Friday, February 27, 2015

Combiner Wars Firefly

Ugh.  So Fireflight has been renamed Firefly.  Like the Cobra saboteur.  I'm not really sure why, as nothing I've read seems to indicate why.  Perhaps it has something to do with naming rights, but I can't imagine anyone else staking a claim to the name.  Whatever the reason or name, Firefly is my favorite of the Combiner Wars Aerialbots.  He's just awesome.

Fireflight (sorry, I'm done calling him Firefly) in jet mode is a very upgraded version of his G1 incarnation.  The colors are the same and he's just spot-on.
Apparently this is a variation on the Harrier jump-jet, according to the TFWiki.  The original Fireflight was an F-4 Phantom II, but I love the Combiners Wars version more.  My only quibble would be the arms just hanging off to the side.  Still, the look is reminiscent, again, of the G1 version.
Whereas Skydive's figure had a head sculpt based on his animated model, Fireflight's is based on the G1 figure.  I actually prefer this look over the animated model.  The animated model always looked like he was wearing a cap.
Or maybe he just had a big forehead.
Fireflight's transformation is exactly like Skydive's.  Exactly.  The.  Same.  This really is like G1!

Here's Fireflight with his foot/fist weapon.  It's not as cool as Alpha Bravo's.
Fireflight as Superion's leg.  It looks better than Alpha Bravo's.
I'll be using Fireflight as Superion's arm.  It's only right.  Hey, did you know that Takara is retooling Fireflight into Slingshot?  It's true!  I've heard rumblings of Hasbro releasing a US version as well, but I'm highly doubtful.  If only I hadn't already bought the US versions already.  Well, that's it for Combiner Wars Deluxe figure from the first wave.  Dragstrip was not purchased, and never will be.  I don't like the look of Menasor, and will most likely only get Dead End and Breakdown from the Stunticons.  They're the only ones that seem remotely interesting to me.

On another note, this is my first post since my youngest son had his major surgery.  Everything before this was written about a week before we went in the hospital since I like to do everything in batches.  For those of you who don't know, my youngest son had a rare form of lymphangioma in his stomach and it was removed on the 10th of February.  For those who did know, thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.  We're home now and everything seems to be going great so far.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Combiner Wars Skydive

Continuing my run of Combiner Wars figures, we next look at Skydive, another of Superion's limbs.  Unlike Slingshot, Skydive gets to live in the IDW comic!
Here's Skydive right of the card.  The first thing that I noticed about him is that his chest appears to be metal.  I don't know if that's true or not, because I really didn't want to scratch off any paint.  Maybe his chest just has some really nice paint.  Skydive has been updated from his original G1 version and adheres a bit more to his animated model.  With shoulder pads.
Skydive comes with a double barreled blaster.  Thanks to his limb transformation scheme, articulation on Skydive is pretty great.  He features waist, arm, shoulder, head, and knees.  This leads to posing possibilities that I will never be able to properly show.
The foot/fist attachment can transform into another weapon.
I prefer Skydive's jet mode over the robot mode.  It just has a great look to it.  There are posts under the wings that allow you to attach Skydive's gun and foot/fist attachment.  I didn't photograph it because it looks horrible.  Oh so horrible.
Should one choose the option, Skydive can transform into one of Superion's arms.  I'm a bit of a G1 guy, if you haven't noticed, and I seriously doubt that I go with this form.  Most likely, I'll wind up using him as a leg.
Like this.  I must say, having the airplane bits showing on the front of the legs is going to take some getting used to.  I wonder if the legs can be attached the other way so that the jet stuff will be on the back.  Judging by the position of the post, I highly doubt this is possible.  Guess I'll have to find out. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Combiner Wars Powerglide

When the Combiner Wars line was announced, I was okay with it.  I wasn't really that thrilled, especially when I found out that Hasbro pretty much tossed out Slingshot over rights issues with the name.  Speaking of which, someone really needs to update Slingshot's TFWiki page.  It pretty much ends at Transformers: Robots in Disguise #3!  Where was I?  Oh, right.  Thirty issues after Slingshot's last entry in the TFWiki (Update it!), in issue #33, Powerglide volunteers to become a replacement Aerialbot, along with the already covered Alpha Bravo.  Powerglide as an Aerialbot had a certain logic to it, since he in a plane, but it really didn't seem to fit in my head.  He's nowhere near as fast as any of the other Aerialbots, and unless I'm mistaken, Powerglide is a lot smaller than them as well.  How would he form a limb?  Was he going to be a chest piece, like Menasor's car chest?  Then I saw some pictures on the Internet that showed him as a Targetmaster weapon.  So Superion was going for the Piranacon interesting.
Whatever the case, or function that Powerglide would serve, we were at least getting a new Powerglide!  One that would be much better than this thing:
My photography has gotten much better.  Not by much, however.
Yes, this is Universe Powerglide, a monster of a figure that isn't the right color, and is pretty terrible.  Yes, it was re-released in the correct colors, both by Hasbro and Takara, but it's still ugly. 
This Powerglide would be in scale with the rest of his Minibot brethren in the Legends Class.  Because, let's face it, Powerglide is a legend.  What other Autobot do you know that has ever done this:
"Happy Valentine's Day!"
Anyway, The aircraft mode is pretty frakkin' sweet.  It really is an updated G1 figure.  Even the arm placement under the wings is highly evocative of the original.  Then again, the arm placement is something that is common in all versions of Powerglide.  You know, all 3 different molds. 
Robot mode.  Robot mode is where it's at.  Just look at how nice and proportioned he is.  Looking at my pics, I think I mistransformed him a bit by not pushing the thrusters down, but Powerglide still looks great.  Having an articulated Powerglide just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. 
Powerglide is incredibly balanced and able to strike many a pose, not that you can tell with my horrible posing skills.  Thankfully, I've been studying some of the best poses out there, so we should start seeing some improvement in the next batch of pictures I take.  Just know that you can have fun with yours.
This raging Powerglide picture is to showcase the missile pods under his forearms.  Kind of awkward as a weapon, but they're there.  These are also the only weapons he has.  No pistols or rifles for Powerglide, no sir.  Maybe a third party company will whip some nice weapons up that we can buy.
Remember when triple changers were special?  We had Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Octane, Springer, Broadside, and Sandstorm.  Now everyone is a triple changer, including Powerglide.  Powerglide's third mode is a Targetmaster weapon.  It's a gun-type looking thing, kind of.  I'm not really sure what to make of it, truth be told.  When I have Superion completed, I'll see how it looks.  Most likely, I will never use this mode.  It just seems unwieldy. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Combiner Wars Windcharger

In a turn of events, I actually found Windcharger at a store!  I bought this little guy at the beginning of the year, and he got my hopes up that I would maybe find everyone else in the Combiner Wars line at retail.  Wrong!  At any rate, I Windcharger is a repaint and slight retool of Generations Tailgate.  I can't believe that I live in a world where Windcharger is the retool and Tailgate is the original.  That just shows how a minor character can become popular when used in the right way, but I digress.  Windcharger also demonstrates my inability to really talk about what amounts to a figure I've already discussed before since this is a repaint.  This will be short, I promise.  Or apologize for.

Windcharger transforms into a Camaro-type car.  Or a Trans Am-type car.  It's a red sports car.  The red definitely looks much, much better than Tailgate's white color scheme. 
Sadly, Windcharger does not come with a weapon.  On one hand, it's a nice throwback to his minibot roots.  On the other, it's a cheap move to not even include a weapon, and STILL CHARGE THE SAME AMOUNT AS TAILGATE!  Sorry about the outburst, but I think others may feel the same. 
Windcharger features a new head sculpt that's fairly close to his IDW interpretation.  Give me a Roller figure and we have the nice crew to do some heists and other hijinks with Orion Pax.
Still wish he had a gun...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Combiner Wars Alpha Bravo
So there's a new member of the Aerialbots, the guy pictured above.  He was introduced a few months ago in the pages of IDW's Transformers: Robots in Disguise as a potential replacement member for any of the damaged Aerialbots.  Well, we know that there is in fact a beyond repair Aerialbot - Slingshot.  There's some sort of trademark issue there, so goodbye Slingshot, hello Alpha Bravo!
Alpha Bravo is a Deluxe sized figure.  His legs are highly reminiscent of Classics Astrotrain, so much so that I originally thought that they were just ripped from him.  That is until I had to transform him into helicopter mode.  His head sculpt is very accurate to his one comic appearance.  What I like the most about this guy are the missiles on his arms.  Nothing like added weaponry.
Aside from arm mounted missiles that aren't removable, Alpha Bravo comes with a rifle.  Just exactly what kind of rifle, I have no clue since tech specs seem to be a thing of the past now.  Seriously, there's like a sentence on the back of his package that tells you what you need to know about Alpha Bravo.  Even the card that comes with Alpha Bravo is, while admittedly awesome, just a picture on the front and a giant Autobot logo on the back.  It's a bit odd.  I like the card, as it reminds me of the Takara tech spec cards, but there should be something on the back.
There is much more articulation on Alpha Bravo than I anticipated.  Maybe it's because I'm really only accustomed to the G1 Scramble City style fusilateral quintrocombiners, or it could be that the last Deluxe figures I got had reduced points.  He can twist at the waste, bend at the knees and his head turns and looks up and down.  Alpha Bravo also comes with a large cannon.  The large cannon can transform into either a fist or a foot, which is an ingenious little marvel and upgrade over the old foot/fist deal of the original Scramble City parts.
Alpha Bravo transforms into an attack helicopter.  This will of course be re-purposed as Vortex and possibly Blades later on down the line.  If this is used for Blades, I will be highly disappointed.  For what it's worth, I highly enjoy this mode.
Featuring the best use of the foot/fist thing of all the Aerialbots so far, Alpha Bravo's can be attached to the bottom of the helicopter.  This makes for a nice pedestal. 
Being inspired by Scramble City, each Deluxe figure has the option of being any limb.  Here we have Alpha Bravo as Superion's left arm, which is here I plan on using him, since he is Slingshot's replacement.  I absolutely love the fact that this mode has articulation, meaning I will be able to do some nice poses once Superion is complete.
Finally, here is Alpha Bravo's leg mode.  This is how he's shown on the schematics for Combiner Wars Superion.  It's a foot.  I still prefer him as an arm.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Generations Chromia

I'm a horrible, horrible Transformer fan when it comes to knowledge.  Back in my younger days, I knew everything (or at least I thought I did) about the Transformers.  Then things happened - like the advent of the Internet - and I realized that I don't know anything about anything.  Even what I used to think I knew, I forgot about.  Case in point: Chromia.  For some reason I thought that she was introduced in the IDW series.  My 8 year old self would kick me for forgetting that she was really first introduced in the G1 animated series.  I was happy to have a Chromia figure to begin with, now I'm ecstatic to have realized that this is a bit of a make-up for her not having one in 1985.
I'm an idiot.  Pic from
Whatever my ignorance means for me as a person, I wasn't as excited for Chromia as I was Arcee when they were announced in the first part of 2014.  Arcee was the headliner, and Chromia was the supporting act, paying her dues and destined to be booed off the stage.  As it would turn out, I actually like Chromia a bit more than Arcee.
Here is Chromia, straight out of the package.  Well, she's using one of Arcee's guns.  I really liked the look on the back of her package showcasing the two guns.  Chromia has an outstanding robot mode, more so than Arcee and Windblade.  She's sturdy and I don't feel like she's going to fall over if a slight breeze comes by.  That sturdiness comes with a price, however, as she isn't exactly poseable.  Chromia's arm articulation is is decent, but she doesn't turn at the waist, and her legs are limited by the back of her robot mode.
I really enjoy her motorcycle mode.  It has a TRON feel to it.  What's more, you really can't tell that she's just a mass of folded limbs in this mode.  The kickstand isn't really helpful, in my view.
Her gun can be added to this mode, but I prefer to use it like this:
It works so much better as a kickstand than the actual kickstand. 

Again, I'm an idiot for not realizing that Chromia had been around for 30 years.  She's an amazing figure, no matter how faulty my memory.  Please Ironhide, don't kill me for forgetting your girlfriend.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Generations Arcee

So I've had Arcee for quite a bit, but sickness, and then other figures prevented me from talking about her.  Time to rectify that, I suppose.
I've always been partial to Arcee, for reasons that I've never been certain of.  Maybe it's the Princess Leia hair.  Perhaps it's that she was never issued as a toy, an issue that I noticed even as a kid.  Whatever made her stick in my head all of these years, it worked.  Sure, Arcee isn't the first female Transformer to ever grace the screen, but she had the most impact.
There have been several attempts at Arcee toys over the years, most never made it past the concept stages, and the most notable one that made it through, in my eyes, was the Binaltech version.  Still, this isn't a G1 Arcee.  Finally, after 28 years, the toy gods have blessed us with a G1 rendition of a fan favorite character.
What Hasbro has given us is a nice looking figure.  The first thing that I noticed when I opened her up and placed her on my self was that she is a lot more sturdy than Windblade.  Even with the backpack, she just feels like a much more solid figure.  Her accessories are also better.  Arcee comes with two pistols, one of which is featured on Chromia's package art (more on this in another post).  The guns fit in well with how I like to picture Arcee nowadays:
A hacked off killing machine.  It's really hard to think of the Generations Arcee figure as a stone cold killer when she has a smile sculpted onto her face.  But, this Arcee doesn't seem to based on IDW's version.  However, Arcee comes with two more accessories that help with the IDW look.
These are energy swords.  Or maybe they're rifles.  I've seen people use these as rifles.
I don't like that look.  Before I go any further, I'd like to point out something about the pistols.
The pistol grips are really big.  I find them unsettling, for some reason and I'm not entirely sure on what the designers were thinking with this.
Vehicle mode is really where Arcee stands out.  How freaking awesome is this thing?  It's almost as if she popped out of my TV screen and into my collection.  Flory Dery must be grinning somewhere.  The great thing about this mode?  It also doubles as a tank.
Adding all of Arcee's weapons to the vehicle mode gives you a very, very heavily armed futuristic car.  Or would that be a 10 year old car since this would be a 2005 model?  At any rate, I think Daniel would be pretty secure riding in this.

Twenty-eight years is all it took to get an Arcee.  Twenty-eight.  All it took was for her popularity to be at an all-time high thanks to a comic book.  And for social mores on female action figures to change.  Now someone get James Roberts to make Devcon popular enough to get Hasbro to issue him.  Please?  Pretty please?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Combiner Wars Silverbolt

Apparently Combiner Wars figures have been out for a bit, judging by every single post I see on Facebook.  Every day, several times a day, I see someone posting their Combiner Wars figures that they found at Target or Wal-Mart.  Guess, what?  I haven't been able to find a single one in my little corner of the world.  Thankfully, Hasbro put them up for sale on their HasbroToyShop website.  They were offering free shipping on qualifying orders, and I ordered enough to qualify.  It's a good thing that I got free shipping, since every figure that I ordered seems to be shipping separately.  The first figure to be dropped off at my doorstep was Silverbolt, so we'll look at him first.
Here he is out of the box, and I'm really digging it.  He's a mixture of his G1 figure with newer touches.  This version of Silverbolt certainly isn't as skinny as he was in 1986.  With newer designs comes updated articulation.
I can't imagine doing this with my old Silverbolt.  His gun is frakking huge; way out of proportion for a figure of this size.  I'm certain that it will look better fitted on Superion.
The back end of the gun separates to become an arm mounted shield.  The gun becomes much more in proportion when this happens. 
Transformation to jet mode is pretty straightforward and reminiscent of his G1 model.  It's certainly better than the Universe Silverbolt.  Univerese Silverbolt has a much more streamlined jet mode, however.
A lot of Silverbolt's torso sticks out of his this mode.  It's a small quibble, and I understand that it's a necessary evil considering what Silverbolt's real purpose is: forming Superion.  Still, overall, I'm very pleased with him.  He walks a fine line between just a part of a larger figure, and a viable action figure of his own, and he does it quite well.
Finally, here is what Silverbolt looks like after he's transformed into Superion's torso.  The transformation sequence is very well conceived and executed.  I'm really digging the face sculpt on this guy.  So far, no skinny legs, which I enjoy.  Hopefully the rest of these Aerialbots arrive soon.