Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. B0974 No. B1176 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Trading Card, sword, hand/foot/weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to helicopter to Hand to Foot Retail:$15.99 Availability: December 2014 Other: Not Slingshot!
Since we live in an era where Megatron can be an Autobot and nothing implodes, adding new members to Combiner teams is similarly not out of the question. Alpha Bravo replaces Slingshot, yet another plane from the all-plane original from roughly 30 years ago. The new chopper mold lends itself to reuse and mold-sharing with other characters, as fans immediately pegged it for reuse as Blades or Vortex. In other words, it's a classic prepaint scenario - the "new" character comes before the main version that fans would expect. The character also appeared in the comics, which makes sense as the similarly decorated jet Slingshot has been dead in print for a while now.
Since this is a new character, it doesn't have to really hold to any existing standards although his deco does recall Slingshot - who we saw come out as Quickslinger. He's a new guy, with big wide eyes on his visor and a mouthplate. It's liberating.
The 5 1/2-inch tall robot is colored similarly to some of the original Slingshot models, particularly the orange down the middle of his face. He retains the mostly white limbs, although the orange canopy in vehicle mode is gone. Still, he's got a lot of guns on his wrists and that looks really cool. A big silver-backed Autobrand appears on the top left part of his chest, along with a couple of nubs for no readily obvious reason.
As with most toys as of late, his fists have 5mm holes to hold his nifty blaster. The wide-eyed optimist is heavily armed, and his fist/foot accessory can also form a giant gun. I prefer just going with the smaller weapons or some BMOG bits due to gravity, even though his 11 points of articulation are pretty stiff and don't tend to sag so far.
Other than the chest being somewhat bland and unpainted, it's a nice robot when judged on his own merits. Slingshot is rumored for a US exclusive release if you need one, or you can buy the Japanese import to get him - me, I'm very happy with Alpha Bravo as he's a new guy. His vehicle mode isn't bad either.
This is one of the bigger Combiner Wars vehicle modes, measuring in at just about 7-inches long. There's a blue stripe along the side and a nice big Autobot symbol near the fins on the back. It could benefit from more moving parts, but you get the nice spinning blades which are pretty good at spinning. There are no moving landing gear, although you can plug the gun into a 5mm port near the top of the craft. The design seems pretty versatile and I have no doubt someone is working on some sort of custom parts to make it into a space shuttle. As it is, it could make a pretty swell Vortex or Blades. Or it could just be Alpha Bravo, because Alpha Bravo is pretty great.
For you combiner fans, it makes a good foot and a perfectly decent arm. I personally prefer the arm, but it's a very decent foot. I'm just not crazy about seeing the chopper blades on a combiner foot. Transformation is a little more complex than the other guys, as the rocket arms sort of get in the way of being a Combiner arm at times - but it still look scool.
Other than a paint scrape on the fin, I'm happy with this one. New characters in the "classic" lines are pretty uncommon, especially ones with roles in the comics. If you can't stomach the idea of adding a new character to your toy box, I'm sure you've already skipped it. But if you're like me and are generally A-OK getting any new character in the "classic" vein drawn by Sarah Stone in the comics, you've already got one of these and are looking forward to seeing how the other new dudes turn out.
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