Small Transformers Review

Because, I’m reviewing small Transformers. šŸ˜‰


I’ve gotten a few of the current Legends class TFs, lately. These are rapidly becoming my favorite size class. This will be covering Powerglide, Windcharger, and Bombshell from the Combiner Wars sub-line.


3_legends1 3_legends2

Alternate modes are all fairly solid. Powerglide’s is the weakest, but he’s also a triple changer. He has a gun mode, that I’ll touch on later.



Good robot modes, too. Though, I’m still on the fence about Windcharger’s. Let’s go over these guys, from left to right.


pglide1 pglide2


Powerglide is clearly based on an A-10, but liberties were taken. He’s not a brilliant red (nor was the original 80s toy) but he avoids the usual problem of being too light. I have a number of Transformers, including most of my Optimus Primes, that I would describe as pink. Powerglide’s color is very close to the shade Testor’s uses for “insignia red” in their Model Master line. It’s not overly saturated, with some brown to it. But, not quite what I would call maroon. He’s still kind of obviously a robot, when viewed from underneath, but he’s far less obvious, than most TF jets. There’s a third jet engine at the very back of his fuselage. I’m not sure if that was done because lopping off the end of the tail section made transformation simpler, or if it’s for his weapon mode. He has tail wheels are at the very back of the fuselage, giving him an odd look on the ground. I suggest leaving the nose gear retracted, and keeping the vehicle mode reserved for zooming around. It just doesn’t display well.


Powerglide’s robot mode is great. It instantly makes me think of his 80s cartoon incarnation. I haven’t looked to see how accurate he is to it, but I feel like his chest has to be close, in basic shape. Speaking of his chest, his insignia is sharply printed, on a silver background. Reminds of the 80s faction stickers. His articulation is just about standard, for this size. The only thing he’s lacking, that his brethren have is a swivel joint in the upper arm. His elbows do bend farther than most, but it’s required for his transformation. Shoulders, hips and knees are all ball/socket joints, with good ranges of motions. His head also turns, it’s a transformation joint.


I mentioned earlier that Powerglide has a weapon mode. Like a lot of Target Master style triple changers, it doesn’t look that great. It’s also ridiculously oversized, for all but the largest Transformers. I think I’ve got maybe two TFs that are large enough to hold it, and have standard 5 millimeter peg holes in their hands. It’s basically a half-way point in between robot and airplane, with his engines slid back to make gun barrels. He ends up being a triple barreled cannon, with two mini-missile pods. The gun almost feels like an afterthought. I dislike it enough, I didn’t bother taking a picture.


wcharger1 wcharger2 wcharger3


Windcharger’s vehicle mode is boss. It mixes the famous 1977 design most people from the first Smokey and the Bandit, with ’79 restyling, and throws in some angular stylization. It fits right in with the art style from the anime “Redline.” I can’t help but think that it would be the perfect update for Sweet JP’s Transam. [sic] I absolutely love this vehicle mode. Like Powerglide, Windcharger does not fall into the trap of dark pink instead of red. He’s molded in a beautiful deep metallic red. If I have one complaint, it’s the huge exhaust cluster, in the back. Looks great, and stays together. (extra fun, the original Windcharger toy from the 80s, was modeled on the ’81+ Trans Am) I like this mode so much, I think I might paint some of the details. I don’t do that often, on Transformers. I really wish I could have found Tailgate, when he was out. Then, I could have two of these, in different colors.


As I said before, I’m still not sure what I think of Windcharger’s robot mode. His shoulders are huge, and wide-set. Combined with his skinny lower legs, he’s got this weird inverted triangle thing going on. I tend to leave his shoulder swing-arms angled up a little bit. It helps to reduce the top-heavy look, but they can be swung down to be fully horizontal. Those shoulders are honestly the only thing I don’t like, but they have such a huge impact on the way he looks. His chest, like Powerglide’s reminds me of the 80s cartoon. It’s molded in the same metallic candy red as the rest of him, but painted dark gray. The gray paint is even, and covers the whole piece. It’s got a light texture to it, but I honestly don’t know if that’s the paint, or molded into the plastic. Either way, it looks good. His shin’s louver detail is a nice call out to the original toy, who’s louvered rear window became his shins. The scout class Windcharger from a few years ago had a similar detail. Wish he would have made it to some stores around here. Good articulation, here; shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees are all ball/socket joints. They all have great ranges of motion, though you sometimes have to adjust his back kibble, to move it out of the way. His head does turn, but it’s range of motion is limited.


bombshell2 bombshell3 bombshell1


Bombshell is the second Insecticon released in this size class. Skrapnel (AKA: Shrapnel) was the first. And for some reason, he lends himself well to talking about both modes, together. Go figure. Both of his modes are very G1 inspired. His purple plastic is a gorgeous shade, and has a metallic sheen. I wouldn’t call his insect mode legs poseable, but they do all have independent movement on their transformation joints. He’s got some kind of gun barrel or anime style mini-missile on each knee. They stick straight out the back of his insect mode. Not real sure what they’re supposed to be, but they do disguise the hinge joint on the back of the insect mode. Both of his arms end in jet engine like detail on his knuckles. This makes for good built-in blasters in robot mode, and engines for insect mode. (He’s got no wings, he’s gotta fly, somehow.) Amid the black, gray, and purple that make up his color palette, he’s got large patches of red on his legs and feet/back section of his insect mode. Once again, Hasbro has avoided their usual “dark pink.” This red, however, leans a bit more towards the orange end of the spectrum. The metal flakes in the red almost make me think that the red was painted over gold. But, there’ no way for me to be sure. Like Powerglide, he hasĀ  large, crisp insignia on his chest, in a field of silver.


Compared to Shrapnel/Skrapnel, Bombshell has a taller robot mode, but more compact insect mode. Bombshell also has richer colors. I truly hope Hasbro will be giving us a Kickback in this size and style.


Robot mode articulation is on par with the others. He does lack a head swivel, though. Bombshell’s shoulders, elbows, and hips are all on ball/socket joints, with his knees being simple hinges. But, there’s a rotational joint right above each knee He also has a waist swivel.


While I was taking pictures, I took a few comparison shots with other TFs from the same size class.


Powerglide, with his movie counterpart:

2_pglides1 2_pglides2


Windcharger and Swerve:

wind_swerve1 wind_swerve2 wind_swerve3


Bombshell and Shrapnel:

bshell_shrap1 bshell_shrap2



March 2015
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