The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

The only thing harder than trying to convince my parents to buy me a toy robot when I was a kid? Trying to convince them to buy me five toy robots that formed a bigger one. With the Transformers Generations Combiner Wars toy line I finally have my Superion. Well, mostly.

The Combiners (or as some call them, Gestalts) were the pinnacle of Transformers toys when I was a child, right up there with the massive city bots Metroplex and Trypticon. Not only did possessing five or six robots that combined into a larger one teach kids a valuable lesson about bragging, it helped them learn how to keep track of spare feet and hands, a skill that will eventually come in very handy in real-world situations.

As an Autobot lover, I wanted nothing more as a kid than to have a fully completed Superion, the amalgam of the five Aerialbots -- Silverbolt, Air Raid, Fireflight, Skydive and Slingshot. I distinctly remember commiserating with team leader Silverbolt from the original cartoons, a large robot/aeroplane who was afraid of heights.

Ultimately I only wound up getting two of the Aerialbots, Skydive and Air Raid, so my dreams of making this lovely creature (image via the ever-entertaining Transformers Wiki) never came to fruition.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

But that's ok, because this year's Combiner Wars toy line from Hasbro has given me something arguably better than the original.

Take one part $US24.99 Combiner Wars Silverbolt, in all his blocky off-white glory.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Add three Aerialbots ($US15.99 apiece) -- Skydive, Firefly and the new helicopter, Alpha Bravo.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

And finally add in the Decepticon Dragstrip, who's technically part of the Stunticon Combiner Menasor, but winds up puling cameo duty since Hasbro decided to release one wave with four Autobots and then reverse it later in the year.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Awwww, c'mon guys. Aerialbots are such elitist jerks.

Put them all together and what do you get?

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

It's the new, improved Superion, guest-starring Menasor's leg. He's still beautiful.

Hasbro's new Combiner feature functions much like the original toys from the '80s. You've got a central robot that forms the torso, with four points to add legs and arms. Any of the smaller bots can become any limb. When all is said and done, collectors (and kids, I guess) will have a pile of potential giant combined robot awesome to play around with.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

What's great about Superion here is that while he's evocative of the original, he kicks poor G1 Superion's shiny metal arse in terms of poseability. There'll always be a soft spot in my heart for G1 Supes, but could he dance, for inspiration? No.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

After another disappointing movie line and the bright colours of the toys from the upcoming Robots in Disguise animated series, the Combiner Wars figures are a wonderful throwback to the good old days, when bots were blocky and not too complicated, while adding in some neat new transforming features (the Aerialbot's folding legs are excellent) to keep things current. The entire Generations line doesn't shy away from using colours that were more in fashion some 30 years ago to help milk the nostalgia.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved
The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Purples, yellows, odd reds and greys -- and while it's hard to see in the photos, Silverbolt's creamy off-white is about as '80s as it gets.

The only real disappointment in the line so far has been the Combiner Wars version of Optimus Prime. I don't mind his vehicle mode.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

And his robot mode is kind of nice and beefy.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

The issue is that Optimus, like Silverbolt, can become the core of a Combiner team, and he's just not right for the job.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Maybe if I paint the Matrix in his chest, or find a nice Legends-class (smaller, simpler versions of bigger bots) figure to fill his gaping chest cavity. Maybe then I can learn to love him. Then again, I'm not sure I'll ever get over the quarter-sized gap between his head and shoulders.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Still, I suppose it beats Energon Optimus Prime (via TFKenKon.com).

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Optimus aside, I'm quite pleased with the Combiner Wars Transformers line as it currently stands. It's provided me with an excellent update to the original Superion without rendering him completely unrecognisable, as some earlier attempts at combiner revivals have done.

Now I just need to wait for Dragstrip's friends to show up, the poor bastard.

The Latest Transformers Line Combines Everything '80s Kids Loved

Comments

    I just spent christmas with the family and my little cousin (who is 5) got some new transformers from the newest series (or whatever it is) and it was just flat out pathetic, 2x twists and it transformed. When i was his age they were more complicated and took like 20x maneuvers to get them to transform.
    He still thought it was epic but it just made me sad seeing him play with a far less superior transformer

      They may have been the baby version which are dont take much to transform

        That makes me feel sadder, in my day we didnt have a 'baby version' just Man version!

          Transformers is far more diversified now. Where once it was one-size-fits-all, now there's a line for virtually every kind of collector. There are simplified 'scout' class toys and 'cyber slammers' for kids which transform in one action, but there are also Masterpiece toys which are an order of magnitude more complicated and source-accurate than G1. Oh, and ball and ratchet joints from the late 90s pretty much revolutionised the toyline.

          I've been collecting Transformers for about 20 years and it's night and day. The MP-22 Ultra Magnus I just got this week is sitting on my desk and is the kind of toy that kid me would have dreamt of. Transformers has changed for the better, it's just that some people just played with them in the 80s, and now look on them with nostalgia goggles, telling today's kids to get off their lawn.

          Last edited 20/01/15 7:41 pm

      Agreed... I saw some of the newer transformer lines released to coincide w/ the movie universe..

      Good gawd they actually made the virtual "one button push! TRANSFORM" as a selling point! These new marketing suits have completely missed the point of the fun of "Transformers" =/

      No. No they weren't. Basically all car-based transformers: Pull upper half from lower half. Pull both arms out. Flip down hood/engine over the chest. Your transformer is transformed. Optimus/Magnus were arguably simpler. Not to mention in the 80s/90s we had the 'flip n' change' where you press down on the top, and they are transformed.

      Last edited 09/01/15 12:31 pm

    Grimlock or gtfo :p

      As long as it's not this abomination - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpOTmRReqpM

    I had three of the aerialbots. I don't even remember knowing their names, but it was the red, white and black ones. So badly wanted to get the rest to be able to put them together, and would check the Transformers section of every toy shop we went to. Never found them though.

    My son received an optimus prime for his birthday from a friend. It was about 20cm tall. BUT IT DIDNT TRANSFORM! It didn't even bend at the knees or elbows, all it could do was move at the shoulders and hips along one axis. A cruel gift indeed.

    We had all the Aerialbots as kids, but when I say "we" I mean they were split between me and my 3 brothers. Rather like Voltron, lets just say that Superion never much time combined.

    I had the Protectorbots who combined into Defensor. I have only seen him in the comic, and it was one of the old Marvel comics where Optimus Prime and Megatron were having a virtual battle, Megatron cheated by having some wires swapped and when the meatbag of the story pressed a button to stop Megatron it blew up Prime instead.

      http://tfwiki.net/wiki/File:Afterdeath-gameoverman.jpg

    My greatest sense of achievement as a kid was saving up for and completing Devastator (i got one as a prezzie, the rest my 10 year old self bought). My Dad new how much i wanted em and created a job to complete each week relavent (roughly) to each constructicon and upped my pocket money for the duration. Want the cement truck? Help him mix cement. Want the crane? Help string up a new clothes line (i did say roughly). Want the digger? Shovel great dane poo (the one chore id usually refuse to do). Had them all til ten years ago when i gave them to my neice n nephew... who lost or trashed every single one within a month. *Sigh*

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