Review - Combiner Wars Blackjack and Brake-Neck
Brake Neck, who shall going forward be referred to as Wildrider, is the exact same toy as Dead End who I have already reviewed. Aside from the new head and deco change there is no difference between the two and as such I won’t be going in to too much depth on Wildrider other than his deco changes. Blackjack, I’ll talk about as much as anyone can really talk about a legends class fig. Let’s consider this a Blackjack review with a few bonus goodies thrown in.
Blackjack turns into a small black and purple sports car with gold windows. He looks sleek and speedy, though, given his size it’s hard to really feel anything substantial when looking at him. His rims and wheels are solid black plastic and he has some basic gold and purple detailing including a nice purple stripe running down the side. The paint applications on my copy are crisp and without any bleeding, spill over, or missed applications.
Wildrider has an identical vehicle mode to Dead End; a pseudo Ferrari inspired sports car. The paint applications are clean and the use of grey and silver to break up the hood panel look great. His Decepticon logo is applied off center similar to Dead End and it is crisp and clean. The red panels on the sides and windows look great however he is plagued by the same piece of presumably unpaintable plastic that breaks up the clean deco on the doors. Just like Dead End and even Streetwise the rear of the vehicle is barren of any paint or deco applications aside from some black plastic showing through. He has silver painted rims and black tires just like the rest of the CW Stunticons.
Blackjack transforms into a mini Battlecharger! The design is exactly the same in my eyes as Runamuck and Runabout! In fact in Japan Takara actually redid this little guy as both of them! He looks slick in this color scheme and he’s got a good range of posablity for a small legends scale car bot. Ball jointed hips, knees, elbows and shoulders give him as much range as you could possible expect out of a bot his size all he’s really missing is a waist joint. In my opinion this is one of the best official Legends class figures in recent years. His head can look left and right and his faceplate and visor are painted in a gorgeous metallic gold and bright blue that are applied cleanly without any flaws on mine.
Wildrider’s robot mode carries over the same aesthetic differences to Dead End as his vehicle mode did. Pretty much everything on Dead End that was grey is now Red, and everything that was Maroon is now Grey. The new head is fantastic and really does a great job of selling this as a separate character despite everything else being identical. The face sculpt is incredibly human-like and he has a huge frown spread across his face. With beady little eyes and a blocky nose his face combined with his goofy Shrek ears gives me the impression of a bull inhabiting a human body. He just looks angry and confused and I don’t want to be in his way. He still has inexplicably ratchet jointed wrists that are incredibly tight when folding out the fists but he does hold his weapons a bit tighter than Dead End.
Blackjack only comes with one accessory, a purple axe that can double as a spoiler in vehicle mode. Despite many speculations before release, that this would become a part of Menasor’s sword, the only other purpose is to mount on the top of Blackjack while he is being used as a chest plate for Menasor. While not an official use, you can also clip the axe in to Blackjack’s arm and it can be used as a makeshift blaster weapon as the tip does contain a sort of cannon designed sculpt.
Wildrider comes with the exact same accessories as Dead End. One exhaust pipe that can be pegged in to the side of the vehicle mode, or can be used as a bludgeoning weapon in robot mode. It can also be used as a blaster though the barrel is curved upwards like some sort of Wiley Coyote cartoon shotgun so I don’t suspect that’s much use to anyone. A bonus of now having a second exhaust pipe is that you can now equip either Dead End or Wildrider with 2 exhaust pipes, and you can use them to add some sweet stacks to Menasor in combined mode. Wildrider’s combiner weapon is the same dual, triple barreled blaster/pile-driver weapon that Dead End came with.
The addition of Blackjack to Menasor’s chest certainly helps him to look a little more like his traditional G1 design. The pegs that he slides onto are tapered and unfortunately he does not clip on solidly without modifying the pegs on Motormaster. He will stay on for display but if you are messing with Menasor, Blackjack will fall off. Personally I think I prefer the look of Menasor with the closed chest but for those looking to emulate the roller shield from the original, Blackjack certainly plays the part. There are numerous fan modes for Blackjack as well that can allow him to hold on to Menasor tighter and also fill out the torso a little more. I ended up going with the Perfect Effect upgrade kit for my Menasor and I keep Blackjack to the side. I find he’s such a fun little legends toy that I don’t want to waste him by making him into chest armor. I want a small army of Blackjacks!
Not to sound like a broken record here… but Wildrider is yet again the same as Dead End. He forms the same arm mode and the same leg mode just with a different color scheme. I bought him to complete the G1 Stunticon team but I’ll be honest I actually prefer the look of Off Road as the leg. His truck mode hood forms a nice knee armor and hides the combination port without any finicky fan-moding. He’s great if you absolutely have to have the G1 configuration, but I don’t think he’s essential if you already have Off Road. The ability to add twin exhaust stacks to Menasor is pretty cool, but I don’t know that I would recommend spending $25+ just to do that.
Blackjack is an awesome legends toy with plenty of play value, a great transformation and he’s fun to mess with. Wildrider is Dead End in a cherry and grey colorway and to be honest Dead End is the best of the Stunticon molds so if you have to have a duplicate toy, at least it’s a duplicate of the strongest one in my opinion. Both are excellent additions to your Combiner Wars Stunticon team but I wouldn’t recommend overpaying for either if you can avoid it.
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