Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tenkai Knights: Blastank and War Stallion - Rival metal bands, or new toys?

The Tenkai Knights train chugs on with a look at one of the two big sets in the series: The Blastank/War Stallion!  Both of them.  In one box.  TONIGHT AT THE SILVERDOOOME!!

Well okay, so perhaps they're not at the Silverdome.  Perhaps they're on a table covered with a brown sheet, I dunno.

So this was one I wasn't planning on buying.  Just not big on the looks of the horse, but when I originally saw the package in the store, I only gave it a cursory glance.  There's some important info I missed!  One thing is that this is two sets in one - kinda like the Transformer Kre-O sets where you have to take it apart to build the other one.  So you gotta buy two sets to have both simultaneously.  The other thing I missed was this:

That guy Dromus, there?  That's an evil version of the hero Bravenwolf!  I love evil versions of the hero!  That alone might have sold the set to me.  Also I like that Leinad guy.  He doesn't seem to be part of the Tenkai crew, but he's still one of the good guys.  The single version of him comes with a different weapon, but I'm not complaining about the guns! 

Anyway, the back shows how you can build either the Blastank or the War Stallion.  The Tenkai Knights website states that the Blastank is the normal look for this thing, and that the Dromus fellow uses his evil mojo to transform the tank into the horse!  So while I don't usually like the dual sets where you have to take the apart to build the other, I DO like that it's sorta worked into the story!  Dromus can show up and decimate the tank, then reform it into the War Stallion with EEEVIL!

Now before we move on from the package, I wana point out something in the corner there.

This is something they don't show in their product listings yet.  I like the looks of it!  Perhaps more than the horse.  Just wanted to point it out!

So, lets crack it open and play with the insides.

Nothing mind blowing, but a nice assortment of OH MAN WHAT'S THAT....

MMMMM translucent red chains!  I've always loved the chains in Lego sets (no idea why) and these things got me excited.  It's like energy chains! 

But yeah, like I said: It's a nice assortment of parts!  There's plenty of items that definitely make this a Lego-like building set, but also enough unique items that say: "This isn't Lego!"

And what says that more than transforming bricks?

A red brick and a black brick!  I'ma start with the black brick: Dromus!  I can't seem to find information on him beyond just being an evil guy.  No idea why he looks like the hero - whether he's a corrupted Bravenwolf or just a whole other guy named Dromus that looks like Bravenwolf.

Pretty much the same thing!  Just...a very focused face on Dromus. 


Dromus comes with the same accessories (minus a gun) but with a blue sword and cape.  Also his sword is translucent, like I was hoping Bravenwolf's would be.  Strangely enough, his gun is not, though Bravenwolf's was. 

In case the pictures didn't point it out: I like this guy!  Totally would have bought this set for him.  I'm a sucker for the standard black repaint of the hero, sue me. 

The other guy is Leinad, and he's constantly worried about something.  Perhaps his anatomy and how it folds into a brick.  He comes in a single pack, though I haven't seen it yet.  He also comes in one of the three packs!

An odd thing a friend noticed was that the heads of the figures he bought wouldn't turn!  All mine so far would turn and could be removed.  Now when I got to this set, I had a tough time with Dromus, but I got it to move.  Leinad just...doesn't move.  I took some pliers to his head, but each time I turn the thing it seemed like it was twisting the whole neck!

I bought some more three packs recently and they all have the same deal!  Everyone except for my original three pack that I covered.  So I don't know what's going on there!  Are the heads glued on?  Was the first three pack I got a fluke?

...but in the long run, it doesn't matter much.  The heads don't need to turn, though it would be cool for customization purposes.  I mean, you could pop arms and legs off if you wanted to mix and match a figure to your liking, but apparently many of the heads might not be able to move.  C'est la vie!

Since we're on heads: here's his helmet!  I like it!  Very Boba Fett or Vile from Mega Man X.  I've always liked the T visor look.  His mouth is kinda visible at the bottom, but you can't see it from most angles.  This guy doesn't get a cape, perhaps because he's not part of the main hero crew.  I think?

As you could see from the front of the box: He comes with BIG 'OL GUNS.  I have a feeling these are supposed to be mounted cannons, but Leinad is such a tough-bro that he picks those suckers up and kicks down doors.  Then he sets the doors back up again and shoots 'em in.

Now Leinad's helmet has little circular divots on the side of it that allows for the usual pegs.  Like on the guns!

Or those chains I was ogling earlier.

Fantastic!  I'm sure everyone will want to do this.

...maybe we should move on to the main part of the set.

You've got separate directions for each build.  Here we have the WAR STALLION BWWWAAAWWW!!

We start, naturally, with another brick! 

The end result of the brick transformation is a horse-shaped monster!  There was already a lot of options for customization with the Titan bricks, but...ho man, this thing has so many building surfaces!  Build your own head, legs, and throw things on the back, or separate the back parts to make wings - SO MANY OPTIONS! 

Too many in fact, so I didn't go crazy with the customization here.

I did try out the Titans on the horse, though! They kinda match up in size!

And of course it's a big 'ol horse monster for the little guys. 

Now this isn't the end of new transforming bricks for this set.

What's this one turn into?  We've had gatling bricks, sword bricks, shield bricks...

It's a missile launching cannon brick!  Of course it is!  Have I mentioned how I love these freakin' things?  Bricks turnin' into everything up in here!  If I don't get a brick that turns into a guitar at some point, I'm gona be disappointed.

Now lets move on to how all this comes together---

---ah, I'm sorry.  I threw some things on it anyway. 

Now that's what I call HORSEPOWER! 

But seriously, the first thing on my mind was a horse with a gatling gun for a head.

OKAYOKAY lets build this thing!

First things first: if you wana have a flat back on this thing, you need these little pieces in there to stabilize the back.  Otherwise those pieces just move around on those ball joints.

Next, they add some bulk to the horse by attaching bricks to the bottom.  Gives it a bit more of that barrel horse chest, you know?  Thought that was clever.

Now here's something I forgot while building: it asks for stickers, but I didn't find them like I did with the other sets!  Where were the stickers?

Ah ha!  In side the directions.  Keep that in mind, folks.  It's a good way to keep them from getting bent, though.

And oh...hey, it's that warning again...

..tellin' me what to do...


Alright alright, fine!  Have it your way, toys!  No stickers on my skin.  It also made the review a little quicker without having to run to the hospital this time.

Well anyway, when you're finished: that's what you're left with!  It's one of those sets where you're going to want to keep those parts separate if you wana go back and forth with the different forms.

It's a majestic beast of war and leisure!  War because...well, cannons - and leisure because there's a nice roof over the control seat to protect you while you sip your brandy and lay waste to the surrounding landscape.

I like the horse more than I thought I would!  Only problem is the same problem with any ball-joint based system of joints: They get kinda weak under stress.  Even awesome toylines like Xevos are not immune to plastic-on-plastic joints eventually wearing out.  These aren't worn yet, of course, but the weight of the build on top of the horse makes the legs kinda weak, and you have to find a good stance for him.  It's not bad, but like I said: eventually those joints will wear out! 

In the end I found 'em fun, but it might be more fun to stomp around if you reinforced the legs.  It's possible, since the whole sides of his legs are building surfaces!

Now, lets shake off all those parts and build the tank!

And when I say "shake" I mean, of course, destroy your fingers by prying all the pieces off!

I suggest getting one of these from Lego:

Seriously, get one of these babies and you'll never pry again.

On to the Blastank!  According to the website, this is the good guy's machine until the bad guys take it over and transform it into the War Stallion.  The good guys...they got some freakin' MUSCLE. 

Now the only thing I want to mention about the building process is where the horse goes in all this.

Right there!  On that line of black bricks.

That's it!  The horse is mostly brick with only the front legs sorta thrown forward with some extra bricks in the front.  Honestly, if you wanted the horse and the tank separate: I imagine you could replace the horse with a similarly built jumble of normal bricks.  You need the bulk there, but it doesn't need to be a special transforming brick, if you put your mind to it.

Now here's what you have left over when the tank is done.  Not as much leftover parts as with the War Stallion. 

I also noticed that the tank doesn't come out like the picture on the box and on the front of the directions:

The guns are folded, like this, with the shields on top:

Also it looks like there are some other differences; not that it matters.  I like how they have you build it better than how it looks on the box.  The long cannons say "TANK" to me more than the short ones (though I like the shields on top). 

The front part is the cockpit, as you'd expect.

It opens up, and you pop Leinad inside!

And, since a warrior needs to have his guns at his side:

I just popped 'em in the nearest convenient holes next to the cockpit.  The whole setup is nice 'n solid, and the cockpit stays clipped shut while moving it around.  Speaking of moving: there are no wheels on the treads, but it slides REAL nice on carpet!  You can almost get some distance with 'em when you push it. 

That's it!  I like this set 'cause the toys are fun!  The horse is really cool lookin' and really looks imposing.  The tank is also rough-n-tumble and has a fierce look to it.  You don't wana mess with either ride!  My only problems are with the sorta weak legs on the horse, and the fact that I'm not a huge fan of having to tear apart and rebuild an item into something else.  Perhaps that's just my lazy adult brain, though.  I think there could be fun in having a reason to constantly rebuild, for a kid.  Me, though?  If I liked it enough, I'd probably just buy two sets!  It's not like you couldn't find use for extra parts. 

So while this isn't my favorite thing in the line; I can say it's certainly a good choice this coming Christmas if you wana chose a small set and a large set from Tenkai Knights.  I'd say others agree, since I went to TRU to buy this for my nephew and they were ALL OUT.  All they had were three packs and the big dropship (not even a Titan to be found)!  So while it might not be my favorite, it's still cool and comes with a neat extra in Dromus.  Give it a shot, whether you're a child or an adult.  Or a child-like adult. 


  1. I hope they have Big brick to Dinosaurs in the works.

    1. They make a T-Rex brick and I'ma scream like a guitar.

  2. grayskull grayskull grayskull

    Oh, uh, heh, sorry. Had a little thing in my throat there.

    Anyway, I get a nice White Base vibe from the tank mode up there. Seems like it would be easy enough to build a bridge-like extension to seal the deal.

    1. Bah, this is what happens when there is too much time between when I take the pictures and when I write the review! I totally meant to say something about how the similarity to White Base makes me smile. It's probably one of the main reasons why I like the tank better! Would be cool if I could manage the extension like you said, but fit the figure-bricks in there so they can launch out and transform mid-flight.

      Anyway: GET THAT GRAYSKULL OUT OF YOUR THROAT! It's mysterious and powerful! You don't know where it's been!

      But yeah, I'm workin' on the first post now! We'll be taking a tour of the old vineyard, with a bottle of Grayskull vintage '82. It has a musty bouquet and is missing some essential flavors, but it still have some of that... je ne sais quoi, that keeps it fresh after all these years. Simply divine!

    2. "This wine glass is just a sticker...?"

  3. "Let's crack this open and play with insides". That is exactly what the doctor said at the start of my last colonoscopy...

    *herm*, anyway... I think I'll jump on the tank-over-horse bandwagon. The horse is cool enough, but why have a horse when you can have a tank? Seriously. If the bad guys turned the heroes horse into a tank it would feel a lot more "evil", ya know? Plus I love that retro "future-as-seen-in-80's" look of the tank.

    And evil versions of heroes are always cool, but I'm liking Leinad a lot! That's a cool looking figure!

    Top drawer review, eh wot!

    1. Man, how did that doctor manage the colonoscopy with you strangling him, then? Or is that not the accepted response to a doctor saying that?

      Anyway: I hadn't thought of that, somehow! Why do the badguys turn a tank into a horse? Seems like it would be the other way around! The goodguys must be badass!

      But yeah, Leinad is pretty cool! I believe he's in a three pack as well, with a cool red knife-gun-thing.

  4. I've literally been refreshing your page every few hours to see if you've written about Grayskull yet.

    1. Pics for the Vintage castle post are taken! I'm workin' on captioning them and resizing them now. Patience, you! But I can send help. I won't say what or how. You'll know it when you see it.

  5. She's a brick...HORSE!!

    I couldn't resist.