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Aerialbots / Superion - Universe - Figures

Intro:

Ever since I got the Micromaster Contructicons I have been buying other Micromaster combiners. I even bought the Japanese reissue Sixwing seeing I loved the combiners and I also like plane/jet Transformers in general. When Sixwing was announced to be re-released I was ecstatic as the colors matched those of the G1 Aerialbots!

However with Universe not released in Europe and no sign of these in Universe whatsoever I had to get the Cybertron version. As with the Contructicons and Trainbots these are released but under the current series. So these are now part of the Cybertron line. They are still the same figures so packaging aside nothing is changed.

I actually bought these on eBay as I could get the whole set in one go and the stores are still "stuck" with the older Micromasters. I ended up paying a bit more but I did not mind. And now that I have them I thought I should write a review and share my opinion because I am sure there are people wondering if these are worth it.

During my review I will of course be comparing them to the G1 Aerialbots. But I will also refer to the reissue Sixwing occasionally. I am referring to the Decepticon version as the original Autobot version was not really a viable option. However I will also look at them in a new light because not everyone will own either the original Aerialbots or either Sixwing.

General notes:

I will describe the color scheme in more detail but aside from a few changes it is largely simple color swap from Decepticon Sixwing. But I do not mind that as the colors are generally different enough to set them aside from their predecessors.

Articulation for all these is the same. The arms move and the legs are a single piece but they can kneel or sit.

Air Raid

Vehicle mode: Air Raid is a black bomber whereas G1 Air Raid was a black fighter plane. Being a bomber does not really suit the character or the name itself so in that respect the homage falls a bit short. But Air Raid was black and bombers are generally black so I guess that is why they called him Air Raid.

The odd name choice aside (just him being black does not justify calling him Air Raid) it is a pretty neat bomber. It looks quite realistic though, not being an expert, I could not say which bomber he resembles. The only downside is that the robot mode arms are visible from above. They are white so they stand out a lot. The legs are visible from behind but those are a lot less obvious. Or bothersome. And yes there is a hinge to fold the nose behind the head but since the whole plane is black so it is barely noticeable.

Note: As with nearly all of these the arms and legs are visible from the side. But given the size of these planes that is hardly avoidable. And the G1 Aerialbots also suffer from this so I am not going to adjust my grade because of this.

Sculpt wise, there is a good detail level. Lines run across the bomber resembling welding lines. The thrusters are molded in as well as the cockpit. For a Micromaster it is pretty good.

The main color, which I mentioned earlier, is black. There is red on the wingtips and the cockpit is yellow which gives the idea that light is burning inside. I like it though bombers (or any other plane for that matter) would generally not have lighted cockpits like that. One feature I like is the fact that the thrusters are gray, a detail that could have been left out.

A large Autobot symbol is tampographed on the back. It look great and really sets him apart from his Decepticon counterpart. Or course this symbol also serves another purpose as Air Raid forms the chest of Superion.

Robot mode: Air Raid does not look anything like his old self in robot mode either. He does look interesting though as he is remarkably sleek whereas a bomber is generally bulky. His arms and legs are thin and the legs are a bit long. The lower legs are formed by the tail of the plane which give Air Raid a slight lanky look.

Air Raid has an head that looks a bit odd. It is not sculpted (and painted) all that well. It has a visor and mouth plate but that is all that I can make out. It also has the same color as the chest so that helps little. Mind you, Missile Run had the same problem.

Color wise, Air Raid looks ok. The chest is a dull gray with some silver sprayed over it which looks really good, The arms are white and the legs are black. The face is the same dull gray as the chest so it brings the figure down a little. Missile Run has mint green legs so the colors are an improvement.

Overall: A cool bomber mode brought down by a somewhat weak robot mode. The homage does not really work either as far as I am concerned. I would give him a 3.5. If I keep the homage in mind this grade would be a 3.

Fireflight

Vehicle mode: Like G1 Fireflight this new incarnation is a red fighter. So the homage is spot on. It is a really cool fighter and I like it a lot. The main downers are the hinge that connects the nose to the legs and the black hinge connecting the legs to the body. Aside from that and the hands there is little that disrupts this vehicle mode. However the problems he does have do affect him quite a bit. The front just looks odd but I looked at all my other Micromaster planes and they all have these issues so I cannot really fault Fireflight for this.

Color wise he fares a lot better than his Decepticon counterpart who was mint green. The red is quite light (close to orange) and it is a bit too light for my taste. G1 Fireflight's red is a tad darker. But in all it is not a bad color scheme by any means. The cockpit is yellow which looks ok with the red. Two Autobot logo's are tampographed on the wings, a feature that the G1 Aerialbots had. What does disappoint me is that the thrusters are not colored which was done on his Sixwing counterpart.

Fireflight has a similar amount of detail to Air Raid. Not too much but not too little. I cannot really explain it but it is the sort of detail you would expect on a plane.

Robot mode: In robot mode Fireflight again looks little like his G1 counterpart. Given the fact that these were not designed with the G1 Aerialbots in mind that is explainable. Still, they could have done a bit more.

Fireflight has a head with a visor and mouthplate as well as a very distinct chest and I really like it. The shape I can only describe as coffin shaped looks really cool even if it was probably designed this way because of the screw in the Autobot's chest. Another feature I liked are the missile launchers on the sides of his head. This had been done before but the upper launchers have holes in them as if those missiles have already been fired. A really neat idea.

The only downer is the tail section sticking out but given the design and what is asked of such a little figure, I cannot really fault that.

In the color department things are good except for one issue. Dull gray is used for the arms and I would have preferred white. It would have looked better than the dull gray (which I am really not fond of) and G1 Fireflight had white arms. The rest looks good with the main body being black. The face is silver with a red visor. Blue would have worked better but red is acceptable. The color of the "coffin symbol" is silver.

Overall: A neat little fighter which although a little less cool than Air Raid's bomber mode, does pull of a better homage simply because the right alt mode was chosen. And aside from the typical Micromaster problems very little is wrong about Fireflight. Aside from the dull gray but he has very little of it. Fireflight gets a 4.5.

Ro-Tor

Intro: Ro-Tor stands out for a three reasons. The first is that his name is not one of the classic Aerialbot names. Secondly, his name used to belong to Decepticons. And finally, he is the only helicopter in this set. Had this set been designed as a tribute to the Aerialbots then I would mind but since this is a set repainted to resemble them I can accept him being a helicopter. However, there are things I cannot accept. Read on and I will explain.

Vehicle mode: Ro-Tor is a helicopter, the only one in the set. A space shuttle is not a plane either but it stands out a lot less than a helicopter does in this set. And even though Ro-Tor would be acceptable for a helicopter, I still would have preferred if they called him Slingshot. After all, Slingshot was a VTOL plane which can land and take off without a runway. Just like a helicopter. Besides Slingshot is the only Aerialbot name not being re-used. Personally I am calling him Slingshot but for this review I will stick to Ro-Tor.

Even though it is the odd one out, it is a pretty good helicopter. It has a propeller that spins (it is a loose piece so be careful) and a nice amount of detail. I do like it a lot and Chain Gun is my Sixwing's leader simply because he is not a plane. As strange as it may sound, in this set I like it a little less because it does not really feel like an Aerialbot alt mode.

The main color is red (the same as used on Fireflight) with yellow used for the cockpit. The propeller is not colored which is a shame. Black would have been nice. Two Autobot symbols can be found on the sides.

Robot mode: Could I accept the vehicle mode because of the good color and mold, the robot mode is disappointing. It is very lanky with extremely long legs. This does not look all that good even though I do not think this could have been handled differently. What really hurts Ro-Tor is that aside from red, the main color is dull gray. Part of the chest and the legs are this color causing me to not really like Ro-Tor. The eyes are blue which is a really cool tribute to the G1 Autobots in general who all had blue eyes.

Overall: The gray and lankiness of the robot mode are major issues as far as I am concerned. The lankiness might be unavoidable but the gray was which should have been fixed. The propeller being a loose part is another downer as it is easy to lose but critical to the vehicle mode. They probably left it red because that is easier to spot than black. Despite being a cool little copter, I can only give him a 3 (2.5 when judged as an Aerialbot homage) simply because too much drags him down.

Note: Ro-Tor can be left out of the combined robot mode just fine. You do need him for the combiner part but that is it.

Silverbolt

Intro: Silverbolt was the leader of the Aerialbots in G1. Since the original was a Concorde and Skydive was a fighter plane I decided to do a name switch on them. Of course for this review I keep the names as on the cards and my judgment will not be affected by this dumb error on Hasbro's part. After all it is easy for fans to swap the names.

Vehicle mode: Silverbolt makes up the second fighter plane in this set. He looks really cool aside from the "usual issues". He has got a decent amount of detail and he even has missiles in the wings. Autobot symbol are on the wings as well and Silverbolt would not have looked right without them.

The color scheme does suit the homage and the name. Silverbolt is mainly white with yellow cockpit and red with silver wings. This looks really cool and I am glad they chose this color over the dull gray. The missiles are red. Again the thruster is not colored. But overall he has a far better color scheme than his Decepticon counterpart who was gray with pink.

Robot mode: Silverbolt's robot mode looks pretty good. Yup, no gray. He is mainly red with a black section on the chest. The upper legs, arms and detailing on the chest are silver as is the face. Silverbolt's face has a visor and 3 fins are on top of his head. Coupled with the interesting detailing on the chest and the cool colors it is one really cool robot mode and Silverbolt is my favorite robot mode of this set. As with Fireflight, the only bad thing is the tail section being visible in robot mode.

Overall: Silverbolt has a cool plane mode, an excellent robot mode combined with cool colors. The only thing that is bad about this guy is the name as he should have been called Skydive. Great figure and well worth the grade I am giving him: 5.

Skydive

Vehicle mode: Skydive is a Concorde (see Silverbolt intro). A Concorde is a beautiful type of plane and Skydive is a pretty good Concorde with two major issues both of which are sadly unavoidable.

1- the arms are clearly visible and stick out like a sore thumb.

2- the robot feet stick out in vehicle mode as well ruining it.

Seeing how these issues are unavoidable I can only be lenient on this. I know it ruins the alt mode but it was either these issues or not have this alt mode as I see it. And it a really nice alt mode with a good amount of detail. There is even silver trimming on the wings (as well as, you guessed it, Autobot symbols) and tail and I like those a lot. The cockpit is yellow. The main color, of course, is white. Nice plane mode despite the issues mentioned above.

Robot mode:

Skydive's robot mode looks really sleek. The nose cone is now on his chest and the aft section of the plane form his limbs. Unlike Air Raid who has really lanky legs which do not look good with his upper body, Skydive is thin from top to bottom so that works better. Sadly the face sculpt is horrible, the head looks ok but the face is just bad. Part of the frame also sticks out in between is legs which does not help.

Again the main color is white with red for the arms and black for the upper legs. The face is blue.

Overall: Like Air Raid, Silverbolt has a cool alt mode ruined by a poor robot mode. The robot mode is actually a tad better than Air Raid's but the plane mode a tad worse. So they rank equal in grade: 3.5.

Storm Jet

Intro: Storm Jet is another name not re-used from a classic Aerialbot name. However it works better than Ro-Tor because Storm Jet was an Autobot and actually an Aerial inspired Autobot has he was the leader of the Energon Aerialbots. The name does sound a bit silly considering he does not transform into a jet but a space shuttle.

Vehicle mode: Storm Jet is a space shuttle. It is an odd alt mode but I think it is a little less odd than a helicopter. It is a good shuttle and I really like it. The main color is white though the nose and lower section is black. There is also red on the wings and tail. Again the Autobot symbols are on the wings and the cockpit windows are yellow.

Robot mode: Not as lanky as Skydive, Storm Jet has a cool robot mode. He has a cool head with crest and visor, both of which are silver. Sadly the silver on the crest will wear off since one needs to put Superion's fist over Storm Jet's head. This is pretty much the only real problem in a pretty good robot mode.

Overall: 2 good modes with only one problem to really drag it down. A 4.5 for me.

Superion

Like Micromaster Devastator Superion has a uniform color scheme. All the Aerialbot colors are present except for that awful gray and gold is added on the "pants" and gun. I just hope it is not that brittle gold Hasbro was once so fond of. Superion is a very sleek robot and gives off a G1 Superion vibe. The head really does so well even if it was never meant to do so. The gold mouth plate really does wonders. The feet and fists are also white.

So on the surface Superion would rank really as a Micromaster combiner. Sadly a few things are wrong.

1- The right arm cannot move forward all that well. One needs to point it to the side.

2- The fists go over the heads of Storm Jet and Skydive and on Storm Jet this does cause paint to chip. The same is true for Sixwing.

3- The fists are painted white. Why I do not understand as it would have been easier to make them out of white plastic. Instead they are made of red plastic and painted with. I would not mind that as such if the white was the same as the white found on the planes or other parts. Sadly it is not which looks a bit off.

4- Ro-Tor does not attach too well (even worse than on the others ones) and is best left out completely.

Still, Superion is a very nice combiner and well worth it for any collector even if he does have little problems. (The colors are way better than reissue Sixwing) The homage is cool and works which is really the point of this set. 4.0 and that is only because of the paint chip problem on Storm Jet because he would have been worth a 4.5.

Overall:

6 interesting Micromasters of which three really good ones. two that are ok and only one bad one and a cool combined mode. Add to that the interesting G1 Aerialbot homage (which is not always used that well) and you have a set of Transformers that one simply must own. The vehicle modes work for me and that is the modes I will keep these in. As a whole this set is worth a 4.5 to me.



ReviewerFerry Rudolph  
DateApril 21st 2006  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  
Reads9867
Link  




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