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Skyquake87's Review: Combiner Wars Air Raid

Name : Air Raid
Allegiance: Autobots
Sub Group: Aerialbots
Function: Warrior

“If you look first, you may not leap.”

Pre-mission pysch-screening report by Rung, Autobot Psy-Ops Specialist: Air Raid has heard about fear,but never met him personally. A courageous and borderline-reckless warrior, Air Raid likes nothing better than barrelling into a squadron of Decepticons at full speed with weapons blazing and spirit soaring. His fearless fighting style occasionally gets him into trouble, but he's saved his teammates far more often, with instant acts of valour. His double-barrelled torque rifle causes sudden disorientation and an instant loss of balance to his enemies –-a tremendous weapon,especially in airborne combat. With fellow Aerialbots forms Superion.

Conclusion: Cleared for mission.

History (extracted from compulsory biographical download): Air Raid is the youngest of the Aerialbots, but his daredevil decisions aren't born from inexperience or bravado – he simply cannot stop himself from diving in head first. Having a jet mode is the best possible option, as nothing else would enable his combat impulses so perfectly. Forms either an arm or a leg of Superion, the combined form of the Aerialbots.

Air Raid! Finally! Six months after his teammates arrived on our shores in old Blighty, the second to last of the Aerialbots shows up (third to last, if you include Powerglide, but I'm not). That is, if you've imported him. Hasbro's UK distribution wing have decided the UK can live with a Superion made up of three Aerialbots and one Stunticon. Presumably because the play pattern for combiners this time around is much more freestyle and it doesn't really matter (except it does). Plus, with the parent company spaffing out so much product these days for the core movie and concurrent TV lines, something's got to give for the smaller UK market. So, I've got Air Raid and you might not have. If its any consolation, he does come with a terrible comic and – horror of horrors – his weapons are white, which is completely at odds with his teammates – curse you Hasbro! Why can't you give the fans what they want?!! You don't understand the fans!!!*

*fans = 30 odd year-old obsessives with no sense of perspective and health issues (waves).

Robot Mode: Air Raid is a surprisingly boxy and chunky fellow in robot mode. He kind of looks like an astronaut, all puffy and square. If it weren't for the alt mode dangling off his back, you wouldn't think he turns into a sleek fighter jet. He doesn't look slick enough. The colours are nice, just white and red with a few daubs of gold, silver and an incongruous blue on his bonce. He's not bad looking, but I'm hard pressed to say he blows me away on the looks front. He feels, I dunno, a bit big for his small frame. The detailing is great and he feels good to handle, but there's just something a bit off about him. He feels a bit well, Third Party to me. Its either that or like one of Pat Lee's inflatable Transformers has popped into plastic. On the weapons front, he comes with the usual fist/ foot gun combo – the same design Skydive comes with, so you can give Superion matching shoes or hands- and a double-barrelled gun also like what Skydive comes with, except Air Raid's is cast in white plastic, which I think fits his palette more neatly than a black weapon would have.

Alternate Mode: As with Skydive and Firefly, Air Raid's alt mode is a rather boxy jet. In this case, an F15 that looks like its had all the pies. The sleek alt mode is rendered stubby and slightly adorable thanks to the beer belly of robo-parts he's dragging around and the wibbly soft rubber tail fins that are suffering from brewer's doop, flopping as they do, all over the place. I'm puzzled by the use of soft plastics on Transformers these days, as they're very inconsistently applied. The nose cone and wings are fine to be sharp solid things, but the tail fins aren't. Why? The tail fins are the bigger problem for Air Raid, as they really do ruin the alt mode, despite its sexy black colour and racing stripes. The jet mode is also a comically cluttered mess once its all tooled up for the attack mode.

Marks Out Of Ten For The Following :

Transformation Design: I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the way these Combiner Wars toys are such fun to play with and the quick transform between modes is great. Its not super-complicated and touches like the way the legs split in half and the thighs tuck up inside are genius moves. The head tucks away neatly, which just leaves the arms stuck by the sides. The latter are perhaps the only bum note as far as these new Aerialbots go, but it doesn't bother me and is slightly adorable. 8/10

Durability: Air Raid, being a somewhat stocky chap, feels nice and tough. Nothing feels fragile as such, but I'm sure if you really wanted to, you could smash up the leg assembly. You'd have to be trying and be sort of the weird person whom gets some joy out of murdering toys. The rubbery tail fins are balls though. 7/10

Articulation: Yes yes y'all, Air Raid has what he needs, a neck, elbows, shoulders, knees. Standard Deluxe stuff in this day and age. Enough. Air Raid has enough articulation. 8/10

Fun: Yes! Air Raid is fun. He's a big marshmallow dressed as a robot that turns into a slightly derpy aeroplane. Brilliant. 8/10

Price/Value: As the UK has been stiffed for Wave 2 of Combiner Wars, its importing all the way for this little chubster. So, depending where you get him from you're looking at close to 20. That's almost Voyager prices, and he's not that good. 4/10

Overall: Air Raid is a funky little joy box, despite looking like he's fallen out of a Dreamwave comic. The new Aerialbots are all a good bunch of fun times toys (well, Skydive's pushing it.) and Air Raid is no exception, the big blobby blob. 7/10
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