Silverhawks Ultimates: Bluegrass and Sideman by Super7

Last week, I dipped into the first assortment of Silverhawks figures with a look at Mon-Star and his throne. Today, I’m checking out the first of the Silverhawks themselves. Wave two actually shipped out before wave one, so we got Bluegrass and Steelwill in this assortment. I decided to go with Bluegrass first, because he’s one of my favorites and he’s kind of unique among the Silverhawk team in that he didn’t have to get quite as much body horror surgery done to him to travel to the Limbo Galaxy. He also doesn’t have a face shield and he doesn’t have retractable wings like his comrades. He is, however, an ace pilot and he flies the Silverhawks‘ spaceship, The Miraj. So while the others launch into battle he usually stays behind and strums his guitar or gets into a Battle of the Bands with Melodia! Please, Super7… give us Melodia in the next wave!

By now we know what to expect from Super7’s Ultimates packaging. There’s a foil window box with a foil sleeve that lifts off the top. Mon-Star’s Mob has red foil packages while the Silverhawks have… well, you know. The window shows off the figure and alternate heads very nicely and there’s a second tray nested beneath the top one with even more goodies! I rarely save my action figure boxes, but I dig Super7’s presentation so much that I’ve saved them all. And in terms of storage space, they add up real fast!

When it was first revealed, one of the big controversies about this line was the lack of reflective mental finish on the figures. The original toys by Kenner were vac-metalized and looked quite striking, but even as a kid I was a little bummed that they didn’t look like the cartoon. I think the paint that Super7 went with does a fine job of recreating the way they looked on show, and that’s what I was looking for with these figures. Still, clearly it’s not going to please everyone and think it comes down to a matter of personal taste. Maybe Super7 could do a ReAction line with vac-metal finishes.

In terms of sculpt and paint, Bluegrass reflects an extremely clean and simple design. The body is mostly smooth with some muscle showing, particularly on his back. You get some smooth contours and a few panel lines, but not much of anything else. I absolutely love the color blue they used, which has a subtle sheen to it but really does match the cartoon beautifully. His right arm is exposed from the bicep down, so you get some flesh tone there. The only flourish here is the red neckerchief that hangs around his neck. This is sculpted separately and while it does lay pretty well, it can get displaced when he’s posing. Articulation is precisely what we get with other Super7 Ultimates, which means rotating hinges where double-hinges would have been more welcome. Still, the joints feel good, and I didn’t have any issues with stuck parts. I did, however, get an unfortunate bit of paint rubbing on the right shoulder. It’s only really visible when the joint is extended, but it looks like something that should not have been let out of the factory, so that’s a bummer.

Bluegrass has three different portraits, which include a neutral expression, a smirk, and a smile and a wink. They’re all very nice, but I prefer the later two which do a perfect job of reflecting his personality. I think I’ll get the least use out of the first, and most out of the middle one. The paint on the face is pretty simple, but again, we’re going for a cartoon look and it conveys that pretty well. The paint lines around the contours of the face are particularly sharp. As I mentioned earlier, he doesn’t have a masked mode in the cartoon, but his yellow cowboy hat is removable, and I always loved Bluegrass’ metal mohawk. Unfortunately, poor QC strikes again as there’s some paint rubbing on the mohawk on one of my heads, but at least I’ll have it covered with the hat most of the time.

You get a ridiculous number of hands with this figure. I’m never going to complain about extras, but at some point I have to wonder how many people actually get a lot of use out of so many hands! The basics include fists, relaxed, thumbs up, gripping hands, and some designed to work with his guitar. All of these are really easy to swap out without any fear of snapped joints.

Bluegrass’ main accessory is his trusty guitar, and this is based off the one he used in the cartoon, as opposed to the one that came with the Kenner figure, but more on that later. It’s got some nice detailing on it, and the paint on the tiny strings is amazingly sharp and clean. There’s a soft plastic strap that can be attached so it can hang over his shoulder while he’s playing. The strumming and fret hands work really well with this piece. A always thought it was so wonderfully meta to have Bluegrass actually play the guitar portion of the theme song during the intro.

You get two effect parts that plug into the end of the guitar. The first has become one of my favorite effect parts in recent memory. It’s part blue and part clear plastic with musical notes sculpted into it and it looks exactly like the effect drawn in the cartoon. I love the way this looks so damn much!

The other effect part is just a blue laser, which is still cool, but it’s not laser-made-out-of-pure-music kinda cool. I actually think this is the same effect part we’ll see used as the shoulder lasers for the rest of the Silverhawks.

Bluegrass also comes with two lasso accessories, and unfortunately these aren’t impressive. One is coiled and the other is designed to loop around a figure to capture them. Both are cast in the same gray plastic as the guitar strap. I would have rather the lasso just been a piece of gray wire. These will mostly be staying in the box.

You get no less than three versions of Bluegrass’ avian sidekick, Sideman: Perched, in flight, and in guitar mode. Yes, in the Kenner toyline, each Silverhawk came with a simple bird-themed buddy with some kind of play gimmick. In the cartoon, Tallyhawk was the only bird buddy on the team for quite a while. Eventually, Mon-Star duplicated an army of Sky Shadow, and the Steelheart Twins developed birds for each of the Silverhawks to help combat the flood of Sky Shadows. Sideman’s original toy turned into his guitar and Super7 did a nice job conveying all of those modes separately, instead of trying to give us a toy that transformed.

In the two bird modes, his back is basically the body of a guitar, which kind of reminds me of when jet Transformers just wore the jet mode on their back. I absolutely love these two bird modes, because the original toy was extremely simple, with little to no paint. And while Sideman didn’t feature prominently in the cartoon, it’s still cool to get a fully painted and nicely sculpted version from the animation. These are both static pieces, but the talons are soft enough to cling to Bluegrass’ arm. I’m impressed that he can hold both with his arm out and still balance on his own.

And finally, you get Sideman in his guitar mode. This is a bit smaller than his cartoon accurate guitar, but has some excellent paint and has the bird features throughout, with the wings “folded” behind the guitar’s main body. You also get a shoulder strap for this guitar and the fret and strum hands work well with this guitar too. My only complaint here is that it is not compatible with the effect parts. Mostly likely, I’ll always be displaying Bluegrass with the cartoon guitar and the perched version of Sideman beside him.

While fans of the Kenner toyline may scoff, I really dig what Super7 is doing with this line. Bluegrass looks like he stepped right out of the cartoon, and that’s exactly what I was looking for. I also really appreciate how they are still paying homage to the bird companions, even though they didn’t get introduced until late in the TV series. I will toss out the one caveat that the QC could have used a bit more polish. There’s nothing here that egregious, but paint rubs on the shoulder and the mohawk really do hamper things a bit, and from what I hear some of the figures are shipping with a lot worse. I’ll have more to say about the QC when I check out Steelwill, but hopefully, Super7 can get that sort of stuff under control when the intended first wave finally ships.


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