"Generations" Combiner Wars G2 Superion Toy Review
Release Date: January 2016
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Air Raid, Firefly, Powerglide, Quickslinger, Silverbolt & Skydive)
Retailer: Limited Release (Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapons x 4, Single barreled blasters x 2, Dual barreled blasters x 2, Rifle/Shield (Silverbolt)
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.
Prior to writing this review I covered each of the individual Aerialbots in this set in their own separate reviews. Here's a list so you can check them out:
Superion is the sum total of all the Aerialbots in this set. While the new Aerialbot Alpha Bravo was introduced in "Combiner Wars", this set focuses on the core five Aerialbots who were members since Generation One, adding in Powerglide as an extra figure/accessory. Check out my original "Combiner Wars" Superion review for a detailed look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
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. The envelope also contains a trading card which features the actual box art (thank goodness).
In my reviews of the individual Aerialbots in this set I mention several times that "Generation 2" is best known for having bright, crazy colors and stickers that sometimes made no sense (why was Air Raid the Spider-Man themed jet? No idea.). Since the figures in this set all remain true to the spirit of the originals, the combined result of all those figures is one spectacularly garish piece. Whether it's the bright, metallic orange-red on the chest, hips and thighs or the gold arm that is Quickslinger just sticking out like a sore thumb, this form is much less cohesive in theme than the original. That said, there is just enough blue and silver on the figure to tie it together so it doesn't look like a hot mess. Indeed, there's a really bizarre beauty to this figure that is polarizing to say the least. Somehow, despite the mash up of clashing colors (gold and orange-red aren't usually two colors you'd put together) the figure looks great in this mode. Part of this is owed to the fantastic sculpt, but the rest is thanks to how bold the colors are. From head to toe this figure just pops and never quits. Here's the thing, not everyone likes that and I totally understand those who may look at this figure and think "Why would anyone want that?!". The color scheme looks great to me but not everyone may be so fond of it.
In terms of being true to the original G2 Superion, this figure nails it. The head is mostly made up of the same colors as the original Superion head: black and gold - which honestly always struck me as odd given how bright the rest of the figure is. The blue and orange-red make up most of the torso and the various limbs match up well to their G2 counterparts. This is great to see since Hasbro resisted the modern day design ethic of making everything a bit darker in tint and "realistic". Instead, this figure fully embraces the design of its predecessor and the fantastic in place of reality.
All the joints are nice and tight on this figure. Now, depending on who you have as the arms, your results will vary when trying to hold up Powerglide as a weapon with a bent elbow. This is largely due to the ball joints on the individual Aerialbots, so if they're loose I recommend popping them off carefully, painting the ball joints with some clear nail polish, then snapping the joints back on about an hour later. All the ratchet joints are solid so no worries there.
I absolutely love and adore this set. There is a healthy dose of nostalgia involved in that love, but there is also an admiration for what the figure represents. This is a relatively obscure part of Transformers history, and for Hasbro to recognize and invest money into putting out a product paying homage to that era is absolutely brilliant. If "Generation 2" appeals to you at all, you owe it to yourself to pick up this set.