Review: Transformers Generations Windblade

From April to May of 2013, Hasbro ran a little something called the Fan Built Bot Poll. Essentially, fans could go on their website and vote for different traits of a new, fan-created character who would get a role in the IDW comics as well as a wholly-original toy in the Generations line. The options chose faction, altmode, weapon, colors, personality, name, gender, homeplace, and specialty, and at Botcon of that year the character was revealed to mixed reception, mostly because no one expected the inexplicable Japanese theme. Regardless of the fandom’s feelings on their collective creation, Windblade was introduced to the IDW fiction as a cityspeaker for Metroplex… and became the fix for IDW’s (re: Simon Furman’s) questionable explanation for gender in Transformers, something that instantly softened the fandom’s views. Windblade also became the focus of a self-titled miniseries written by Mairghread Scott and drawn by Sarah Stone, which was fairly well-done and further cemented Windblade’s status as a fan-made character that actually became a fan favorite. Now that that’s over with, let’s look at the actual toy.

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Vehicle Mode

Windblade’s fan-chosen altmode was a jet, thus we have ourselves a jet-looking space plane. It doesn’t much resemble any real-life aircraft, but it is clearly some sort of VTOL with its fans (haha) built into the wings. Said fans can even rotate forward, which is a really nice touch. The jet looks almost clean with the exception of what are clearly the fronts of her legs sitting on top. I like to look at them as some Jetfire-style booster rockets, and it kind of works. The colors aren’t quite accurate to her comic appearance (needs more red), but Japan has you covered for that, and I don’t feel it’s too necessary. It’s a fine jet mode, all things considered.

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Transformation

Windblade’s transformation is, for the most part, pretty simple… as long as you’re converting her to robot mode. Robot mode to jet mode, however, can be a bit of a chore. There’s no real trick to mastering the conversion, you really just have to work with it for a little while to get everything to peg into place. It doesn’t help that the QC on this figure is reportedly pretty spotty, so yours might not even hold together too well in jet mode. It’s a finicky transformation, for sure, but it is pretty intuitive, I admit.

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Robot Mode

Windblade’s Japanese motifs become evident in her robot mode, particularly (entirely) around her entire head. The Kabuki-esque face and hairdo was apparently designed to evoke the onna bugeisha female warriors of feudal Japan. I can dig it. The headsculpt itself isn’t too terribly bad (though doesn’t quite resemble Windblade as drawn by Stone), and the paint apps are surprisingly well-done considering the intricacy of them. The rest of the figure is fairly straightforward fembot, with the necessary curves and thinness that comes with the title. The red and black is very striking thanks to the lovely plastic color, and the proportions do overall look excellent, though her hips are a little too wide. Also, even Windblade is plagued by the dreaded female figure high heels, and thus it is very difficult to make her stand. It doesn’t help that her hips and the heel joints are a bit loose, but thankfully she is among the 2014 figures to include a peg for a Tamashii figure stand, which is extremely helpful for posing.

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Speaking of posing, Windblade can pull off quite a few! She has a swivel neck, biceps, waist, thighs, wrists, and knees, and balljointed shoulders, elbows, and hips. Her wings are also adequately articulate, which is a very nice touch and a very telling improvement when you compare her to the Classics Seeker mold with its immobile wings. I wish her wrists would have been ball jointed for better sword posing, but swivels work (though they are ridiculously tight on mine). Also, I really feel like the neck is missing a ball joint higher up at the base of her skull, as it’s rather limited due to her collar.

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Windblade comes with her Stormfall Sword, which is mostly clear plastic with a lovely purple gradient that makes it look gorgeous. The fan in the hilt is a really nice (and Kamen Rider-esque) touch. Windblade can wield her blade with ease, even two-handed, or the sword can rest happily in its sheath– which Windblade can also hold! For storage, the sheath can peg into a slot on either of her hips, but sadly the connection on mine is super loose. A surprise accessory on Windblade is the gold fan that adorns the top/back of her head, which can be removed and used as a weapon. It’s a neat little bonus, but be careful when removing it! You need to pull it out from the back, not from the top; the clear plastic is fragile and can easily break if you try to remove it the wrong way.

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Overall

When we first saw the Botcon 2013 images of Windblade, I was a bit conflicted on what I thought of the design. After seeing all the fandom outcry at the design, I decided that I liked it, and I’ve been a proponent of Windblade ever since. Since then, the character has proven to be rather compelling (if still a tad flat), and the toy is actually pretty darn cool. Despite reports of varying plastic and joint tolerances, I either lucked out and I’m the minority, or the people who got problematic figures are the vocal minority. Regardless, I say take a chance on Windblade. After all, you created her!

Where to Buy

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