Monday, 15 June 2009

TransFormers Animated Blurr

It should be ironic that Blurr, a character associated with speed of movement, should have started his Generation 1 career as a complete brick, with barely any articulation. Even the more recent incarnations of Blurr, using a mold that first appeared in Armada, but was most recently used as the TransFormers Collectors' Club Shattered Glass Blurr, couldn't be posed in anything like the dynamic fashion that the character of Blurr required.

Thankfully, the team behind TransFomers Animated saw fit to correct this... albeit more than 20 years late ... with this lithe, poseable figure, based somewhat on the concept art of the unreleased TransTech Cheetor...

Vehicle Mode:
Sitting somewhere in between the car from Speed Racer and an electric blue Batmobile, Blurr's alternate mode screams speed. It looks like the kind of car that would have trouble keeping to the speed limits - all sharp angles and sleek curves. I'm particularly fond of the futuristic design of the rear wheels which, rather than relying on a central axle, appear to be spun by the inner rims of the wheels.

One oddity of the design is that the wing mirrors are rather high up on the shallow-sloped windscreen. I can only imagine that the hypothetical driver would be sat more or less in the boot, to make use of them. Not that I think for one moment that a car like this would have a boot. Oh, no. Storage space is for other cars... this would be 98% engine, 2% driver/passenger space.

Harking back to Generation 1 Blurr, vehicle mode has a central crest at the back - far more subtle than that of the original, but the same could be said for many features of this Animated update.

Blurr's vehicle mode can also make use of robot mode's weapon - some kind of energy blade or saw, which pops out from the front of the car when a button is pressed. Just above this, right on the front of the car, Blurr bears the crest of the Autobots' Elite Guard.

Robot mode:
It's pretty incredible that such a compact and flat car transforms into this tall, skinny, yet athletic-looking robot. In common with all the Animated line, Blurr looks very cartoonish - almost like a guy in a suit, rather than a robot... And this guy was clearly made for speed.

More similarities between Animated Blurr and TransTech Cheetor become apparent in robot mode - wheels on the shoulders and at the feet being the most obvious. Strangely, Blurr's propoertions are less exaggerated that Cheetor's... and yet, given the right paintjob, Blurr can make a worthy custom Animated Cheetor.

I'm particularly fond of the feet because, as well as looking very different from the rest of the line (almost Movie-like, considering Movie Sideswipe), the independently ball-jointed toe and heel pieces make Blurr very stable, and very easy to pose dramatically. The arms aren't quite so mobile, unfortunately - the large shoulders may be ball-jointed, but their movement is limited and they don't attach in any meaningful way. The knees aren't quite so mobile as they could be either, and this does tend to make him look rather stiff in running poses. Kitbashers have solved this problem, and it only requires the shaving of a small amount of plastic.

The front of vehicle mode can be stashed on Blurr's back, or attached to his forearms either as a shield, or as the energy blade/saw. It's quite effective either way, but doesn't seem to be a very practical weapon for a member of the Elite Guard.

Transformation is quite complicated for something of this size - the arms and legs essentially swap places on the body, crossing over each other. The compact nature of the model make this rather tricky at times, and the way the arms plug into the body when returning to car mode is quite fiddly. Things don't always line up perfectly after transforming him a few times.

One interesting feature of this model - either from a pure safety viewpoint or to prevent breakages, the points on Blurr's shoulders (tips of the front in car mode) and his crest are rubber rather than solid plastic.

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