"Generations" Combiner Wars Superion Toy Review
In March 2015 the final component of the Aerialbot team was released so fans could form the Combiner Superion. While the Combiner is scheduled to be released in a boxed set in Japan, this is the first full release of the team. This does not include the release of Slingshot who is due out later this year. While Slingshot is technically one of the original Aerialbots, this review will focus on Superion as formed by the following team members:
You'll want to read the individual reviews for each of the Aerialbots above to see how they form their various modes including the limb modes and Powerglide's weapon mode. This review will focus on Superion's combined form.
When "Generations" Bruticus was released, he was composed of five Deluxe Class figures. However, this caused some proportion issues where the main body wound up looking too small (or the limbs were too big depending on how you want to look at it). To prevent that issue with these new figures, the torso/head/thigh section is now a Voyager Class figure. The result is a Combiner figure with much better proportions than Bruticus with an impressive size. Superion measures approximately 11.75 inches (about 29.8 centimeters) tall from his feet to his antennae. Width-wise he varies a tad depending on who is forming the arms, but with Alpha Bravo and Firefly as arms he's about 7.5 inches (19.05 centimeters) wide. That's an impressive size for a figure and he does actually stand over most of the "Generations" figures out there right now. This is quite an improvement over G1 Superion who was roughly the same height as many other Transformers released at the time (Ultra Magnus comes to mind).
Many of the design elements on Superion come from his Generation One toy and cartoon incarnations. Among these details are:
- The head sculpt is based on G1 Superion's cartoon appearance where he has a mouthplate and visor eyes. He also has a large central crest and antennae.
- The torso has chest armor that evokes Silverbolt's airplane mode with "wings" on the side. The middle of the chest has some angled sections that evoke G1 Superion's armor.
- The mid-body on Superion has a distinct "U" shape that was a key element of G1 Superion's animated form.
- Superion's thighs have raised rectangles on them, a design element found on the G1 toy.
- Superion's thighs also have rows of horizontal lines. These details are inspired by sticker details on G1 Silverbolt's toy.
- Each of the Aerialbot jet limbs is partly formed by the front of the jet pointing up. This detail is especially effective on the arms.
Superion's color scheme is largely based on red and white colors. You can see most of my thoughts about the torso section in my Silverbolt review so check that out. The colors of each limb generally have some red or white worked into their color schemes. Skydive and Air Raid offer some dark color contrast thanks to the grey and black colors on them respectively. I found it interesting that the designers decided to use the animation design and colors for the head. This winds up giving Superion red eyes, which was unusual for Autobots back in the day. Overall the colors look great and they're true to the character.
There are a whopping thirty five points of articulation on Superion. It is almost unheard of for Combiners figures to have more than twenty points of articulation no less over thirty. This includes eight in each arm and seven in each leg. Of course, a lot of this is thanks in part to the various joints on the individual limb figures. For instance, each Aerialbot limb offers three points of articulation thanks to its waist, hips and legs. The ratchet joints built into each limb connection point and the hips offer an amazing amount of stability. With the right amount of fiddling you can actually get Superion to stand on one leg!
Unfortunately there is one weakness with the articulation. The hip joints on each Aerialbot limb are tight enough to serve the individual fingers, but when holding weapons his elbow joints droop down a bit. You can bend the arms and have each help the other support a weapon, but you wind up having the arms being held closely to the body of the figure. If you were to try say, extending the arm straight out the arm will droop down a bit instead of holding the weapon out straight. I'm going to try to apply some clear nail polish on the hip joints for the Aerialbots to see if this tightens the joints up a bit. Ideally these joints would have been ratchet joints but I'm sure that would've driven the cost of the figure up.
While not explicitly stated in the instructions there is a boatload of 5mm hole connection points on this combined figure. Each Aerialbot has connection points on their wings, so that's eight right there. Throw in the fists which have a hole and the Silverbolt weapon and there's plenty of places to attach the various Aerialbot weapons. You can also use the holes on the back of the figure from the the underside of Silverbolt's nosecone section for weapon storage. You can also attach the Powerglide figure in weapon mode to the Silverbolt's weapon to create a "super weapon".
In 1985, I received the Aerialbot gift set a week before Christmas, so I had to wait an entire week before I could open it. When I finally did I was in fanboy heaven, combining them, transforming them and yes, even putting on the stickers. Assembling this modern version of Superion gave me awesome flashbacks to that time. I felt like a kid again and at the same time the adult fan in me appreciated the modern engineering and aesthetics of the figure. The most glaring issue with the figure are the elbow joints that don't hold up well. Other than that, the figure is pure win in my book!