Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Generations Combiner Wars Skydive & Air-Raid


Confession time: I can never remember which Aerialbot is which! Skydive is the grey one with black wings who TFWiki tells me is a F-16 Falcon Jet. He comes packaged in robot mode complete with a trading card. He's an Aerialbot so, like the rest of his team, there's yellow highlights on the card, and he's numbered 2.

The robot mode is nice and chunky, taking the 1986 Scramble City body part design and tweaking it to give Skydive pointer Shoulders and an almost upside down pot shaped head while putting all the colours where they ought to be. You can tell it's meant to be Skydive. His articulation is good: ball jointed head & shoulders, bicep rotation, bending elbows, rotating waist, ball jointed hips and bending knees. He come with a double barrelled gun for him to hold, similar to the weapon with the original toy, and a larger weapon with two warhead mounted on the end. Each can be held in either hand.

Transformation: remove the weapon. Fold down the front of the legs. Lock the legs together, unpeg the back of the knees and fold down the upper legs into the lower legs: the knee is pinned to a bar which is in turn pinned half way up the leg. So the knee is positioned at the top of the leg for robot mode and inside the bottom for vehicle mode. Get used to it, it's on all four Aerialbots and two of the Stunticons. The only thing to be careful of is that the knees tab in right when reversing the transformation. Personally I think it's Overcomplicated solution to a simple problem when a sliding joint, like Dragstrip has, will suffice. Fold the arms straight along the sides of the plane. Pull each wing back and swing them, and the connected shoulder and arm, back down the body: a similar idea to the legs here: the shoulder is mounted on a bar which is in turn attached half way down the body. Peg the inside of the wrist against the sides of the back of the jet. Fold down the tail fins and wings. Fold the nose forward, off the robot's back/top of the plane, and into the correct position for a jet.

I am not a plane man, but TFWiki tells me this new version is "a cross between an F-16 and an F-18". I can see the resemblance, but he now has two tail fins rather than one. Other editions include a pair of gold painted missiles underneath each wing. Also under each wing, and on top of the body of the jet, are 5mm peg holes which you can use to mount his weapons. Since there's three peg holes and just two weapons there's plenty of configurations available to you. Unlike Firefly and Silverbolt, Skydive has no landing gear and relies on the robot parts on the undercarriage to rest on.

Skydive 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.

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. Get used to it because he forms the basis for another Aerialbot too!

Skydive was sold in Combiner Wars Deluxe wave 1 alongside his team mates Alpha Bravo & Firefly and the Stunticon Dragstrip. This wave was first seen in the far east in the middle of December 2014 and shortly afterwards, to much surprise, became the first generally distributed Generations deluxe wave in the UK for many years. The wave was then found in the USA at around the end of the same year.

Air Raid

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. What's interesting is that the official images of the Aerialbots make it quite obvious that Skydive & Air Raid share a great many parts:

Skydive Air Raid
Leg Front Grey White
Upper Legs Black White
Waist Black White
Connector Black White
Gun Black White
Tailfins Black Black
Nosecone Black Black

More comments when the toy is released, but it very much looks like he has functional swing wings.

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 due to be released in mid/late January 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.

The swing wing F-14 design also automatically lends itself to doing Jetfire

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