Another review with
downscaled images by someone who knows nothing about the art of toys
(though in my defence nobody
really likes the Action Masters so at least I'm doing something different)
As much as I love the feel of holding a
huge, chunky, well-designed toy in my hands, I prefer collecting the smaller
variety, which when it comes to Transformers are generally the unpopular
kind, thanks to their smaller size leaving less mass to work with when it comes
to transformation. That, as well, is why I prefer the smaller kind, as they're
generally what the poseable-only figures are like, and thus make the best of
their size due to the removed need for their legs to fold there or whatever
heebie-jeebies go on during that process. I also like getting smaller, poseable
figures because I'm a cheapskate.
This, in turn, means I absolutely love the Action Masters. Their range of motion
is restricted to their arms, legs and knees; their designs are frequently barmy
with all kinds of 90s neon colours; the new characters are generally rather ugly
looking; and the image of Optimus Prime, who is a truck, driving a truck,
is just too messed up not to ignore. It's awesome, but it's messed up. Mostly
everybody doesn't like them due to their lack of transformation, which I suppose
is understandable because their articulation barely even makes up for it, but I
love them because they're cheap, durable and just so adorable. You've never
known cuteness until you own a Shockwave who can use your television's remote
control as a space craft.
Additionally, since they are all the same size, it skirts around problems that
slightly irk me about the real G1 figures. As
Galvatron says, Blaster and Soundwave are the same size in all media and
frequently shown as rivals, yet their toys are particularly lopsided in the size
department, with one of Blaster's legs almost being as big as Soundwave's torso!
And considering the only other toys Blaster has had are a miniscule Decoy and a
rather lame looking Alternator, there's only one way to go for a proper size
So, Action Master Blaster!
The little guy stands exactly four inches tall, can
raise his arms up and down, turn his head, his knees bend, and his legs are on ball joints,
allowing for a fair bit of movement from them. Just from looking at him, you can
tell it's Blaster. He's got the iconic red, yellow and grey colour scheme, he's
got the decorative tape compartment, the big chunky legs and he's got that
radical visor; the only thing he lacks are his shoulder decals. This isn't a
situation like Prowl, where his distinctive door wings were removed and
subtracted from his look, and definitely isn't like
Thundercracker, who went
through hell in Action Master form. This is Blaster, and if the one I bought
came with his accessories, he'd give you a blast from his electro scrambler.
The second-hand Blaster I bought came with a
Turbo Cycle belonging to Decepticon Axer, who is the only one of my five Action Masters who can actually hold
onto the handlebars, so go figure. If I hadn't been a cheapskate or cared about
Transformers in 1990, Blaster would have come with his gun, which sadly
isn't the electro scrambler, though sadly only in the sense that I love saying
electro scrambler, and a blue-and-yellow flight pack that also doubles as a gun.
The Action Masters all have accessories that double as weaponry, or robotic
animal buddies that have similar purposes. Blaster's flight pack is a little
mundane from the look of it, especially when compared to Krok's partner
Gatoraider who can transform into a gun so big none of my Action Masters can
support his weight. And a crocodile.
Considering the Action Masters are so minimalist, there's barely any room for
flaws to be pointed out. It'd be awesome for a newer version of the line to be
made with today's wonderments in the world of articulation, but for 1990 having
arms, legs and knees isn't too shabby. However, the ball joints used for the
legs aren't exactly great.
You see, the legs of the Action Masters are not connected to the body, but
merely to a little metal pin stuck in the crotch segment of the body, and the
legs put onto the ball joints at each side. Since all that's keeping this pin in
is the crotch support, the legs themselves and the ball joints, this means the
pin can slide around, causing them to stand a little lopsidedly, and also means
that you can totally reverse the leg of the character if you make them stick out
too far and bring them in awkwardly. It's a cumbersome little system, even
though it's meant for the purpose of making them ride vehicles, and for some of
my more-used Action Masters (Blaster is actually the most high-quality of my
assortment), their legs have a tendency of falling off if I do so much as bend
them forward, so posing them is rather difficult. Blaster doesn't suffer from
this problem, thankfully, but it'd be nice for it to not exist in the first
place so I wouldn't have to worry about it happening.
Blaster is one of the better Action Masters, and even if one isn't a fan of the
Transformers toys that lack transformation, I still recommend getting him
at a good price, simply because I'm an opinion-forcing bastard. He's part of a
basic, crude little line, and his accessories don't exactly sweeten the deal,
but he's a surprisingly accurate little figure and probably the most poseable
the character will get while still maintaining his boom box mode. It would've
been nice for Steeljaw or Ramhorn to be there instead of the flight pack, but
considering this is an eighteen year old toy, a little late to complain about it
now. I recommend it!
Though despite my praises, I still haven't
got an evenly sized match between him and his rival.
Darn that Soundwave!