Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 21, October 1986 / Issue 23, December 1986
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 63, May 31st 1986 / Issue 287, September 15th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 57 (Season 2 #41), November 26th 1985 / Episode 94 (Season 3 #29), February 24th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Revenge of the Fallen
- Added the FansProject Aerial Appendage upgrade set
- Added the DMY Studios upgrade set
- Energon Sky Shadow used in place of ROTF Skydive
- Custom Fireflight used in place of ROTF Fireflight
When Universe/ROTF Superion was first created from the old Energon moulds, there was much disgust and gnashing of teeth as the resultant mess was a poor homage to the G1 combiner. Then thankfully FansProject came up with a cool kit which would augment the existing combiner and even give him hands! The old Energon weapons could finally be binned after being replaced by some excellent guns for all 5 members of the team. But then I was still unhappy because of some flaws with the torso and the terrible colour choices for the 2 legs. I have now addressed these concerns, but, still, the resultant combiner was too small, when compared to Bruticus for example. I started to have impure thoughts about buying TFC Superion which I don't even like, when as if from the gods, an unknown company called DMY Studios decided to upgrade the upgrade... Confused?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
While not looking exactly like the G1 original, everyone associates an Aeroplane combiner with Superion, so I'm not bothered that the look isn't spot on. However, I was quite disappointed with the head, and even Fansproject's neat visor didn't fix it. This is where DMY have added to the picture by coming up with a much more G1 set of 'antennae', in fact I lie, because DMY have provided 2 sets. However, only the wider set which I use actually allows you to stow the gestalt head within Silverbolt. However the extra option is a nice touch, for those who only display their combiners combined. I wasn't enamoured particularly with FansProject's recommended configuration for the 'arm' jets, which involved them being used with the nosecones pointing up, and looking rather weedy. This is the next improvement which DMY have bought in - the 'arms' now sit atop a framework which not only adds bulk the arms, but also articulation. Now, no limbs of the small robots are used for the forearm, with a separate piece provided. This may annoy the purists but is absolutely required to let this figure hit it with the big boys. From the waist up, Superion looks like a pretty coherent combiner. The reason for this is that the colours of the torso and arms complement each other quite nicely, mainly sharing a palette of red, white, grey, black and yellow. Unfortunately this coherence falls over somewhat when you get to the legs. Here the 2 vehicles supplied do not match at all. I substituted the disgusting pink limb for the old Energon Sky Shadow figure, so now that leg is grey, red and black. I then combined elements of ROTF Fireflight and ROTF Skydive to make my custom Fireflight. I painted the maroon areas red as well, and blue parts of the wings red. On top of this, the red DMY hip component massively improves the combiner, wrapping around the original empty mess of the groin area. Then the leg extenders sit between Silverbolt's and the leg robots, adding about an inch in height, with the FansProject feet also getting a boost. It sounds rather contrived and fiddly and I don't deny that it is, but the end result is a combiner who is exactly the same height at the head as Bruticus, and pretty much the same bulk. It also looks far more coherent and sturdy than FansProject alone ever managed.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
I class the combiner alt mode as being all the vehicles together, and how well they display as a group. 'Pretty well' is the answer in this case. I'm not sure about how the Powerglide-type planes work with the sleeker jets, but I can live with the different moulds, but what really annoyed me was the colour of Fireflight. He alone does not work with the rest of the group which is a real shame. The planes would look more coherent if he were a nicer colour, which is why I swapped him out with my custom Fireflight! I now feel that the jets display together really well. The alt modes are all supposed to house the combiner kibble, but I don't think this works well at all. Air Raid and Slingshot both get the lower arms, which ruin the look of the sleek jets in my opinion. I choose to leave the kibble off them, but I do connect the guns to the wings which looks nice. Fireflight is supposed to get part of the foot kibble, which combines to make a flat radar dish - I also leave this off as it is ugly. Both Fireflight and Skydive look great with their gun/shields though. Silverbolt is supposed to house the feet and hands - this is the least successful integration of kibble in my opinion. It just makes the him look 'plane stupid' so I leave them off as well. The gun connects nicely, though but I still prefer to leave it off. Basically this whole set looks better with all of the combiner kibble tossed aside, however I appreciate FansProject and DMY Studios efforts in making the various parts integratible (?).
I am a sucker for combiners and how they slot together. All of the limbs require very little transformation from their vehicle modes, which I really like. The Air Raid mould is connected to the DMY arm extenders, which very neatly slot into the 'bum' of the figure and then utilise the existing Energon socket to secure the connection. The fists then peg into the forearms, which have the FansProject armour placed over them. The small robot arms need to be swung round to under the nosecone. The Fireflight mould is even simpler - the nosecone is split as if transforming the legs, and the feet are stuck together. The whole assembly is then encased in what I can only describe as a robotic shoe. The wings are folded forward and the legs are ready. True to form, Silverbolt remains fiddly, but makes a much nicer torso than a robot in its own right. There is also less of a visible gap in this mode. He effectively needs to be half-transformed to become the torso, and then the aforementioned DMY hip filler and leg extenders are added. The whole thing connects together via the original Energon ports, with DMY extenders of sorts inbetween all 4 limbs.
For a combiner, Superion's poseability is impressive. Starting from the top, the head is on a swivel joint. The shoulders can be moved out to 90 degrees, and can rotate unimpeded. Thanks to DMY, the figure now has elbows which effectively are on balljoints, with an additional hinge joint. The wrists can be swivelled but they are very tough to move. The thumbs are static but the top finger can move independently of the other three, with one joint present. The palms are notched allowing the gun to be held effectively. There is no waist swivel. Articulation of the lower half is pretty much the same as pre-FansProject, with the exception of ankle tilt which has been added. Otherwise there is a good range of movement in the hips, and bendable knees. The large feet give Superion a decent sense of balance, and a lot of poses are possible, provided the kibble doesn't get in the way. You may find that the lower limbs pop off when bent, but this is not too much of a problem. The width of his lower legs also mean that he can only be posed with his legs splayed somewhat when standing - however this is common with all combiners.
There is a worry about the plastic used for the head and some other parts, which is pretty soft and may become brittle over time. However, the head piece at least is replaced by the DMY parts. Also, the 2 'arm bots' both have loose limbs. Other than this, the various robots feel well-made. My major concern is actually with the parts supplied by the 3rd parties, which feel more brittle than the Hasbro bits and pieces, and some parts have stress marks. Also DMY have produced a good kit for their part, but the tolerances in some cases are waaay off. One forearm socket is tighter than the other and inserting the fist has led to stressmarks, which I have had to cover up with Reprolabels. Also the combiner ports are all very tight, with some needing modification before I was comfortable using them. However, for me, the trade-off is worth it for the other improvements.
Overall - 39/50
With their clever enhancements, FansProject and DMY Studios have elevated this figure from being a shelf-warming piece of crap to something quite decent as they so often do. A warning though that while the FansProject components are good out of the box, you will need to work with the DMY elements a bit more to get them working for you. Think of this as a minor custom job rather than a straightforward addition. I wouldn't recommend this set with just the FansProject elements - you definitely need both to provide a match to the combiners of today. While nowhere near perfect, this combiner still looks very good on a classics shelf. The overall effect is an impressive upgrade to the Aerialbots who, more importantly, can finally kick Bruticus's ass.