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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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ganon578's review: Aerial Rivals set

Name: Aerial Rivals
Allegiance: Autobot & Decepticon
Group: Universe Classics / Legends Class

As with any battle on Earth, victory on Cybertron depends on superiority in the skies. As a result, the earliest and most aggressive fights take place in the air. Over the years, vicious rivalries have cropped up between the elite air warriors among the Autobots and Decepticons, turning every aerial engagement into a personal grudge match.

Not content to only have one Target Exclusive pack (Special Team Leaders) from the Universe line, I managed to pick up the Aerial Rivals pack as well. The pack wasnít expensive to begin with ($16 at normal retail) and I got mine on clearance for $11. It was a deal I couldnít turn down, and Iím glad I picked it up. This set basically spotlights the air warfare from Generation 1; Iím not sure if these Transformers are actual rivals in the cartoon or comics, but itís still great. Three Autobots (Air Raid, Blades, Skydive) and two Decepticons (Ramjet, Thrust) are featured in this set.

Air Raid (Aerialbots):

Air Raid is part of the Aerialbots team that forms Superion, and the mould is a repaint of Cybertron Jetfire, which was also used for Classics Legends Fireflight (another G1 Aerialbot). The color combination in this version of Air Raid more closely resembles his Generation 2 version rather than Generation 1. Furthermore, I think I prefer this color scheme to something that would match the G1 look, as itís something refreshingly different. Air Raidís color scheme amounts to mostly light grey with a little dark grey, highlighted with blue. Itís actually a great color scheme that I prefer over Classics Fireflight. The mould is well detailed; small panels run everywhere, engines are detailed nicely, and a small Autobot symbol adorns the top of the plane/Air Raidís chest. Air Raidís alternate mode is a cargo/bomber plane. Itís pretty solid in the quality and paint apps department, but the robot parts are not hidden entirely well. The main engines under the wings are easily identified as the fists/arms, and the head is just flipped down into the top of the plane, with the outline remaining. Other than that, the rest of the figure is well hidden, and has a great look.

In robot mode, Air Raid is very poseable, with hips and knees on ball joints. His arms lack some articulation though, as they only move side to side and rotate at the elbows. The only other problem with the robot mode is the tail that sits on his back is huge and not tucked away at all.

Overall though, Air Raid is a good display piece due to his decent articulation and great color scheme.

Blades (Protectobots):

As a member of the Protectobots that combine to form Defensor, Blades is the resident helicopter in this set. The mould is a repaint of Cybertron Evac, which was repainted as Classics Legends Whirl, and this version closely resembles the G1 figure heís based on. This little guy is also a smaller version of the Universe Voyager Blades, and I think I prefer this color scheme to the one used on the larger scale figure. A pale red makes up most of the color, while off-white and little spots of blue provide contrast. Itís a little different; doesnít look like a brand new toy; the color choices almost make him look like a 1980ís vintage Transformer. Detail on this guy is pretty good, a little less than on Air Raid, but good nonetheless. He also has a small, but well detailed Autobot symbol. Bladesí alternate mode is a rescue helicopter (as previously mentioned), which is pretty good in a version this small, even though he has no landing gear to speak of. One small problem I have with the Ďcopter mode is the propeller. It is designed to spin, but since the transformation doesnít fit too tightly my propeller doesnít spin at all. It more or less is locked into place by the pseudo gun turrets on the top of the chopper.

The robot mode is decent; thereís actually more moulded detail in this mode, but a lack of arm movement makes him a little less fun. If he had a little more freedom in that propeller arm, you could easily go around chopping up Decepticons. Heís balanced well, and positioning isnít a chore since his leg articulation provides decent range of movement.

Overall, Blades is a good figure. Heís great for display thanks to a nice color palette, but fun is limited due to lack of articulation.

Ramjet (Seekers):

Ramjet is one of the Seekers lead by Starscream, and one of two in this set. Both in this set (Thrust is the other) were previously described as ďconeheadsĒ in their G1 incarnations due to the cone-like head they have in robot form. This time around, Ramjet is not a conehead, and is a repaint of the Cybertron Legends Starscream mould that has also been used to make the Cybertron Sunstorm, and Botcon exclusives Skywarp, and Ramjet (a homage to the previous Universe Ramjet Ė ostensibly a different character). Needless to say, this mould has seen a fair share of repaints, and surprisingly, it isnít showing mould degradation at all. Ramjet is incredibly well made, and the joints are surprisingly tight. The main color scheme (which, in my opinion, is great) is off-white, with dark red, black, and gold highlights. The color scheme is really brilliant, and stands out really well on the shelf, and it compares decently with his G1 namesake.

Ramjetís alternate mode is a Cybertronian space jet, which doesnít compare to anything here on Earth (based loosely upon the G1 Seekersí Cybertronian alternate modes). The detail in the mould is great; there are multiple textures on the figure that really give him an alien feel. I personally think that the wings are a little small, but taking into account that the mode is designed for Cybertron, that argument goes right out the window. Overall, I think the alternate mode is solid and mimics the larger version very well (versions of this design, with the same transformation, have been available at Deluxe, Voyager and Supreme Classes). Ramjet even has an extendable blade and cannon that come from the wing undersides. Itís nice to see Legends figures with weapons, as they are quite rare. In robot mode, Ramjetís colors are dispersed well, the great detail of the mould still holds true, and his weapons can be used here too. Articulation is incredibly good; hips, knees, and shoulders are on ball joints, and the feet swivel. Balance is great due to all the moving joints, and his head even twists! Another rarity of Legends class figures.

Overall, Ramjet has a great color palette, two great modes, weapons, and good articulation and balance.

Skydive (Aerialbots):

Skydive is also part of the Aerialbots along with Air Raid, and he also matches his G2 incarnation rather than G1. Skydive was black, grey, and red in G1 and here heís black and light blue. In G1/G2 transformed into a jet, and now he transforms into a Cybertronian Bomber that resembles a Stealth Bomber. The paint apps on Skydive are nice; they actually fade into a shade of blue from black on the wings. He also has some white and silver highlights to help break up the color scheme. The alternate mode is quite solid, and the detail is high quality, as is with all the Legends in this set. There really isnít anything that can be done with him in this mode, not that Legends have really dynamic alternate modes anyways. What he does well though, is mimics the Voyager class figure of this mould. The design is great, and the transformation is also right on par with the larger version. Skydive does a sort of yoga transformation by folding his body all up into bomber mode.

The robot mode is done well too; it is a fantastic smaller version of the larger figure. Balance is good since he has large enough feet to set him up. Articulation is good too; ball joints on the shoulders, knees, and hips. His feet move up and down, but his head doesnít move. Itís a minor problem, but not the biggest problem. The biggest would be the cockpit that doesnít quite fold up and out of the way. It more or less just rests on his back. Itís kind of out of sight, but it ends up just appearing as kibble. Heís a neat little display piece in both modes, but I think there isnít too much fun to be had. He does have an interesting transformation, so that has to count for something.

Overall Skydive is a good figure, and gives this pack a little variety.

Thrust (Seekers):

Thrust is the other Seeker in this pack, and he compares well with his G1 incarnation (sans the conehead again). Heís exactly the same mould as Ramjet, and has the same ďgimmicksĒ such as weapons on each arm. I wonít go into much detail this time since heís the same as Ramjet with the exception of color combination, so see Ramjetís write-up for mould hits and misses. The color palette of Thrust is incredibly close to his G1 version, with a dark red as the primary color, and silver and black as the secondary colors. The paint applications are great here too, and he has all the pluses and minuses of Ramjet. Between the two, I prefer Ramjetís color scheme, but Thrust is also well done, and a welcome part of this five figure pack.

Overall, Thrust is a great figure with a good paint scheme.

Marks out of ten for the following (as a Set):

Transformation: 5 Ė Very simple, but fun. There is some variety with this set.
Durability: 9 Ė Quality is top notch aside from some minor flimsy parts.
Fun: 9 Ė Would have gotten a ten if there were different moulds between the two Seekers.
Price: 10 Ė Normally, $16 US is great for 5 figures. I managed to get mine for $11.
Overall: 9 Ė Itís a fun set at a great price. Five great figures, but not an absolute must have. If you can find it (itís an exclusive, so that might be problematic), you should heavily consider picking it up.
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