Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Blades

From the moment the toy was revealed, Transformers fans were able to deduce that the replacement Aerialbot helicopter Alpha Bravo was a simple redeco of a mold that, for all intents and purposes, was designed to be the Combaticon Vortex and/or the Protectobot Blades. While it’s yet to be seen if the Combaticons get their spotlight in Combiner Wars and if Vortex is the predicted mold (they do, and he is), the fan predictions were confirmed when the Protectobots were revealed in all their redeco-filled glory. Kicking off the team is the least-altered of the three retooled figures, Blades, the vicious bloodthirsty rescue helicopter.

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Vehicle Mode

Like his moldmate in the Aerialbots, Blades is a rather elongated helicopter, this time predominantly red with a Coast Guard logo and “RESCUE” adorned on his sides. He also retains the enormous missile pods on each side of the helicopter, which brings into question the exact nature of what kind of “rescuing” Blades actually does. It would have been nice to see some retooling to change the missiles into something else a bit more rescue-themed, but at least it’s somewhat in character for Blades.

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Since he’s physically identical to Alpha Bravo in vehicle mode, there isn’t much more to say other than that I think his colors work on the mold a lot better than AB’s, though I do wish his grey shoulders weren’t quite so conspicuous. Also, the halves of the copter’s cockpit/nose will not stay together on mine, but that’s just bad luck on my part. It’s a fine altmode that fits Blades well.

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Robot Mode

Surprise! Blades is essentially a red Alpha Bravo. He wears the colors well, though I really wish his shoulders were white plastic instead of that ugly grey. Not only would it make his robot mode more G1-accurate (which, admittedly, is not something I’m terribly concerned about), but I think it would tighten up his color scheme a bit. The silver paint on his hands/missiles looks really nice, too. Can you tell that I’m struggling a bit to think of things to say about this toy?

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Oh! Blades has a new head! It’s very much Blades, with a scowling expression and large, angry eyes. I think the sculpt is fantastic, par for the course as far as Combiner Wars heads go, but the metallic blue paint on his face was applied very unevenly on mine, which kind of muddles the details. I’d go in and repaint it myself, but I know the result of that would just look worse.

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Next to his fellow Autobot combiner helicopter, I think Blades succeeds in looking rather different from Alpha Bravo. It’s a shame that Blades didn’t get his own unique weapon, but, like many aspects of this mold, I suppose it fits the character. Between the two figures, I think Blades is the better, just because his red/white color scheme is a bit more striking compared to Alpha Bravo’s rather disjointed hues. Also, Blades is a proper G1 character and not some nobody impostor.

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Overall

Blades is exactly what you expected him to be, and is very much the character for whom the Alpha Bravo mold was intended for. If it sounds like I’ve been very down on this toy, it’s only because I’ve already reviewed it, and unfortunately I’ll be reviewing it yet again once the Combaticons come out next year. I actually really like Blades: he’s a good toy, his colors are nice, and he looks like the character. However, since he’s virtually unchanged from Alpha Bravo, he is very much the least exciting CW Protectobot. It doesn’t make him a bad toy, just one we’ve seen before (and will see again).

Where to Buy

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