"Generations" Combiner Wars Quickslinger Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: May 2015
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Online exclusive (Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, ToysRUs.com, Entertainment Earth, BigBadToyStore, Diamond Comics and Hasbro Toy Shop)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Blaster

The theme for the "Generations" segment of the "Transformers" toy line in 2015 is "Combiner Wars". The focus will be on updated versions of Combiners from the past (with some new elements thrown in for good measure). The idea is to take lessons learned from the Bruticus released a couple years ago and create better Combiners featuring a Voyager Class central body piece with Deluxe sized limbs. To spice things up a bit, some of the Legends Class figures released for "Combiner Wars" will be able to serve as weaponry for the combined giants.

By now you've likely read my reviews of the Aerialbots and their sum total Superion. However, throughout the last few months fans have wondered why Alpha Bravo was introduced into the mix and just where the original "fifth" Aerialbot Slingshot had gone to. Then Takara released photos of "Unite" Superion which did include Slingshot so the question then became: were we getting Slingshot outside Japan?! The happy answer to this is yes. In Q2 of 2015, Quickslinger (Slingshot's new name due to trademark issues) was released as an online exclusive, available through venues such as Amazon.com and BWTF sponsor BigBadToyStore.

Quickslinger is a retool and redeco of "Combiner Wars" Firefly, so please check out that review for a detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Wave one of the "Combiner Wars" Deluxes were rushed onto shelves due to production issues, so the were largely released without comic books and with a trading card featuring artwork from the "Transformers Legends" game. From wave two forward, the figures now include comic books with the cards removed. Quickslinger comes with a reprint of "Robots in Disguise" #11 from IDW Publishing. The cover is new artwork (I believe from artist Ken Christiansen) featuring Quickslinger in a battle scene. The back of the comic has a long form tech spec written from the perspective of Rung, the Autobot psychiatrist. It's a really cool way to work "Marvel Universe" style tech specs into the toy and I really appreciate this addition.

The toy itself sits in a plastic tray with a plastic bubble over it that wraps around to the back of the card. The front of the card has schematics on it for the Aerialbots while the back has a short bio. The schematic for Superion on the side now features Quickslinger in place of Alpha Bravo, effectively "reuiniting" the original Aerialbot team.

The "Combiner Wars" Deluxe figures include a weapon and a piece that serves three purposes: a weapon, a fist and a foot. This piece is rectangular in the middle and angles down to the front. The front has two barrels with fins on top. The back has what is clearly a thumb which doubles as a heel piece. The top has a 5mm peg that allows you to attach it to a figure as a weapon and of course allows it to attach to Quickslinger when he is in "limb" mode. Flip the piece over and you'll see a piece with four fingers sculpted into it. Swing it out, then swing in the thumb and you form a hand. The thumb swings up and down so this piece can serve as a left or right hand. This piece is sculpted in black with silver used on the thumb joint. The piece is a tad smaller than one might expect, but it works well in all its functions. While there are several designs for these pieces among the Aerialbots, Quickslinger's uses the same design as Firefly's.

Quickslinger's blaster is the same one included with Firefly. It has a long barrel with a raised section at the end and the back slopes downward at an angle. This one has a ton more design elements however including tubes running from one side to the other in the middle, a large targeting scope on top and what appears to be a small blade underneath the weapon's barrel. It's a very intricate looking weapon and looks great.

Robot Mode:
Quickslinger uses the same sculpt as Firefly but features a new head. The head is based on the design of Slingshot's head from Generation One. It was a very distinct design (and continues to be) with two flat panels on the sides of the head with a round head section in the middle. If Quickslinger were human, it makes him look like he'd have a clean shaven head or something. He also has visor eyes with a nose and mouth under that with a "chin strap" style chin piece on the bottom of the head. The head sculpt looks perfect and is instantly recognizable as Slingshot/Quickslinger.

The colors are the other dramatic change from Firefly. Whereas Firefly was mostly red plastic, Quickslinger is mostly white with some red and black parts. The black is used for sections like the middle of his torso and his thighs. The red is used on his tors panel. This is such a dramatic difference from Firefly that it visually separates him from his "source sculpt" very nicely.

The paint colors used on this figure include orange, light blue, silver, gold and black. The layout of the colors is different from Firefly's. For instance, his fists are painted black (a nod to his G1 animated counterpart) and his feet are also painted black. The section of his head between the two panels is painted orange with light blue used on his eyes. The gold paint is used for the sections on his chest and knees with rows of lines sculpted into them. The left side of the chest has an Autobot symbol tampographed to it and the sections right under the chest are painted silver. Overall these colors look fantastic. I really love the way the gold and silver pop and the use of the orange on the head really helps distinguish him and pay homage to G1 Slingshot.

The joints on my copy of this figure are surprisingly tighter than the ones on my Firefly figure. This includes the very critical hip joints which serve as Superion's "elbow" joints. He can also hold his weapons in his fists or store them on his wings without issue.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms, legs and head.
  3. Pull the jet cockpit piece a bit and swing it back.
  4. Rotate the robot head around.
  5. Swing the jet cockpit forward and down over the robot head.
  6. Swing the white pieces on the back of each lower leg up.
  7. Swing the lower leg pieces forward, each has a tab that connects to a slot on the robot waist area.
  8. Swing the white pieces from the lower legs forward.
  9. Push the halves of the lower legs (now the rear of the jet) together.
  10. Swing each robot arm down. There is a notch on each forearm that connects to a red tab on the rear of the jet.
  11. Swing each wing and horizontal stabilizer fin down.
  12. Swing the vertical stabilizer fin up.
  13. The weapons can be attached to the underside of each wing.

Vehicle Mode:
Since the robot head is the only new part on this figure, there are no apparent tooling changes in vehicle mode. He has the same wings, nosecone etc. The form works for Quickslinger since his G1 counterpart also had a single stabilizer fin in the back with two horizontal ones flanking it and his wings curved back. This design has similar design elements, although the horizontal stabilizers and his wings both curve downward.

The big difference is of course color. Quickslinger is mostly white plastic in this mode. This is a sharp contrast to Firefly who was mostly red in this form. The wings have angled blue designs on them with silver and red outlines. On top of those are Autobot symbols with silver outlines. Similar details are used on the vertical stabilizer fin in the back. These are all inspired by sticker details from the G1 Slingshot figure and they look great. Another touch that connects this vehicle form to its G1 predecessor is on the cockpit, which has the window portions painted orange. This mirrors G1 Slingshot's cockpit deco and it looks great since they made sure not to paint the parts that would serve as the frame of the cockpit. Finally, the finishing touch is the nosecone piece, which has been cast in black, reflecting the color of G1 Slingshot's nosecone. One more detail which is more of an "accidental" homage are the vents in the front that are painted black. This is sort of analogous to the area on G1 Slingshot where the robot shoulder joints appear as part of the vehicle mode - also in black. While a relatively simple deco, the deco looks fantastic and pays fantastic homage to G1 Slingshot.

The vehicle mode holds together nicely in this form. The weapons attach to the underside of the wings without any issues.

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. Press the two lower legs together.
  4. Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
  5. Push the robot head section back, this will swing out the square peg that serves as the Combiner connection point.
  6. Swing the jet cockpit piece back into place.
  7. Swing each robot arm down.
  8. Bend the arms at the elbows so they roughly line up with the angle of each wing.
  9. Rotate the waist around so the red parts on the back of the lower legs face forward.
  10. Attach the hand piece to the port under the robot feet.
  11. The weapon can be attached to the hand.

Arm Mode:
From an aesthetic perspective, Quickslinger looks great as an arm since he's mostly white, he is easily differentiated from the others who range in color from grey to black to red. This also keeps Superion's overall look consistent with his G1 toy, which was mostly bright colors but still had a combination of greys, blacks, reds and white.

Functionally, the tighter hip joints I mention in the robot mode review above come into play here, giving the arm mode tighter elbow joints. While this gives him more stability, you still need to tuck the elbow (read: the robot hip and knee joints) close to the body to have him hold up Powerglide in weapon mode one armed.

The fist has a 5mm port on it allowing you to attach weapons as if he was holding them in his hand. You can also attach additional weapons to the ports on the wings.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
  3. Push the robot head section back, this will swing out the square peg that serves as the Combiner connection point.
  4. Swing out each half of the lower legs, then swing them forward and condense them (as if you were forming the rear of the vehicle mode).
  5. Push each arm down against the sides (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
  6. Unfold the fist/foot accessory so it's flat. Make sure the "thumb" is now a heel piece.
  7. Attach the fist/foot piece to the hole on under Quickslinger's feet.

Leg Mode:
Quickslinger's leg mode is interesting because the correct way to attach him to Silverbolt is to have the jet cockpit and wings face the front. Traditionally the robot torso and legs faced front, with the jet parts in the back. While you can attach Quickslinger like this to Silverbolt or Optimus Prime, you lose knee articulation in the process since the joint only swings one way. Also, you'll have to swing the nosecone of the jet back a bit on Silverbolt because his fists get in the way.

If you attach it with the jet parts facing front, the result is proper knee articulation. The foot piece is stable however, on very smooth surfaces it might slip as there's really no grip on the bottom of the foot. The way the barrels stick out at the front, one could easily see this as a bit of a homage to "Superlink" Superion.

The wings can serve as weapon attachment points in this form. Since you'll have plenty of accessories when you combine the "Combiner Wars" figures, it's great that you don't have to stash them somewhere else.

Final Thoughts:
Quickslinger is the Aerialbot most fans have been waiting for, so I'm ecstatic he's finally here! The new head sculpt looks fantastic and both modes fit the character nicely. I was happy to see some of his joints were tighter than Firefly's too. I'm also happy that the figure is available through various venues and not just one. Recommended!

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