Review by Optimal III
Combiner Wars is probably the hottest thing Hasbro has done with the Transformers toy line in quite a while. I know for me it's the first time I've been excited about anything that isn't Masterpiece or third-party since Animated wrapped up, and that was in 2009. In turn, Takara has springboarded off of that momentum with their version, Unite Warriors, which brings even more to the table. And why is this? Because when done right, combiners are the coolest gimmick, second only to the core gimmick of transforming itself. Or so many would say.
And both companies are milking it for all its worth before Titans Return officially takes over. We've been given updated Aerialbots, Stunticons, Protectobots, Constructicons, and Combaticons, we're getting updated Technobots, and we've even got some original teams, with more on the way. Initially Hasbro focused on individual figures while Takara has only done boxsets, but as things wind down, Hasbro is also switching to boxsets, and that means revisiting previous releases with a new-meets-old twist.
Transformers Generation 2 was an interesting but ultimately failed attempt by Hasbro to revitalize the franchise in between the end of Generation 1 and eventual brand-savior Beast Wars. It was short-lived, but in that brief time, a lot of cool toys were made. It's also the first line that I got to experience from start to finish. I was born in 1983, so most of the cartoon-era Transformers were already out of production by the time I was old enough to play with action figures.
Luckily, G2 was initially a selection of G1 toys repainted and retooled for the "extreme 90's", which included the Aerialbots. I only ever managed to get Air Raid, Fireflight, and Skydive. And one of my friends had Slingshot. So we never did assemble Superion. Now, thanks to Hasbro thinking it was a cool idea (and an easy way to make more $$), we have a Combiner Wars G2 Superion boxset. I'm finally living the extreme dream.
Additional contents include one giant instruction sheet for all the figures and a nice sized poster of Superion, both stored inside an envelope. Of course it's the G1 version with Alpha Bravo in place of Quickslinger/Slingshot, and it's artwork from 2015's May Mayhem, but it's still a nice little extra.
While the front of the box has artwork, the back has a set of photos of the combiner and the six individuals who compose him in both modes. That's six because they've included the Legends-class figure that was added to the team.
All of these figures have already been reviewed on this site once or twice, so this is really just a look at how their looks have changed and if there are any defects.
So, let's start with Powerglide. He was not one of the mini-vehicles released in G2, so his deco is original for him. Although it could be inspired by Hot House, an Autobot Micromaster who also transforms into an A-10 Thunderbolt II. Or his Ultra-class Universe figure.
Or, looking at both versions side by side, maybe they just flipped his colors and slightly changed shades. Both feel exactly the same, so the only issue is that his rear end still doesn't stay together that tightly.
Robot mode is solid, with a large G2 Autobot symbol on his chest now. And his face being red makes his blue eyes look brighter.
Skydive's G2 look trades in his grey, black, and red for a shiny silver and blue. His wings went from thunderbolts to a checkered pattern. That and the big number 1 make him look like he's retired from active duty and instead flies in air shows and air races.
In robot mode, he's very uniform which contrasts the colorful mix of his G1 style. And yes, I got all the weapons mixed between the deluxes. Didn't realize it till after I'd finished taking pics and boxed everyone back up.
Air Raid also picks up a lot of blue and some grey, which pairs him up with Skydive nicely. The strange thing here is they actually changed his deco slightly from the G2 figure. There, his wings had a very Spidey-like web pattern. Now it's a grid pattern. You'd think they'd be able to keep it the same since Hasbro actually has the Marvel license now. What makes it stranger is that Hasbro claims they actually had to go out and buy an original G2 Superion set to color-match, which means they went above and beyond to do this.
In robot mode, we still see lots of blue and now that the grey has replaced all of the red. Except for the top of his helmet, which went from blue to grey.
Firefly (AKA Fireflight) actually changed the least out of everyone on the team. He's turned a slightly different shade of red, but if it weren't for the different pattern on his wings, you might get the two mixed up. He's now got flames on top of speed lines.
In robot mode, the differences are still minor. A little black & blue is swapped for some silver and white, but really the only dead giveaway is the G2 Autobot symbol on his chest. Miss that and it's still easy to swap them.
Quickslinger (AKA Slingshot) has gone almost all gold, which fits his ego perfectly. I like the tiger stripes he has in place of the blue bars, but the gold landing gear sticks out in a bad way. Any of his other plastic colors would have been preferable.
In robot mode, he picks up a little more blue & grey. Of the four deluxe Aerialbots, his deco is the greatest departure from G1. Supposedly Hasbro has fixed the "GPS" issue, the last known frequent victim being Protoform Starscream from the first live-action film. So he shouldn't be in any danger.
And Silverbolt is just as different from his G1 self. The only parts that didn't change color are what's black. Like Skydive, he's got a checkered pattern. I've never heard of a passenger aircraft being used to race, but I could see it catching on as a way for large groups to actually experience an air race first hand. The orange is nice, but it's the blue that really stands out. It starts at one end a certain tone and shifts a bit as you go to the other, making for a slight shimmer.
In robot mode, Silverbolt looks like he's ready to be the biggest Broncos fan ever (Denver or Boise State, take your pic). The orange eyes almost make him look evil, but then you see the G2 Autobot symbol dead-center on his chest, so it's all good.
So, as individuals, I guess the G2 Aerialbots don't look any more eclectic a team than they did in G1. It's just that they've picked up some brighter, louder colors. But merge them into Superion and you've got a thing to behold. He may seem bizarre at first, but there is some rhyme to the reason Hasbro crafted Superion this way. Everyone has a color anchor to someone else. Skydive and Air Raid anchor each other. Their blue anchors Silverbolt's blue. Firefly is technically red, but it looks pretty close to Silverbolt's orange. And Quickslinger's gold is pretty close to Superion's visor and antennae.
Each figure handles the same as the originals, so Superion is very stable and poseable. He can get a little weird looking in the more extreme poses, but that's just because his upper legs are kind of skinny. He still holds together perfectly fine.
Actually side by side, it seems G2 Quickslinger may have slightly stronger knees, as he's doing a better job of holding Powerglide. And since he's mostly grey, G2 Powerglide does make a more convincing weapon.
For the people who don't like Combiner Wars, this set won't change your mind. For everyone else, this is an especially cool set for fans of G2 and lovers of everything Aerialbot. The color palette may bother some, but practically speaking to people who don't already have this team, this is the cheapest way to get CW Superion at this point. At retail, these six would run you around $100, but they're pretty much out of stores now and prices are rising. The Takara boxset is still easy to find, but goes for $130+. This set only costs $100 and is still readily available online. Supposedly at TRU too, but I've never seen one there.
Six Transformers in one box that combine into a 7th, each one being a great toy, is an awesome deal.
|Posted 15 June, 2016 - 21:41 by Optimal III|