Transformers Superion
Transformers Superion
Transformers Superion
Transformers Silverbolt
Transformers Silverbolt
Transformers Air Raid
Transformers Air Raid
Transformers Airazor
Transformers Airazor
Transformers Fireflight
Transformers Firelfight
Transformers Skydive
Transformers Skydive
   

Superion is a recolour of Superion Maximus from the 2003 Energon line. This colour scheme was initially released as part of Universe before being repackaged (with no further changes) as part of the Revenge of the Fallen line.

I actually owned a couple of the limbs from the Energon robots back when they were originally released, and quite liked them... However, the idea of collecting two more recolours and Silverbolt to form the whole thing wasn't something I fancied. Thankfully, the Revenge of the Fallen version was released as a multipack containing all five figures, which then got reduced in a lot of places after Christmas 2009 - getting the lot for £14.99 was more like it.


As team leader, Silverbolt gets to be the biggest. His figure is roughly Deluxe sized or about the same size as the original Silverbolt. It doesn't look much like a normal plane, being a mixture of a generic spy-plane type and a Cybertronian craft. It really isn't especially pleasing to look at with robot parts clearly visible at the back of the fuselage and next to the tiny, stubby wings. On top of that, the thing's a patchwork of colours with an eye on the robot forms with little thought as to how it makes the jet look.

For something of this size, there's not a lot to him. The transformation isn't so much complex as irritating, especially putting the head and shoulders into place. This problem is largely that Silverbolt is as hollow as an IDW Movie comic. He's got shoulders, he's got hips, he's got a chest plate and he's got a back. Between all of these is a couple of square inches of healthy fresh air and it looks dreadful. Silverbolt's arms are overlong to boot and have hands sculpted into them. I mean, Christ, is it 1988 and no-one told me? There are plenty of moving joints and the like, but he looks so awful and half-arsed from any angle that it really doesn't seem worth bothering with. Again there's a lot sacrificed for the combined mode. The most worrying thing though is the amount of looseness. It seems to be poor quality control, traditionally Takara's area. Clipping the nose to the waist is especially weak - that it doesn't really clip being the main issue.


Air Raid has always been my favourite Aerialbot - the original had a neat F-15 alternate mode in a snappy two-tone black/white colour scheme, managed three or four crowning moments of awesome from various continuities and even his low-imagination name somehow has a feel of daring-do to it. Sadly, the two-tone colour scheme has been sacrificed on this one. Instead he's mainly dark grey, which I guess is a blend of the original. Maybe. Air Raid's jet mode borrows from the F-22 Raptor and aside from the obvious legs on the outside doesn't look too bad. The toy's Energon weapons can attach to holes on the little wings, but this looks dreadful so it's probably best if you don't try it.

He has a fairly simple transformation not entirely unlike that used for Generation 2 Cyberjet Hooligan, and is about the same size - a little taller than Scout figures, but not as big as a Deluxe. The layout is actually quite pleasing while the mix of dark grey and black is surprisingly effective. Aside from a hole in front of the head he's solid, putting team leader Silverbolt to shame, and manages some respectable articulation to boot. His Energon weapons have several possible configurations, though it's probably fair to say they don't entirely convince in any of them. Despite these reservations though Air Raid is probably the best of the individual Aerialbots once again and the mould would justify purchase on its' own, not sacrificing anything notable for the combined form.


Airazor is pretty much meant to be Slingshot - he's one only one missing of the originals and the colour scheme is close enough. I'm guessing some fascinating trademark dispute is the reason this one instead is named after no-one's favourite Maximal.

Airazor shares a mould with Air Raid with no physical changes but instead a rather natty white/blue colour scheme. It's good they didn't stick too closely to Slingshot's scheme as the original was an ugly thing and I really hated the character too. This one is much better, with a colour scheme worth the term and no baked bean sandwich head. As you can see in the picture above I've tried to fiddle the robot mode a bit in order to make it look a bit different from Air Raid without much luck - you can turn the head, knees and arms around backwards for a more distinct variety, but the backpack sticks out a bit too much to function as a scratch chest plate. It's difficult to get much variation out of the mould sadly and such a shame Hasbro wouldn't stump up for a minor retool. A different head cast would make all the difference. However being the same figure as Air Raid, Airazor still isn't bad - if maybe coloured a bit too close to Silverbolt.


The other 'limb' mould is modelled closely on an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and is thus not the prettiest. Fireflight is rendered in a surprisingly successful grey/brown/dark red scheme, even if the shape of the jet mode is a bit messy in places - notably along the spine and the fuselage section level with the wings. The turret underneath is a nice touch - however, the Energon weapon looks terrible in any of its' intended mountings.

Once again there's a good transformation for a small figure, especially the way the deep fuselage is used to provide a pair of decent legs. However, this does give Fireflight some very narrow hips, with the result that he looks knock-kneed unless you display the robot with its' legs parted. The wing back pack does give some minor balance problems too due to the relatively small feet. Nevertheless this is another good-looking robot - neat colour scheme, good head design and, unlike Silverbolt, the arms actually come across nicely. Fireflight's got decent articulation to boot and even the Energon weapon looks alright in this mode. Once again, this is a mould which justifies itself as it is, even if the brown plastic on this particular version doesn't seem to be of particularly high quality.


The other A-10ish figure in the set is Skydive. I'd guess they got the names mixed up for these two - Fireflight's predominantly grey, more like the original Skydive, whereas this Skydive isn't. Not that he's especially close to Fireflight either - this Skydive is the same colour as a Fruits of the Forest yoghurt, but by process of elimination Fireflight would be the more obvious name for it. The scheme really isn't particularly easy on the eye, being a mix of Fruits of the Forest, dark grey, light grey and red highlights. Urgh.

One good thing about this mould though is the amount of wiggle room for varying the robot mode. You can rearrange the wing backpack (which also helps the balance of the figure), turn the head around so the light-piping part forms a Cyberjet-esque 'sentinel' face and rotate the waist so the legs are the other way around, resulting in a robot that might not be completely different but at least doesn't stand out as a clone. It's not necessarily all that nice to look at but then looking at the colour scheme (which works no better in this mode) Skydive was never going to be pretty. At least this way you get all the ugly condensed into one robot.


Combining the Aerialbots is simple enough. There are quite a few changes to Silverbolt, resulting in a fairly compact, solid torso and then the other four just reconfigure slightly and clip on. Superion's basic design philosophy harks back to the 1986 Scramble City combiner teams with simple connections to allow swapping of limbs, even across different figures. However, this system continues to limit the design of the figures. Here Hasbro seem to have been determined not to use any extra parts and while the idea is laudable it also causes problems. Superion's excellent head is very nicely kept inside Silverbolt but the rest of it does use extra parts - the Energon weapons from the four smaller figures. So the problem here is that these weapons have to be used as hands and feet for Superion and the effect is less than convincing. It's a shame, because the rest of him looks very good.

While Superion has trouble just stand there due to the feet overlapping compared to the relatively narrow waist, he looks great posed. The lumbering gait and undisguised jet parts actually make the combined form a good match for the Movie aesthetic but at the same time he looks fine with Universe figures. It's much better than the near-featureless frontal look of the original Superion, that's for certain. The combiner also retains a respectable amount of articulation - notably the nicely-done legs - and has the balance to pull it off. It's a shame something couldn't be done to give the robot elbows, but it's generally a nice job. Which makes it all the more of a shame that something couldn't be done to give him more convincing hands and feet to really round off the look.


Some really good work is undone by the stubborn decision to use the unsuitable Energon weapons as extremities but Superion remains worthwhile nevertheless. In the admittedly weak field of Transformers Combiners he's probably one of the best all-rounders and the two limb robot moulds aren't bad toys in their own right. It would have been nice to have four different smaller Aerialbots of course but if you can find the Universe or Revenge of the Fallen boxed sets at a decent price, the blow is softened considerably. It's just a shame Silverbolt is so compromised by the combined mode. Overall Superion warrants a good mark, but with a little bit more care he could have been so much more.