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Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2015

Protectobot Blades can take his alternate form - a chopper - a little too literally. Sure, he carries plenty of firepower. But he'd much rather shred enemies with his rotors, bringing them down with a whirling flurry of Copter Kung Fu.

Robot Mode: Let us start once again by comparing Blades to his G1 predecessor. Overall the likeness is very good, given the differences in size and complexity. Combiner Wars Blades doesn’t have the helicopter skids on his arms and the rear rotor on his back instead of on his calves, but otherwise the two look very much alike, both in body design and color, despite the fact that they transform in different ways (G1 Blades has the helicopter cockpit on his back, CW Blades as his feet). So clearly, this is Blades here, no complaints.

Articulation and detailing are average for the Combiner Wars figures, meaning good, but short of spectacular. In terms of weapons, Blades comes heavily armed. He has a big black gun as his main weapon, plus the obligatory hand-foot-gun that comes with all Combiner Wars Deluxe figures. Additionally he has three sculpted missiles on each arm for additional firepower. Just like the G1 figure Blades doesn’t really come with the option of using his helicopter blades in robot mode, no matter what his profile says (well, you can remove them and put them in his hands, but he can’t really hold them well), but even without them, he is quite sufficiently armed, I think.

Overall Blades is an average figure when compared to the other current Generations figures. Not bad, but not in any way outstanding, either. A satisfying robot mode that nicely resembles the character it is meant to, but no more than that.

Alternate Mode: Blades transforms into a white and red rescue helicopter, a model somewhat resembling an Aerospatiale Dauphin. Everything folds together nicely into a slim, aerodynamic shape. Okay, the robot arms are still visible, lying snug against the sides, but with the missiles hiding the fists they don’t look like arms. It is possible to mount Blades’ weapons here, either in the peg holes below the rotor blades or into the robot fists, but neither option looks particularly good. He has the missiles in this mode, that’s enough firepower, I think. Anyway, overall a good helicopter mode. No complaints.

Combiner Mode: Blades can become an arm or a leg for any of the Combiner Wars combiners, but is of course intended to become part of Defensor with his fellow Protectobots. I'll do a separate review for Defensor once I'm done with the team members.

Remarks: While Blades got about as much character depth in the cartoon as any other Protectobot not called First Aid (meaning: none), he did score a few appearances in the Marvel comic books, most significantly the Marvel UK story “Ancient Relics”, a crossover with Action Force (the European name for GI Joe). Blades and a number of Action Force members met underground, following a Cybertronian signal, , had the obligatory mistaken identity fight and eventually unearthed Megatron (or possibly Straxus posing as Megatron, I’m not sure anymore), leading to an epic smackdown involving Grimlock, Centurion, and lots of tanks and jets. Blades struck up a fast friendship with Action Force member Wild Bill in the process, but I think that was his last significant solo appearance.

As for the toy, Blades is actually the second use of this mold, the first being the replacement Aerialbot Alpha Bravo. It will also be used for the Combaticon Vortex and two members of the all-female combiner Victorion. Overall it’s an okay figure for Blades and probably Vortex, too, but like quite a few Combiner Wars figures he’s in danger of being overused (what are the odds we’ll see a Springer, Spinister, and Sandstorm version, too?). It’s not a bad figure, mind you, but not a particularly spectacular one, either, and to me Blades is the worst of the Protectobots. So yeah, get him to complete Defensor, but I’ll happily skip the other versions of the mold.

Rating: C+
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