Monday, June 3, 2013


Box art from Botch the Crab

My parents used to have a habit of shopping for electronics whenever they would get their tax refunds or bonuses.  And I'll tell you something, there is nothing as boring when you're a ten or eleven year old kid like being dragged to an electronics store so your dad can check out car stereos or stereo components for hours at a time.  To combat that innate boredom, my parents would first take us to the toy store to get something to keep us occupied.  In 1988, this is how I fell in love with Pretenders when I got my first Pretender - Bomb-Burst.

Just look at the picture up there.  As an eleven year old kid, I saw that and was hooked!  Two figures for the price of one? Sold!  Bomb-Burst looks extra menacing!  To seal the deal, I turned the box around and saw this:

Box art from Botch the Crab

Will you just look at that?  How could anyone see that and not want to get a Pretender?  They just seem to shoot out of the shell!

This is how I've always pictured him:

I just love Bomb-Burst.  When playing, Bomb-Burst would almost always ambush an Autobot and drain it's energon.  Sadly, one day one of the pegs that holds the lasers onto the inner robot's arms broke, thus altering his look.  I was still able to use him, he just wasn't complete.  The worst part was that his happened in 1990, so I wasn't able to just go to the store to get a new Bomb-Burst.

In 1992, my father retired from the Navy and we moved from Virgina to Alabama and my Transformers were packed up and placed in the attic of the new house.  I had guitar playing and girls to think about, not toys.  Well, comics, too.  I got back into collecting Transformers again around 2000 or 2001, but never dug anything out of my parents' attic.  I'd just get the occasional eBay purchase, reissue or new figure from RiD or the Binaltech/Alternator lines.  I finally got what I could find in the attic out around 2005 and found my Bomb-Burst.  Well, most of him.  I found shell, belt, axe, inner robot and the lasers, including the broken one.  What I was missing were the shoulder pads.  Incomplete figure alert!

For some reason, I waited 8 years to begin a search for a new laser and the shoulder pads.  Maybe I was just taken by adding to the collection, I don't know.  Once I decided to complete Bomb-Burst, the search only took a week.  I found one auction for the set of lasers and a second auction for the shoulder pads.  I was excited to actually find an auction on eBay since it seems most Transformers and their accessories appear as "Buy it Now".

Now that he's complete, let's do a proper review.

We'll take a look at the inner robot first:

It's kind of dynamic

The first thing that stands out about Bomb-Burst is the color. His body and feet are light blue while his limbs are gray. It's a combination that works really well together. Bomb-Burst's dual lasers are also cast in a light blue plastic.  There isn't any articulation in his arms, other than moving up and down at the shoulders, but he does have limited knee articulation and his head turns.  Because of his transformation scheme, you can fold his arms in a little for semi-dynamic posing.

Let us examine his vehicle mode now:

Bomb-Burst transforms into a jet of Cybertronian origin and features Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) engines.  His dual lasers form the wings.  I really love this mode.  I've always been fascinated with VTOL jets and as a kid, I'd just play with him taking off and landing.  Since this is a figure I've owned since childhood, there is a minor flaw with the figure at the fin that folds out of the back of Bomb-Burst's head.

That's how you know he's old!

Now on to the shell:

Placing the inner robot into the Pretender shell is pretty much standard: you fold the arms in and place it in the shell.  Simple, yes?

As far as the aesthetics of the shell go, Bomb-Burst just looks evil.  If I remember correctly, the entire premise of the Pretenders was so they could blend in better.  What better way to blend in than as a giant bat monster?  Plausabilities aside, and really these are giant robots we're talking about anyway, Bomb-Burst oozes 1980's toy engineering perfection.  The shell has the most limited of articulation.  It's arms move up and down, and that's it.  But really, it's the details that bring out the best of this figure.

Just look at that face!  The open mouth, full of fangs, and that sinister smile let you know that Bomb-Burst is up to no good.  I really think that the shell was designed by Takara.  He just looks like he jumped out of some sinister manga.  I wanted his to have a neck as a kid, but I'm quite happy with how he looks.

Look at that claw.  Again, showing what a monster he is.  Should he lose his weapons, Bomb-Burst could still rip any Autobot apart with his bare hands.

Wondering how Bomb-Burst gets around while in his shell?  Well, he has a jet pack built in!  Surely you can't expect a giant robot in a synthetic vampire shell to just walk around?

It's amazing how getting a few accessories to complete Bomb-Burst really reignited my love for him.  I've always loved the Pretenders, and Bomb-Burst just confirms that love.  Now I need to get more, after I score a few other figures, of course.


  1. Love it! I prefer his Japanese name (blood)over Bomb-Burst...just seems more fitting.

    1. I do love the name Blood as well, but I can see why Hasbro elected to go with a different name.