Studio Series 65 Voyager Blitzwing

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Swoop Dogg, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. ByLaw77

    ByLaw77 Well-Known Member

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    Total shite. In the movie, his alt mode is VERY CLEARLY an F-4 Phantom. This is....some bastard chimera that is part F-16 and part god-knows-what. If you're going to make a character from a movie, then represent the [email protected]#%ing character with some accuracy.
     
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  2. XaxisGuy

    XaxisGuy Metasuchus

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    Internet explorer much?
     
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  3. LoserBroadside

    LoserBroadside Your ship just came in.

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    They likely couldn't get the rights from the manufacturer. That's still a thing, even with military hardware.
     
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  4. ByLaw77

    ByLaw77 Well-Known Member

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    No, this doesn't make sense. They obviously had the rights to use the F-4 imagery for the movie - which Hasbro was a producer for. At the time they negotiate those rights, they should include the provision that the design may be incorporated into toys linked to the movie. If they failed to do this, it was a huge, stupid oversight. I'm not sure who "owns" the F-4 anyways - one hasn't been made in decades, and the manufacturer - McDonnel Douglas - was bought out by Boeing a while back. If it's Boeing, they wouldn't gain anything by not allowing it - it's the only way they could make money from a 65 year-old design that hasn't been produced in 40 years. And there are tons of F-4 model kits and die-cast planes being produced as of now (see Hobby Master, Century Wings, Air Commander, etc.).

    I think this was just lazy design.
     
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  5. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Filming rights does not equal image rights for production.

    Also, those rights can expire, and with the toy coming out long after the movie was filmed, any standing agreement they had could easily have lapsed in that timeframe.
     
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  6. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Super Mod

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    If that was the case, Earthrise Starscream couldn’t resemble the F-15(made by the same company that made the F-4), yet the semblance is there. It’s not accurate but anyone looking at it can tell it’s an approximation of an F-15.

    Boeing owns it at this point. There was a member here who reached out to Hasbro on Instagram last year about this toy. They said the jet mode turned out the way it did due to the transformation to prioritize a more accurate robot mode.

    So I take it the robot mode was designed 1st and the jet mode was whatever they could make it look like without affecting the robot mode. I would’ve preferred a later release if they could make the jet mode look more like an F-4(without necessarily being entirely accurate to it, like how Earthrise Starscream is to an F-15 and how Studio Series jet Shatter looks like a Harrier but isn’t entirely accurate to the T/AV-8 depicted in the movie, the F-15 and Harrier both also owned by Boeing). However, Hasbro has spent years designing Starscreams that turn into F-15 approximations while for an F-4 Transformer, the only thing they could look at was G1 Aerialbot Fireflight which looks nothing like Blitzwing in robot mode nor transformed the same way. Not saying that’s an excuse(I’ll take an F-4 approximation over the jet mode we got any day and would’ve accepted a delay) but that is a design challenge(even for the 3p companies making movie Blitzwings that transform into F-4s).
     
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  7. LoserBroadside

    LoserBroadside Your ship just came in.

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    Also, I there are enough differences in the ER Starscream mold that it DOESN'T have to be licensed, otherwise there would be a logo for the manufacturer on the box. Why then didn't they make Blitzwing close-but-not-quite? The F-4 Phantom might be too unique a design to do too closely. Or some other reason, who knows. IP licensing is rarely as straightforward as we think/hope. It's not like they made it different because they wanted to screw us fans. I'm sure the designers wanted to make it as close as possible too, but then out came the lawyers.
     
  8. ByLaw77

    ByLaw77 Well-Known Member

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    There are countless toy versions of the F-4 currently on the market, including many that are being produced by model companies, die-cast toy companies, etc. that don't have the resources that Hasbro has - and yet they are getting the licensing. See here: Historic Aviation, and search "F-4", and you'll get several dozen results. I doubt very much that Boeing would be difficult to deal with on this - there is no value in producing the F-4, one hasn't been made in decades, and so if a toy company - any toy company - came asking to license the image and shape, it's basically "found money" for them. Given the proliferation of F-4 products on the market, it doesn't appear that Boeing licensing is at all difficult to come by.

    As for this comment:
    If it's the case that Hasbro didn't cover this in the licensing deal, that's just lazy lawyering (I happen to be one, so I know of what I speak). Insert a clause that provides for the licensed toy and leaves it open for enough years to get it out. Not hard. Especially with so many other toy companies that Boeing is seemingly happy to deal with, there is no reason this couldn't have been done. If for some reason the license expired, go negotiate a new one. Again, not hard, and plainly simple enough that tons of other toy companies are doing it.

    This explanation is also undermined by the Studio Series Starscream. That alt mode was an F-22, and Hasbro produced it in 2017-18 - ten years after that version of Starscream appeared in the original '07 movie. Yet they managed to make the toy look very clearly like an F-22. And the licensing would have been even more complicated, since the F-22 is produced by Boeing AND Lockheed. Yet they managed to do it.

    I imagine that the explanation is this:

    If this is the case, then it's just poor planning. First of all, if you know what you're looking at, it is very obvious that the robot design of Blitzwing includes very distinctive elements of F-4 design, and was intended to turn into one. The intakes and ramps on either side of his chest are clearly from an F-4. So is the cockpit canopy, as are the angled dihedral wingtips on each wing, including the distinctive "dogtooth" jag at the angle shift, the fuel tanks on the wings, as well as the engine exhausts at the ankle. These are all F-4 elements, and cannot be mistaken to be from a different aircraft to anyone who can tell an F-4 from an F-16, 15, 14, 8, 18, 5, 22, 35, etc. Nor are they just "random airplane parts" - the F-4 has a very distinctive frame, and these all scream "I'M AN F-4!" He was clearly an F-4. While I'm not an engineer, and I can't speak to how difficult making the transformation work would have been, it is frustrating to see that they plainly designed the robot to include multiple distinctive elements from a particular aircraft, only to then hide behind an excuse of "we couldn't make him turn into that aircraft, so we....made him turn into an indistinctive piece of shit imaginary aircraft instead. TADA!"
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
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  9. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Super Mod

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    FWIW(and don’t get me wrong, I get where you’re coming from and would’ve preferred a Blitzwing with some semblance to an F-4 even if not dead on, again like Earthrise Starscream is to an F-15) and this isn’t to make excuses for Hasbro, but the planning for this may have been done when the finalized design for Blitzwing itself onscreen wasn’t done. IIRC the robot mode was designed 1st then refined(and possibly finalized much later) after the movie crew decided which jet it would transform into. This does go against what Hasbro emphasized for Studio Series with movie accuracy but this started with the Bumblebee movie figures in the series(Bee based on the early concepts with the door wings sticking out). So that’s why I think Hasbro should’ve waited until the finalized onscreen design was available, instead of basing the figure on an early/unfinished design. However(and again, not to excuse Hasbro), I do think it’s possible this figure was initially planned for release by Winter 2018 to coincide with the release of SS 2018 Bumblebee, but pushed back until later.

    I did find the robot mode to be fun and I love the transformation. My main issue isn’t so much that it doesn’t resemble an F-4, but mainly the inconsistent proportions of jet mode. It does look like the designer(s) took the top view of the a smaller scale F-16 from the flaps to engine and mated it the forward fuselage of a made up made up jet in a bigger scale; literally a cut and paste of 2 model kits in different scales is the best way to explain/visualize it.

    It seems like the designer(s) may have been going for a larger Boeing T-X merged with a smaller Lockheed F-16 for jet mode. Had the fuselage aft of the wings been extended and if the vertical stabilizers had been enlarged, the jet mode would’ve looked a lot better.
     
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  10. LoserBroadside

    LoserBroadside Your ship just came in.

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    It would be interesting to get an IP lawyer to weigh on in this, as none of us are experts. My understanding with model kits though is that it's a very different type of license to get. I don't know if this is a factor, but one significant difference is that for a Transformer you're licensing one IP for the representation of another IP; ie Hasbro would be licensing the F4 Phantom IP for their Blitzwing character IP. In the case of a model kit, the company is only representing the licensed F4 phantom IP.

    Again, I'm certainly no expert on this. But having been in the fandom for close to two decades, I've read a lot of speculation about the limitations of what Hasbro can license, and where they can apply it.
     
  11. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    Can't say I blame Hasbro for not bothering to license a jet for a third-string character from a movie that came out years ago.

    ... but the fact the final toy looks so little like an F-4 is weird. Like... frankly it is bizarre. Looks a bit like the T-38 which was a contemporary of the F-4 but... that still doesn't make much sense.
     
  12. Autoboty

    Autoboty Well-Known Member

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    When Blitzwing was first revealed, I remember being... disappointed. Most of that disappointment came from the jet mode; which was so unlike the F-4 Phantom we saw onscreen that it was like comparing a pine tree to a pineapple. I actually had no plans of getting him for myself, until I stopped by the local Toys R Us by pure chance and saw him and SS72 Starscream on the shelf. Now this was actually a rare opportunity, because Transformers toys RARELY see offline distribution where I live. So I just had to snap both of them up, and here we are. And I have to say... Blitzwing isn't perfect by any means, but he's exceeded my expectations, and he is growing on me the more I play with him.

    20210415_151918.jpg

    Robot mode is perfectly movie accurate, and nothing short of gorgeous. He has the flight mask style face sculpt that made me fall in love with the design in the first place, which is so much better than Starscream's. (I wouldn't object if this design became the standard Seeker battle mask design not just on Knightverse, but on other continuities as well.) The tips of the breathing tubes are translucent instead of silver with red bands like on the packaging render, but it works in giving him a unique and interesting look. The wings manage to form a movie-accurate silhouette with a clever transformation despite being formed from nondescript triangular wings, and the colors really help in bringing some realism to the figure. Articulation is also above average for a Studio Series figure, sporting sideways ankle joints and wrist rotation as well as butterfly joints on the wings that let them fold backwards. His head can look up very well too, unlike SS72 Starscream. The right hand can open and close for Bumblebee-choking action, which is a nice bonus.

    Accessories include two drop tanks, an arm cannon, and the voicebox-spearing spike blade. (One of the drop tanks had actually fallen loose in the packaging, and clattered around the box. All the Blitzwings, at least at that particular store, were like that.) Including the drop tanks was a nice touch, and since their tabs are 5mm port compatible one can give them to other jet Transformers, like Earthrise Starscream, if so inclined. The arm cannon integrates into the forearm well, and has lovely gunmetal paint on the barrel. The Spike Blade is in fact molded specifically to match the left-hand side as seen in the movie, but can go on both wrists on the figure since both hands can be pulled out and replaced. It's nice that Hasbro included such a small accessory that was only present for half a minute in the movie.

    20210415_153658.jpg 20210415_153259.jpg 20210415_155129.jpg 20210415_153004.jpg

    Vehicle mode is... where to start. It's a mess, plain and simple. It looks nothing like the alternate mode from the movie, and unlike TLK Nitro Zeus/KSI Boss, it doesn't even look good as its own jet. After SS59 Shatter I thought Hasbro had the art of making 'similar but legally distinct' jet modes down to an art form, so needless to say I was very disappointed. It's also a disaster kibble-wise, with the feet sticking out from the sides and the arms folded up under the wings. Even the drop tanks show their hollow side when in jet mode. But after a little while of playing with it, it's starting to grow on me. It has fold-down landing gear, an increasing rarity in Voyager class figures, and the canopy can open (although there's just Blitzwing's head inside instead of a seat). It also looks... pretty photogenic from certain angles, provided you don't look at it from below or behind. It's hardly glowing praise, and as a representation of the movie character's alt mode it fails miserably, but as a toy? It's decently okay.

    20210415_160630.jpg 20210415_160651.jpg 20210415_160709.jpg 20210415_160909.jpg

    In conclusion, Blitzwing is... okay. He's got a stunning robot mode, which is probably the mode he'll stay in on the shelf unless some third party invents a kit to completely face-lift the less than adequate jet mode, unlikely as that may be. Still, he is an enjoyable toy with some nifty transformation tricks that deserves a place alongside the other Decepticons from Bumblebee.

    20210415_164916.jpg

    To close things off, here's the obligatory pic of Blitzwing choking Bumblebee. I didn't have the Offroad Bumblebee toy that was intended for Blitzwing's opening right hand, so I used the SS18 toy instead and used a flight stand to support him.

    20210415_162224.jpg
     
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  13. Autoboty

    Autoboty Well-Known Member

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    I also posted this in SS72 Starscream's thread, but here's the comparison between Blitzwing, Starscream, and Starscream.

    20210415_180458.jpg 20210415_182418.jpg
     
  14. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Super Mod

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    There’s a way to configure it to make it resemble an ACES II ejection seat from an F-15, that’s how I configure mine(no modding). Almost seems like it’s meant to be angled that way. I’ll describe more after I check mine.
     
  15. bacems

    bacems Well-Known Member

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    So, i haven't played with my blitzwing that much, due to the chest keeps dislodging itself, despite the backpack being pushed flush, which annoys me more than it needs to be. Today i tried to fix it again, by reducing the tightnes of shoulder rotation, this time using silicon oil. Few drops of them on the mushroom slot, and boy does it work wonder. I don't even need to tab the backpack extra flush, and swinging the shoulder wildly doesn't dislodge the chest open.
    So in case anybody has the same annoyance as me, silicon oil rocks.
     
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  16. Fallout

    Fallout Well-Known Member

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    lol it really did take almost 2 and half years after the movie came out to get this guy, huh?
     
  17. bacems

    bacems Well-Known Member

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    Yea, i pretty much only got him on march.
     
  18. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    I don't think it's a rights thing at all.

    WFCE Starscream is unlicensed and is much closer to an F-15 Eagle. The rights owner for the F-15 and the F-4 designs are both ultimately Boeing AFAIK.

    My theory is that Blitzwing was probably originally designed as an Su-27. Toys generally tend to use the concept art, not final production imagery. Bumblebee is set during the Cold War, when the Su-27 was the primary air superiority fighter jet of the Soviet Union. Late on in the piece the design must have been switched to an F-4 Phantom. That's the only explanation that makes sense.
     
  19. JonzyYT

    JonzyYT Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone else have this issue with his face? It's a small error, but it really bugs me. Anyone got any ideas on how I could fix this? Screenshot 2021-07-15 1.00.41 PM.png
     
  20. HAL237

    HAL237 Star Saber Backer #1

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    What are we supposed to be looking at here?
     
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