Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Alpha Bravo

With the lone Decepticon out of the way, it’s time to tackle everyone’s favorite classic Autobot combiner team, the Aerialbots. We’ll start by taking a look at the fan-favorite character Alpha Bravo. As one of the most memorable characters in the original 80’s cartoon and the Marvel comics, it’s wonderful of Hasbro to finally after 30 years give the fans a toy of this beloved character. Does the toy it live up to the legend?


Vehicle Mode

As you no doubt remember, Alpha Bravo is the lone helicopter in a combiner team of mostly jets, which makes him stand out from his flier brethren. AB here looks spot-on to his classic oddly-shaped helicopter mode. His rotor can spin happily, though it sadly cannot detach and form Alpha’s “propeller drone,” which he used to great effect against Vortex in the classic G1 episode Copter Clash. His missile pods are also not detachable here, as they are permanently attached to his arms, but end up cleverly disguising them. Also there are ports on the bottom and sides of this mode for either his regular gun or HFG, but why would you do that?



Despite being a helicopter, Alpha Bravo’s transformation is almost identical to his fellow Aerialbots (spoiler alert: they all transform the same-ish), which is also fairly similar to Drag Strip. Time will tell if all the limb deluxes will share this basic conversion scheme. It’s not a knock against the toy, however, as it’s a simple, effective transformation that does not leave me disappointed. I do, however, wish that AB’s rotor had somewhere to lock into place.


Robot Mode

Alpha Bravo’s robot mode is fairly generic, and does a good job of, well, looking like a modernized G1 Scramble City-style combiner limb that turns into a helicopter. Specifically, he really looks a lot like Vortex, which makes sense, as they were brothers in the old Marvel comics. His headsculpt is really nice and really spot-on to the character’s animation model, orange stripe and all. The only thing I don’t care for, color-wise, is the grey on his head, chest, and thighs. I just think it looks bad and clashes with the white, orange, and black. The legs also look oddly thin from certain angles, but he was like that in the cartoon, so I’ll let it slide.


Articulation is very basic and standard for these deluxes: ball-jointed neck, shoulders, and hips; swivel biceps, waist, and thighs; and single-jointed knees and elbows. Bravo here does suffer the most in articulation, as the sculpt of his hips is a tad too big to move unhindered, and ends up rubbing against the bottom of his waist. His head, however, has a very expressive range of motion and it’s delightful.


For weapons, Alpha Bravo comes with his signature Alpha Command Rifle, which he used to destroy the Decepticon Exhaust’s energon cigarette factory in the old anti-smoking G1 episode Bad Exhaust. He also comes with the HFG, with the knuckle/toe-guns sculpted as gatling guns, which is awesome.



Alpha Bravo may not be a perfect toy, but I think I speak for the entire fandom when I say that it’s just so good to finally have a toy of this beloved character. The only real improvement I can think of would be better colors, and I would say we can wait for the Japanese release, but it turns out those corporate fascists over at TakaraTomy have denied their fandom a chance at this character, instead replacing him with that two-bit poser Slingshot, who Hasbro infamously replaced Alpha Bravo with in the original G1 toyline. Honestly, I’m quite pissed off about this for all my fellow Japanese fans. Hopefully Alpha Bravo can reach the land of the rising sun soon, just like he did in his Dreamwave comic spotlight issue where he incorporated himself with Japanese culture with his good buddy Drift. I can’t wait to see where IDW takes this character now that he’s finally shown up, but I certainly hope they stay true to his G1 roots. (I’m looking at YOU, Roberts.)

Where to Buy


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