Combiner Wars Silverbolt Review

  Posted in Reviews, Toys and Collectibles on May 9th, 2015 by JediTricks TF

Silverbolt-111Combiner Wars voyager-class Silverbolt is the classic leader of the Aerialbots, a bot that’s afraid of heights given the task of being the leader of a squad of flying Autobots. This isn’t the first new mold Silverbolt has enjoyed in the Generations-type lines, previously he was a non-combining ultra-class figure in the 2008 Universe line that turned into a different kind of jet. This new Silverbolt transforms into a supersonic jet reminiscent of his G1 self’s Concorde SST. Read on for the full review and photos, and note this review is for Silverbolt only, the full Superion review is coming last in the series.

Packaged: Silverbolt is in the standard Combiner Wars voyager-class box, and ships with a collector card featuring character art. The back of the packaging features 4 different languages.

Vehicle Mode: Silverbolt in vehicle mode is essentially a Concorde supersonic jet just like in G1, but deviates from that design with canards, a bulbous cockpit, angled tail stabilizing wings, a different take on a delta wing, and the engines on the top instead of bottom. However, he’s still clearly a supersonic commercial jet, there are windows on the sides for all the happy passengers who have no idea the plane their on is terrified of heights. Vehicle mode has another tie-in to the Concorde SST in that the rubber nose of the plane can angle down for landing. Jet mode has a fold-down landing gear with dummy wheels near the front, and dummy wheels crudely sculpted to the rear as well. That gets us to the undercarriage of the jet, which is a big brick of a robot semi-folded-up and not even totally hidden from the top, in vehicle mode there’s really more brick than plane.  While the G1 figure had that as well, this is more egregious. This vehicle mode holds together fairly well, but the leg portions of the wings don’t quite align smoothly, leaving a little play.

The deco uses an off-white plastic and orange paint for most of its details, although black plastic makes up some of the elements as well, and the jet nozzles are gunmetal paint. The underside adds red, but you don’t really want to look at the underside, it’s not pretty.

Vehicle mode can integrate the accessories, pop them together as a single weapon and line up the 2 pegs to the underside of the nose. The weapon is fairly sizable, turning Silverbolt into a more imposing vehicle. It holds under there quite securely, and even has a dummy landing gear wheel since the weapon covers the fold-down front gear.

Robot Mode: Transformation reveals the simplicity of the figure — fold up the nose and wings, fold down the legs (the arms aren’t pegged in so they just position out of the way), unfold the feet, and fold out the head from the chest. Silverbolt basically gets smaller before his legs fold down to rebalance things, and then finds himself with a lot of backpack. It’s almost nostalgic in simplicity.

Silverbolt is an interesting figure in that he’s a bit more old-school than expected. The sculpt takes liberally right from the cartoon, especially the head; the expression on the face is friendly but almost sheepish. I would have liked to have seen more detail, or perhaps sharper detail, yet I can’t say he doesn’t have much, it’s just spread out in odd ways and has a few small gaps in the legs that are head-scratchers. Silverbolt’s proportions are good, not too leggy or with ape arms; the head is small for the body but in a Transformers-appropriate way. The deco swaps gold for orange, and uses an off-white plastic instead of the bald-white of the other Aerialbots as possibly a nod to the gray he wore on the cartoon. Silverbolt’s use of colors is well-balanced for my tastes.

Articulation is good but not outstanding, a ball-jointed head, universal-jointed shoulders and hips, and hinged elbows and double-hinged knees make up the movement here. The hips are designed so they can’t accidentally be inverted, but the joints have some play in them despite being ratcheted. The heelspurs are sloppy though, transforming to about 10 degrees past flat, and not very tight, so poseability is decent but finding a good action pose he can stand in takes patience.

Silverbolt comes with 2 accessories, a shield and a long gun, both of which can be stored at the same time via pegs on the back; both accessories have 5mm pegs with pins run down the center to reinforce. The tiny shield has a short peg so it can’t be held in his fist, but can be mounted to his forearm in a peghole; the shield itself has its own long 5mm peghole.

Combiner Component: Silverbolt transforms into the central component for Superion, forming the head, torso, and upper legs. The instructions can be confusing, there are a lot of things changing but once you’ve seen where everything ends up it’s a lot easier. Getting the combiner head out of the torso is tricky as it’s left out of instructions and has no lip to pull up on, the key is to open Silverbolt’s upper chest as if flipping out his head but reach past to push the combiner head out of the lower torso. The finished affair is pretty solid, the chest plates might come apart when swapping limbs if you don’t massage the elements together enough, but otherwise it holds up shockingly well.

The sculpt takes a lot of look right from the cartoon, especially the head with its red visor, silver mouthplate, and tall orange antennae. The antennae are rubbery, my sample the left antenna is slightly curved and doesn’t like to seat those last few micrometers into position, but it can be coaxed. There’s a balanced amount of detailing, and while the chest details borrow from the cartoon, the deco keeps a little more reserved, leaving a white painted patch at the upper stomach only. The deco balances red and off-white nicely, but the off-white plastic does look a bit old next to the bald white of the other Aerialbots when combined. The combiner’s proportions are very appropriate, he’s trim but powerful.

The head turns about 30 degrees total before hitting the vehicle tail, but if you push past to very slightly dislodge that, you can get 90 degrees of rotation. The combiner joints use a slip-in design that has spring-loaded angled plates to hold them in place, and it works adequately. The robot arms as leg joints work fantastically, every joint is strong with no play to them making for a strong combined robot.

Silverbolt’s accessories peg together to form a giant version of the G1 figure’s stress fracture cannon. The back of the weapon also has that long 5mm peghole which can accommodate Powerglide’s landing gear 5mm peg, but why would that be something you’d want?

Overall: Silverbolt is a mixed result. On the one hand, his design and paint are simplistic, and his vehicle mode is a bit of a sham. On the other hand, he’s a well-proportioned robot with a good mix of color, and makes for a very satisfying combiner component. If this figure didn’t combine, it probably wouldn’t be worth investing in, but adding the combiner element brings it up to snuff, and if you care about G1 cartoon credibility he’s got it in spades.

Review sample supplied by Hasbro

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