FIREFLIGHT / FIREFLY (2015)
Last week I picked up 3 of the Combiner Wars Aerialbots which merge to form Superion. If any part of that sentence doesn’t make sense to you perhaps you should first read my review of Alpha Bravo. In that review I provided all the exposition you’ll need to understand what I’m talking about in this review.
Since my brother Doug owned the original Aerialbot toys in the 80s I don’t have the same personal attachment to them that I do for the Protectobots or Constructicons which were combiner teams I owned. But if I had to pick a favorite Aerialbot it would probably have been Fireflight. The team consisted of one large Concorde style plane called Silverbolt (who I always thought looked kind of dorky in robot mode) and 4 smaller jets, one red (Fireflight), one black (Air Raid), one gray (Skydive), and one white (Slingshot).
Fireflight was the brightest and boldest of the crew and I suppose that was part of the reason why he was my favorite, but it also had to do with his face. When it comes to Transformers I usually prefer the ones who have more robotic looking faces, with visors and face plates, like Optimus Prime. The ones with more humanoid faces, with noses and mouths, like Megatron I find less appealing. Silverbolt, Slingshot, and Skydive all had humanoid faces so that left only Fireflight and Air Raid to choose from.
The original Transformers toys have a nostalgic charm about them but some of them were pretty crappy figures. Even as a little kid I knew when Hasbro was being cheap and selling me crap. The 80s Combiner figures left a lot to be desired. They were short and stubby, their legs were often locked together, and they barely had any articulation. Good luck trying to create a dynamic action pose for a figure that can’t bend at the knees or elbows or even turn his head. Sometimes their arms were little more than nubs protruding from their sides. Luckily Hasbro had Marvel Comics and Sunbow Animation helping them make their characters seem cool and thus desirable to children because sometimes the toys themselves just didn’t cut it. The clunky blocky nature of 80s Transformers toys like Fireflight is what prompted me to part ways with my collection as a young teen.
We’ve come a long way since then because now C-list appendage-forming Transfomers like Fireflight are getting made into awesome action figures like this one. This Fireflight, who is now called Firefly for what I assume are legal trademark reasons, is bigger and better than the original in every way. He’s a fully posable, nicely sculpted figure that any kid would be thrilled to have. This guy has ball-jointed limbs and joints so he can be posed in a squat, in a leap, and even break-dancing.
His jet mode looks pretty good too but as I’ve said before I buy these things for the robots not the vehicles. If you want a thorough review of his wing span and the accuracy of the landing gear or whatever you’ll have to look elsewhere.
All of the deluxe sized Aerialbots like Fireflight can be turned into either a leg or an arm when being combined to form Superion. I’ve opted to turn Fireflight and Alpha Bravo into legs for the time being so my Superion can at least stand.
Superion is shaping up to be super cool once completed but it seems a real crime that figures as great as this are relegated to being displayed as limbs. If I ever find the Aerialbots at a discounted price I will be buying doubles so they can be displayed in their individual glory.
Knowing that I’ll be getting Constructicons and Protectobots of this quality later in the year has me giddy with excitement. 9 out of 10.