Cliffbee.com: Air Defence Team Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review






Name: Jetstorm
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Concorde SST

CONCORDE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7cm Width: 4.5cm

   A transparent Concorde (as you do) with blue paint along the wing edges and passenger windows, a blue tail and some white on top of the cabin. The nose is black with a red stripe behind it, while the robot limbs are vaguely visible underneath the colourless wings. Thankfully the kibble is a very non-descript grey, so you don't really notice it. There's a little grey front wheel which can swing down, on a colourless leg, providing Jetstorm with some play value - although he'll happily stand on his kibble if the wheel is retracted. While the colours aren't realistic they give Jetstorm a decent colour scheme, aside from the white which looks a little out of place (oh the irony!). Jetstorm has a single powerlinx port underneath. All three members of this team have them underneath, actually - although the others have two ports each.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Stow the wheel, lift the nose up on top of the plane, unclip the legs and swing forward, stand him up. Swing down the arms, unfold the forearms. Fold the tail down to form a chestplate.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 4.5cm

   A mix of colourless plastic, blue paint and dull grey. Jetstorm's chestplate is the blue tail section - complete with a protruding tailfin. The arms and wings (behind the shoulders) are colourless, along with the head which has a low-detail red face. The legs are grey along with the elbows. The colour scheme is better than it sounds, mainly because there's a slight purple tinge to the clear plastic which is more evident now.

   Jetstorm's poseability is pretty good - his shoulders lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. The hips swing and his knees are ball joints and with a little care some dynamic poses are possible - which is pretty good for a toy this size with poseability that borrows from transformation joints.

OVERALL

   As bizarre as a transparent passenger jet is, Jetstorm still manages to be a nifty little Minicon. Both modes look pretty good and the robot is nice and poseable. The tailfin on his chest is a little weird, but he's still fun - 8/10.
Name: Runway
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Jet Plane

JET PLANE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   Another transparent plane, although the purple tint is more obvious here. The plane shape is actually fairly similar to Jetstorm's, although Runway looks like he's a prototype. The wingtips are silver, along with the two jets on the back. His cockpit window is black and there's a grey undercarriage with some red paint poking through. Runway has a wheel underneath like that on Jetstorm, and while he'll stand without it, he'll dip forward a little if it's retracted.

   The colours don't quite work for me - the purple tinge bugs me for some reason, but at least there's no white patch on this guy. The plane itself looks nice enough, with nifty little winglets just behind the cockpit. There's quite a bit of moulded detail underneath the transparent wings. Granted, the purple tinge doesn't work for me, but on the whole this is a pretty cool little plane.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Stow the wheel, flip out the legs, stand him up, unfold the arms. Fold the tail section down to form the chestplate and lift out his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 4.5cm

   The transparent plastic now limits to the wings behind his arms and the chest - well and the tail formed from the plane's nose. Runway's limbs and head are grey, with red paint on his hips, elbows and face. The twin tailfins look better than the giant sail that Jetstorm has since they're a pair and they slope inwards. Sure, Runway looks vaguely like he has breasts, but that beats a sail.

   There's not a lot of poseability - he's probably the most static robot in this set. The elbows hinge and there's some wiggle in the legs, but not enough to take advantage of the tail (which would make a great third, stabilising, leg).

OVERALL

   The weakest of a good set, Runway's robot mode is rather static and the purple plane mode doesn't sit well with me, but the plane is quite detailed and interesting and the robot mode looks as good as his buddies' - 6/10
Name: Sonar
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Sub-orbital Plane

PLANE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A white wedge shaped plane with blue wings at the back which slope upwards, Sonar has a black cockpit window and horribly inappropriate name. I'm not sure if this is a NASA concept plane or simply made up, but it looks pretty good and has space shuttle style tiles moulded and two small grey tailfins at the back. There's a transparent lump underneath, which is the hilt of the Star Saber, and Sonar pretty much rests on this - there are no wheels like on his buddies. The hilt can swing up onto the top of the plane, where it looks like a cannon of some sort. This represents Sonar's only plane mode play value.

   This is my favourite plane in this set - not just because it's not transparent either. The concept is cool and it gives Sonar some character. Sonar, which is used underwater, relies on sound, which is all but non-existant in the upper atmosphere - Hasbro really didn't research the name well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the front out to form the legs, rotate the nose halves around to form feet. Fold the hilt onto his back, flip up the head. Fold out the forearms and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 5.5cm

   Again Sonar gets the most logical colour scheme - his boots are blue, along with the wings on the outsides of his arms. The arms, groin and head are grey, the face red, the chest gold and the thighs colourless. The gold chest is quite well detailed and the face is the most clearly defined in this team (though still low detail).

   Sonar's poseability is good, if not quite as good as that of Jetstorm. The shoulders swing and the elbows bend, while the hips can lift out to the sides - the latter isn't terribly useful. The ankles are ball joints, which allows for some relaxed leg poses.

OVERALL

   As you can probably tell, Sonar is my favourite toy in this set, despite his suckful name. Both modes look great and the giant gun option in plane mode is kinda nifty. I would have liked more poseable hips, but that's my only real complaint - 8.5/10
STAR SABER
Height: 13cm Width: 5.5cm

   A fairly chunky sword which manages to actually look like a sword rather than just three planes stuck together. Okay, it's still obviously a fusion of planes, but unlike the Skyboom Shield this thing actually works. Sonar forms the hilt, with the post at the bottom, while his legs form a handguard. Runway and Jetstorm form a transparent blade and do a fairly good job of it. There's a spine of colourless plastic running from the handle to the tip - the idea being that an LED would cause this spine to glow (such as the LED in the Japanese Hot Shot's hand), but the gaps prevent this from working. The Star Saber looks good in hand, which is enough for me. Considering that it's formed by three good Minicons, this is a great sword.




VARIATIONS

   There are quite a few variants of this set that were released in Japan, and one general release Anglophone repaint, renamed as the Air Assault Team - but with the same three toy names. The Air Assault Team was done in off white, purple, gold and black. The Skyboom set from Energon is a retool of this set.

TEAM OVERALL

   The best aspect of this set is the lack of a weak link. Runway lags slightly behind the excellent Sonar and very good Jetstorm, but is far from being a bad toy. The Star Saber works remarkably well considering it's a mash of three jets, while the robot modes are all pretty good considering the size of these toys. The transparent plastic on Runway and Jetstorm is a little weird for their plane modes, but you can always pick up the Air Assault variants if that bothers you - 8/10

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