Saturday, 13 December 2008

Superion Is Super!

When He-Man returned, all the He-Man fans were busy mocking those who collected Transformers (oh yeah, the inter-fandom network can be quite cutthroat), for He-Man had returned exactly as it used to be. And perhaps that was the problem, as kids nowadays are more sophisticated than just wanting an elastic band in the waist of their toys.

Hasbro with Transformers though, brought out products that were, too the horror of collectors, 'kiddified toys' (well IMAGINE!). But sprinkled liberally throughout there were homages to the classic series, but in new, updated forms. Perhaps the best of these was Superion.

When I was small, I collected Transformers. Every other week I would go down to ASDA with my mum shopping and spend my pocket money on them, I collected all the Aerialbots that way. As you can imagine they were planes, and combined to form the mighty robot Superion. He's still at home, but below are some pictures of him, and please remember that when I was small these guys were impressive, though even I realised they were a little samey.
Silverbolt was the big guy. He had an hilariously tiny head though and looked like an old man. The other, smaller guys eached turned into the limbs, and could be either an arm or a leg. Their heads plugged into holes on Silverbolt to attach and form Superion, the huge guy in the middle. And yeah, he was my favourite

So it was pleasing to me when Hasbro unveiled these guys in their Energon line.
Unfortunately the original Aerialbot names had been lost or taken by other companies, so instead we have (from left to right) Treadshot, Sky Shadow, Storm Jet, Terradive and Windrazor. Of course, later Hasbro managed to get back most of the names, the scamps.

One of the gimmicks in Energon is they each have 'Energon Chips' which plug onto those white circles you see on some of their chests. The circles have the Autobot logo carved into them, and are shiny and nice. Now, the idea was that the chips magnified the logo so it looked larger, but all you really got was an incoherant blob. Nice idea, poor execution. Each also has clear 'Energon Weapons' which attach to robot and vehicle modes, and also form the hands and feet. So as you can guess they don't look amazing.
Here's the team as planes. Now, you might notice that all the small guys look similar. That is because Hasbro could only afford to make two smaller molds, and so repainted each twice to get their moneys worth and make the toys cheaper overall (don't complain, they've been doing that ever since Transformers began!) But they have made a good effort in making them look different.

Now, here is the big boy himself, Superion. On the top is the official transformation, but by swapping some of the limbs about and transforming them differently, I have made a better version below. And that's one of the beauties of Transformers, you can fiddle with them to your hearts content until they look good to your eyes. Unless they are called 'Chase'

Storm Jet
Storm Jet is the leader of the Aerialbots and like Silverbolt, the leader of the original ones, he is a long-nosed plane, though of a different variety. And being an Autobot, he is primarily red and white, because that is the colour of good guys (like Santa).

In robot mode he really shines. Of course lots of people moan that his chest doesn't plug in properly to his hips, and I suppose it doesn't really, but hey, gravity makes sure it works. Thanks Sir Isaac Newton! His transformation is pretty nifty as the nose of the jet folds around the body to create the chest, and he has a cool face. Another thing to note is that all the new guys have light-piping in their eyes, so if you hold it behind a light source, the eyes will glow blue!

Sky Shadow and Terradive
As you can tell, these two are the same mold, but both look sufficiently different paint-wise. I'm a bit fan of white plastic, it is 'different' and interesting, unlike the grey that is used a lot on Sky Shadow

I never really thought I'd like these guys, but they are very fiddleable and their transformation is interesting. Because of the way the head is made, you can turn it round and create a different head, as I have done with Terradive. In my opinion it is better than the 'actual' head, which Sky Shadow sports above. 

Treadshot and Windrazor
Again, you can tell how Hasbro have really differentiated the two with the paint apps. Both are very very nifty jets, and I fell in love with them the moment I saw them

In robot mode these guys shine. Windrazor has a little chinstrap painted on to his head, as well as big black gauntlets, whilst Treadshot is a ninja! Well, as ninja as a baby blue Transformer can be.

In conclusion these guys are awesome, and if you liked the original Superion, you'll love them! They look so much nicer than the originals, and can be used to create some great displays on your shelves (just remember, they're not toys, they're Collectable Figures...)


  1. blueshift/matt why the hell do they keep naming jets stuff with 'tread' in the name? like treadbolt, treadshot, treadrubbish, etc. jets do not have treads, at best they have wheels and even that is a losing prospect.

  2. Now they're being reissued with the original names... Except one of them got changed to Airrazor for some reason.

  3. ha ha treadfart, treadhead, treadnbutter, treadlight, treadmaster, donttreadonme.