Blastcharge - Universe - Figure


What is irony? Irony is the Universe line being cancelled (or close to cancellation) now that is releases are getting better. I too noticed that the first releases were figures we had already seen plenty of times and with worse color schemes than before. Skywarp was an exception but with 4 previous versions of the mold, I doubt many were eager to pick it up.

Other times there would be a really cool figure and it would then have gotten an awful colorscheme such as Robots In Disguise Optimus Prime or Tankor. But the line als had its successes with Depthcharge and Razorclaw. It was not untill a few months later that the line really took off. I loved the Micromaster Combiners as well as Nemesis Prime. Now another great figure has been released: Blastcharge which may be the last Universe release. Many people have called him bad with a ugly robot mode.

I decided getting all new Universe figures after getting Skydive on sale and later buying Night Slash Cheetor. And ny new I mean the repaints I do not have in another version or which are really cool. This one seemed to fall in both catagories but the overall negative reviews of him made me prepare for the worst. But I got him anyways and now I will tell you what I think of my new addition to my Army.

Vehicle mode

Blastcharge comes packaged in this mode which looks to me like and all-terrain Cybertronian battle vehicle. This vehicle really looks like something that was made to create death and destruction. The color scheme really enhance this look. I remember seeing pictures of Beast Machines Blastcharge online and thinking "What an ugly piece of crap.". Which was mostly due to the hideous color scheme. Death and destruction in a yellow packaging? Not very convincing.

This Blastcharge is primarily black with a silver camouflage pattern and a few gray parts. The wheels are dark purple and translucent blue plastic is used for the front "windows/eyes/optic sensors". There is a skull like pattern around the "windows/eyes/optic sensors" and that makes this mode look really creepy.  It also resembles The Puniser.

If you do not think this scares you, read a few Punisher comics because then you will see what a skull can do. ;-) (I can even imagine this vehicle being used by the Punisher. I really like that and the camouflage pattern which is done in metallic silver and it simply looks awesome. There is also more purple, of a different shade, on this mode. This is the kind of purple I wanted to see on Armada Skywarp but at least Blastcharge got it right.

I think this is the best color scheme chosen for a Tranformer in 2005 yet. It really makes Blastcharge look evil which is a look many Cybertron/Energon Transformers cannot convey. The only downside is that the translucent parts are blue while purple would have looked better. But the blue does not really look bad and it is only on a few parts (apart from the projectiles) so I can live with that.

But the goodness does not end there. Apart from having a better color scheme than most Energon/Cybertron/Galaxy Force figures Blastcharge would probably kick all their skidplates in the detail department as well. The sculpting is simply awesome with not a single part of Blastcharge left unsculpted. They even had to stamp a really small Decepticon symbol on the bumber due to lack of a better place. Even the underside of the launcher is sculpted. He has windows in the front section which I imagine to be eyes/optical sensors due to him being a Cybertrionian vehicle.

Blastcharge has 3 large wheels which help him traverse any terrain he may come across. They have profiling on them which looks great. The second tires are secured to the main body via a strut. The aft wheel has a different side (which is silver with a gray piece on top of it). This is of course due to it becoming the feet but one can also imagine that these house the engines or something. These wheels are actually on springs though why is beyond me at the moment.

Despite not having a force chip, Blastcharge does have a few features. The turret turns via a wheel on the back of Blastcharge with the help of internal gears. It can also move up and down of course. 3 projectiles fit in it and they help create the illusion that Blastcharge is really dangerous. Only the middle hole is actually a launcher and some people have called this a bad thing.

But I do not think they could have made all 3 a launcher without making the turret larger and that might not have looked good. And the 2 fake launchers are actually a good thing in my book. You do not have to worry about actually launching the projectile (and having to look for it) and you can keep them in without worrying about wearing down a spring.

The projectiles are pretty long and to me it is odd why they stick out of the launcher so badly. One good shot from the enemy might cause them to expode. Ah, safety issues. Still the lenght does make them easier to find and Blastcharge can also use them as clubs. Why would anyone want use a rocket to hit someone with is beyound me though. They look cool being cast in translucent blue and having 4 fins makes them look different from most projectiles.

Blastcharge also has another feature. Below the turret is an engine block of some sort. (It looks like an engine block but it is odd why it would be left so open.) But whatever it is supposed to resemble, it is also a button and pressing it will extend the forward section of Blastcharge. This makes the vehicle mode look a bit different though one could not call it a third mode. But one can imagine Blastcharge being able to turn faster and take on higher ground.

Posability is usually not a part of reviews dealing with a vehicle mode. Blastcharge does have some articulation. The turret turns but of course it would have been really bad if it did not. The front section can turn to the left, right and even up. It can also turn but that is due to the transformation. Still, it is an added point of articulation so I am adding it. This articulation makes Blastcharge look cool. I imagine him being able to go up very steep hills or even walls due to his "neck". The front wheels can be posed a bit as well. They are on small stuts to get them out of the way for the robot mode.

The only downside to this mode is the visible back of the robot head but most Cybertron/Galaxy Force suffer from this as well so I can only forgive this flaw. And one can also flip up the head. Tankors head was clearly visible on the tank in the Beast Machines show so why can Blastcharge not have the same?

Overall 5/5

An excellent vehicle mode with great sculpting and cool features and articulation. The color scheme really makes Blastcharge look evil and it is a welcome change from all the Cybertron/Galaxy Force figures. I mean Megatron does not look evil to me. Unless you take in consideration that those colors make him look like a clown. Then he is super evil.

I do not think an Autobot would be scared if they saw Megatron coming. This would have me shaking because it looks super evil and I can easily imagine Blastchage thundering though enemy lines while blasting enemies.

Robot mode

This is the mode that most fans have been complaining about. I agree, it is very different. And dare I say it? Yes, I dare because it is also slightly ugly. But, Blastcharge was not created to win a beauty pagean, he was created to crush beast bots. One can even argue that Megatron having created the vehicons as mindless drones, designed these robot modes as an afterthought thinking a vehicle mode would suffice. So in that respect I can accept the "flaws" in this mode.

Blastcharge's main feature is the huge missile launcher on his chest. Many say it should have been made to flip down and I cannot disagree with that assement. But it does make him look like a very well armed and there for dangerous bot so I like it up just fine. I should also note that you can pop off the head, flip the launcher back and reattach the head. 

This looks a bit better (that is if you mind the the huge launcher) but having to pop off the head every time might not be the smartest thing to do. And the head is already rather easy to pop off accidentally. So I am leaving the launcher in the front. The other thing you may notice are the skinny arms and off legs. I personally think using the wheels as legs is a very cool idea that has not been done before.

The skinny arms are a bit of a downer but they have neat little details sculpted on them and seeing how the main mode for Blastcharge would be the vehicle mode and the robot mode would generally only be used if absolutely needed (say Blastcharge would need to press a button or flip a switch) then it makes sense that he does not have huge arms. As long as they work, Megatron must have thought. The same can be said for the legs which are attached rather oddly to the main body.

Colors are largely the same though the camouflage pattern is largely gone, more of the purple is visible (upper arms) and some yellow popped up. Sculpting is nicely done and the head looks cool in an ugly sort of way. It has a bucket shape with a grille as mouth and what looks like a steam pipe on the left side. Ugly bit that is to be expected of a machine made to destroy.

Articulationwise Blastcharge does suffer a bit. The upper arms are on ball joints but the wheels on the shoulders restrict movement a bit. He can hold the launchers in them to function as clubs which is a neat idea. The legs lack knees so they can only move at the hips but they can move back and forth and sideways as well.

Still Blastcharge is not going to win a ballet or gymnastics tournament in this mode. Then again, neither of those would actually take place on Cybertron so why would one need articulation anyways. It is not as if one has to stand in a fancy pose while launching a missile at a Maximal.

Overall 4.5/5

A few minor flaws are not going to disguise that this is a fun robot mode. Sure it looks odd (and perhaps ugly) but for me that is just because Blastcharge was built to destroy and nothing else. So it works for me.

Wheeled mode

Blastcharge also has a wheeled mode which is basically the robot mode with the legs transformed into wheels. This mode is just a bonus mode I would think so I will view it as such instead of a third mode. It looks ok though it loses some of the height making Blastcharge look a bit silly. I doubt if this mode would be used a lot by Blastcharge anyways. It might be useful if Blastcharge was thundering to the scene of the battle and a Maximal/Autobot would jump on top of him to prevent him from reaching the battle site.

Blastcharge would be unable to use is projectiles in such a situation because he would most likely blow himself up as well. He could transform to robot mode to fight the Maximal/Autobot but that would delay him which is exactly what his opponent wanted. But if Blastcharge would transform to his wheeled mode he could throw the Maximal/Autobot off him without losing too much speed. Even if the fight lasted a few moments, he could still roll on.

So for me that makes this mode work and therefor a nice addition to Blastcharge.

Overall 4.5/5

Closing comments

Blastcharge reminds me a little of Oil Slick. As Armada Sideswipe he had a color scheme that did not help him. The new color scheme makes both look cool. But unlike Oil Slick, Blastcharge is a really cool toy. He has 3 (4 if you count the extended attack vehicle) really neat modes, excellent sculpting and the best color scheme so far for a Transformer in 2005.

The only thing that saddened me was to see that his Spark Crystal had been removed. It would have been really cool for Blastcharge to have a purple Spark Crystal with an Decepticon symbol on top of it. But seeing it was actually located underneat the front grille it would not have been that visible anyways so having it would be more of a novelty.

Figures like Blastcharge really make Universe worthwile and it would be a shame if it was cancelled just when the figures got good. I give Blastcharge 5 stars out of 5 and encourage everyone to get im.

ReviewerFerry Rudolph  
DateMay 22nd 2005  
Score 10 stars (10 out of 10)  

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