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Series: Animated Japan
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager
Function: Airborne Soldier
Year: 2010

Lights out!
Blackout is the most massive Decepticon that has ever been seen by an Autobot. Few live to tell the tale of encountering this hulking brute covered from stem to stern in heavy ordnance. Decepticon lore heralds Blackout as having single handedly obliterated several Omega Sentinels before falling himself at the end of the Great War.

Robot Mode: Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way first. Blackout suffers from the exact same problem as his namesake (Movie Blackout) and multiple other Voyager-class figures such as Lugnut and Bulkhead: He’s too small. Much of his mass goes into general bulk, so there isn’t enough left over for height. He should be at least twice as tall as he is, seeing as most Deluxe figures are just as tall or even tower over him.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on the actual figure. Animated Blackout’s robot mode is formed much the same way as Movie Blackout’s. The cockpit splits in half and forms the outer sides of his chest, the rear assembly becomes the legs and the rotor hangs off his back like a cape. Only four of the six rotor blades can hang straight down, though, the remaining two stick out sideways. Not sure why they didn’t make a complete rotor-cape here, but it still looks pretty good. Animated Blackout looks a lot stockier than his relatively lean-looking Movie counterpart, with very short legs, massive torso and arms, and a tiny little head with an adoringly cute little mustache. I’m not sure why, but I love that little head of his and it reminds me of some other fictional character, but I haven’t been able to figure out which one yet.

Blackout’s posability is quite nice except for the fact that he can’t raise his arms sideways at the shoulders. Puts some restrictions on his poses, but it’s not a big thing. Weapon-wise he certainly can’t complain. Missile launchers on arms and shoulders, Gatling cannons on his torso, and he can clip the rear rotor from his vehicle mode to either arm (just fold in the claws) and launch a big spinning disc from it. Speaking of claws, Blackout has very nice ones with individually articulated ‘fingers’. Very nicely done. So all in all a very nice Animated robot mode with only some very minor mishaps.

Alternate Mode: Blackout never had an Earth-mode in the cartoon series, but if he had, it would in all probability have looked like this: a simplified, Animated-style version of the same kind of gunship / helicopter that Movie Blackout transformed into. Massive, held aloft by six rotor blades, a double missile launcher on each side, smaller missiles near the rotor, and two Gatling cannons on top of the cockpit. Sadly the helicopter is missing a proper landing gear, but that’s pretty much its only fault. The detailing is, of course, less pronounced than with the Movie version, but it fits the Animated style to a T, so no complaints here. All in all a good, if slightly boring vehicle mode.

Remarks: The Animated series was filled with homages to past characters and events, both vintage and very recent. Blackout is, of course, homage to a very recent character, namely the Movie Decepticon of the same name. Same alternate mode, same basic look, just vastly different styles. Blackout only appeared in a single episode of the Animated series (“Transwarped”), where he was part of Team Charr (along with Strika, Oil Slick, Cyclonus and Spittor) and helped trash an Autobot team led by Rodimus Prime. His tech spec calls him the largest and most powerful Decepticon of them all, having taken out multiple Omega-class robots during the final days of the war.

As a toy Blackout is nothing more and nothing less than an Animated version of Movie Blackout. He suffers from the same problem (too small), but also exhibits the same coolness. I’m glad that this one-episode character did manage to make his way into the toyline. He’s not the best Animated toy, but he’s definitely much closer to the top than the bottom and well worth getting for all Animated and Blackout fans.

Rating: B


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