Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Silverbolt

Winding down the string of Combiner Wars reviews, we jump up a size class to the ‘bots that really embody (get it? cuz they’re the torsos? lol) the line: the voyagers. Starting off with the acrophobic leader of the Aerialbots himself, we have Silverbolt. Silverbolt got his own non-combining Ultra-class toy back in the Universe line, but now that he’s smaller and more functional, does he still fly high (but not too high)?

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Vehicle Mode

That sure is a kind-of-a-Concorde with a folded-up robot stuck to the bottom. If there’s one Transformer that can get a pass for this, though, it’s Silverbolt, as it’s practically his trademark. With that in mind… this still kind of sucks. There’s some nice detail and the paintwork is fine, but the wings look paper-thin, the engines are tiny, and the front just looks odd. The worst part is the the shoulders and arms are not even trying to hide at all; they’re just there, looking awful. The only nice things I can say about this mode is that I like the tail fins, and the nosecone can do that Concorde thing where it bends down. Hooray for faux-accuracy?

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I wanted to compare new Silverbolt to old Silverbolt, but I only have the (superior) Darkwind redeco, so just imagine it in proper colors. Even keeping in mind the larger size class and the lack of combiner gimmick, I really think Universe Silverbolt did it better. The altmode is still a torso undercarriage, but the airplane part is big and beefy and feels substantial enough to distract you from the underside. It feels like a jet with a folded-up robot stuck on its belly, while the new one looks like a folded-up robot with a poorly-made cardboard jet stuck to his back.

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Transformation

To Silverbolt’s credit, he does pull some pretty nifty tricks in conversion. I totally did not expect the legs to be so incorporated into the wings, even if it is just a couple of panels. Everything else is simple and straightforward, though.

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Robot Mode

Silverbolt is a tall, blocky, generic robot man, and the toy replicates his general look pretty much perfectly. He still has a good pretty much all of his altmode hanging off his back, but from most angles it’s hardly noticeable. His colors are spot-on, though I think I could do with less black overall, especially on the shoulders. The orange paint also has a habit of looking kind of ugly, but it’s better than the weird tan on the Takara version.

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Silverbolt is well-articulated for a torso bot: universal ratcheting shoulders and hips (and strong ones at that), ball-jointed neck, double-jointed knees, single-joint elbows, and bicep/thigh swivels. He’s only really missing a waist and wrist swivels. I can understand the former, but there’s no reason (engineering-wise) why wrist swivels couldn’t have been worked in.

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For weapons, Silverbolt gets a really long-barreled gun and a… buckler? Sure, why not? It’s obviously supposed to stick on the back of the big gun to form Superion’s rifle, but I guess it kind of works as a shield. Unfortunately, the peg on the buckler is just a few micrometers short of a proper 5mm, so it sits in his arm peg and hands very loosely. The gun itself doesn’t have this problem and fits in nice and tight, so it must just be a QC issue.

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Overall

If it seems like I’ve been a bit down on this toy, it’s mostly just because I’m not a big fan of Silverbolt’s design… or the Aerialbots in general. It’s just a team of jets that all more or less look the same that turn into a bigger version of themselves. Compared to, say, Bruticus, it’s just boring. Despite my bias, I have to say that Silverbolt is a pretty great toy. He’s well-designed and looks great despite a somewhat-lackluster altmode and generic robot mode. The best, however, is yet to come…

Where to Buy

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