The big theme for Hasbro’s Transformers Generations collection in 2015 is Combiner Wars, with a focus on Autobot and Decepticon sub-teams who can all transform between vehicle and robot mode… as well as form arms, legs and torsos of the giant sized Combiners. Each Combiner is designed in the vintage “Scramble City” style, meaning the bots that form the arms and legs are fully modular– each of these four figures can form any limb of your choosing, or serve as the limb for any other Combiner figure.
The Combiner Wars lineup rolled out with four of the five Aerialbots (who the original Autobot Combiner, Superion), as well as Dragstrip, part of the Stunticons team for the Decepticons. The second wave of Deluxe Class figures is just now hitting retail, which technically completes both teams, including all the robots needed to form both Superion and the villainous Menasor.
We’ll be looking at both Menasor and the really cool exclusive G1 variant figures Quickslinger and Brake Neck later this week, but for now let’s kick things off with Superion and the Aerialbots that compose him. The team lineup includes one Voyager Class character, Silverbolt, and four smaller Autobots– Firefly, Skydive, Air Raid and a new member, Alpha Bravo.
True to their name, each Aerialbot transforms into a flying vehicle– four jets and a helicopter, to be specific– and there is a uniformity to this crew that I love. Each Autobot manages to retain a unique look, but they all look great together in both robot or vehicle mode. This uniformity also benefit their combined form, Superion, by giving him a consistent size and color pallet.
Each Aerialbot is fully poseable in robot mode, allowing for a number of cool action poses. They each feature an individual blaster gun, which they can hold in either hand or store throughout their body. Even if these guys were JUST robots, they’d be pretty fun. But of course, they are not… they’re Transformers.
I have to admit, I’ve been out of the Transformers line for a while, but the Combiner Wars figures offered me the perfect opportunity to dust off my capacity to change a toy robot into a toy vehicle. The concise 9-to12 steps and easy-to-follow instructions made these figures the perfect learning curve for me, and even as a stranger to Transformers (for all intents and purposes), I found the transformations easy to complete.
The same goes for the Superion conversion. I opted for the same configuration shown on the box art, and it was an easy enough task transforming all five Aerialbots into their respective body parts. The pegs that plug the arms and legs in place are nice and sturdy, making the fully assembled Superion secure and solid. I don’t have much fear that this robot is going to come apart unless I want him to, making him lots of fun to pose and play around with.
And he’s huge! The new Superion not only looks great, but stands well over 12″ tall, making him a seriously massive robot. I love how the figure retains some cool traits from the vintage design– the gold double antennas and the scrawny upper legs are straight-up nods to the old school toy– and yet he features the modern day sculpting detail and the incredibly clever articulation model which leaves him fully poseable.
My favorite Transformer toy as a kid was Devastator. I’ve always loved Toy Biz and Hasbro’s Build-A-Figure concept. And me and Legos go back a ways. In short, I really like toys that involve construction, so Combiner Wars is a gimmick right up my alley. I’m very happy that not only did Hasbro bring this awesome, fan-favorite theme back to the Transformers collection, but they pulled it off with the perfect combination of reverence to the vintage design and fully modern action figure engineering.
Thanks to Hasbro for giving us the opportunity to check out the Aerialbots up close and personal. Check back tomorrow for our spotlight on Superion’s arch nemesis Menasor, as well as the all-new G1 style Quickslinger and Brake Neck figures!