"Generations" Combiner Wars G2 Air Raid Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Aerialbot, Autobot, Combiner Wars, Deluxe, Generation Two, Generations

Generations

Air Raid General Information:
Release Date: January 2016
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Firefly, Powerglide, Quickslinger, Silverbolt & Skydive)
Retailer: Limited Release (Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Blaster

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Superion is driven by one thing and one thing only: a desire to obliterate the enemy. He attacks Decepticons – on the ground or in the air – with all-out force.

Convert, attack and destroy with this incredible 7-in-1 Superion Collection Pack! There’s a whole force of Autobots in this pack and they’re spoiling for a fight with their Decepticon enemies. Whether these daredevil Autobots are in robot mode or jet mode, they’ll attack with everything they’ve got! And when that’s not enough, they’ll combine to form a massive, unstoppable Superion figure! Maybe the Decepticons could defeat Silverbolt, Skydive, or Firefly alone. Maybe Quickslinger, Air Raid and Powerglide won’t be enough to stop the Decepticon advance. But when they combine, Decepticons beware! Dominate the Transformers battle with your Superion Collection Pack!

Back in the 90's Hasbro made an attempt to revive the then-failing "Transformers" toy line be re branding it as "Transformers Generation 2". This line took old sculpts and new sculpts and mashed them up into one line of figures. Among the G1 sculpts that were used for Generation 2 (or G2) were the Aerialbots. The Aerialbots largely featured dramatic new stickers in jet mode with all new decos that tended to lean towards the bright or somewhat gaudy side. At the time many fans were divided on this, either fully embracing the new colors or walking away from the line. Over the years these colors and sticker designs have gained a sort of nostalgic charm representative of a very different era not just in "Transformers" but pop culture as a whole.

When "Combiner Wars" began one of the first things fans wondered about was "Will we get the Generation 2 color schemes?!" and last summer it would indeed release G2 versions of certain characters! This caused quite a bit of excitement among a segment of fandom and in early 2016 fans finally had their chance to pick up the first G2 styled boxed set: Superion! Superion was packaged with all five Aerialbots and a redeco of Legends Class Powerglide who became an Aerialbot team member in "Combiner Wars", serving as a weapon for Superion. Retailing around $99.99 this set was most readily available at online retailers such as BWTF sponsor Bigbadtoystore and other stores such as Target and Toys R Us. Some stores such as Toys R Us in Canada had these at physical retail locations as well.

While this set did come in one big boxed set I've decided to divide up my reviews of this set into digestible chunks by team member. I think this is a bit more organized and also keeps you from having to scroll forever through one gigantic review.

Air Raid was one of my favorite "Combiner Wars" releases early on in the line. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Check out my original Air Raid review for a more detailed look at the sculpt.

Packaging:
The "Superion Collectors Pack" is a really impressive looking set. The box is large and rectangular, intended to be displayed horizontally. The front uses the black background seen on most "Generations" packaging with the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right. The middle section has new artwork featuring Superion in his G2 colors. Overlaid on top of that are small thumbnail images of all six Aerialbots and the words "Combiner Wars Superion" below that. The back of the packaging features a large photos of Superion fully combined with a brief write up on the character.

Open up the box and you slide out a huge, clear plastic tray with all the Aerialbots in vehicle mode. The accessories are all placed near the member they belong to. Also included in the package is a cardboard envelope with the instructions and a print inside. Oddly, the print features Superion's original "Combiner Wars" colors and not the G2 colors. It is also different art than the one on the cover. I love the presentation of the figures on a big tray and the idea of including a print is really cool.

Accessories:
Air Raid comes with the same accessories as the first release of the figure. This includes a dual barreled blaster and a hand/foot/weapon with two rockets at the end. The hand/foot/weapon piece is mostly cast in bright blue plastic. It's not a light, powder blue but rather a darker shade. The hinge piece connected to the thumb on the hand/foot/weapon piece is white plastic. The blaster weapon is cast in a dark silver color that matches several of the parts on Air Raid himself. There are no paint decos on either weapon.

One interesting note: the official photography for this figure shows him holding the blue blaster, and that looks fine. However when I saw that the blaster was cast in the same color as several of Air Raid's own silver parts, I decided to photograph him with that weapon instead. To be fair, since this is a boxed set theoretically the weapons are all interchangeable among the different Aerialbots. If you want Air Raid to hold the blue blaster, by all means go for it.

Vehicle Mode:
The original Generation 2 Air Raid figure had a very distinctive color scheme and pattern in vehicle mode. His main colors were blue and white with a silver cockpit. The "feature details" were stickers on his wings and vertical stabilizers with a red background and a distinctive spider web pattern on top. The number two was printed on several stickers and his name was on the left wing. The spider web and colors on the figure were basically a nod to Spider-Man. Keep in mind this was back in the day when getting away with homages like this was less of a big deal, but nowadays companies are extremely trademark conscious so the deco for "Combiner Wars" G2 Air Raid is different from the 1990's version.

Like the 1990's version, Air Raid is cat in blue plastic with white on the bottom. His nosecone is black rubbery plastic and the cockpit is painted silver. The shade of blue plastic that makes up most of the vehicle form is a bit lighter than the one from the 1990's G2 Air Raid. The plastic has metallic flake worked into it so it shines nicely under the right light.

The details tampographed onto his wings and vertical fins use the 1990's figure as an inspiration but clearly try to avoid the Spider-Man reference. Instead of a spider web, the pattern on them is a cross hatch resembling snake skin. On top of this pattern is the number 2 on the vertical fins and the right wing. The left wing has a "Generation 2" Autobot symbol (resembling Optimus Prime's head) in yellow laid over the cross hatch pattern. While G2 was known for its very loud detailing, I'm guessing printing the name "Air Raid" right on the wing was a bit too on the nose for a modern day release. For those curious, another G2 style detail was also left out of this release.

Many G2 figures had their faction logo and affiliation printed on the figure but in this case there is no such deco. While the kid in me would have loved to see it, I totally get why it was left out and it does not detract from the figure at all.

In addition to the deco above there are some additional silver paint details on the sides including the rockets under the wings and vents on the sides. Overall I really like the way the figure looks even without the spider web detail.

My only disappointment with this mode is that the vertical fins were bent out of shape right out of the box. They both use a rubbery plastic for safety reasons and I'm guessing they sat in the plastic tray just right to bend them. They're not terribly misshapen, but they're not straight either (something my other Air Raid did not have an issue with).

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the cockpit up, back and bend it at the hinge and connect it to the section behind the robot head.
  3. Swing the wings forward and up.
  4. Swing the robot arms out to the sides then up.
  5. Swing out the front and back halves of the robot legs.
  6. Pull the lower leg halves down, then push them together.
  7. Split the lower leg sections in the middle.
  8. Swing the horizontal fins from the vehicle mode back.
  9. Attach the weapons to the hands.

Robot Mode:
When the Aerialbots were released in "Generation 2", their robot modes lacked a lot of the sticker details from the original 1980's releases. They instead relied on paint detailing for their deco. In Air Raid's case, most of his robot mode parts were white, with silver paint used for detailing.

In this new incarnation, Air Raid mostly has white parts for his robot mode including the head, arms and legs. The center of his torso is actually cast in a dark silver color with metallic flake, giving it an appearance that echoes the blue in vehicle mode. Silver paint is used on the head, torso, waist, fists, knees and feet - basically mirroring a lot of the G2 figure details. To add a bit more color, the eyes have been painted blue and there is a small yellow and orange G2 Autobot symbol on the right shoulder.

All the joints in this iteration of the figure are nice and tight. I had no problems posing him or having him hold his weapons.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
  3. Swing the horizontal stabilizer fins up.
  4. Swing each robot arm out to the side.
  5. Open up the halves of the robot legs and swing them down, then reconnect them together.
  6. Swing the cockpit section up and back.
  7. Swing each wing up, the swing them in so they flank the cockpit section.
  8. Swing the shoulder sections up, then fold the forearms up, bending the arm at the elbow. There are notches on the forearms that align with the tabs on the missiles from the vehicle mode.
  9. Swing the robot head down to reveal the limb connection piece.
  10. Attach the hand to the bottom of the feet.

Arm Mode:
The arm mode shows off a good combination of the blue, white and dark silver plastic colors. You even get a good smattering of the silver paint showing itself between the cockpit, robot hands and robot feet. I like the splash of the blue color against the white.

Impressively enough the elbow joint of this arm is strong enough to hold Powerglide up in weapon mode, something I didn't expect from a redeco. I may still apply some nail polish to the ball joints to make it extra tight but out of the box the functionality is good.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Take the fist/foot piece and push in the fingers (if they're out) and swing the thumb back to form the heel.
  3. Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
  4. Swing the head back and point the connector piece up.
  5. Swing each rear half of the legs back, then swing the legs up on the knee hinge and reconnect the pieces together (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
  6. Swing the shoulders down.
  7. Swing each robot arm down to the sides, connecting the notches on the forearms to the tabs on the sides of the legs.
  8. With the cockpit sections facing front, attach the foot piece so the rocket launcher details are facing the same way.

Leg Mode:
The leg mode condenses a lot of the details from the jet and arm modes, but it's still a nice combination of the blue, white and silver colors. The foot piece fits snug into its slot and the ratchet joint for the knee is still nice and strong.

Final Thoughts:
Air Raid is a great homage to his G2 incarnation. While they had to change certain design elements due to trademark reasons, the spirit of that figure still exists in this one. I also appreciate the liberal use of silver paint to keep the robot mode from looking dull. My only issue are the bent vertical fins in vehicle mode.