"Generations" Combiner Wars Powerglide Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: February 2015
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Amazon, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Autobot Powerglide figure is an aerial acrobat who knows all of the dogfighting tactics. He'll be a match for any enemy in robot mode, and when he converts to super-charged jet mode, no enemy can hope to escape him! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In 2015 the "Legends Class" of figures continued, but this time without a Mini-Con/Micromaster partner. Some of these were redecos such as Huffer but others were brand new sculpts. One of these figures is Powerglide. While he does not include a partner who becomes a weapon, he can transform into a weapon. Powerglide is a character who has popped up now and then in the "Transformers" toy line over the years. This includes appearances in the Universe 2.0 line, "Dark of the Moon" and even "Bot Shots".

Powerglide is packaged in a small bubble attached to a card featuring painted style artwork reminscent of the artwork from Generation One packaging. The back of the card features a photo of him transforming into a weapon for Skydive. There's a very brief blurb on his personality which is still tons more than we're getting on the "Robots in Disguise" packaging. He also includes a trading card featuring artwork from the "By Land, Sea, or Air" event from "Transformers Legends".

Robot Mode:
Powerglide's robot mode is based on his Generation One appearance. Almost every aspect of this body design reflects a part seen on his animation model. These design elements include:

  • The head sculpt has Powerglide's distinct design with a cockpit shaped head, a small gun barrel on top and a mouthplate with a flat section in the middle instead of the more traditional vertical line.
  • The arms are connected to his wings, which are themselves connected to his torso, creating a very unique upper body shape. The wings wind up flanking his head.
  • The top of his arms look like horizontal cones and his forearms are large with flat panels on the outside that extend over the top of his hands.
  • The waist section his a small, sculpted design on it including two rows of horizontal lines and a raised rectangle. These are inspired by a similar detail on G1 Powerglide's waist.
  • Each lower leg has a booster from the vehicle mode attached to the back.
  • The robot feet have a very angled shape and slope downward from the angles to the "toes".

In addition to all the G1 inspired details, Powerglide also has additional detailing that makes him look a bit more complex and modern than his G1 counterpart. This includes extra line details and indents on his legs and chest. Overall the detail level on this figure is really nice.

It's not just the sculpt that pays homage to G1 Powerglide, this figure also uses classic Powerglide colors. His main plastic color is a dark shade of red while the rest is light grey. These were the same base colors for G1 Powerglide. Paint colors on the figure include black, light blue and silver. The black is found on the gun barrel on the top of his head, the rockets on the back of the forearms and the ends of the boosters on his legs. The light blue is used on the eyes and waist. The waist details are outlined with silver. In the center of his chest is a gigantic Autobot symbol in red and silver. The deco isn't overly complex but to be fair, Powerglide's deco in general is not that complex. This mode looks great in terms of sculpt and deco.

Powerglide has eleven points of articulation in this form. I'm being generous and counting the ability of the feet to move at the ankles even though technically that's part of the transformation. Also, it's important to note that six of these points of articulation are ball joints, allowing for a wide range of movement. While he does not come with any weapons, his fists are designed to accommodate 5mm peg weapons.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Turn the robot head so it is facing the back.
  2. Straighten out the robot arms and legs.
  3. Swing the robot feet up.
  4. Push the lower legs together.
  5. Swing the stabilizer fins on each of the lower legs out to the sides.
  6. Swing each of the wings out to the sides then rotate them forward.
  7. Pull the plane cockpit piece on the back of the figure forward, then push it down.
  8. Under each wing, bend the robot arm at the elbow then slide the tab on the forearms into the corresponding slots on the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
True to his G1 origins, Powerglide is a plane resembling an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. He has many of that vehicle's signature design elements including a gun mounted on the front end, a thick cockpit section, twin tube-shaped engines in the rear and vertical stabilizer fins that flank those engines. There are some tweaks made to the figure so it's not an exact replica including the shape of the wings (these are angled while the real life vehicle appears to have more straight wings) and the design of the engines (they curve inward a lot more in the front than the real life vehicle). Still, these changes are very minor and I'm kind of surprised the design wasn't changed more to prevent any licensing issues (but I'm not complaining).

In this form Powerglide is mostly red plastic with only small grey sections sticking out here and there. The black paint used on his engines is also seen on the front end of the vehicle in the form of his cockpit "glass" and the weapon mounted on the cockpit. Now here's a fun touch on the deco that may or may not be coincidental. If you look at the cockpit section there is a tiny gap where the robot face shows a bit of its grey. The result is that the vehicle looks like it has "eyes" similar to the way some A-10 Thunderbolts have been painted in the military!

Powerglide has landing gear with non-working wheels on the bottom of the cockpit section. The foot pieces have non-working wheels sculpted into them as well. From a functional standpoint I'd say the only weakness of the figure is the leg assembly. My copy of this figure is fine, but I have heard others complain of the legs not staying together in this form so be warned.

Transformation to Weapon Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Swing the rear stabilizers down.
  2. Rotate each wing forward, then swing it up to attach it to the tabs on the sides of the vehicle.
  3. Swing the front landing gear down (this will serve as the handle).
  4. Swing the middle panel on the top of the vehicle to reveal a targeting scope.

Weapon Mode:
I'm going to give the designers a lot of credit on this weapon mode. They took elements of the vehicle mode and robot modes and found ways to actually make him look like a credible super-weapon. I call Powerglide a super-weapon because he's not just a blaster but he's also a rocket launcher. The thruster engines from the vehicle mode (all three of them) act as "weapon barrels" in the front of the weapon. However the underside of the robot mode serves as a pair of rocket launchers, each with ten rockets in them! The brilliant touch is adding in the "targeting scope" in the middle, creating a very scifi yet credible looking weapon (as Transformers weapons go anyhow).

The landing gear "handle" for the weapon accommodates 5mm slots. This means you can have anyone from an individual Aerialbot to a Combiner holding Powerglide as a weapon. Ideally he is meant to go with Superion since Powerglide is now an honorary Aerialbot (and Targetmaster!).

Final Thoughts:
Powerglide is quite simply an awesome toy. His robot and vehicle modes pay awesome homage to his G1 counterpart and his size is perfect given his prior "Mini-Bot" status. His added weapon mode looks very cool (and powerful) and I appreciate that he can be used by any figure with 5mm slots. G1 and new fans alike should definitely have this guy in their collection!

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