Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Generations Combiner Wars Firefly


Poor Firefly. I'm guessing that trademark issues stop him using his original name Fireflight so instead he looses the last five letters and gains a Y to take on the codename of one of GI Joe's enemies. As name swaps go this isn't the worst I've ever seen but I wonder if they gave any consideration to using his Japanese name Firebolt? Unless, of course, it's an attempt on trademark preservation for Firefly during GI Joe's current interregnum. Hasbro: where was my 50th anniversary Firefly figure?

Anyway back to the Transformer: The robot mode, like the original, is mainly white from the front with some red round the chest. A lot more red is visible from the back where it looks, as ever, like he's carrying his plane mode on his back. Silver and blue highlight are on the chest and silver is used to pick out the faceplate and top of his white head which means his head strongly resembles that of Ultra Magnus' inner robot. Articulation is good: ball jointed head, shoulders lift at the body and connect to the arms via a ball joint. He's got a bicep swivel, bending elbow, turning waist, ball jointed hips, thigh swivels and bending knees. The only real problem with the robot mode is the top, around the shoulders, looks substantially wider than the bottom, around the lower legs. He comes with his own single barrelled hand gun and the dual cannon which serves as his combined mode foot & hand.

Transformation: Straighten the legs and peg together. Open the back of the lower leg up and fold the upper leg into it. Yes it's that knee joint again. Straighten the arms by the sides of his body with the hands facing forwards. Fold the shoulders, and arms, down so the slot on the lower arm meets the tab on what was the lower leg. Fold the nosecone over the head. Fold the tail fin, tail wings and main wings down. Peg the hand gun and dual cannon under each wing.

The original Fireflight was a red F-4 Phantom with white wings. While the colours have been carried over to the new toy, the vehicle design hasn't and his design now more closely resemble the Harrier Jump Jet. Long term Aerialbot fans may see the significance of this decision and should jump down to the bottom to give the Future Repaints section a quick read. Unlike the other jet mould used for the Aerialbots Skydive & Air Raid, Fireflight has a fold down landing gear under his nose. He lacks the 5mm peg hole on top of the jet body but there's one under each wing to allow his weapons to be used in this mode.

Firefly can also function as a limb for Superion or any other Combiner Wars combined robot:

Arm mode: take the robot, fold the head back 90 degrees raising the combiner peg. Fold the arms so the shoulders are above the head, with the arms pointing backwards, folded down his back and the hands hanging onto the tabs there. Peg the legs together to form the lower arm. Bend the barrels of his larger dual cannon down, fold out the fingers and peg into the base of his feet.

Decent arm providing the Combiner wars standard of a turning and raising shoulder, a bicep from the robot hip, double bending elbow and rotating wrist. The colours on him are a good match for Silverbolt's white & red and the large amount of red makes him a good arm for Optimus.

Leg Mode: Take the jet mode, fold the nose cone onto his back, as per robot mode, and insert his large dual cannon into the rear of the jet as a foot.

Solid lower leg which provides a thigh swivel, bending knee and rotating ankle.

Skydive's a solid, if unspectacular, toy in all of it's modes. You'll want it to complete Superion and two more might be in order to use as arms for a colour coordinated Ultra Optimus.

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.

But look at the jet mode: it strongly resembles the missing original Aerialbot Slingshot: they are both Harriers. A white repaint of Firefly, perhaps with a new head, would do the trick nicely. That then could be redone as the gold G2 Slingshot, though hopefully in a more resilient non GPS prone version!

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