Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Superion

Well, the time has finally come. Combiner Wars has now been through two waves, and the two lead combiners are now out at retail and complete in the hands of many collectors. On top of that, the Combiner Wars story event in the comics is in full (albeit a bit dull, ugly, and disappointing) swing, but we won’t talk about that. What we will talk about is the first of the combiners to be revealed back at SDCC 2014, and the first Autobot combiner, period. Ladies and gentleman, Superion.

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I don’t really know how to divide up the talking points of the combiners, so I figure I’ll just take them point by point. Starting with how he looks, Superion looks pretty darn good. This is my “default” combination: Air Raid and Firefly as arms, Alpha Bravo and Skydive as legs. I’ll show what the others look like in different configurations in pictures down the road, but this one seems to be the most well-balanced combination to me in terms of colors and proportions. 

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Just to briefly cover articulation, every combiner port (shoulders and knees) have ratcheting rotation and outward/inward movement. Superion’s shoulders can move outward until the arm kibble starts colliding with the torso, and his knees can bend just under 90 degrees, where Silverbolt’s fists prevent further movement. Silverbolt’s shoulders become Superion’s hips, providing a sturdy ratchet and slightly-looser thigh swivels. The arm bots give double-jointed elbows (from knees and hips) and bicep swivels (from waist swivels). Finally, Superion can turn his head left and right, which is just fine… I just would’ve liked a ball joint. The lack of a waist joint is disappointing, but I think Superion does well without it. Finally, the wrists can swivel and the hands can kind of move, but there’s no real point.

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In terms of general appearance, Superion looks pretty sharp. He keeps a mostly-consistent color scheme of red, white, and black, with a little bit of orange accent and the grey from Skydive. Exactly how well his color scheme works is really dependent on which limbs you have where; I’ve found that putting Skydive and Air Raid (both dark colored) or Alpha Bravo and Firefly (both light colored) together as both legs or both arms can make Superion look a little odd, but maybe it’s just me. I’m not sure if this will be alleviated with the arrival of the mostly-white Slingshot/Quickslinger, or just made worse. The only thing about his design that really bugs me are his thighs: they’re just way too thin. You can slap some of the Aerialbots’ guns on them, but it doesn’t really help.

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For some specific thoughts on the individual Aerialbots and their roles as limbs:

  • Alpha Bravo: The fact that his helicopter rotor doesn’t lock in anywhere is mildly irritating, as you have to just cram the two blades into the fins on his tail and hope they stay. Personally I think he makes a better arm than a leg; he looks a bit thin compared to the others.
  • Firefly: He definitely works best as an arm and compliments the colors of Superion’s torso very well. I think he looks a little odd as a leg just due to the curvature of his jet mode, but he works just fine.
  • Skydive: Since combining the Aerialbots, Skydive has quickly fallen out of favor for me, as his colors just stand out too much from the others. His presence does, however, help the all-black Air Raid fit in. He works fine as either limb, but he always looks a little off.
  • Air Raid: He makes the best arm mode… but the hip joints on mine are a bit too loose, so he can barely hold up his own arm. It’s especially bad if you try to get him to hold his gun, unfortunately. The shape of his altmode makes for an interesting leg, but the black foot part gets lost in the sea of black airplane, which makes an Air Raid leg look really weird.

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Of course, Superion’s primary weapon is the combined form of Silverbolt’s rifle and buckler. Unfortunately, the peg on mine (the buckler part) is just a hair too thin for the hands to hold, so I had to wrap a bit of tape around the handle. It’s a simple fix, but it is a bummer. While it looked way too big for Silverbolt, Superion looks great with it, and can even manage to hold it two-handed.

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Overall

Superion is an incredibly strong start to the Combiner Wars line. It’s a shame that the distribution of the team meant that Air Raid was delayed for so long, so by the time the final member came out the full impact of a complete Superion was diminished. Still, though, finally assembling Superion was a joy, as the final product looks pretty damn great. He’s not perfect and relies a lot on the sometimes-spotty quality of his individual members, but Superion really is proof that Hasbro can make some goddamn combiners.

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