Combiner Wars Alpha Bravo Review

  Posted in Reviews, Toys and Collectibles on May 16th, 2015 by JediTricks TF

Alpha Bravo-101Combiner Wars deluxe Alpha Bravo is a new addition to the Aerialbots, replacing Slingshot on the team and borrowing some of his colorscheme.  The “airborne special ops” member of the group, Alpha Bravo volunteered to become part of Superion. He transforms not into a jet as his other teammates do, but into an attack helicopter, as well as a combiner arm or leg. As part of wave 1, Alpha Bravo comes on a smaller cardback without a comic book. Read on for the full review and photos.

Packaged: Alpha Bravo comes on the wave 1 cardback design that doesn’t include a comic book, instead coming with a collector card featuring character art. The back has 4-lingo text.

Vehicle Mode: Alpha Bravo turns into a helicopter somewhat resembling the Eurocopter Dauphin but sleeker and more high-tech, with a free-spinning 2-blade rotor and a bank of missiles on either side. Where the Dauphin has fold-up landing gear, Alpha Bravo has no landing gear at all, no wheels or skids. There’s a lot of sculpted helicopter detailing, including the front half of the underside, while the rear half of the underside is incongruous as it’s actually robot chest (although not terribly obvious, compared to his teammates) and the arms as weapons do show fists from the underside. Overall, Alpha Bravo has an alt mode that looks more whole, there are less seams and less gaps at those seams.

Deco is believable aside from the orange of the robot chest underneath, other than that it’s a clean white chopper with blue stripes, black windows, and orange “gold” missiles on either side, which borrows somewhat from Slingshot/Quickslinger, the teammate Alpha Bravo is replacing. The windows sculpted at the passenger section of the chopper have been left unpainted, though this is not uncommon for mixed-use aircraft that don’t end up needing passenger windows.

Alpha Bravo features a 5mm hole on either side of the engine, one on the center of the undercarriage, and you could use the downward-facing fists as 5mm holes as well. He comes with a rifle and a hand/foot accessory that has twin gatling guns as the main detail. The hand/foot gatling guns accessory plugged into the bottom of the helicopter scales well to the overall design and makes for a very mean landing gear, completing an attack helicopter look.

Robot Mode: Transformation isn’t much different from the other Aerialbots, just from the back instead of front, but has enough other details going on to make it feel unique and satisfying, despite a total cheat of the arms not doing anything at all. The feet transform very similarly to Classics Astrotrain. The rotors fold up but don’t lock into anything, so they do flop about a bit after some handling.

Alpha Bravo’s head is a classic combiner look, boxy with a visor and mouthplate, it shares some similarity to another combiner bot, G1 Combaticon Vortex, despite some differences too. The overall sculpt generally stays within a simple theme of the head and chest, but it feels very unified. That combiner joint in the chest has a lot of gap around it. That said, the unified look works very well for me, the balance of detailing seems right aside from that gap in the chest. His deco adds a lot of orange from the chest and face, as well as gray from the head, center chest, and thighs. Articulation includes a ball-jointed head, shoulders, and hips; hinged elbows and knees; and rotation waist and thighs. The copter tail is also hinged to allow positioning. Poseability is on par with the rest of the figures, good but hindered by a slight angle to the bottom of the feet. Because of transformation, you can angle his toes down for a better flying pose.

Alpha Bravo comes with the aforementioned rifle and hand/foot gatling guns accessory, both of which look great in his hands, though due to the way his forearms are designed he cannot hold the gatling gun underslung. The rifle has a nice sculpt with a vented barrel and a belt of bullets on the right side, though hollow on the opposite side with additional detailing inside the cavity. These are some of my favorite accessories of all the combiner bots. For a rather tame-looking Autobot, Alpha Bravo ends up very heavily armed.

Limb Modes: Since Alpha Bravo is replacing Slingshot who traditionally was Superion’s left arm, it stands to reason that Alpha Bravo would also be the left arm of the combiner. As an arm, Alpha Bravo is on par with the other Aerialbots though a little thicker at the forearm. The official transformation leaves the robot arms in the way of the combiner forearm bending all the way up to 90 degrees, but as the instructions also have the thumb on the wrong side, it’s pretty easy to tweak the look to better fit your needs. The joints on my sample are quite adequately tight.

Leg mode (not pictured) looks a bit different from the other Aerialbots in that Alpha Bravo’s vehicle mode nose opens up, just as it does for arm mode. Despite being the same thing as the rest of the combiner bots, this feels a bit different.

Overall: Alpha Bravo is my favorite of these Aerialbots, there’s personality to him and just the right balance of detailing in both modes. He does have a gappy chest with that combiner joint just stickin’ out, and his backpack rotor blades can be floppy. But he looks nice and he has some really great accessories. Alpha Bravo is definitely a “your mileage may vary” figure since he’s not even a jet and he does have some of the sameness as the other combiners; and he’s coming out again with a new head as Blades (and possibly again after that as Vortex or even Blast Off), but I think he looks great with this head and paint job.

Review sample supplied by Hasbro


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