Transformers Windblade

        I was actively avoiding even looking at upcoming Transformers when I started hearing a massive amount of whining about this "fan-designed" Windblade.  While her physical presence was ultimately decided by her official designer (Lenny Panzica), fans were allowed to vote for pretty much everything else.  And still there was an exceptional lot of whining on the internet.  (I've never known a fandom to be anywhere near as angry about being pandered to as the Transformers fandom.  And I was witness to reactions of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.)
        Don't get me wrong, I really liked her design.  A female black and red jet with a Japanese motif?  Sign me up!  Sure she's an Autobot, but... well, no one's perfect.  The series of four comics leading up to her release were also pretty impressive.

        And she comes with a comic!  Not with more Sarah Stone art, but not bad by any stretch.  I kinda wish they'd stop reminding me that Transformers were 30 years old, though.  I feel old enough, guys.  Anyway, impressive display.  Did I bother with the back?  Of course not.  She obviously needed to get out.

        Much better.  Immediate note for the future, Hasbro: maybe you don't want your parts number and copyright info to be quite so blatantly obvious immediately.  Just a suggestion.  Though a minor one.
        I'll admit, after becoming used to the comic/Sarah Stone version of the character, this face just looks a bit too stoic and intense.  Then again it's definitely a bit of "aged and experienced (and embittered)" Windblade, so no real complaints.  She looks amazing, and while her fingers aren't articulated, they do look amazing.  As is her general articulation, I have to say; this was a figure made for posing and moving, which I appreciate.  Some of the older Transformers... weren't.  At all.

        Moving on to the sword!  Yes, it's a working sheath!  And a purple sword!  Because, well.  Why not.  She can hold it with both hands!  Or one hand!  Or the sheath can rest on her hip!  You have no idea how rare this still is in toys, let along Transformers, so dammit I'm excited about it.  It's also very cool.

        Absolutely no fair: her jet mode is obscuring an ass shot.  Ah well.  You do get a nice view of the fan on the back of her head...

        Which comes off and can be another weapon.  It was a very nice touch that I've heard complimented many times over.  So the whole Transformer fandom isn't made of ungrateful whiners.  That's reassuring.  Kinda.
        Despite the fact that she has slightly odd knees, they don't piss me off.  Only Revoltech Wolfwood has that distinction.  The man needs a trophy.

        Jet mode!  Yes, I am another one of those fans of the Transformer jets.  I don't know why, I just am.  Of course this design is certainly a far cry from the old G1 designs, but that's not a negative trait.  And while I have heard it said that it looks like a jet plane with high heels strapped to it............... okay yeah it kinda does.  Still.  I really like the look.

        The fans tilt, as well.  And spin!  Because moving parts, dude.  Though it must be said that the fact there's just open air between the legs-that-aren't-legs-anymore is just a touch jarring from certain angles.  I mean... she is supposed to be a jet.  That flies.  I'm not sure this one would.  Again, that's what I would consider a very minor complaint.
        Unfortunately, there is a much larger complaint here.  I had a lot of trouble transforming her in the last couple of stages.  I assumed that maybe the instructions were just mocking me again, but some parts just didn't fit right, tabs wouldn't slide into slots with any ease and certain things just refused to fit together as they should.  Well.

        Obvious misalignment is obvious.  This isn't too surprising; she's an all-plastic figure.  A lot can go wrong in the manufacturing process, and... did, with this particular Windblade.  I'm lead to believe that a hair dryer and a lot of care and patience will let me heat the plastic just enough to align it all properly, and I don't mind doing that.  But I wish I didn't have to, and while I shouldn't have to... that is the nature of mass-manufactured plastic toys.  I can deal, in this case.

        Though, this is supposed to be where her sheathed sword goes while in jet mode.  I'm... not sure that makes sense, either.  I know, Transformers.  But.