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Blastcharge - Beast Machines - Figure

Although he never appeared on the Beast Machines TV show, Blastcharge does show up in the Botcon 2001 comic as a sadistic general assigned by Megatron to destroy the Wreckers. Guess who wins?

Vehicle Mode
Blastcharge's vehicle mode is that of a 6x6 mobile rocket launcher. Mostly a desert yellow with metallic red camouflage stripes, various grey and orange parts, and big black tires. The front third of the vehicle is chrome yellow and red with tiny green windows. A bluish spark crystal is visible beneath the radiator grille. From bumper to back, Blastcharge measures about 12 cm (5"). He holds together quite nicely in this mode.

Blastcharge has three gimmicks in this mode. First, by pressing down on the grey panel on his "back," the front third of the vehicle pops out a few centimetres, revealing a hinge joint. Blastcharge can move about in circles, patrolling an installation. Next, moving the wheel on the vehicle's rear causes the turret to rotate around, similar to the one on Tankor. The launcher itself can be raised or lowered to a 90 degree angle, enabling Blastcharge to hit aerial targets as well as ground ones. Watch out, Skydive! Finally, pushing the red button on the launcher causes the center rocket to fire. The other two rocket slots are simply for storage. The launcher shoots a pretty good distance, even when elevated. Tankor may have the bigger gun, but Blastcharge has better range.

Only two things really bug me about this vehicle mode. First, the robot head is in plain sight on the launcher. Second, and more importantly, the wheels don't roll as well as I'd like them to. You've got to push down a bit on Blastcharge in order to get all six wheels rolling. Part of the reason for this is that there are springs inside the last set of wheels which prevent them from rolling freely. In light of the fact that these wheels become Blastcharge's feet and ankles, the springs are most likely intended to prevent them from moving all the time in robot mode. Thrust has this problem, so I guess the designers set out to correct it with Blastcharge. Nevertheless, it's a pity that the solution they devised ends up taking away from the vehicle mode.

Transformation
Quite complicated, more so than any other Vehicon released thus far. I managed to do it the first time without referring to the instructions, but it's definitely not a toy that you could ever expect to be able to transform in under a minute. The rear wheels/robot legs can be especially confusing, and I can almost guarantee that you'll have difficulty with them when transforming Blastcharge back into vehicle mode. And it doesn't help that certain parts, including the robot head and arms, pop off fairly easily.

Robot Mode
Truly a stark contrast to his spindly counterpart Skydive, Blastcharge has got to be the weirdest looking Vehicon ever. He's got a blocky body, small arms, a launcher that sticks way out of his chest, and legs unlike anything ever seen on a Transformer. I've heard of wheels attached to a robot's legs, but never robot legs that are made up of wheels.

Blastcharge stands about 14 cm (5.5") tall in this mode. His robot head is mostly grey with yellow highlights and translucent green eyes (they don't glow). His launcher works just as well in this mode, but doesn't look all that great sticking out in front of him. One solution is to pop off the robot head, swing the launcher back as far as it will go, then reattach the head. Now he's got a much better view of things, plus he can shoot at anyone who tries to sneak up on him from behind. His two spare rockets function as clubs, and I would just like to state for the record that I've never been a fan of the whole "projectile weapons doubling as handheld weapons" concept. Do I really to remind anyone what would happen if they tried physically attacking someone with a rocket? Unless you plan on throwing it at someone.

If looking like a designer's idea of a practical joke wasn't enough, Blastcharge also has far less poseability than all the other Vehicon toys. His head swivels, his shoulders are on ball joints, and his elbows are hinge joints. He can't salute or put his hands on his hips or anything like that. He has swivel joints at his hips and ankles, six in all, and they're kinda loose. He can't sit on a fence, but he can do the splits pretty nicely.

Wheeled Robot Mode
Almost forgot to mention this one. Fiddling around with the robot legs will result in a four-wheeled "go-kart" mode, similar to Thrust's tricycle mode. Now these two can race each other. My money's going on Thrust.

Overall
Overall, Suspsy Sez: I'm in a bit of a quandary over Blastcharge. The mobile rocket launcher makes for a great vehicle mode, one that could probably turn Maximals into sauce with ease. Colours are nice, as are the three gimmicks. The afore-mentioned problem with the wheels is a genuine one, but not big enough so that it totally brings down the vehicle's play value. His robot mode OTOH, isn't as great as it could be. The legs are strange-bordering-on-silly, and unposeable for the most part. The arms could do with a third set of joints, preferably swivel ones. And the launcher would be an awesome feature if only it could fold down against his chest for when not in use. Still worth getting, but a tiny step down from previous Vehicon toys.

Supsy



ReviewerSuspsy  
DateNovember 14th 2001  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  
Reads4337
Link  




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