Saturday, 2 May 2015

Combiner Wars Quickslinger (Slingshot)

See the Firefly review for more on the previous version of this toy.

Quickslinger

Even when Slingshot was left out of the original configuration of Combiner Wars Superion in favour of the the helicopter Alpha Bravo not all hope was lost: looking carefully at Firefly's jet mode it strongly resembles the missing original Aerialbot both looking like Harrier Jump Jets.

On 9th January 2015 Takara teased their Superion with 5 jets. On the 22nd January Unite Warriors Superion was revealed containing a white repaint of Firefly as Slingshot. I promptly pre ordered a set with HLJ, despite already having the other four toys, but later the same day a TRU computer listing for Slingshot & Wildrider was found. On the 23rd of March a Diamond website listing for Quickslinger & Brake-Neck, assumed to be the same toys under a different name, was located. The next day Hasbro teased them on their Facebook page before officially revealing them the day after. At midday EST on the 30th April an embargo was listed and many websites revealed galleries and availability information for Quickslinger and Brake-Neck. By then however certain online retailers who source their stock in the far east had already received their stock and dispatched them. My set from Kapow toys arrived May 2nd!

If you've got Firefly you know exactly what you're getting: this is the original toy with all the red, bar the chest, and all the grey turned white. The legs, shoulder joints, and combiner connector are now black. The head is a new mould much close to the original Slingshot.

Save for some black paint covering the panels on the outside of the fist this is pretty much dead on what you want and completes my Superion.


Future Repaints

The obvious repaint for most Aerialbots is as their G2 counterparts. G2 Fireflight however looks very much like his original version, with the exception of some detail on the wings and a silver robot chest which is already hinted at here.

Quickslinger could be redone as the gold G2 Slingshot, though hopefully in a more resilient non GPS prone version!

Both are strong candidates for a Decepticon repaint, possibly as part of a larger sized Combiner Wars version of Sixwing. I find it incredible that 30 years after the first combiner was released we still haven't had a full sized Decepticon Air vehicle combiner, forms more aligned to the original forms of the 1984 Decepticons.

Combiner Wars Brake-Neck (Wildrider)

See the Dead End review for more on the previous versions of this toy.

Brake-Neck

Lots of fans were upset when Combiner Wars Superion was released with Alpha Bravo replacing Slingshot. This was tempered slightly when Unite Warriors Superion, including Slingshot repainted from Fireflight was announced. I already had Silverbolt and the three limbs released in the west and I still pre ordered one.

We already knew Menasor was shipping with Offroad replacing Wildrider so speculation turned to which Stunticon mould would provide the new version of Wildrider in the Japanese Menasor: Dead End or Breakdown? I could see the argument for Breakdown being used: Wildrider is more angular than Dead End but Breakdown's vehicle mode is easily identifiable as a Lamborghini so thought Dead End was probably going to be the one repainted.

On the 22nd of January 2015 a Toys R Us listing for Slingshot & Wildrider was found, leading to speculation that there would be a western release of the limb recolours as an exclusive. The long suspected Japanese version of Wildrider using Dead End was revealed in a magazine on the 20th March. On 23rd March a Diamond listing for theses toys was found with Hasbro teasing them on Facebook the next day under the names Quickslinger and Break-Neck. The full versions were revealed the day after on 25th March by which time pre orders were opening up everywhere.

Although I get that for various reasons the name Wildrider and his persona might be wanted to be avoided the name Brake Neck seems a little odd given there's already a similarly named Breakdown on the Stunticon team.

Dead End becomes the first Combiner Wars mould to be used three times with Brake-Neck. Generally the car mode for Brake-Neck looks pretty good swapping Dead End's burgundy for grey/silver but the mid arm panels, coloured red, form part of the side of the vehicle and break up the grey body work. A little bit of paint to make the line of the top of the door the same colour wouldn't have gone amiss.

Transforming to robot mode reveals more colours. The Burgundy of Dead End's chest and chest panel are the only parts of that colour not to become silver/grey, they're more of a pale grey. The pale grey of the knees, waist and combiner wars connector become black. The darker grey of the upper legs, hands, mid arm pieces, neck and combiner connector become red. A new head, featuring Wildrider's signature spikes sticking out the side is cast in a similar colour to the car body with a painted red face.

Given that an exact car match for Wildrider was unavailable this is a pretty good attempt. The red breaking up the top of the door and not quite matching the rest of the red stripe does annoy me though!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Classics Legends Wave 3 Review: Cliffjumper, Skywarp & Ultra Magnus

On the first day of Philmas the postman brought to me six small robots from Hong Kong

Don't know how these got here to the UK so quickly when I only ordered them on Monday from Robot Kingdom in Hong Kong. And they dodged Customs!


Cliffjumper is the legend that's existed the longest abroad without making a western appearance: Henkei Cliff was released in 2009 in C-18 Minibot Attack Team with Beachcomber & Gong (Brawn)

Straight off the bat even before we get him out the packet we can see Cliffjumper has a larger Autobot symbol than his Henkei predecessor.

Once out another change is clearly revealed: all of Cliff's grey, including the tires, is now black. Sadly Cliffjumper has lost the red cuff paint app that Cliff had.

Vehicle mode shows the windows are more silver on Cliffjumper.

Like this, much prefer the black to the grey :-)

Mold group shot:

Universe BB, RTS Gold BB, EZ Collection BB
TRU DOTM Scanning pack, Dollar store variation, AoE/Classic Legion
TF GO EZ Collection, Henkei Cliff Classic Legion Cliffjumper


Like Cliffjumper, Skywarp has been available in Japan before as part of the Chronicle EZ Collection Wave 2 in 2011. Those who were clever bought in advance on the strength of a black and white picture, guessing and seeing how high Thundercracker went. Case sold out as soon as the colour picture surfaced and that was that as Skywarp copied his brother and then some. Demand for a western version increased when Thundercracker had a version with c-clip hands released as part of GDO Generations and then Starscream recieved the same upgrade as a dollar store variation.

In the packet Skywarp's paint apps appear to be a more blue purple than his EZ Collection counterpart.

That's confirmed out of the packet where we can see he's also lost the blue pueple paint app at the front of the legs. Although he has the modified hands and wing holes from GDO Thundercracker sadly, as AOE/Classic Legion Starscream led us to expect, lost his null rays. So if a 3p company/Shapeways designer could oblige us in grey, black and silver I'd be most pleased.

Jet mode looks FAB, the bluer stripe along the wing really works together with the full colour Decepticon symbols as opposed to the silver ones his EZ Collection version had. The Null Rays are really missed here. His engines have the same inexplicable hole through them as all the c-clip/3mm peg versions of this toy do.

Very nice, and great to finally have a western old fashioned Legend Thundercracker but NEEDS NULL RAYS!

Mold Group Shot:

RTS Starscream, EZ Collection 3 Starscream, EZ Collection 2 Thundercracker, EZ Collection 3 Skywarp
Gum/Metallic EZ Collection Starscream, TF GO EZ Collection Starscream, AOE/Classic Legion Starscream
Generation Dollar Store variant Starscream, Generations GDO Legend Thundercracker, AOE/Classic Legion Skywarp


RTS Legend Optimus was released in late 2010/early 2011. How has it taken FOUR YEARS to get it repainted in white in Ultra Magnus?

The artwork asks a different question: why has there never been an all white G1 Ultra Magnus super robot? Hasbro/Takara, I have money for you!

Robot mode shows that like the Target exclusive Classics Magnus Hasbro have been unwilling to completely go down the all white route. The colour used on the legs is grey. Love the blue faceplate, crest and windows. He has GDO Motormouth's c-clip hands but alas not his sword.

Vehicle mode: oh to swap the white of the wheels and the grey of the flatbed round! The middle tire is evidentally painted too which look too great. Almost tempted to get a spare Optimus and do a wheel swap.

Very grateful to finally get one of these but you can't help feeling he could have been better!

Mold Group Shot:

RTS Optimus, EZ Collection 1 Convoy, EZ Collection 2 G2 Convoy
Dollar Store Legend variant Optimus, TF GO EZ Collection Convoy, Gum/Metallic G2 Convoy, AOE/Classic Legion Optimus
GDO Motorbreath, Japanese AOE Promo clear Convoy, AOE Classic Legion Ultra Magnus

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Combiner Wars Motormaster & Menasor

See the Combiner Wars Optimus Prime Review for more on the first version of this toy.

Motormaster

I'll get the big bugbear out the way first: an evil Optimus Prime is not Motormaster. An Evil Optimus is Scourge or Nemesis Prime, which I prefer. The Evil Optimus is Motormaster thing started in 2007 with Classics Legend Menasor and continued with Generations Legend Motorbreath, both names used when Motormaster was unavailable but we know what they mean. The Classics Legend is a repaint of Legends of Cybertron Optimus: If they'd have done it using the full size Cybertron Optimus Prime I could have just about managed with the smaller robot being Motormaster and the larger powered up one Menasor.

My main objection for using Optimus for Motormaster is that the originals are different toys. Optimus' robot is formed from the cab, Motormaster from the cab and trailer. Motormaster's cab is black but the bulk of his body is silver grey, from the trailer, with the black cab forming the feet. The look of the two robots is totally different.

However in this world of extensive mould reuse I could see why they'd want to do it. The problem is I look at the toy and just see Optimus. The Truck cab is a dark silver grey and generally is the same shape as Optimus. There's some newly moulded panels on top and the shape of the radiator and side panels has slightly changed but side by side it's obvious they are the same toy.

Transformation between both of Motormaster's modes is the same as Optimus Prime's.

Robot mode is a little better but the head used for Motormaster is terrible, a block with a face on it! It might be his cartoon appearance but it looks rubbish. The major concession to the original Motormaster design is a new chest swapping Prime's fake windows for some sculpted detail panels. The problem is the general shape of the toy is exactly the same even down to some of the Prime details like the distinctive vented panels on his legs. He's got a new gun and a new sword in this mode which look distinctly odd with an odd latticework sculptured quality. They tab together and can be placed on the truck mode.

Your mileage may vary but in my opinion this is just a bad Optimus repaint. I'd prefer a white Prime as Ultra Magnus' inner robot or a black Nemesis Prime any day.


Menasor

Motoromaster's Transformation to Menasor's chest is identical to Optimus Prime becoming Ultra Optimus. The sword and gun peg together to form a new larger sword which Menasor can hold using what was the gun's barrel.In chest mode we get a new black head, with poseable grey horns, a new opening chest and a new waist plate. Unfortunately the problems Prime had with his thigh plates not holding the legs stable in combined mode are much worse here and to compound the matter Motormaster's shoulders are very reluctant to stay locked together in Torso mode: the connection is very weak and they easily pop out when you move an arm. No attempt has been made at correcting the ratchet settings so the legs can point straight down in combined mode: you're again holding them under tension to keep them parted at the correct angle.

Menasor introduces a new element to the combined body transformation in the form of the Legends car Blackjack, an updated version of Motormaster's drone car which takes the name of a Micromaster Sports Car Patrol team member. Unfortunately what looked like a nice idea in the pictures turns into a nightmare when you have the toy in hand! Blackjack doesn't fit properly onto the the pages sticking out the combined robot's inner chest: the pegs taper at the end and Blackjack's holes to accommodate the pegs aren't that deep so as a result there's very little contact between peg and hole and he easily falls off.

Very disappointed.

This toy needed to be good for me to like it but it amplifies the flaws in the earlier versions and introduces some new ones as well. You'll buy it because you need the core for Menasor but it isn't as good as the original Optimus version. http://www.tfu.info/1986/Decepticon/Menasor/menasor.htm http://www.tfu.info/2007/Decepticon/SDCCMenasor/menasor.htm


Optimus Maximus

I had said I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the Combiner Wars limb bots being repainted as 1984/5 Autobots to accompany Optimus, with Dragstrip as Mirage is an obvious one, and sure enough in December 2012 Wal*Mart's computer has leaked the names of four toys that look like they fit this bill: Mirage, Sunstreaker, Ironhide & Prowl. At that point they were assumed to go with the existing Optimus Prime toy but in mid January this piece of toyfair promo art emerged seemingly showing a white Optimus Prime redeco. At that point rumours had been circulating for a while of a new Ultra Magnus toy for 2015 and everyone knows that a white Optimus Prime is Ultra Magnus. However at the start of March a new name appeared: Optimus Maximus and shortly after a larger version of the promo art showed up on the Entertainer's website showing the white Prime combined with the Autobot repaints.

The name Optimus Maximus isn't new: it was used before on a Transformers Prime battle mech for Optimus Prime. The Maximus suffix does have combining connotations though. During Energon three combiners bore it: Superion Maximus, Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus and it was also later used on the poorly named club exclusive Nexus Maximus.

So why a different name for a white Prime instead of Ultra Magnus? The main reason would appear to be that there is another Ultra Magnus toy due out at the same time. Personally I think this is a big missed opportunity to do a white Prime cab that when transformed forms the core of a Combiner with Ultra Magnus' super mode head. Throw in a new shield for the Voyager robot to use that then became a new red chest plate for Magnus and you're on to a winner. 3P companies take note: I have money for you for these items to convert my Optimus Maximus into Ultra Magnus.

As can be seen by the combined mode images Optimus Maximus has his own version of Blackjack, Legends Rodimus. I await to see if the connection between the two has been improved but don't hold out much hope.


Grand Scourge

This may take some explaining.....

Energon Optimus Prime, the most combiner orientated Optimus before the Combiner Wars Voyager, was released in Japan as Superlink Grand Convoy. Superlink Grand Convoy had a model kit version and that in turn was recoloured into Grand Scourge, which you can see a gallery of here. It's this version of Scourge that provides the inspiration for this toy.

Now I'll be honest: I was expecting this mould to get Scoured/Nemesis Primed but the version I thought they'd do first was the more familiar Car Robots/Robots in Disguise version. I didn't expect this slice of Japanese repaint madness!

As this gallery on Autobase Aichi shows, Prime's red and blue both become black while the grey becomes gold. The gun is now cast in lavender while he comes with an extra red sword, previously available in grey with Beast Hunter Ultimate Optimus Prime, which appears to be a nod to the sword wielding Car Robots/RiD Scourge. To complete the cacophony of colour the truck has metallic teal stripes!

Due to be available from E-Hobby in September 2015 this toy is a bit too busy colourwise for my liking but it's a Japanese exclusive recolour and was easy to pre-order from HLJ even if it wasn't cheap!


Future Repaints and Add Ons

Although a repaint of this toy as Ultra Magnus is probably ruled out by the existence of Optimus Maximus, I can see no reason why this toy shouldn't return again as the more familiar Car Robots/RID Scourge, swapping Grand Scourge's gold for grey and doing the guns in black. Some way to hold both guns side by side in one hand would be nice to mimic Scourge/Laser Prime's dual cannon.

The Motormaster remould could be redone as his unreleased Generation 2 variant, recently glimpsed at auction.

I'd pay money for a version of Menasor's Blackjack being repainted in blue as Roller to accompany the original version of this toy.

Energon Optimus Prime offers some intriguing possibilities for limbs to accompany Optimus Prime: We've already got a Helicopter limb in Alpha Bravo, how about making Fire Engine, Sub & Drill Tank limbs to homage Energon Optimus? The Drill Tank could almost certainly be reused as Nosecone and Drillhorn as well as effectively being an upgrade for Rescue Force Mole. A new version of Energon Wing Sabre would go nicely with this toy too.

Cybertron could give us Leobreaker which would be a useful mould if Hasbro went down the Predaking route with this combiner system and I see no reason why they shouldn't.

There's plenty of scope for doing things with this Optimus for some while yet. If Hasbro don't I can see third party companies eagerly stepping in.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Combiner Wars Air-Raid


See the Skydive review for more details on the first version of this toy.

Air Raid

Air Raid & Sky Dive would appear to be the first examples of Combiner Wars' policy of remoulding where possible to produce a new toy. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense: within the teams there are similar vehicle modes and similar vehicles crop up across some of the more mixed teams.

In robot mode air Raid and Sky dive don't look too similar until you look closely: it appears that the legs and the gun are the same shape and that's it. Everything upwards of the waist is new. Whereas Sky Dive was a mixture of grey lower limbs, black upper limbs, combiner connector & head and a had a red body Air Raid is all white, bar his body. Compared to the original 1986 Air Raid this looks a decent upgrade to the original. Articulation wise he's identical to Combiner Wars Sky Dive.

Transformation to jet mode starts off the same: open the legs and fold the upper legs in. From here on it gets different. Straighten the arms to the sides of the toy and fold the shoulders down, tabbing the arms into the sides of the plane. Fold the side tail fins and wings out. Fold the wings back.

The original 1986 Air Raid is an F-15 Eagle, the same as the original Decepticon jets and indeed the jet mode bears the same colour, black, as one of those Decepticons, Skywarp. This new version is a quite similar looking F-14 Tomcat. Despite looking completely different in this mode from Skydive incredibly they do share some jet mode parts: the nose cones and upright tail fins are identical. There's hints to a common origin elsewhere in the design, the way the tail fins fold down and a 5mm peg hole on the vehicle's back for their large weapon, a feature absent on Firefly. Like the other two Combiner Wars Aerialbot jets he has a 5mm peg hole under each wing to mount weapons in.

His weapons set is identically moulded to Skydives: the vehicle mode cannon/hand/foot even looks the same, bar a small joint in the thumb which is now white where it was black as is the dual barrelled hand gun. It does mean, with some swapping, that you can now give both jets paired weapons. Here's a summary of the shared parts

Skydive Air Raid
Leg Front Grey White
Upper Legs Black White
Waist Black White
Connector Black White
Dual Gun Black White
Thumb Joint Black White
Tailfins Black Black
Nosecone Black Black
Vehicle Gun Black Black

Transformation instructions to limb mode is identical between the two figures. It's almost tempting to use them both as the same limb so there can be a dual cannon mounted on each shoulder, like Powermaster Optimus, or each leg, similar to Fortress Maximus.

TOP remould, love him. I've got the first three waves of Combiner Wars toys now. They may have come first but to me the Aerialbots are still the strongest toys in the set and feel like they're punching considerably above their weight.

Air Raid is numbered 1 in the Aerialbot set and sold in the second wave of combiner toys. He is the lone Aerialbot in this wave and comes packed with the three Stunticons who do not feature in wave 1: Breakdown, Deadend and Offroad. This wave is was released in early February 2015.


Future Repaints

The obvious candidates for recolouring these two toys are G2 Skydive, in silver, and G2 Air Raid, in blue, coincidentally the colours of another early Decepticon jet, Thundercracker.

It therefore makes sense to me that Starscream, Sunstorm and Acid Storm would make good repaints for Air Raid. Thundercracker and Skywarp might be a harder sell given their similarity to the G1 and Combiner Wars versions but could be done if the body parts were changed too. Alternately another wing mould to precisely mimic the F15 would be good.

The swing wing F-14 design also automatically lends itself to doing Jetfire or his downsized Cyberjet version Hooligan.

Combiner Wars Breakdown


Breakdown

Stunticon Breakdown is the Lamborghini Countach of the Stunticon team so comparisons with Sideswipe and his brother Sunstreaker are inevitable.

He comes in robot mode but we want to look at the car mode first. Fold the forearms up over the front of his arms and fold the shoulders down to his side forming the doors on the side of the vehicle. Fold the chest, neck and head back into his backpack. Fold the back pack up to form the front of the vehicle, there's a slot in the back of it which connects to a tab on the top of the rotating barrel of the combiner connector. Bring the lower legs up, via a bar connecting the inside of the lower leg to the knee, so the lower legs are inside the upper legs. Peg the legs together. Fold the windscreen into place.

The transformation is somewhat hindered by some interesting robot hips. More later....

The car mode is a pretty good representation of a Lamborghini without incurring the wrath of lawyers. It's an off white/cream colour with a red bonnet and black windows. It looks exactly as you'd expect it to! His hand weapon, a sword, has a tab on it which pegs into a slot in the side of his door.

Like all the Combiner Wars vehicles he comes with a way of mounting his limb mode hand/foot as a weapon and the obvious thing to do here is to plug the peg on it straight into the hole on it's roof. However there's a second vehicle use for the weapon. Turn it the other way up and bend the thumb down behind it. The thumb can then tab into a hole on the back of Breakdown's spoiler with two grooves on the underside of the weapon fitting around two tabs at the rear of his roof. This mounts the weapon further back and lower, making it look like Sunstreaker's Supercharger.

If I've one criticism of this mode it's that the rear of the car doesn't want to peg together seamlessly and there feels like there's a gap down the middle.

Reverse the transformation to return to robot mode. I like how folding the shoulders up locks the chest plate into position.

There's some interesting detail on Breakdown's robot mode. I like the chest plate because it folds down and mostly hides the combiner connector. However moulded onto it is what looks like a Police Car's Lightbar. I can see that in the Animation model but it's more pronounced here and is making me wonder if a VERY interesting repaint might be in the works. Other than that it's nearly exactly what I'd expect from a Stunticon,

Articulation: the ankles bend forward as part of the transformation. The knees bend and there's a thigh swivel. The hips are ball jointed and the waist turns. The head is mounted on a ball joint and there are ball joints at the shoulders. The upper elbow joint bends and the lower elbow joint is a ball joint.

As I said above the hips are "interesting" each hip ball joint pivots independently round a point in the middle of the waist. In vehicle mode they're as close together as they can be towards the bottom middle of his waist. Their maximum spread is the usual hip position opposite each other. However they can move up further than this on each side at a cost of lowering the position on the opposite side resulting in a very lopsided looking robot. It's a very odd joint.

As ever 5mm peg holes in the hand which allow him to hold his L handled weapon as a sword or a bladed gun. He's a decent enough robot who I'm sure we'll be seeing more of.

Breakdown also forms a limb for a Combiner Wars robot.

Leg mode: start from car mode, fold the windsceen back, fold the bonnet and it's contents back into the space where the windscreen was. Fold the combiner connector out flat as a foot and insert into the peg hole on the rear of the car.

Solid standard leg providing the thigh swivel, bending knee and turning ankle. Where the bonnet is bent forwards provides a nice level platform for Micromasters or Legion sized figures to stand.

Arm mode: start from leg mode. Remove the weapon and transform the rear of the car into the robots legs but keep the feet folded up. Tab the legs together. Insert the vehicle weapon into the hole in the rear of the car/bottom of the feet folded out as a hand.

All the Combiner wars limbs so far have provided us with a standard level of combined mode arm articulation: the arm turns at the shoulder and can be raised out to the side. The robot waist becomes a bicep swivel while the legs give it a double elbow and the peg for the hand wrist rotation. Here however the weird moving hips allow some elbow movement sideways which lets you use Breakdown as an arm side on, presenting a thinner more pleasing view from the front. The other thing that becomes obvious in hand mode is that the hand/foot/weapon is made from two different grades of purple plastic who's colouring doesn't quite match.

So decent enough in all modes. I'd gladly loose the odd hips though!


Sunstreaker

The first mention of a Combiner Wars Sunstreaker was in December 2015 when his name popped up on a set of store computer listing. At the start of March 2015 The Entertainer used a promotional banner on their website, a larger version of UK toyfair promo art seen in January, which showed the Autobot combiner with what appears to be the Dragstrip from Mirage limb as the left arm. Interestingly the repaints of Dragstrip and Breakdown appear to have effectively swapped their colour schemes to become Mirage & Sunstreaker!

Future Repaints

Having got a Breakdown it's an inevitability that the Transformers Collectors Club will repaint it as G2 Breakdown like they did with the universe version.

Most of the time a remould on a toy is to change it's appearance. However a remould to how this toy transforms would make the world of difference. I'd have the bonnet hinged at it's base, connected to the neck plate which is then connected to a hinge at the top, slightly covered by the windscreen. Result: a bonnet that will still fold back, for combined mode, but one that will also fold forward onto the chest to make Sideswipe. If you're doing Sunstreaker, you HAVE to do Sideswipe. That would then give us Red Alert as an EASY repaint and also things like G2 Sideswipe, Deep Cover and Clamp Down. Part of me thinks that Tigertrack wouldn't be worth doing but the thought of having TWO almost identical yellow Lambo that turn into different robots is quite tempting! See also red Diaclone Countach LP500S Super Tuning and Police Car Diaclone Countach LP500S Super Tuning and

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Combiner Wars Cyclonus & Galvatronus

See the Silverbolt review for details of the original version of this toy.

Cyclonus

If you'd asked me a few months ago who the most likely remould of Silverbolt was I'd have said Starscream as part of a Decepticon jet combiner. When Cyclonus rumours surfaced I was sure then if he'd be a new mould. Outline images of his combined mode and an image from the game made a remould seemed more likely so we weren't that surprised by his toyfair reveal.

In his robot mode he looks a lot like a purple and silver Silverbolt with a Cyclonus head on it. This is compounded when he holds the weapon which is Silverbolt's gun, but in grey. It looks nice but doesn't really feel Cyclonusy, lacking the rounded shoulders that we're used to. However when you fold the wings out behind him, *THEN* he becomes Cyclonus! Cyclonus has the benefit of two small extra weapons, a blade plugged into each forearm which can be removed and hand held.

The Transformation is a little different: fold the head backwards into the neck and then fold the nose closed over it. From there the legs fold up to become the rear of the jet and arms fold into them as before. Unplug the fin weapons and plug into the exposed hand backs. Fold the wings down over the arms, with the moulded detail inherited from Silverbolt recessing into a hollowed out space in them. Tabs on the wings plug into slots on the arms as before. Fold the fins up from the engines.

while the robot mode may have taken some stretch to be recognisably Cyclonus this is spot on, a large chunky purple version of the original Cyclonus. Just like Silverbolt the gun can peg in under the nose. without it, there's a fold down landing gear. Unfortunately without either you can see Cyclonus' face peering out from under the nose!

So assessing this toy we've got a robot that overall is probably OK, with reservations, as Cyclonus but the jet mode is very good.


Galvatronus

I could see how They got from Silverbolt to Cyclonus, both are 1986 released jets. But Cyclonus to Galvatronus? Hmmmm. Megatron to Galvatron as a combined mode power up I could understand. And Indeed I want.Corrupting the name is obviously meant to distance it from Galvatron but that fact is the name is still screaming Galvatron at us. The transformation from jet to combined mode body is nearly identical, the only extra thing you need to do is re-site the blades to the outer side of each leg.

Galvatronus' combined mode on his box uses two Aerialbots and two Stunticons as his limbs, emphasising the bio's mention of mind control powers used to take over any limb bot and form the combined mode and the toyline's ability to interchange limbs. Oddly none of the toys used are the ones that are about to become spare limbs with the release of Quicksling and Brakeneck. I don't want to take two combiners apart and I'd quite like to compare the combined form to Superion while having Galvatronus fighting Defensor so I've used the Stunticon limbs, where the purple hands and feet are a decent match for Galvatronus' body. I'd like to use Decepticon jets but there aren't any.... yet.

Galvatronus is a little odd: he doesn't really look like the animated Galvatron character model, especially his head. Yes it's got a crest and horns but it looks more like the original Galvatron toy. Apart from the colour, which is purple all over, the most obviously Galvatron feature it the pattern of four red squares on his lower chest. Unfortunately the moulded portion above this looks more like an 84/5 Decepticon cockpit.... which in turn makes you look at the head again and think "this looks a bit like Starscream with his crown on". Was the original intention for this toy a Starscream who's combined mode was an Emperor Starscream? However the purple makes it look nice and Decepticony and the torso maintains the stability of Superion's so he qualifies as a decent combiner torso.


Future Repaints and Add Ons

There's two obvious routes I could see Hasbro going down for repaints here: The first is obvious Generation 2 Superion. I'd not be surprised to see this as this year's SDCC boxset.

The other is as a Decepticon Jet combiner, either using the original jet line up, the Predators or as Destron Sixwing.

Having seen the Galvatronus combined chest and various fan photshops I'd like to see a Starscream version and the remoulding for Cyclonus makes me think a F16 from this mould is possible.

I've seen it suggested that a Stealth Jet Megatron retool might be possible which could put the Megatron Voyager to Galvatron combiner core idea to use.

But I still want a Megatron Voyager tank!