Alrighty, here we are at the end of the week and the final part of my look at Takara’s Unite Warriors Aerialbots. It’s time to cobble this guy together and check out the results. I’ve already mentioned that this is a Scramble City style combiner, so you can mix it up and make any of the limbs arms or legs and yeah, you can pull limbs from the other CW teams as well. That’s all well and good, and I think it works great as a play mechanic for the kiddies, but for the purposes of this Feature, I’m keeping him in line with the way he combined in the old G1 days, because I’m an old bastard set in my ways.
Hot damn, this guy looks amazing. As a big fan of the Stunticons, it gives me no pleasure to say that this updated Superion is everything that Menasor failed at being. But before getting ahead of myself, let’s talk engineering. The way Silverbolt transformers into the torso is not only unbelievably clever, but I think it’s the core reason why Superion works so much better than Menasor. Instead of just his robot legs forming the upper legs and his arms folding up into shoulders, Silverbolt flips upside down to make his arms the upper legs and his legs just fold neatly into the torso. This makes for a solid piece that doesn’t try to fall apart every time I pose him. The way the plates close up to form the chest and even the little upside Autobot logo near his crotch folds up and disappears is just fantastic and everything tabs together perfectly.
The limbs are all pretty standard stuff, but they all work so much better than the Menasor limbs. Skydive and Air Raid have a nice symmetry going as the lower legs and they are as solid as anything. Because of the nosecones, you don’t really have the option of flipping them to the back for that G1 look, but honestly, I think this guy looks better wearing the jets on the fronts of his legs. It’s also great not to have the bulky knee bumps that Menasor suffers from. The arms are also nice and symmetrical, which is obviously because we’re dealing with repaints of the same mold. They look great, and little touches like the way the robot arms actually peg into place is something that would have been welcome on Menasor.
As for the aesthetics, this guy is without a doubt the best looking Has-Tak combiner I’ve seen in person. Keep in mind, I’m holding out for Takara’s Defensor, which I hear is a strong contender, and I’m not counting Devastator because he’s in a whole different league. If I wanted to quibble, I’d say the legs could use more bulk, but he’s still pretty well proportioned. I have to admit I’m considering picking up one of the 3P add on kits to give him some bulkier feet and better hands, but what’s here still works just fine.
While I wasn’t terribly keen on what they did with Menasor’s head, Superion’s is spot on perfect as far as I’m concerned.
In combined mode, the coloring here isn’t a huge departure from the Hasbro release. You get the white bit on the chest, the antenna are gold, and the upper legs on this release have the gold and silver paint instead of being all orange. I like the coloring changes here better, but anyone looking to keep this guy in combined mode might not need to be bothered with going for the Takara release.
As good as he looks, I’m happy to say he’s also a blast to play with. Not only can he stand beautifully, but I can grab Superion and treat him like an action figure without having to worry about the shoulders coming apart or the limbs mis-transforming. This guy is as solid as the day is long and that fixes the biggest complaint I had about Menasor. Indeed, the only downside here is that there’s no ankle tilts and if you put him in action poses on a smooth surface his feet are going to slide. On the other hand, if you put him on a carpet or a piece of poster board and the slipping and sliding isn’t an issue.
As someone who scoffed at the initial pictures of these Aerialbots, and laughed at the combined mode, I’m so happy to be able to eat those words. I think a big part of it were the terrible first pictures. Hasbro, you really need to work on that stuff. Although, a lot of it has to do with just having him in hand and appreciating what they did here. Not only are the individual bots great figures, but Superion is absolutely fantastic. Even with all the great stuff they’re doing these days, I think this team is possibly one Has-Tak’s greatest achievements in recent years. Four deluxes and one Voyager, all perfectly fine as stand alone Transformers and yet merging into one solid and kickass robot, all while managing to maintain a solid homage to the G1 characters. And while I’m very glad I held out for the Takara release, the truth is that either way you go, Hasbro or Takara, I think you’re getting a superb set of figures.