Yay, Windblade is here! I've been needing her toy in my life for some time -- though admittedly, it's not because of her toy specifically, but who her character is and what she represents. Many of her attributes were chosen through fandom voting, such as her red and black color scheme, her altmode, her weapon, and, of course, her gender. It's the winning gender option that set a lot of weirdos off, which, as my comic strip had noted previously, it's not like anyone was mad that "male" was an option. But "female" won, and so here we are. Viva democracy!
Her character is also important to me. So often Transformers characters are defined by how badass or snarky they are, but Windblade's strength is in her empathy. Optimus Prime may often make speeches about how peace and harmony are important while simultaneously beating someone's face in, but Windblade's compassion is presented as an actual important skillset. Sure, she's good enough with a sword (and getting better with training), but the care in which she interacts with other people wins her more battles. She easily could have been another aloof loner rebel warrior whatzit, but no.
And so Windblade's toy, the result of a Thirtieth Anniversary Hasbro website poll, has had some equal care taken with it. In a world of increasingly budget-strained decisions in the action figure industry, Windblade is obviously a case of some extra mile being taken. In addition to the base figure, which transforms from a robot to a VTOL jet, she also comes with her sword, the blade of which fades from translucent purple into translucent clear. The sword stows in a scabbard which can be held or pegged in numerous ways -- there's a 5mm port on one end, a grip for her hand on the other, and a notch that can lock into a slot on either of her hips. The fan can be removed from behind her head and be held in her hand as a weapon. Her VTOL jets can be rotated forward, plus they spin. As with recent Transformers toys, there's a plughole under her nosecone (which relocates to her robot mode back) that is compatible with some action figure stands.
There are a few negatives -- for example, she's not easy to stand. Due to her wings, she's a little backheavy, and so her tiny footprint is sometimes not sufficient, and the way her heels like to easily fold back up into her legs doesn't help either. She can be stood if you're patient, but you can't just plop her down on a desk when you're done swooshing her around.
Her jet mode also has a few holes in it. The top of the jet is obviously a pair of shins, and there's an open gap between these two parts that looks kinda bad. And because the toy had so much work put into it, she's a little fiddly. She's got a lot of joints and hinges packed into her. Things plug in fairly well in both modes, but there may be some times that stuff moves when you're trying to move other stuff.
Windblade hasn't really hit North American retail yet (I got mine from Big Bad Toy Store), but when she does, I think she's worth taking a look at. She's important for many reasons and her toy does some neat stuff.