Blaster (Transformers)

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Blaster is the name of several fictional characters in the Transformers television and comic series based on the popular toy line produced by Takara Tomy and Hasbro. Due to trademark reasons, he is sometimes called Autobot Blaster. He is an Autobot who specializes in communications.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Blaster
Blaster-marvelcomics.jpg
Blaster in Marvel Comics
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Action Masters, Communications, Voyagers
Function Communications
Rank 7
Partner Flipsides, Lumina Hoshi, Blockrock, Steeljaw, Ramhorn, Eject
Motto "When the music is rockin', I'm rollin'!"
Alternate Modes AM/FM Stereo Cassette Player
Cybertronian Sonic Tank
Cybertronian Stealth Bomber
Toshiba Satellite laptop
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Binaltech
Transformers: Universe
Transformers: Device Label
English voice actor Buster Jones[2]
Japanese voice actor Keiichi Nanba

Blaster's initial transformation is an AM/FM Stereo Cassette Player, commonly referred to as a boombox or ghettoblaster, hence the name. Blaster was a popular character from the original series while not featuring as prominently in the modern Transformers universe.[3]

As a member of the Autobot communications sub-group Blaster frequently worked with its other members - Eject, Grand Slam, Raindance, Ramhorn, Rewind and Steeljaw. He is the Autobots' answer to the evil Decepticon Soundwave.

Blaster (Tempo in France, Radiorobot in Italy, Broadcast in Japan), like the Autobot Jazz, has a great love of Earth culture, rock music and other forms of music as long as it is hard. He's normally at the forefront of any given situation. As an AM/FM stereo cassette player, he can perform as a deck, plus receive radio signals on a variety of frequencies. Acting as the Autobot communications center, he can transmit signals within a 4,000 mile radius. Blaster is sometimes depicted as carrying various tape warriors within his deck, including (Steeljaw, Ramhorn, Rewind and Eject).

Reception[edit]

According to Dan Fleming in Powerplay: toys as popular culture, Blaster represents a guardian of more primitive heroes, as well as the hidden power of technology.[4]

Blaster was voted the 5th top Transformer who was bad ass in the comics by Topless Robots.[5]

According to critics, Blaster has a "black coded" voice and name.[6]

Animated series[edit]

Blaster's first appearance was in episode 30, "Dinobot Island, Part 1" with no particular origin, simply appearing among the Autobots. Blaster frequently spoke in rhyme resembling rap music lyrics.

He had several important appearances in season 2, most notably in "Blaster Blues", where his love of rock music and transmitting it to the other Autobots meant they were unable to respond to a Decepticon attack and prevent them from stealing a powerful decoder. He redeemed himself when he was able to transmit the location of the Decepticon base despite being captured.

In the episode "Prime Target", the big game hunter Lord Chumley captures a secret Soviet jet, leading to panic and the possibility of war. Chumley then set his sights on the ultimate trophy, the head of Optimus Prime. In order to lure Optimus in, Chumley captures the Autobots Tracks, Bumblebee, Jazz, Beachcomber, Grapple, Blaster and Inferno. Windcharger and Huffer are able to avoid being trapped. When Cosmos learns of the location chumley was keeping the captured Autobots, Optimus Prime accepts Chumley's challenge to meet him alone. Although interrupted by the Decepticons Astrotrain and Blitzwing's attempt to ally the Decepticons with Chumley, Optimus defeats the big game hunter and frees the Autobots. Chumley and the stolen jet were handed over to the Soviets by the Autobots as punishment for his actions.

He also had a prominent role in "Auto-Bop", where he faces off with his Decepticon counterpart Soundwave in a sonic duel.

In The Transformers: The Movie, set in the year 2005, Blaster was assigned to Autobot City on Earth. During the invasion by Megatron's forces, Blaster was responsible for sending a distress signal to Optimus Prime on Moonbase One. Blaster's transmission is jammed by Soundwave's cassette minions to prevent him from establishing contact with the Autobot Moonbase. For the first time we also see Blaster's own cassettes named Eject, Rewind, Ramhorn, and Steeljaw. The signal is received and Optimus Prime is able to arrive with reinforcements to defeat the Decepticons. After the attack, Blaster picked up transmissions from Moonbases One and Two. He was not seen for the rest of the film.

In episode 78, Madman's Paradise, Spike and Carly host a banquet for a visiting ambassador. Daniel gets bored and wandered off. Grimlock follows him, and they fall into a lost chamber where Quintessons banished their criminals to other dimensions. They slipped through to the sorcerous other-dimensional realm of Menonia, and are tricked into fighting on the Red Wizard's side, only to find out that he is the Quintesson criminal, who overthrew the Golden One. Blaster, Ultra Magnus, Eject, Rewind, Ramhorn, and Steeljaw follow, and using Blaster's amplification, they help the Golden One defeat the Red Wizard. With the help of Perceptor, the Autobots and Daniel are returned to Cybertron.

He continued to appear throughout the third season. His last appearance in the U.S. cartoon was in episode 95, "The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2".

Blaster is destroyed in the Japanese The Transformers: Headmasters series during a fight with Soundwave (who also perished in the fight) and rebuilt two episodes later as Twincast, with a blue/white color scheme as opposed to the red/yellow previously. After a pivotal role in Operation Cassette, he featured as a regular character throughout the whole series. The Twincast toy was recently re-issued by eHobby. Aside from the blue/yellow color scheme, the Twincast toy also differs from the Blaster/Broadcast toy in that the tape compartment can hold two cassette Transformers simultaneously.

Comics[edit]

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Blaster was among the Autobot resistance during the Age of Interment, shown in the third War Within series.

In the second Generation 1 miniseries from Dreamwave Productions, Blaster is part of a resistance group led by Hot Rod. He accompanies Optimus Prime during his attack on Iacon.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Blaster was recently the subject of a Spotlight issue in 2008. The comic depicts Blaster as "The Voice", acting much like a radio DJ and bolstering Autobot morale in the war against the Decepticons. In the comic, Blaster's alternate form is a tank with a pair of large sonic cannons.

In “Spotlight: Blaster”, Blaster was badly damaged and left adrift in space, but was discovered by an alien ship who bought him back to the Autobot Command Hub under the command of Silverbolt. Having little memory of the event himself, Blaster finds that he was betrayed and nearly killed by a fellow Autobot just before his regular broadcast, in order to demoralize the Autobots just before a Decepticon attack. When the assassin tries again, Blaster eventually finds out that his attacker was Beachcomber, who was being controlled by the Decepticon Bombshell at the behest of Soundwave. Blaster manages to talk Beachcomber into resisting the control, which nearly burns out his mind. Blaster swears to get revenge on Soundwave.

Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Transformers comics Blaster originally appeared in issue #17, attempting to rescue his friend Scrounge, who was to be executed by Straxus. Blaster is captured himself and forced to watch his friend die. He is rescued by Perceptor and his Autobot group. Later, spying on Straxus' use of the Space Bridge, the Autobots decide to attack and blow it up. They discover the Space Bridge is their comrade Spanner. Blaster then battles Straxus one-on-one, seemingly destroying him. With the Space Bridge blowing itself up, Blaster has no choice but to lead his comrades (Beachcomber, Cosmos, Perceptor, Powerglide, Seaspray and Warpath) across the Bridge to Earth.[7]

Circuit Breaker leads a giant Autobot she created from parts of other Autobots against the Decepticon Battlechargers in Marvel's Transformers comics.

Their luck didn't improve as they were attacked by Megatron and his troops on arrival, only being saved when Megatron decides to attack the Autobot bases instead. Circuit Breaker, a super-powered human whose crippling in an attack by Shockwave had left her with a pathological hatred of all Transformers, then attacks and defeated them. She mounts their heads in her Rapid Anti-Robot Attack Team headquarters. After capturing the Aerialbots as well a new problem arose. The Decepticon Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck had been causing mayhem all across America. Using the parts from all the captured Autobots she creates a giant Autobot with herself in control, striking a deal with them that if they would co-operate she would let them go. Circuit Breaker then uses them to oppose the two Decepticons, who were attacking the Statue of Liberty. After defeating the Decepticons with Circuit Breaker the Autobots were released and rebuilt into their original forms.

After a brief side adventure in the UK comics, in which Blaster's group are attacked (and almost killed) by the insane future Decepticon Galvatron, Blaster and his men join up with the main Autobots on Earth. Soon after they join, Optimus Prime dies. Blaster delivers the eulogy at his funeral.

In issue #27, "King of the Hill!", Perceptor summons his fellow Autobots Blaster, Hot Spot, Jetfire, Omega Supreme, Ratchet and Silverbolt in order to decide who should take leadership of the Autobots. After an attack by the giant Decepticon Trypticon, Grimlock is chosen to lead them.

Blaster would soon regret this. After a mission where their cover had been blown by the Mechanic, a human, he and Goldbug, appalled by Grimlock's willingness to sacrifice humans to achieve their goals, desert. They also ran because they fear Grimlock's anger.

They had more adventures; facing the Decepticon Triple Changers and a plague of Scraplets, as well as facing off with a Decepticon strike force sent to destroy Galvatron and Ultra Magnus. Blaster (himself getting more callous) is robbed of his ally when Goldbug and the Throttlebots are betrayed by humans and captured by RAAT. He is subsequently attacked by both the Combaticons and the Protectobots, who had been sent by Grimlock to arrest him. The two combiner teams battled, with Bruticus beating Defensor. With aid from some human children Blaster takes out the giant Decepticon. As a reward, he locks Blast Off into his Decepticon shuttle mode and took them into space. There, they are attacked by Grimlock and the Ark. Surrendering to save their lives, Blaster discovers he was not alone in his discontent, especially after Grimlock had tried to have the kids executed.

Events came to a head when Fortress Maximus's group of Autobots link up with Grimlock's group, informing him that many of their group's number had been empowered by linking themselves with humans via the Headmaster and Targetmaster processes. Grimlock is not pleased, and it was quickly realized he had to be defeated. A recently rebuilt and imprisoned Goldbug convinces Blaster to fight in Maximus' place. In the midst of their duel, Ratbat's Decepticons attacked, and the two put aside their differences to lead the Autobots to a partial victory. During the conflict, Maximus sent a unit of his troops back to Nebulos so that Prime will be resurrected via the Powermaster process. Prime soon returns and retakes command, sending Blaster to investigate the Decepticon island resort Club Con, seemingly run by Buster Witwicky. Accompanying Buster's girlfriend Jessie, he soon had his cover blown by the Seacons and was forced to flee.

Blaster encounters time-traveling Autobots who intended to deal with Galvatron, a plot detailed in the UK comics. This encounter results in Blaster being displaced to an alternate limbo realm.

He is soon freed, only to be deactivated by the Underbase powered Starscream.

Blaster was seen among the Autobots being repaired on the Ark when Optimus Prime sent Landmine and Cloudburst on their mission to obtain computer chips to repair fellow Autobots in issue #52, "Guess Who The Mechannibals Are Having For Dinner?".[8][9] Despite rescuing Sky Lynx, the two Autobots' mission ended in failure, when the pair realized the Mechannibals came by their computer chips by recycling them from other robots they ate.

Blaster's body was seen among the deactivated Autobots Ratchet is doing his best to revive in Transformers #56, "Back from the Dead".

This was not the end for Blaster; he is one of the Autobots revived by Nucleon by Grimlock and the other Dinobots. Returning to Cybertron, he battles against the coming of Unicron. After the betrayal of the Decepticons, the Autobots follow them to the planet Klo, where they were ambushed. Blaster is one of the few survivors. Then he is badly damaged by Quake's tank mode while Prowl berates Grimlock for inept strategy. He still makes the final battle along with Grimlock, Prowl and a few others. He was present when Optimus Prime returned with the Last Autobot and routed the Decepticon forces.

The future Blaster from the Movie continuity would also appear in the UK comics, as one of the crew of Autobot city. Arcee's unintentional dereliction of duty allows a Quintesson sneak attack to catch the city unawares, and Blaster appears to get killed trying to radio for help. His body was later strung up by the Quintessons as a taunting gesture to the other Autobots. However, he helps his comrades from "beyond the grave", allowing his cassettes Steeljaw, Eject and Ramhorn to assist in taking back the city.

It later transpires that depictions of Blaster's "death" had been greatly exaggerated; he shows up, alive and well, in the prologue to the Time Wars saga, set months after the Quintesson attack on Autobot City.

TFcon comics[edit]

Blaster appeared in the TFcon 2008 voice play "Primitive Recall."[10]

Toys[edit]

  • Generation 1 Blaster (1985)
The toy that was to become the Autobot Blaster was originally released as part of the Micro Change subset of the Japanese Microman series. He was later released in 1985 by Hasbro in the U.S.[11]
  • Generation 1 Kabaya Gum Broadcast (1985)
Part of the original gum toy series by Kabaya. Each package comes with a stick of chewing gum and an easy-to-assemble kit. The completed robot looks and transforms almost the same as the larger, original Takara version, but lacks the original's eject mechanism and yellow paint applications.[12]
  • Generation 1 Twincast (1987)
A remold of Blaster available only in Japan. Blue in color and could hold 2 cassettes at once.
Action Master Blaster toy
  • Generation 1 Action Master Blaster (1990)
Came with a back pack and weapon.
  • Binaltech Asterisk Broadblast with Lumina Hoshi (2005)
In 2005, Takara launched a sub-line from the Binaltech series, called Binaltech Asterisk, which paired Binaltech characters with female co-pilots. The third figure in the line is called Broadblast. He is paired with news reporter Lumina Hoshi. Broadblast is a silver repaint of Binaltech Skids, and does not have an equivalent in the Alternators line. Like Binaltech Skids, Broadblast is unusual among the Alternators/Binaltech toys, as he comes with a set of stickers which can be applied by the purchaser. The sticker set is similar to that supplied with Skids, but does not include Skids' characteristic red stripe stickers.[13]
  • Generation 1 Reissue Twincast with Flipsides
An ehobby exclusive. Shipped with the new cassette partner Flipsides.
  • Universe Classic Series Voyager Autobot Blaster with Blockrock (2008)
A redeco of Cybertron Soundwave was first displayed at the 2008 New York Toy Fair.[14]
  • Smallest Transformers Blaster (2010)
An unlicensed figure produced by Justitoys recreates Blaster in the style of the Smallest Transformers line. A blue/yellow redeco was later released to represent Twincast.[15]
A poseable Blaster figure that transforms into a Toshiba Satellite laptop that also doubles as a working 4-port USB hub. In robot mode, his chest can fit any of the Generation 1 cassette robots.
  • Universe Generation 1 Series Autobot Blaster with Steeljaw, Ramhorn and Eject (2010)
A San Diego Comic-Con International exclusive reissue of the original figure with cassettes Steeljaw, Ramhorn and Eject.[19][20]


Transformers: Universe[edit]

A new version of Blaster was introduced in the Transformers: Universe toyline.

Toys[edit]

  • Autobot Blasters
A recolor of Transformers: Cybertron Soundwave with a recolored Laserbeak identified as "Blockrock."

Shattered Glass[edit]

Blaster
Blaster-sg.jpg
Shattered Glass Blaster
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Communications
Alternate Modes AM/FM Stereo Cassette Player

This Blaster is an evil mirror universe version of the Generation 1 character. He is evil, sadistic and speaks with a thick German accent.

Fun Publications[edit]

Blaster is one of the many Autobots aboard the Ark in Do Over by Fun Publications. The Ark launches from Cybertron for Earth under the command of Rodimus and is followed by the Decepticon ship Nemesis, under the command of Starscream. While battling over Earth it is shot down by human defense systems.[21]

Blaster is spotlighted in the story Blitzwing Bop where he is one of two Autobots who were not affected by a radio disruption broadcast by the Decepticon Blitzwing. Sent to recover Blitzwing, he plans to send the Decepticon to Cybertron on the Stellar Spanner with an amplifier which will destroy everyone on the planet, including Blitzwing! He is stopped by Soundwave and Thunderwing and thrown in to the Spanner, which ends up placing him on Earth's moon.

Toys[edit]

  • ehobby Shattered Glass Soundwave vs. Blaster (2013)
An ehobby exclusive includes recolors of the Generation 1 toys Soundblaster, Ratbat, Slugfest, Twincast, Rewind and Ramhorn in Shattered Glass colors.[22]


Transformers Prime[edit]

Autobot
Information
Sub-group Communications
Partner Bumblebee, Bulkhead
Series Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Voiced by Chris O'Dowd

Books[edit]

Blaster appears in the novel Transformers: Retribution as part of the crew of the Ark.

Toys[edit]

  • Generations Fall of Cybertron Blaster with Steeljaw (Sunder, Eject, Rewind, and Ramhorn sold separately) (2013)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jim Sorenson & Bill Forster (July 22, 2008). Transformers: The Ark II. IDW Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-60010-180-9. 
  2. ^ The animated movie guide, Page 289 by Jerry Beck, 2005
  3. ^ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 30. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  4. ^ Powerplay: toys as popular culture By Dan Fleming
  5. ^ 10 Transformers That Were Only Badass in the Comics By Rob Bricken, Apr. 14 2009 By Kevin J. Guhl
  6. ^ Saturday morning censors: television regulation before the V-chip By Heather Hendershot
  7. ^ The Official Overstreet Comic Book Companion, 11th Edition, Page 257 by Robert M. Overstreet, 2010
  8. ^ Seibertron.com
  9. ^ "Transformers" #52 (May 1st, 1989)
  10. ^ "Part 1 - TFCon2008 Voice Actor Script Reading". YouTube. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  11. ^ Blaster (1985) - Autobot Communications - www.tfu.info
  12. ^ TFW2005.com - Kabaya Gum Broadcast
  13. ^ Awesome Transformers Toys, News & Reviews - TFormers.com
  14. ^ [Ny Toy Fair Preview] Transformers Universe Classics : News
  15. ^ Allspark.com - Smallest Transformers Blaster
  16. ^ TFW2005.com - Device Label Broadcast
  17. ^ TFW2005.com - In-Hand Look at Device Label Blaster
  18. ^ TFW2005.com - Image Gallery of Takara Tomy Device Label Broad Blast/Blaster
  19. ^ San Diego Comicon Exclusives, Toy Review magazine issue #213, Fall 2010, page 23
  20. ^ "Hasbro's New Transformers for 2008". Mania.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  21. ^ S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2009). Do Over. Illustrator Yuki Oshima. Fun Publications. 
  22. ^ http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/conventions-15/e-hobby-tfcc-shattered-glass-blaster-vs-soundwave-set-toy-image-175850/