Wednesday 6 May 2015

Combiner Wars Quickslinger and Brake-Neck Review

transformers combiner wars slingshot and wildrider

Even more Combiner Wars stuff, and this time it is the missing members of the Aerialbots of the Stunticons - Quickslinger and Brake-Neck!

Wait, that isn't their names, we are talking about Slingshot and Wildrider....right? Throughout this review, I will switch between their names-hopefully that will not confuse you too much.

Originally excluded from the Combiner teams line up, both were replaced with new characters who homaged them in some way. In Slingshots case, Alpha Bravo had a very Slingshot looking head, and in Wildriders case - Off Roads alt mode was in Wilderiders colour scheme.

Hasbro have finally relented to the demands of thousands of fanboys with repaints we all saw coming in some form, albeit most expected them to be from 3rd parties.

These reviews will focus more on the differences to original versions of these molds. You can read Fireflys review here and Dead Ends here

Hit the button below to read the reviews of Quickslinger and Brake-neck.


Alt Mode

combiner wars slingshot jet

Slingshot is a straight repaint of Firefly, who's jet mold always felt like it was designed with Slingshot in mind. The way the wings have the pointy bits on the end was a definite Slingshot trait, and the jet looked more like an updated Harrier jet.
This is clearly evident with the way the wings slope down.

In white, the mold looks really nice and bright, and the G1 style Orange cockpit offers a strong contrast with all that White, whilst matching the Blue.
Slingshot obviously likes his colours to compliment one another.

The Blue wing paint is straighter and blocky, compared to the originals 80's style curves, but it nice and accurate colour wise.

Looking at Alpha Bravo, you can really see the Slingshot homage, as most of the same colours are used to keep prodding your brain and telling it that it is Slinsgshots understudy.

combiner wars slingshot jet mode

All of the same features and design elements from Firefly carry over to Slingshot, so there is nothing new to report (if you are interested than please check out my Firefly review).

He has the landing gear and....errr....well....and....that is about it. You could peg a gun under his wing if you so desire, but if he was flying, it may cause him to spiral madly out of control like a Wiley-E-Coyote plan gone awry.

I think I said in my Firefly review that this jet mode looks more like it was designed for Slingshot. The wings, and overall shape of the jet give it a stronger resemblance to his original Harrier jump jet mode, than jet guy dude mode.

It is a nice toy which modern fans may think looks a tad bland, but G1 aficionados will have a nice nostalgic pang in our Vector Sigma shaped hearts.

Robot Mode

transformers combiner wars slingshot

Transformation is exactly the same as Firefly, there are zero differences.

How he looks though, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a new mold as it looks so different. It isn't, and other than the colours only the head is different but the colours do make a huge difference.

With Firefly, his chest, and the back of the jet behind it were all Red, so they kinda merged together. But with Quickslinger (had to get that in there), his chest is Red, but behind it is White. It distinguishes the chest from the rest of the body making it more defined.

The other paint apps also really emphasise that it is a different character, with nice use of Gold on the chest vents and knees. They draw your attention in a way the same molding details on Firefly didn't which makes this detailing feel unique to Slingshot/Quickslinger (told you I would get confused) - even though it is not.

unite warriors slingshot

His hands being Black, thus looking like he is wearing gloves, are another aspect that makes him just stand out from Firefly. He still has the lasers on the hands, but they are harder to pick out buried on the Black paint.

combiner wars quickslinger head

The big difference is the head, which is all new and Slignshotty. You can see how Hasbro tried to update it for Alpha Bravo, as they are so very similar, not only are the same colours applied in the same places, but the shape is the same. Alpha Bravos head looks like an updated Slingshot, which in turns makes Slingshots look very retro-as do the Blue aviators.
Actually, Alpha Bravo looks like Slingshots angry, deranged younger brother. The Scrappy Doo, to Slingshots Scooby.

I have always thought that Slingshot looks like a bald old man-is that just me?

Other than the mold being the same, despite the colours being so different, Hasbro have given Slingshot the same gun, and also the same combiner piece as Firefly.
Awww, would have been nice for them to give him nice new things.

I am really happy we have Slingshot in Combiner Wars to truly complete the Aerialbot team. I like Alpha Bravo, but Slingshot was arguably the most interesting Aerialbot has he got the most screen time and the most character,

Alpha Bravo is great, but you cannot beat a classic. I'd have loved Hasbro to have reworked the mold a little more to make it more different, but it feels so much like it was intended to be Slingshot all along, that a part of me hopes a 3rd party release a new Fireflight, as he is the one who actually needs updating.

If you need all your bots to be different, which I do.
Mood dependant.
Probably drunk.


Alt Mode

combiner wars brake neck

Brake-Neck, or Wildrider, transforms into a Red and Grey sports car, which is identical to Dead End. It is exactly the same mold, and the only new are the colours, which admittedly do look gorgeous.

Hasbro missed a trick here, as the Streetwise (review coming next week, it is mostly done, but buried under a pile or digital stuff or other reviews) mold would have worked better. Just having each of the Stunticons being different molds would have made for a more satisfying overall dynamic for the team, and more crucially Menasor.
Also, the Streetwise figure has a more boxed off shape which is more befitting Wildriders G1 form, it  would look a more perfect homage to Wildrider if decked out in his angry Metal Rock colours.

combiner wars wildrider

That is not me bashing this figure, I adore it and like this colour palette more than Dead End, it is just that with so many of the Combiner Wars figures getting big remolds - this and Slingshot feel a little unloved.

A part of me thinks Hasbro did not originally intend to release these, as Off Road features a very exacting reproduction of Wildrider's paint job on his alt mode, and Alpha Bravo has a distinctly Slingshot-esque head.

Still, Brake-Neck has a gorgeous alt mode and the paint job is lovely. A funny quirk that carries over from Dead End, is the piece of unpainted plastic on the side.
What up with that Hasbro?

unite warriors wildrider

If this guy came first, I think my review of Dead End would be much the same as this. I prefer the colours on this guy, but had already experienced the mold with Dead End, and to a lesser extent with Streetwise.

It is cool, but could have done with a few more touches, or in my opinion it should have been transplanted onto a different mold.

Robot Mode
combiner wars wildrider head

Transforming Wildrider is exactly the same as Dead End, nothing has changed. But just like with Slingshot, the paint job does a fantastic job of making him seem like a very different bot.

The Red suddenly feels a lot stronger here,and feels like it is running through his body with the way it passes amongst the dark Grey.

Placing Purple on his chest is a cartoon thing, but really works to pull your attention in a way that the chest piece on Dead End did not.

combiner wars break neck head

The head sculpt is pure cartoon Wildrider, which in turn is entirely different to his original toy. On the G1 figure, it was a very blocky, less detailed affair, where has here it is a very humanoid looking face with giant ear buds sticking out of his ears.

It is a very nice head sculpt, and the sticking out ears help to alt the silhouette of Brake-Neck enough from Dead End to make it feel different.

Least we got a new head, and not just a lazy repaint.

combiner wars brake neck pipe

Wildrider comes with precisely the same accessories as Dead End, which are the bizarre smokestack bludger weapon, and the same combiner piece which can act as a gun- but you will most likely just whack it to the side.

I still wish he came with a gun, because the pipe is cool and all that, but it looks a bit daft. However, if you have Dead End, and lets face it if you have this guy then you will have, you can take the smokestack and pair it with Dead Ends you can add them to the alt mode on either side just to separate them.

brake-neck & quickslinger

I like Brake-Neck, he is a great toy out of one of my favourite molds and it is hard to find much to moan about. The paint job is fantastic, the new head looks great and he actually exists. Hasbro have given us an alternative in Off Road if you want to have unique molds, and I wonder how many people will be swapping the heads.

I do just wish they had gone with a different car mold like Streetwise's, it would just have made me that teensy bit happier.

But it does feel nice to have the original team members of both combiner teams, it satisfies my ridiculous G1 OCD.

An unexpected bonus is that it means I now have Off Road and Alpha Bravo on my desk to play with.

combiner wars superion vs menasor

I couldn't go without mentioning Superion and Menasor, as after all we are all buying these guys to give us the proper combiner configurations.
Annoyingly, I do not have a light tent big enough to fit them in, and the weather has been so Grey and dark that I would swear the weather gods hate my photos.

Slingshot definitely looks better on Superion, his overall shape just works a lot more completely built from Jets.
Menasor looks great with Wildrider, but to be honest I personally prefer Off Road in his place has it keeps the variety amongst the limbs.

But overall, they all look fantastic.

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