"Generations" Combiner Wars G2 Silverbolt Toy Review

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

Generations

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

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.

Silverbolt has always been an interesting character to me. A Transformer who can fly but is afraid of heights. However his compassion and loyalty were strong and leading the Aerialbots helped keep his mind off his own fears. The character also has one of the most dramatic decos of this set.

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:
Silverbolt's accessories are the same as the first release of this figure. The long rifle is made up of a shield portion at the back with wing-like designs and a long weapon barrel. Both pieces are cast in black, just like the first release. They fit together fine without a problem.

Vehicle Mode:
In Generation 2 Silverbolt featured dramatically different colors than his G1 counterpart. Gone were the off-white and gold colors. Instead he was a combination of bright (and frankly rather loud) blues and reds. This new incarnation of Silverbolt does much of the same. The plane mode parts are mostly made up of metallic blue plastic, but a slightly darker shade than the hand/foot/weapon pieces included with the figure. The nosecone is made up of soft, black plastic. A lot of the robot mode parts wind up on the bottom of the vehicle and from there you'll see orange-red and black plastic peeking out. Overall these plastic colors are consistent with the original G2 release, but a lot of the really cool deco comes into play with the paint and tampographs.

The middle section of the vehicle is painted light metallic blue. This starts at the nosecone and goes all the way back to the tail. Orange-red paint is used for the vertical fin and some of the robot parts under the neck of the plane. Black paint is used on the windows in front. All these details match up nicely with similar ones on G2 Silverbolt. Now we get to the fun detailing. First there is an interesting checkerboard pattern that angles up from the middle of the front section up to the top. Then each wing has a gold triangle on it calling back to the blue triangles on G2 Silverbolt's wings. On the vertical fin and the left wing you'll find the number five in white. The left wing has a yellow and red G2 Autobot symbol based on Optimus Prime's head. Overall this color scheme is beautiful. The metallic blue in the middle in particular is really nice and shiny and I appreciate the efforts to replicate the sticker details from the G2 Silverbolt figure.

Silverbolt has ports on the sides and under the nosecone section to attach weapons with 5mm pegs. His own rifle still attaches nice and tight.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Push down the vertical fin.
  3. Swing the nosecone up and back.
  4. Swing the wings up, connecting the grooves on the wings to the horizontal fins on the nosecone section.
  5. Flip the vehicle over and swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  6. Swing the robot legs out to the sides and down.
  7. Rotate the lower legs around.
  8. Swing the robot feet out and swing out the heel pieces.
  9. On the back of each leg, swing in the back panel.
  10. Rotate each arm around, then swing the arms down.
  11. Swing the chest panel forward, then swing the robot head out. Swing the panel back into place.
  12. Attach the rifle to either hand. The "wing" piece can be split to act as a shield.

Robot Mode:
When the Aerialbots were released as part of Generation 2, they did not include the same stickers that were included with the Generation One versions. This meant the robot modes of the G2 Aerialbots were pretty plain looking. For this release, the designers tried to follow a similar pattern but there is some paint deco.

What's impressive is that the color layout of this version of Silverbolt matches very nicely with the G2 version. For example, the chest panel is metallic orange-red plastic, so was the original. The upper arms and fists were black on G2 Silverbolt while the forearm was orange. On this version of the figure the layout is the same. Now a real fun in the deco is the torso and shoulder armor. When you transformed G2 Silverbolt, you could choose to attach Superion's torso armor to give him more detailing. The result is that the "wings" on the chest portion of Superion's armor wound up on his shoulders. With "Combiner Wars" Silverbolt those Superion armor details were integrated right into the torso and shoulder armor of Silverbolt's robot mode. Even better? The "wing" pieces on the shoulders are painted blue, as if the armor was attached. The overall effect recreates Superion's armor piece on this figure and it looks great. Throw in some silver paint in the middle of this section and it gets a bit of extra visual punch.

Silver is also used on the face and his eyes are painted the same orange-red as the chest and arms. The final finishing detail is a G2 autobot symbol in yellow on the center of the chest. Normally the relative lack of paint applications on a figure like this would bother me a lot, but in this case somehow the designers managed to stay true to the "source material" and make the figure look good at the same time. I give them a lot of credit for that.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. They pretty much feel the same as my first "Combiner Wars" Silverbolt figure.

Transformation to Torso Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the panels on the back of the lower legs out, then swing the robot feet and heels together and swing them into that slot.
  3. Swing the chest panel forward, swing the robot head back then push the panel back into place.
  4. Rotate each robot arm up, then swing the fists back.
  5. Swing the panel that forms the mid-body and waist out, revealing Superion's head. Swing the head up.
  6. Swivel each lower robot leg in, then swing the lower against the central body. There is a tab on each of the lower legs that slides into a notch on the central part of the vehicle mode.
  7. Swing the knee armor panels on each lower leg down.
  8. Swing the panel that forms the center of Silverbolt's chest up.
  9. Push the two halves of Superion's torso armor together.

Torso Mode:
The torso mode winds up using the blue and orange-red plastic as the primary colors in this mode. The blue is mostly on the top and the orange is on the bottom. It may not seem like it at first, but there is some deco on the torso mode. The head has some gold on the antennae and eyes. The mouthplate is painted silver. Blue is used on the lower part of the torso, matching up nicely with the blue on the sides. The orange on the shoulder armor also shows here as part of the hips. The finishing touch is a small yellow G2 Autobot symbol on the left sid eof the chest. Since G2 Superion's torso section had virtually no paint applications this looks like a good modern version of G2 Silverbolt.

All the connection points for the limbs on this figure work just fine. The ratchet joints on the hips are also still strong.

Final Thoughts:
Silverbolt is a great centerpiece of this set. He's a fantastic homage to the Generation 2 Silverbolt and the use of metallic colors was a very smart move as it really helps enhance the look of the figure.