Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Legends
Item No.: Asst. B0974 No. B1175 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Trading Card, gun, hand/foot/weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Plane to Hand to Foot Retail:$15.99 Availability: December 2014 Other: Armed and Dangerous
There have been many Skydive toys that acted as a combiner limb component since the original release in the 1980s. Energon, Universe (as Micromasters), Universe/Revenge of the Fallen, and so on - it's a popular name, and it was also used for non-combiner toys. With Combiner Wars there's a stronger focus on the original "Scramble City" concept of each combiner limb being able to form an arm or a leg - it's up to you. Since this toy includes an accessory which forms a gun, a hand, or a foot, you aren't required to collect them all to actually construct a combiner. Of course you'll want to - these are pretty fun toys.
Combining toys are something that fans ask for all the time, and occasionally get. We had three during Beast Wars, and a couple in Robots in Disguise thanks to a new one, and a reissue. From there on out we've seen a number of takes on the idea, with a toy combining with another toy or two as "upgrade parts" - as was the case with Armada's Megatron and Tidal Wave, or Optimus Prime with Overload and Jetfire, or pretty much every Autobot in Energon. Combining teams made of new molds have been somewhat scarce over the last 15 years, with this new line-up being the first time we're seeing a group of 4 "deluxe" limbs merging with a "voyager" body. While a goofy idea at its core, they're incredibly fun to play with and more than a little bit better than Bruticus from 2012. The new line's connectors let you mix and match between Combiner Wars teams, meaning Bruticus (and Ruination) must be merged on their own, by themselves.
This is a fairly simple toy with extensive articulation, immediately reminding me of a slightly more complex toy than my beloved Universe Silverbolt from 2008 which does not combine with anything. The robot stands about 5 1/4-inches tall which puts him on par with other recent Deluxe and Warrior-class toys. The robot mode sports 16 points of articulation and feels incredibly sturdy except for the two jet wings. Those pop off easily if you move them too far, but aside from that everything stays where it should.
Deco is very good, with a copper face, bright blue eyes, and a silver-backed Autobot tampo on his shoulder. The figure seems to be closely patterned off the coloration of the cartoon model, with a sculpt that's a little strange. The head is more fleshed-out in more ways than one. The pinhead square has been replaced with a more robust design, and the toy's original 1980s faceplate has been replaced with an actual face - complete with surprisingly full lips for a Transformers toy. It gives him a very distinctive look and much more personality than his ancestors, but most of all I'm just delighted that the seemingly unavoidable light-up eye port function has been exorcised finally as the bright blue eyes shine nicely even in a deep dark basement.
Getting him into jet mode is pretty easy, but more involved than I would have initially guessed. The head pins around, the legs separate and reconfigure upward, the arms flip down after you rotate down the shoulders, and presto - 1980s-esque plane for you.
The jet mode lacks the lightning bolts of the original, but otherwise does a decent job updating the classic toy. It's a bit more colorful than I would have guessed with lots of gold paint and bright, clear, perfectly-placed Autobot symbols with silver backgrounds. It's better than we expect for our painted toys, and there's a decorated canopy to boot. Hasbro did a nice job here, and depending on where you buy it this might help soften the blow of the price increase.
Combiner fans also know that the figure becomes an arm or a leg for Superion, should you decide to drop the $80-$95 it will take to snag four limbs and a torso. Originally Skydive was configured as a leg, but the packaging paints him as an arm. Whichever mode you pick, he looks decent. The configuration of the Superion leg of G1 Skydive is flipped around a bit, so you see the robot's chest instead of the jet's top side. Either way works thanks to the versatile nature of the foot/hand included in each figure. The weapon has 4 moving parts - two pieces for the hand, a "talon/thumb" piece, and a wad of articulated fingers. The giant hand mode exposes a 5mm hole for use with Powerglide-as-a-weapon, BMOG gear, or the included black blaster weapon. Whatever you want to try should work out just fine, which certainly improves the play value of this toy series. It's an expensive proposition too - according to various leaked lists, we should expect at least three or four (or five) combiners this year alone. So that's probably a solid $400 if the rumors pan out, and for all we know there could be more.
Skydive feels more like a toy than many recent Transformers - which is good - while also granting collectors what they need if not what they want. The versatile nature of this combiner limb makes him a lot more fun than previous attempts to update Superion and the Arielbots, plus the upcoming comics based on the Combiner Wars theme should be similarly enjoyable. Even if this figure didn't combine, it's a decent remake of a G1 classic that feels a couple of dollars better than some of the other recent toys around this size. It's chunky, it's fun, and I'll be surprised if it doesn't command a slight premium immediately following this line's end.
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