"Generations" War for Cybertron: Kingdom Airazor Toy Review

07/20/21

General Information:
Release Date: January 2021
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Arm blasters x 2

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever. Primal power floods the battlefield as the fierce beast modes of the Maximals and Predacons are unleashed! Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Airazor collectible figure, featuring a detailed beast mode with intricate molded feather texture. Toy converts to Beast Wars-inspired falcon mode in 22 steps, featuring wing, lower beak, and tail feather articulation that allow for more realistic falcon poses. Comes with 2 Photon Blaster accessories that attach to figure's wrists. Weapons aside, you don't want to be at the wrong end of those talons… Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)

Airazor was introduced in the Beast Wars episode "The Spark". She first arrives in a Stasis Pod, still a protoform but through the efforts of the Maximals she is protected from the Predacons until she can fully form and pop out of the pod to save the day! While there have been a few Airazor toys over the years, this is the first modern Generations era representation of the character based on her appearance in the animated series. Airazor will also be featured in the upcoming Netflix Kingdom show due out later this month!

Packaging:
A new style of packaging has been introduced with Kingdom. The shape is very similar to what has been seen with Siege and Earthrise, with a rectangular box that has an angled panel on the left. This time however the box does not have a window in front that shows off the entire figure. Instead, the window is much smaller and basically shows the figure from the mid-body up. This small window has plastic over it, but what this allows for is artwork featuring the character in both modes, something that is extremely uncommon for the Transformers line. Like previous Generations packaging the Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with the Generations and Takara Tomy logos above it. On the lower part (under the window) is the Kingdom logo. On this box, Airazor is shown in both modes. The robot mode has her pointing her weapon at an unseen enemy while the beast mode swoops by. The artwork on these boxes is one of my favorite parts of this line. It's beautiful and really striking.

The back of the box shows Airazor in both modes calling out a twenty two step transformation. Above her is a modified Maximal symbol which appears to incorporate elements of the Autobot symbol. In the corner is a nice, classic callback featuring the Transformers logo with the "More than Meets the Eye" tag line under it. Overall this packaging is beautiful and I think it really stands out on toy store pegs and shelves.

Boxed figures such as Airazor include a card featuring characters in the line and their potential "destinies". There are 16 variants of these cards to collect and they come randomly packaged in the inserts. Just peel back the top sticker and underneath you can see a potential future for the character on the card. I also highly recommend being careful with the cardboard trays. Do not just toss them out. Look on the back and sides to be sure you have removed all the accessories and cards before you dispose of them.

Accessories:
Airazor's blasters are arm mounted weapons that look like they have arrow heads in front with an angled fin in the back. These are inspired by the weapons used by the character on the 90's Beast Wars show, but they are much bigger. In the cartoon, Airazor would move her forearm and small slots would open up with small arrow like ammunition inside. These accessories maintain the concept of a weapon on her forearms, but these are much bigger than the animated series representation. Each weapon is gold with a 5mm peg that allows you to attach it to the forearms.

Robot Mode:
Airazor's robot mode is largely based off the CG model as see in the original Beast Wars cartoon and of course, the CG model that will be seen in the Kingdom cartoon. The silhouette and basic design has small shoulder armor sticking out to the sides, wings on her back and lots of pointed and "V" shaped details. Among the finer details from the CG model we have:

  • Airazor's head design features an angled "helmet" section with "feather" details sweeping back with a "beak" over the forehead area. This design is very striking and the theme of the helmet references her beast mode in a way that is both on the nose but fun at the same time.
  • The shoulder armor is sculpted to look like feathres and curves up in a very elegant (and organic) looking way, looking more like a part of her beast mode than metal armor.
  • The beast mode head makes up a good portion of the torso, a major feature of the original Beast Wars toy and CG model.
  • The waist/hip area features an armor piece that is V shaped, a design right out of the 90's show.
  • The knee armor and feet are both pointed, giving a sleek, lithe looking to Airazor's armor.

The deco on this figure is where I believe the figure leans more towards Kingdom source material than the original cartoon. Most of this figure is brown, with some grey and gold parts. This is consistent with the original Airazor CG model. However, several parts including the sides of the torso section and the feet feature an orange color. On the Beast Wars TV show model these parts would have been gold instead. There is some gold on the figure, but if this figure was meant to represent the 90's version of Airazor, the thighs would have gold on them instead of orange. My guess is that this is the deco from the Kingdom animated series and it does look good, but I would happily buy a redeco that leaned more towards the deco seen on the original show.

There are twenty eight points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each wing, five on each arm and four on each leg. You can fan the wings out so they are splayed out dramatically behind her or you can collapse them to fold them behind her like the TV show. Airazor features six 5mm ports. One on each forearm, one in each fist and one on each thigh. This allows you to attach additional weapons or even armor from Fossilizers, Weaponizers, Modulators and so on. On the back of the lower body there is a small port intended for use with FiguArts style stands. The joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight, allowing the figure to hold several different poses and look great in this mode.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the shoulder armor down.
  3. Swing the fists up.
  4. Swing the wings on the back forward.
  5. Swing the panel on the back out.
  6. Pull the chest forward and up, swinging it up on two hinges.
  7. Swing the robot head back, revealing the beast mode head.
  8. Push the back panel back in place, clipping it against the back of the beast mode neck area.
  9. Snap the tail feather section into the slot on the back of the lower robot body.
  10. Rotate the arms inward and push the robot fists into the open gaps on the sides of the torso.
  11. Rotate the lower body around.
  12. Rotate the lower legs around.
  13. Swing the legs out a bit and then move them up. Push them back in, connecting the slots on the inner thighs to the tabs on the sides of the waist area.
  14. Swing the lower legs down, then bend the lower legs near the ankle area.
  15. Rotate the feet around to form the beast mode claws.
  16. Attach the weapons to the ports on the sides of the thigh pieces.

Beast Mode:
When action figures are designed nowadays, there is often thought given ahead of time as to how the tooling can be recycled into other characters to cut down on production costs. In this case, the designers developed what I will call a "generic bird body" for this beast mode. One friend suggested the body belongs to an Eagle while the head is based on that of a Peregrine Falcon. I really cannot comment. I'm hardly an Orinthologist, but this does make sense as this same base body will also be used for the Amazon Exclusive Maximal Skywarp figure, and that Maximal is intended to be an Eagle. REgardles, the body features a lot of feather details with really intricate sculpting and it looks great. The head sculpt also looks great, having the roundish look of a Peregrine Falcon complete with a small curved beak.

The rest of the figure betrays its alt mode here and there with parts of the legs poking out and bits of the torso. To me this is fine. This is mostly "undercarriage junk" and it does not affect the functionality of the figure at all. I think the sculpting looks fantastic.

This mode shows off more of the brown color that was visible in robot mode. The orange color is seen on the back, torso and feet so there's no getting away from that. Some light grey and black paint is used for detailing including the beast mode head and some spray ops on the edges of the wings. It's a very nice deco, but in this mode it really emphasizes that the colors may be more based on the Kingdom show than the original cartoon.

There are nineteen points of articulation in this mode, which is quite a bit for a bird beast mode. The wings have eight by themselves, but the head can turn side to side, move up and down and the beak can be opened! Each leg offers another three points of articulation. I was really surprised by how much articulation this form has and I am very happy with it.

Final Thoughts:
Airazor is a fantastic representation of the character. The robot mode sculpt looks great and the beast mode has a surprising amount of detail and articulation. The deco is good, but I would love a redeco in "90's show accurate" colors. Some bits (like undercarriage junk) may turn some fans off, but I do recommend this figure!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt.
  • All joints are nice and tight.
  • Fantastic articulation.

Cons:

  • Deco could have been better.
  • There is a bit of undercarriage junk in beast mode, but this was unavoidable given the price point in my opinion.