

Blitzwing: Accurate to G1, sometimes too accurate. Complex
transformation but not annoyingly so, other than potential problems with tabs
and slots fitting properly. Recommended.


RANT

Packaging: The same irregular shaped non-window box as wave 1 Leaders.


DECEPTICON: BLITZWING
Assortment: F3062
Altmodes: Jet and Tank
Transformation Difficulty: 32 to jet, 41 to tank
Previous Name Use: Yes
Previous Mold Use: None
Function: Ground and Air Commander
Special Unit: Triple Changers
Origin Universe: G1
Signature Weapon: Energon Fists - Can punch through any material with
unmatched force. Launches heat-seeking missiles from knuckles.

Blitzwing terrorizes his opponents by switching between his three modes
in battle, laughing all the way.

STR 8 INT 5 SPD 9 FRB 7

Packaging: Three rattan strings hold the tank mode to the unadorned
corrugated cardboard tray (no point printing a pattern on the inner tray when
there's no window). The Energon Fists are held in by folded out corners of
the tray, the two rifles slipped into slits in the tray, and the sword held
by a second piece of cardboard tabbed into place. No tape except on a couple
of corners to reduce friction.
The instructions do start with tank mode, then go to robot mode and from
there to jet mode. They do not have any official suggestions for sword
storage in either vehicle mode. The box back shows it tucked under the tread
in jet mode, and it turns out that the wingtips NOT deployed in jet mold fold
over the sword after it's been pegged into place.

Robot Mode: A bit on the beefy side, but otherwise a pretty good match
to the animation model (although with silver instead of light gray), except
for places where they went with the toy instead. Of course, to make it work,
they had to put fake wingtips on the backpack treads, the actual wings are
wrapped around the boots. Well, the mold is the right shape, but the colors
aren't always quite there, in part because the animation model was kinda
inconsistent. While kinda short for a Leader (even by modern standards), it
has a LOT of panels, including panels to cover up the hollows on the
forearms. Heck, by the usual Hasbro standards there's very few hollows, the
gapfilled people won't have much to do here. Stability could be better,
either there's no tabs holding the backpack securely in place, or they're
just out of alignment on mine and won't hold (tabs being not quite right for
their slots is a reported issue with this toy).
6.25" (16cm) tall at the head, with the tank barrel poking up a little
above that (unlike in some animation instances, where it's really tall).
Mostly a mix of dark purple, light tan, silver, and a yellow helmet. The
head, torso, pelvis, and legs are all dark purple plastic, as are the cores
of the forearms, the fists, and the fake wingtips on the backpack. The sword
and the rifles are also dark purple plastic. The backpack is otherwise all
light tan plastic, as are the shoulders, upper arms, and the armor panels on
the inner and and under faces of the forearms (the inner ones swivel around
for various modes). The Energon Fists are clear red plastic, albeit with a
lot of dark purple plastic on the forearm parts.
In addition to the purple on the forearms of the Energon Fists, there's
also purple details on the shoulder fronts. The U-shaped details atop the
shoulders are painted brownish-almost-black, a color also used on the tank
treads on the backpack. The helmet is dipped in bright yellow, with a silver
face and gloss red visor and forehead accent. There's very small red
triangles on the pecs, as opposed to the larger triangles usuall seen on the
cartoon. The pecs themselves are silver, as are the lower abdomen, details
on the hip flaps, the entirety of each thigh, and the tail fins on the sides
of the toes. The blade of the sword is also painted silver. Flanking the
little bit of cockpit on the chest are parts painted yellow. There's a
silver outline Decepticon symbol on the center of the sternum, plus silver
ones on the outer faces of the boots (jet wings), and on the backpack (tank
turret).
The neck is a ball joint with the socket inside the head, while the
waist is a smooth swivel. The shoulderpads do not actually move, but the
front panels are hinged to let the universal jointed shoulders lift to the
front. There's mid-bicep swivels, hinge elbows, and swivel wrists (plus they
can bend inwards on transformation hinges). Universal joint hips with hinged
flaps on the pelvis to let the legs lift to the front. There's swivels just
below the hips, hinged knees, and ankles hinged on the inner sides to let the
feet lie flat.
The fists can hold 5mm pegs, and there's 5mm sockets on the outer faces
of the forearms, the outer faces of the shoulders, the outer faces of each
boot, under each heel, and three on the backpack (center and either tread).
There's the usual 3mm socket on the back of the pelvis, and oddly enough a
3mm socket in the tip of the cannon barrel (so it can't use regular Fire
Blasts, but some of the weird R.E.D. ones will work).
His twin rifles are based on the one rifle that came with the G1 toy,
2.75" (7cm) long, with 5mm grips as well as 5mm pegs on either side even with
the main grip. The muzzles end in 3mm studs.
The sword is 3.75" (9.5cm) long with the weird hooked sides of the
original, but better-looking and closer to the animation model (if not quite
that either). Unlike the guns, it's made of rubbery dark purple plastic,
presumably for safety purposes. The blade is painted silver, rather than
left purple, though. The hilt is a 5mm peg, and there's a 5mm peg on one
side of the base of the blade for storage.
The Energon Fists really look like they were meant for a combiner. I
couldn't get them to fit onto Menasor in any way, though. In arm mode,
they're 3.5" (9cm) long, with forearm shells and clear red hands that are
reminscent of Transformers Energon combiner hands. Each has dual thumbs, so
while there's no wrong way to put them on, there's also no right way.
There's a too-short peg on the inside that goes into the underside of
Blitzwing's fist to hold it, more or less. There's 5mm sockets on the back
of the forearm and the back of the hand, plus all the fingers and thumbs end
in 5mm sockets. The fingers chunk is on a hinge that can bend backwards 90
degrees, but not inward to allow for a firm grip on anything. You can sort
of put the sword onto a thumb socket for holding, but it looks weird when you
do that. The hands are attached via 5mm pegs and sockets so they can turn at
the wrists.
In jet mode, the fists are kinda an afterburner booster sort of thing, I
guess. The hands store inside the forearms to make them into rocket pods for
the tank mode.

Transformation: A defining trait here is "tabs that require excessive
force to go into their slots." So many tabs, so hard to get them into place,
regardless of the mode (the knees are the worst part of going to robot
mode).
Going to tank mode is complicated but I was able to figure it out
without the instructions. Probably the hardest part is getting the arms into
place, since the real job of those forearm panels is to fill gaps in the
front fenders of the tank, with the under-forearm panels rotating to help
accomplish that. One bit of clever work is that there's a panel on the top
of the turret that lets the barrel fold out, rather than having it slide in
and out. This results in a more solid joint at the root of the cannon, which
can elevate pretty well.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I also had the most trouble with the arm
placement when going to jet mode, and I think some of that might be due to
the tabs and slots and stuff not being QUITE aligned correctly on mine. It
takes rather more force than I'd like to get them attached. Getting the
nosecone out of the cockpit was also not easy for me, I ended up needing to
use a prying tool (a knife, to be specific).
Basically, while all of the transformations make a reasonable amount of
sense, they also require a somewhat unreasonable amount of force to get
really stiff panel hinges to fold into place, and to get tabs seated properly
into their slots. I will say it's easier go to from one vehicle mode to the
other than to involve robot mode, since the arms stay in roughly the same
gave-me-problems configuration in both vehicle modes.

Tank Mode: Well, it's pretty good, but with an obvious jet cockpit
sticking out in front and jet thrusters in the back. Of course, the cockpit
sticking out front is G1-accurate, which makes me wonder if they deliberately
did nothing to hide it. In fact...the visible cockpit in this mode isn't the
real cockpit for jet mode, and it's entirely covered up in robot mode! So,
yeah, they deliberately added a fake red plastic cockpit with purple paint
borders to the front end of this mode for G1 toy accuracy. The turret is
more angular and the tank mode is more of a modern generic main battle tank
instead of the Type-74 that G1 Blitzwing was based on (with a rounded
turret).
That said, it's a heck of a lot better than the tank mode used in Titans
Return, which focused too much on getting a "looks good from above" jet mode.
If you can get all the tabs seated properly (today's vocabulary word is
"seated"), it'e a very solid altmode.
If you ignore the jet parts sticking out in front and back, the tank
chassis is just a bit over 5" (13cm) long in mostly light tan with some dark
purple along the centerline and a couple of side panels. The cannon barrel
is 2.5" (6cm) long and does just barely extend past the cockpit hanging
between the treads. The treads and their drive wheels are painted brownish
black and there's a purple Decepticon symbol on the top of the turret, that's
basically it for paint dedicated to this mode. I will politely ignore the
plastics and paints of the cockpit section.
It rolls very nicely on the four little wheels under the treads. The
turret turns 360 degrees and the tank barrel elevates to aboute 60 degrees
(30 degrees per soft ratchet) before it starts to push open the panel on top
of the turret. There's three 5mm sockets on the side of each fender, one on
the top center of the turret, and you can fold the heels up in back to get a
couple of sockets there too. There are no sockets accessible on the
underside. As mentioned earlier, the cannon barrel ends in a 3mm socket.
The Energon Fists in rocket pack mode connect to the turret in the rear
corners, with a tab on each going into a slot behind the smoke dispensers
molded on the sides of the turret, and slots on the forearm pieces going onto
tabs even farther back on the turret.
Officially, the rifles to into the sockets that had been on the
forearms, but those parts are hard to get seated and pop out a little too
easily, so I'd suggest the sockets on the rear fenders instead. I prefer the
looks there anyway.
There's no official storage location for the sword, it can just be stock
on top of the turret, but looks bad there. There's almost but not quite
enough room to attach it to a boot side socket and hide it inside a tread.
Another option would be to lift up the heels in back and put the sword in
back.

Jet Mode: I mean, it's still a jet carrying a bunch of tank parts
underneath it, but the panel-mania paid off for this mode, which is pretty
much all jet, loosely based on the MiG-25 "Foxbat" but without the tail bits
(G1 accurate in that). A dark purple jet with all the light tan (and tank)
stuffed under the body. A bit weirdly, the fake cockpit from tank mode is
directly under the real cockpit.
7" (18cm) long with a wingspan of 6" (15cm), almost entirely dark
purple. The nosecone is also purple plastic, albeit coated in silver paint.
The cockpit window is clear red plastic with brown-black paint borders (and
the fake cockpit panel on the underside is also clear red but with purple
paint). The leading edges of the wings are painted bright yellow, and pure
silver Decepticon symbols as rondels.
The nose landing gear can fold down, it's a single piece of dark purple
plastic with no paint. There's no molded wheels on the tank junk, but
there's some raised tabs on the tank turret to at least stabilize this mode.
They put some effort into making a place for the Energon Fists in this mode,
but...meh.
The shoulder and forearm 5mm sockets are available on the sides under
the wings for rifle storage, there's two more on the underside that are
largely blocked by the fake wingtips (but there's intentionally enough room
to store the sword on one). The heels can fold down to let the Energon Fists
be attached, and I suppose that the turrel socket works for a robust flight
base.

Overall: A lot of panels and many places for things to go wrong, but I
seem to have gotten reasonably lucky. As with many 2020s Generations toys,
it's very true to G1 both animated and the toy designs, sometimes stupidly
so.


Dave Van Domelen, running out of places to display Legacy until he gets
around to putting away more War for Cybertron toys.

Zobovor

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Nov 26, 2022, 5:58:50 PM11/26/22
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On Friday, November 25, 2022 at 11:10:17 PM UTC-7, Dave Van Domelen wrote:

> In fact...the visible cockpit in this mode isn't the
> real cockpit for jet mode, and it's entirely covered up in robot mode! So,
> yeah, they deliberately added a fake red plastic cockpit with purple paint
> borders to the front end of this mode for G1 toy accuracy.

I'm surprised you missed the hullabaloo about all this. It was all the angry people on Twitter and Reddit talked about for like a month!

> Jet Mode: loosely based on the MiG-25 "Foxbat" but without the tail bits
> (G1 accurate in that).

No, the G1 toy definitely had tail fins. They were just partially tucked away behind the big ol' tank tread wings. And they weren't drawn in the cartoon, because Floro Dery's assistants were just making up a lot of the rear-view designs by extrapolating from the front views, without actually looking at the toy.


Zob (hence the tank turret impossibly attached to the back of Blitzwing's head in robot mode)

Dave Van Domelen

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Nov 27, 2022, 12:41:09 AM11/27/22
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In article <83851fa0-ed30-48ac...@googlegroups.com>,
Zobovor <zm...@aol.com> wrote:
>On Friday, November 25, 2022 at 11:10:17 PM UTC-7, Dave Van Domelen wrote:
>
>> In fact...the visible cockpit in this mode isn't the
>> real cockpit for jet mode, and it's entirely covered up in robot mode! So,
>> yeah, they deliberately added a fake red plastic cockpit with purple paint
>> borders to the front end of this mode for G1 toy accuracy.
>
>I'm surprised you missed the hullabaloo about all this. It was all the
>angry people on Twitter and Reddit talked about for like a month!

Well, I don't do Reddit at all, and my Twitter feed is only a couple of
people who aren't into Transformers fandom dramaz.

>> Jet Mode: loosely based on the MiG-25 "Foxbat" but without the tail bits
>> (G1 accurate in that).
>
>No, the G1 toy definitely had tail fins. They were just partially
>tucked away behind the big ol' tank tread wings. And they weren't drawn
>in the cartoon, because Floro Dery's assistants were just making up a
>lot of the rear-view designs by extrapolating from the front views,
>without actually looking at the toy.

Well, I mostly mean cartoon model accuracy when I talk about
G1-accurate, since that's what the Generation toys have focused on lately.

Dave Van Domelen, which does make it rough for toys that had "blink and
you miss it" obligatory appearances in the cartoon.

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