Friday, 2 January 2015

Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Silverbolt Review

Combiner Wars Silverbolt

As soon as Combiner Wars was announced I was completely sold. New versions of the original Generation One combiners, with a retail cost for the set equivalent to roughly what one third party figure would cost?
How could anyone say no.

I can't remember a line since I got back into collecting that I have been more excited for. The figures all look great, and just like their G1 counterparts, especially in the case of Silverbolt who looks like the G1 cartoon animation bought to life.

I have already reviewed Combiner Wars Dragstrip , and now it is time for Silverbolt, who is probably the most anticipated figure in the entire line so far.

Hit the button below to read the review and see more photos.

Jet Mode

generations silverbolt concorde

In recent years, there has been a distinct tendency to reformat Silverbolt into a fighter jet styled more after the Blackbird. Hasbro did this with their Ultra class figure in the Universe series, and TFC did it with their Uranos combiner.

The idea is sound because the other 4 Aerialbots are all fighter jets, plus Silverbolt as a passenger jet would be huge compared to each of them.

Still, I have always wanted him to return to being based off of the Concorde, as he was in G1, because that is Silverbolt to me.
So thank goodness that Hasbro have gone that route with this figure, and given us a jet that is virtually a Concorde, with a few small changes to get around copyright and all that annoying stuff.
Unless you are a lawyer, than you are no doubt rubbing your hands at the mention of copyright.
Shame on you.

silverbolt jet

The wings are squared off as opposed to the tapered curves of the Concordes wings, and the tail fins point diagonally upwards instead of pointing straight out.
The cockpit is also thicker, but that ends up emulating the animation model to a degree. The rubber nosecone has a joint so you can point it further downward if you want it to look more like an authentic Concorde.

There is a long Orange stripe that passes along the side of the jet, which is intended to homage the black and gold/yellow stripe on the original toy.

It does not look bad, but all of the parts that were gold on the original toy, or yellow, have been replaced with this dull orange paint.
Come on Takara, do it properly.

silverbolt g1 jet

Landing gear is housed under the nose, but it does not really serve much of a purpose as the jet rests on the huge robot kibble underneath anyway.

Yes, Silverbolt is a jet attached to a robots back and I absolutely love it. People often complain about that, and say Hasbro cannot do jets which is sometimes fair, but Silverbolt has always been a jet strapped to the back of a folded up robot.

It is one of his iconic features (for better or worse) and to me it made the original toy look cooler and more futuristic as I would imagine they were booster engines to make him rocket through the Cosmos.

Some of the kibble is a little shameless on Hasbros part though, the hands for example don't fold in and so are clearly visible.

Hands should always fold in, that is like totally a thing.

generations silverbolt plane

Going back to the positives, of which there are loads, everything tabs together - nothing just hangs off.

Even the wings tab in to the robot legs to lock everything together, and act like a flying brick of pointy awesomeness.
I did not see that coming, as normally Hasbro just leaves stuff like to do as they wish.

combiner wars silverbolt jet mode

I adore Silverbolts jet mode, if that is not clear enough already from the amount of gushing going on, and it is everything I hoped it would be. It looks like the G1 character, it is dynamic, looks cool and it feels really chunky.

I am half tempted to buy another one just to have in this mode, but that would be frivolous when I could spend that extra money on beer more toys.

Robot Mode

transformers silverbolt g1

In my Generations Roadbuster review, I mentioned that the transformation was very simple, but the figure was still well articulated and did not feel cheap for it. It felt like a pre cursor to the Combiner Wars and new Robots in Disguise figures we are getting, and Silverbolt fits perfectly in line with this.

His transformation is easy, with a few brilliant steps, and it takes nothing away from the figure at all - in fact, it adds to it.

I will hold my hand up as someone who frequently bemoans the complexity of modern transformer toys. Not because they are too difficult for me (I lie, they are, I'm old), but because it has felt like Transformers have lost the play pattern of what the franchise so good to start with. Being able to transform from vehicle to robot quickly was a huge part of playing with the toys as a kid, and it has felt like Hasbro has missed that when it comes to toys targeted at kids.
By all means give collectors figures and Masterpiece figures highly complex transformations, but when you do it on kids toys - it will just act as a barrier for children getting into Transformers.

It felt like Hasbro was caught in two minds about making figures for children, but keeping adult collectors onside - and it ended up benefiting no one (just look at some of those toys in the Prime line)

Silverbolts transformation is just a case of folding the robot out from underneath the jet, I love it.

Transformers G1 Silverbolt

Once transformed, Silverbots robot mode is pure G1 cartoon. I have always been a huge fan of Silverbolts design, and this is finally the figure I have been crying out for. Sometimes, you just look at a design and want it in your hands in 3 dimensions, and none of the Silverbolts released so far have quite hit the spot.
This one does, and it is one I have always wanted.

Transformers Silverbolt robot

Just looking at the figure you can pick out so many G1 details from the molded in fins on the shoulders (hopefully Takara will paint them white), to the curved section on his stomach, a lot of effort has gone into making this toy the definitive SIlverbolt - bar us getting a Masterpiece figure.

Dear god, if you exist, and are truly Stan Lee, then please make this happen and I will never ask you for anything again.
For a few months.
Make it weeks.

transformers g1 Silverbolt

The head is the animation model carved lovingly into plastic. The sculpt is fantastic, with a facial expression that is spot on Silverbolt.
Hasbro even resisted the temptation to give him a pointy beard chin - FINALLY!!!!!

Combiner Wars Silverbolt

As good as Silverbolt looks, and as fun as he is to transform, he would be nothing if the quality control and articulation was not good.
Luckily, it is almost perfect.

Articulation is great, he has swivels and bends all over the place, and you pull off a lot of poses. Sadly there are no wrist swivels (should have been there seeing as the wrists don't fold in anywhere!), and his back kibble can hinder leg movement a bit, as it dangles down quite far.

The QC is thankfully almost perfect. There are strong, clunky ratchet joints, smooth but strong friction joints and a wonderful paint job.

So what stops it scoring the winning goal and being perfect? Sadly it is a paint issue.

The Orange parts are all painted, and the forearms lock to the biceps to form the combined mode legs and make the sturdy. But when you pull them apart, it has a knack for rubbing off the paint. GAH!

Molding them in the correct colour would have avoided this, and just made more sense. The combiner latches are even molded in that Orange shade of plastic.

G1 Silverbolt

Two accessories are included on a technicallity. It is actually Silverbolts G1 rifle, but the barrel is massive, and splits from the winged handle section, which then becomes a shield.
Not very successfully.

The giant cannon looks big in Superions hand, let alone Silverbots, so it is best to pull it apart. Even then the cannon still looks too big, and you have this extra piece which you can just plug out of the way on to Silverbolts back.
It is a shame they could not have given the handle bit a small gun barrel as it would have looked just like his original G1 rifle.

Transformers aerialbots

Silverbolt is everything I want from Hasbro toys, with it being really fun, looking great in all modes and being quick to transform.

The QC is very good, it feels like quality in a way Hasbro toys have not for a very long time, and it looks like someone has gone all Take On Me and ripped it out of the cartoon.

It is a brilliant toy, and I really hope all of the Combiner figures are like this.

*Throws money at Hasbro*


transformers superion

Ah, here we are at the whole point of Combiner Wars.....ummm...a combiner.

The torso transformation from Silverbolt to Superion is incredible, and someone at Hasbro deserves a raise and a Return of the Jedi style party.
Tiny folks turning  Generations Bruticus figure heads into drums and all.

Silverbolt is effectively spun round into a hand stand, and his legs are folded up into jet mode. The chest shield is formed from the panels on the side of his legs, with the awesome Superion head bursting from Silverbolts chest.
Yes, like Aliens.

There is a small feature here, that exemplifies the degree to which Hasbro have finally gotten this right, and it is a panel that flips up from Silverbolts chest to fill in the gap in Superions stomach.
In recent times Hasbro would have just left that, but here they have made the effort and deserve congratulations for it.

generations superion complete

To continue the upward trend, the combiner ports have been completely redesigned.

I have long disliked the traditional methods of pegs, as it always feels like something may break, and I hate being forced to bend plastic (Generations Bruticus).

So I was overjoyed when I finally got to experience the system developed for Combiner Wars which involves pushing back a spring loaded pad, and just slotting the connector peg into place. They hold tightly, and most importantly there is no chance of breakage - yet they still allow fully for Scramble City style limb mixing and matching.

With this, I think Hasbro may have just innovated in a way that will be emulated for years to come by 3rd parties.

transformers combiner

Speaking of innovations, the limbs come with hands and feet for the combined mode, and amazingly they all double as both.
So you don't just get a foot or a hand, you get a foot that can covert into a hand, For either side too!

Hasbro should get a lot of credit for this, and it shows what Hasbro's designers can engineer when allowed.

Sure the hands and feet have proportions that are a bit off, but they are so far ahead of anything else they have ever done in this regard.

superion g1 head

Look at that headsculpt, it is just like the cartoon. The antennae are made from rubber though, so may bend - I think I got lucky as mine stand up straight, but I would be quite happy if a 3rd party released a solid plastic replacement.

But it has to be in the right colour, not painted.

transformers fight

Superion looks great combined, and is pretty accurate to the G1 design. For an official or 3rd party combiner toy it is rare to be able to pose it and play with it, but due to the excellent joints and innovative way Hasbro have approached, this guy is wonderful.

Yes there are some odd proportions, and the lack of ankle tilts severely limits how you can pose him, but then you get a full combiner for the price of one figure from a 3rd party combiner team.

I am fairly certain that you have gotten the impression by now that I love this figure, and that is correct. It is the best £23 you can spend on a Hasbro figure right now, and it is the tone this sets for the Combiner Wars toyline that most excites me.

Not only do I finally have a really great G1 style Silverbolt, but if they stick to this pattern we will have awesome other G1 style combiner teams.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice review. What figure stand did you use to hold up Silverbolt in jet mode?