Friday, December 12, 2014

Transformers Generations: Windblade

I know a lot of Transformers fans out there are loving the current IDW TF comics. While not every comic reader also buys toys, I'll garner a good deal do. While I have enjoyed some of the recent Generations figures based on their IDW comic counterparts, I have passed over just as many of these new figures.

While I am reading the IDW stories, I've opted to buy the large hardcover collections versus buying the monthly books. 1) this saves me money and 2) I just prefer the shelved look of the collected books. Of course this means I have to wait, sometimes for longer periods than I would like, for the next book to be released. That said the 2nd phase of stories (Chaos) has just been collected within the last few months. So it goes without saying that I'm behind on what's happening in the pages of the IDW Transformer comics. This includes today's subject, Windblade.

While I know she is a female TF, a geisha at that, I know nothing else about the character. Ever since I heard the murmurs online of this new character I was intrigued. I wasn't sure if I'd buy her eventual toy or not, but a few months ago I found myself standing in a Walmart while my wife went off to buy a gift for the wedding we were enroute to. This particular store had the most TFs in stock than I've seen in quite a while. Right on the front of one of the pegs was Windblade so I figured "why not?"

We still had close to an hour to go before we got to our destination in the North Carolina mountains, so I decided to go ahead and open up Windblade. Immediately my disappointment began to sink in.

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Before I even began to transform the figure, I noticed how inferior the plastic was compared to past Transformer releases. If I hadn't known better I would have thought this was a knock-off toy, not a $15 Hasbro figure. The plastic felt light, cheap and flimsy. Parts of the wings had plastic flashings that I had to shave off!

Being packaged in robot mode, I was really tempted to not even transform her. Since I had some time on my hands I pulled out the instructions and went ahead with the transformation. Simple enough to get her from robot to jet. However my disappointment only increased once I got her into her alternate mode.

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There are plenty of holes and tabs for everything to lock into place, but nothing seemed to want to stay in place. I find this very disappointing when I'm trying to transform a figure and the parts keep popping out of place. I kept looking at the instructions to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong it was so bad.

That aside, the design of the jet mode is OK. I like the VTOL engines in the wings, but that's about it. The robot's lower legs form the red sections you see on the top of the jet. I'm not sure if these are supposed to double as engine intakes or not, but to me they just look like leg kibble sitting on top of a jet. Bleh.

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Windblade's primary weapon is a black sword. OK, makes sense for this character...but see that blaring large peg on the blade of the sword?! The only purpose of that peg is so the sword can be stored on the underside of the jet.

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The sword pegs into a hole on the backside of the robot's crotch in jet mode. If you look closely you can see the hilt and handle of the sword protruding from the rear of the jet. The sword is also just large enough that it makes the rear landing gear not want to rest firmly on hard surfaces. This causes an ever so gentle "rocking" motion of the jet.

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On each side of the sword's hilt is a rectangular tab. This tab allows you to place the sword on her hip, almost as if it was sheathed. Now this is a nice touch Hasbro, but what were you thinking with that large peg on the blade?!

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I almost didn't catch this last feature shown in the instructions. Her hair piece can he removed and placed in her hand. I'm going to say it doubles as a fan and not a weapon, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Overall I find this figure a real let down, especially at the now standard $14.99 price point. Even at $10 I'm not sure I would have been much happier. I don't buy many new TFs these days, so to waste a rare new purchase on her is what magnifies my disappointment here. I will say the robot mode is much more solid than the jet mode, but that isn't saying much. The rear jet fins that are on the back of her legs have already become really loose and I've transformed the figure 2 times. Needless to say this is one figure that isn't staying in my collection. Actually off to my eBay store she goes!

I knew I should have picked up Generations Nightbeat instead!

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  1. 1) The sword is transparents's in a sheath. The peg is not on the blade, it's on the sheath.

    2) If it's "rocking" in vehicle mode, you haven't pushed the sword all the way into the peg.

    3) There are tiny tabs used to lock together the vehicle which have paint on them. They will not stay in place as well until the figure is transformed several times and breaks in.

    I appreciate your willingness to be negative, but you should spend enough time with a toy to actually know it before complaining about its quality.

    1. I agree that I may not have given this toy more time that it may (or may not) deserve, but when a brand new toy out of the packaging comes with mold flashings and feels light as air, I have a problem with that. I've collected Transformers since 1984 so I feel as if I'm a good judge on the toys themselves. However the direction Hasbro has been taking the line (decreased quality, increased prices) has me concerned.

      That said I do appreciate you pointing out the sword. I should have caught that on my own, regardless if the directions didn't point that feature out.

      I pushed the sword into place while in vehicle mode as hard as I could and it still leaves the jet rocking a bit. Perhaps I didn't push hard enough, or perhaps the peg hole isn't as deep on mine. I've seen that happen before.

  2. Man, you really didn't like her! I'm ok with her, but I'm still not a fan of the high heels or the sword. The scabbard constantly falls out of mine when in robot mode.

  3. This Daniel guy who commented earlier really disagrees with my negative stance on the figure. Proof that you just can't please everyone I guess.

    I wanted to like the figure. The character seems to be an interesting concept, but right out of the package I knew I wasn't going to love her. I've only bought a few of these current IDW Generations figures (Armada SS, Rattrap) and I loved those. Put Windblade side by side with just about any other current Generations figure and she just feels sub-par. I'm really hoping Arcee doesn't turn out this way. I may have skipped the Hasbro version of her for Takara's (don't like the black bits), but I'm guessing/hoping Windblade was just a "one off".