Cliffbee.com: Armada Airazor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Airazor
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Hawk



HAWK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 18cm Width: 14.5cm

   An indigo and charcoal robotic hawk, with some silver and red highlights. The indigo and charcoal are very similar colours, so she's very dark. In truth, it's better than the multitude of colours on Transmetal Airazor, of which she is a repaint (and slight retool). This mode is largely indigo, the wings, tail and head are charcoal. The red is on the back edges of the wings, the tail, the cheeks and touches on her back. The silver is on the wings and tail, and there's also grey on her back.

   As mentioned, this is a repaint of a Transmetal, so it's a pretty robotic beast mode. There are piston like bits, turbines on her shoulders and the lines remind more of an airliner than those a bird. It's pretty decent sculpting, but then this is a Beast Wars mould, which are generally of a higher standard in terms of sculpting than Armada.

   She has dead connectors on the wings, which have blue lightning like patterns around them, to which you can attach a MiniCon. It has to be said that Nightscream looks pretty stupid attached to her, but then it's a small sports car on the wing of a large robotic bird. I suppose the designers didn't get much choice, "recolour some Beast Wars toys and give them MiniCons", but it's still a bad idea.

   There's not really all that much play value. I barely count attaching Nightscream as play value, since it works so badly. Her legs move around a bit, since they're the robot arms, but her ankles are a tad loose and she can topple forward. Her legs are larger than they should be, but not by much, so I can forgive it. A weapon that folds out would have added a lot to the play value of this mode.

   It has some good features, the sculpting is great and the colours are an improvement on the original, but some bad, such as the spectacular failure of the MiniCon concept.

VEHICLE MODE

   Fold the legs away. Unclip the front sections of the wings and fold them around underneath her to form pontoons. They have struts to add to the effect. They really do look like pontoons, but the fact remains they're pontoons on a bird. She sort of looks like a Cessna plane, but is too back heavy to really stay upright in this mode. As with a lot of the Transmetal moulds, this is really more of an add on than a true third mode, which is a good thing because whilst the pontoons work well, the mode on the whole doesn't.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a lot of internal hinging I'm going to skip here since it's hard to visualise without the toy in front of you. Detach the robot chest from under the bird mode, swing the robot arms out to the sides, flip out the robot head and reattach the chest, this time at the back of the bird rather than the front. Open the bird up by pushing the wings down, fold them down 90 to reveal the robot legs. Lift out the robot legs, you have to splay them slightly to clear the tail, swing them over and push the bird head up into the robot chest. You'll have to unclip the robot chest and reclip it to get this right. Fold the bird tail onto her back, rotate the wings so they're pointing down and fold them back. Slide the wings up (over the turbines). Fold down her feet, position her limbs and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 12cm

   Again this mode is largely indigo & charcoal. For the most part it's indigo, with charcoal thighs, waist and shoulders. Her chest is painted red, fading away to the sides into indigo. One side has a blue splotch of some sort, her head is blue with a red faceplate and yellow eyes. I'm a real fan of the paint job in this mode - the head looks great. She doesn't really look like an Autobot, it has to be said. If you look on her back underneath the bird tail, they've replaced the rubsign indent with a moulded (but unpainted) Decepticon symbol! So she was probably meant to be a Decepticon but ended up being packaged as an Autobot. Either way, it's a great colour scheme.

   This robot mode really does look feminine, she's skinny and her feet are reminiscent of women's shoes. This toy has no tech spec I'm aware of, but the assumption seems to be that she's female.

   She has a pretty big backpack with those wings hanging off her back. It's pretty heavy, too, and on mine at least the hip joints can give way. Still, the wingtips are low enough that she can rest on them, meaning there are a lot of stable poses. The other major feature of this mode are the bird feet, which are on hinges on the back of her wrists. She has giant slashing weapons on her hands! They look great, and make her look pretty dangerous too. It's interesting to note she has holes in her hands despite not having any sort of detachable weapons. Perhaps they had originally planned something for TM Airazor that never made it to the production of the toy.

   This is a very poseable mode - the head, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball joints, as well as the hinges on wrists and hinged ankles. Coupled with the wingtips, these joints give you a lot of play value in this mode. Also you can fold the wings over on her chest to forma giant shield or armour plate, although I suspect this is more simply by accident than design. You can't attach Nightscream in any meaningful way in this mode - he'd just attach, hidden, to the back of her wing.




Name: Nightscream
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Le Mans Racer

Height: 1cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   An indigo Le Mans racer, Nightscream has black windows which sort of blend into all that Indigo. He's got Silver grills on the back, as well as silver hubcaps - he's got black tyres with silver hubcaps. It's worth noting there's no black paint on Airazor so if they were moulded together the black is just for Nightscream.

   Nightscream's a pretty decent little sports car. I'd imagine he's based on a real model, but I know not these things. He rolls along nicely and has good detail, such as taillights, tailpipes and air intakes on the doors. He also has sports lights on the front, and a front grill. This guy's car mode puts a lot of larger car Transformers to shame. The paint job, however, is slightly inferior to that of Oval's, of which he is a recolour.

   I can't really flaw this mode much. There's moulded detail on the underside, which, while not car like, is clearly mechanical. Part of it is only really useful as the bottom of the car mode, which shows how much effort was put into moulding this toy. The only minor flaw I can see is there's a small notch on the boot (trunk) to allow you to flip up the head.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Very similar to Overdrive. Pull out the rear, fold down the front, click it into place, swing back the roof, swing up the head and swivel down the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

   Predominantly indigo with a yellow eyestrip, silver waist, groin and thighs. This silver plastic is not seen on Airazor, so again they bothered to include this colour in the mould. He has a powerlinx connector on his left ankle. He's somewhat lanky, although not as much as Overdrive was. The indigo and silver work really well, it's probably a better scheme than Oval's is, and like Airazor he really looks like he should be a bad guy.

   Nightscream has ball joints on his hips, swivel joints on shoulders and hinges on his elbows with 30 movement before popping off. He has six meaningful points of articulation, and that's damn good for a MiniCon.


VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although both Airazor and Nightscream are repaints, Airazor has some minor retooling.

OVERALL

   There's not really much new in this set if you have Transmetal Airazor and the Street Speed Team. But the colour schemes of both Airazor and Nightscream are improvements. The indigo is great, and Airazor's robot mode is good. If you don't have the original TM Airazor, I'd really recommend this set. Probably the only major downside to this set is the fact that they really don't belong together - attaching Nightscream to Airazor is essentially pointless. But they're both cool toys in their own right, so I can overlook that - 7/10

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