I bet Air Raid is feeling really lucky. Retooled from Shockwave, Air Raid was called Fireflight early in his development and since most people don't care which part of Superion inspired him, well, does it matter? It's a space jet Aerialbot thing. He doesn't look a thing like Air Raid from Fall of Cybertron and I assume Fireflight (or, this toy) never appeared in either of the games. So basically you're going to need to decide if it's a cool toy in and of itself, and the answer is "sorta."
Standing 5 1/3-inches tall in robot mode, Air Raid looks cool. If you didn't know he was Shockwave in a previous life, I bet you'd just say "hey, that's a neat character, is he based on some Japanese G1 guy I've never seen or something?" The toy doesn't look much like his G1 namesake, with the nice deep red and gold coloring he barely seems familiar. Heck, at first glance you'd think he was painted to homage something in Power Rangers or another Sentai line, and I mean that as a compliment. We've seen a lot of toys which are fairly devoted recreations of toys from 1985-1987, so this is a pretty different take on a character most of us have only a passing familiarity with. He has roughly 17 points of articulation and, mostly, just plain looks cool as a robot.
If Shockwave included Air Raid's weapons, I might be loath to suggest you buy this new Autobot. The 3-piece sword is a really nice accessory, although the combined "Triple Blade" is goofy. The smaller fold-out gold sword is really awesome and feels like it fell out of some lost 1980s toy line concept. Maybe Lion-O's cousin had something like this, it's molded in translucent candylike red with silver and gold detailing. If you could buy just the sword for five bucks, I bet you'd want to do so. This combines with another 2-piece weapon which features a massive fold-out clear red blade, also painted with gold and silver. It connects to a grey 2-barrelled gun which is similar to the one on Shockwave's arm. Between the two, Air Raid clearly got the better weapons. Of course, he needs it, as Shockwave can sell on the merits of being Shockwave first and foremost, Air Raid needs to be cool in other ways.
Transforming the toy is pretty much the same as Shockwave, and it's fun. The pieces more or less go where they're supposed to, although it's clear that Shockwave got the most love as he holds together a little bit better thanks to his weapon design. Air Raid's giant blade doesn't hold the vehicle together during transformation, but the process is still pretty fun without being too complicated. I know some of you people want long, involved transformations with dozens of steps that take several minutes. You people are insane. You probably don't run toy review sites either, I don't want to spend a half hour transforming toys for pictures... I've done it, but man, what a drag. Where was I?
Apparently Cybertronian Mobile Artillery still looks something like a dog. With no moving parts to speak of, the weapons all clip to Air Raid nicely and he is... a thing. He doesn't do anything but look cool, so all of the play comes from the robot mode or form going "whoosh" when holding it in your hands. It looks pretty good, but it's clear someone either didn't think much of fans when they designed it. In vehicle mode, the Autobot symbol from the robot's chest is flipped over, and it looks pretty stupid. If this piece were jointed, or had no symbol at all, it wouldn't be a problem but instead it just kind of looks like someone didn't think this through. It's a shame as the figure is actually quite beautiful in person, but an upside-down sigil on the vehicle just reeks of poor planning.
At $16 I don't know if I would say you should get Air Raid on his own figural merits, but his parts are pretty much worth it. In this day and age, it seems a deluxe figure with good weapons gets rounded up to "buy" because if some third-party weapon maker made such a piece, you'd pay $20-$30 for it alone to outfit your other figures. With that in mind? Get Air Raid. If Air Raid goes on clearance, get two or three and give his weapons to other needy figures. Hasbro's decision to gear up the repaints and retools was a smart one, as I feel like less of a chump for re-buying the toys and in some cases, prefer these armed versions as toys even more. (Still, Shockwave is Shockwave so go ahead and get him too.)
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.