Combiner Wars Protectobots Reviews – Brought to you by Entertainment Earth

Things have been a bit quiet around here from a review front, but thanks to site sponsor Entertainment Earth, things are going to get lively again this week!

Throughout the week I’ll be reviewing the latest Combiner Wars releases – Deluxe Protectobots Blades, First Aid, Streetwise, and Rook as well as their Voyager commander Hot Spot!  I’ll also review Defensor as a whole.

Check out the first two reviews below, and keep watching my Transformers Review section for more.

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Transformers: Combiner Wars First Aid

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

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I’m one of those “in and out” Transformers fans who only ever knew about Ratchet as the Autobot ambulance, though as I’ve read recent issues of the IDW comics, I’ve started to learn more about and appreciate First Aid as a character. Even with my fascination with combiners as a kid, I only had Superion and Menasor, and didn’t follow the toyline enough to get invested in the Protectobots (though the childhood G.I. Joe fan in me loved the Combaticons). Back in those days, if you did’t buy all the toys and didn’t follow the media religiously, characters just didn’t exist.

One of the things I love about the Combiner Wars is that they’ve made me appreciate certain characters that I never even knew about previously, and in seeking out some backstory, I’ve learned to love some of the more obscure members of Transformers history.

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Purely from a toy perspective, First Aid is pretty great.  He’s a reshelling of the Stunticon Off Road, which is a great thing, because I’m a big fan of that figure, even if he’s become somewhat of an outcast due to the recent release of Brake Neck.  In fact, I’m happy that a main release Combiner uses his parts, because I can enjoy the basics of the figure without having a “sixth wheel” so to speak.

In vehicle model, First Aid is a great looking ambulance which manages to look realistic as well as  have the appropriate Autobot “edge” to him.  It’s amazing how Transformers have evolved over the years, and while they still use alt modes to maintain a sense of disguise, they have begun looking less and less like real vehicles you might see driving around.  At least I’ve never seen an ambulance that looks like this, but I don’t really care, the vehicle is a lot of fun.  It manages to take the best elements of Off Road, yet add so many new pieces that the end result is still fresh and fun.

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The transformation works really nicely, with the different panels snapping together to form the outer shell of the vehicle, leaving pretty much no robot parts visible.  I had some issues snapping the roof together, but finally managed to get the tabs to line up properly.  Like the other vehicles, there are holes for weapons to attach, and I must admit I find it a bit funny that an Autobot medic comes with a pretty brutal looking battle axe.  It’s the same weapon that came with Off Road, so the carry forward makes sense, but I always have some challenges rationalizing “rescue” vehicles that are equipped with massive weapons of destruction.

In robot mode, First Aid is great, with a fantastic new head that has some great semi-metallic blue paint and a ton of character.  His articulation is spectacular, as most of the Combiner Wars figures are, with great elbow joints, really poseable knee joints and ball joints in the hips, shoulders, and neck.  He has a nice swivel waist, too, which enables him to match pretty much any pose you can think of.  Like Off Road, he does have a pretty sizable chunk of kibble that hangs off his back, but it’s far from a deal breaker.

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First Aid is a lot of fun.  Just getting this figure has made me appreciate him much more than just a Ratchet follow up, and again, this has been what I’ve loved most about Combiner Wars.  Characters who were just robots to me previously have started to become actual characters, and it almost feels like I’m getting introduced to large chunks of the Transformers universe for the first time.

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Transformers: Combiner Wars Blades

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

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One nice thing about the fact that I have yet to review the Aerialbots is that this particular review doesn’t feel as repetitive as it might otherwise.  After all, Blades is essentially the same exact figure as Alpha Bravo, but with a new head.  Being a fan of G.I. Joe like I am, I’ve grown accustomed to this formula for bringing new characters to the table, and it works well here.  I think it also helps that I’m not so attached to the vintage Transformers world that seeing several characters with the same Alt mode bugs me at all.

Like Alpha Bravo, Blades is a great looking helicopter in his alternate vehicle mode, an aircraft that in reality is a lot larger than his vehicular brothers, but considering the scale challenges that have existed in Transformers since the beginning, I suspect most of us are over issues like this by now.

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The color scheme is great, a very nice red and white combination that is striking and makes great sense for a rescue craft.  The blades spin freely on top of the helicopter, and the sleek design manages to conceal the majority of robot parts nicely.

Most, but not all.  The missile pods on the side are essentially Blades’ arms tacked into each side, and it looks like it.  For that matter, one must wonder why a rescue helicopter might have racks of missiles anyway, but again, these are Transformers, and are meant to represent Earth vehicles in their most basic elements.  They still need to be armed to fight the Decepticons in both modes, I suppose.  Speaking of which, the accessories Blades comes with can plug into various places in vehicle mode and robot mode both, adding some nice armament to the character.

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Transformation from vehicle to robot is relatively straight forward, with the front fuselage breaking apart into legs, the arms separating and the helicopter tail coming up and back against the figure’s spine.  Blades, like his Aerialbot brother, manages both modes very nicely, and has a considerable amount of great articulation in figure mode.  Ball joint hips, shoulders and neck add some great range of motion, and he has very flexible knee and elbow joints to boot.  A swivel waist is nicely concealed and very functional as well.

Blades’ new head sculpt is a terrific representation of the character, and the color breaks look really nice in both modes.

Yes, Blades is just a repaint of Alpha Bravo with a new head, but as I said, this doesn’t bother me.  Heck, the upcoming Vortex from the Combaticons doesn’t even get a new head (though Alpha Bravo’s head is obviously a Vortex inspired one anyway).  I think it’s kind of cool to actually have these Combiner characters who bare resemblance to each other, and when the toy itself is fun, that certainly helps.

Entertainment Earth