Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Blackjack

One of the cooler aspects of the Combiner Wars line is its usage of the modern Legends size class. Previously reserved primarily for cheap, simple, smaller versions of more popular primary characters for lines such as Animated and the movies (as well as getting renbranded as “Cyberverse” for DOTM and Prime), the Thrilling 30 Generations line reintroduced the size class as a fusion of old-style Legends and the abandoned Scout class. This new line mostly focused on traditionally small characters (like the G1 Minibots) and were meant to scale with the rest of the Generations line rather than a self-contained lineup. The Combiner Wars subline added a new facet to the Legends class, incorporating all the new-mold figures with the combiners themselves: in the case of the Micromaster-turned-Stunticon Blackjack, Menasor’s boobs.

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Vehicle Mode

Blackjack is a sweet little supercar of no particular real-life model, at least that I can identify. The gold windows and smokey-grey finish give him a rather striking look, and are very much on point with his G1 Micromaster toy. The purple hinges on his bumper look a bit out of place, but he’s a Legends class, so what’re you gonna do? His giant axe weapon pegs onto the rear of the car to make a wicked-huge spoiler (and what looks like a roof-mounted cannon), which is neat, but I generally prefer to leave it off.

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Since Blackjack is a Legends toy, he doesn’t scale particularly nicely with his fellow Stunticons. It’s unfortunate, but unavoidable and really not at all the fault of the toy itself. So get over it.

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Robot Mode

If Blackjack looks a little like Runabout/Runamuck to you, it’s because he was originally supposed to be. I’m not a huge Battlechargers fan and a love black and purple, so the change really doesn’t bother me. On the other hand, aside from colors, Blackjack really doesn’t look a whole lot like Blackjack. Considering Blackjack was a Micromaster with very little fiction, it’s not really too big of a deal, but after seeing his traditional head drawn on this body in the first issue of Combiner Wars made me realize how much I’d have rather had that sculpt. It’s not that the current sculpt is bad, it’s just a bit dull.

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Blackjack is rocking some stellar articulation for such a little ‘Con: ball jointed head, shoulders, hips, and knees, with swivel biceps and faux-ratchet elbows. You can also mess around with the transformation joint that his shoulders are mounted on for some additional inward/outward arm movement.

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His giant purple spoiler becomes a giant purple axe in robot mode, and it looks… a bit unwieldy, really. It’s a bit too big and doesn’t quite resemble an axe to look like a proper weapon, but it admittedly does seem like it could do some serious damage. Before the figure came out, we were all sure that the axe weapon was meant to form the hilt of Menasor’s sword alongside the blade from Motormaster, but alas, it’s only Menasor’s chestplate. Missed opportunities.

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Overall

Blackjack is a fantastic figure and one of the best to come out of the modern Legends line since Cosmos. He’s got striking colors, great articulation, and (despite a serious design flaw I mentioned in the combiner’s review) makes for a pretty cool-looking addition to Menasor as a chestplate. This mold is popping up twice in the coming months, at regular release as Rodimus and in Takara’s Adventure line as, appropriately, Runabout. It’s a good mold and definitely worth picking up once, if not thrice.

Where to Buy

  • BBTS
  • Amazon
  • Also, uh, I have a spare Blackjack, MISB. If you need it, contact me and I’ll sell him to you for retail cost.
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