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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:

Wildfire's review of: Air Assault team (Jetstorm, Runway, Sonar)

Generation: Armada
First cartoon appearance: N/a

Vehicle Mode: Another wave 4 Minicon repaint, the Air Defense team went evil somehow! Still the same members but some terrible incident has landed this reformed Minicons in the hands of the Decepticons and granted them the use of the devastating Dark Saber! Original pictures of these guys showed them being translucent plastic like the Air Defense team was, but since the Star Saber's light up effect didn't work too well, they are cast in solid gray now. A shame really, a lot of the detail that was visible on the Air Defense team was etched on the underside of the team members and is now lost.

Jetstorm: (I might have Jetstorm and Runway switched so bear with me guys.) Jetstorm is a passenger jet the exact type of which I used to know but now forget. He is primarily light gray with a purple cockpit that leads out to purple detailing along his swept back wings and that is carried through to his tailfin. He has a touch of gold and black on his nosecone and black cockpit windows as well as windows molded in along his sides. On the underside of his cockpit is flip out landing gear that he doesn’t really need but which is a nice touch all the same. He has one Powerlinx port in the middle of his underside.

Runway: Runway is either a jet, or a futuristic space shuttle, I actually saw a proposed shuttle design in Popular Science that bore more than a passing resemblance to Runway’s vehicle mode, you be the judge. He is nearly all light gray but has gold striping along the outer edges of his wings and on his engines. Some black is used on his cockpit windows and on the fins on his cockpit and engines. Runway has two Powerlinx ports, one under and slightly inward of his wings basically.

Sonar: Now Sonar really is based off a proposed shuttle design. He is mainly black with some purple on his nosecone, toward the underside of the shuttle body, and on his angled wings. His cockpit window and an area of circuitry near the rear of the shuttle are gold. The entire shuttle is etched with grid lines, mimicking the heat shielding on a real space shuttle. His Minicon symbol is molded in front of the gold circuit panel the top of the shuttle. Sonar has two Powerlinx ports on his underside on a gray piece that becomes the handle of the Dark Saber.

Robot Mode:
: Fold the cockpit up and over the top of the shuttle and pull the black thrusters on the underside of the jet out and fold them down to form the robot legs. Flip the gray bits on either side of the tailfin up then fold the black bits down to form the arms and finally pull out on the tailfin then flip it around to form the robot chest. Jetstorm is mostly gray in robot mode. His legs and upper arms are black and his face is gold. He has eight points of articulation including ball-jointed knees. His Minicon symbol is molded on his right shin.

Runway: Fold the black pieces with the Powerlinx ports on them down to form the legs, fold the thrusters under the wings down to form the arms, and fold the rear of the jet down to form the chest. Runway is the toughest looking member of the group with big bulky arms and a single slit for an eye. He’s mainly gray, but he has enough black to make it almost look like that’s his primary color. Runway has gold on his chest from the jet mode engines, gold on his arms and a gold slit eye. His head, arms, waist and legs are black. Runway has about seven points of articulation. His arms are somewhat limited by his chest and his head can only nod back and forth but what do you want. His Minicon symbol is molded on the underside of his left wing.

Sonar: Pull forward on the cockpit then spread the halves out a bit and rotate the cockpit halves down to form the feet. Flip the gray piece with Powerlinx ports up over Sonar’s back to reveal his head, flip his arms down and the purple wing pieces up and there you go. Sonar is definitely the darkest member of the group, having almost none of the gray so prominent in his brothers. He is mainly black, black arms, black on the backs of his legs, black helmet and partially black feet. He has purple shins, toes and wings on his shoulders, gold face and chest, and gray thighs. Sonar has ten points of articulation, mostly in his legs and mainly just allowing him to kick outward.

Dark Saber: Return all members to vehicle mode first. Pull forward on Sonar's cockpit sections to separate them, but fold them out to the sides so the thigh pieces are flat across the folded up arms but angles the shins sections up slight, leave the toe sections alone. Flip Jetstorm's cockpit back and pull the peg underneath it into the hole on the gray piece between Sonar's cockpit halves. Plug Runway into Jetstorm via the holes in Runway's engines and the pegs protruding from Jetstorm's engines. Congratulations, you have formed the Dark Saber and are ready to beat the Autobots to a pulp. The combined Dark Saber is pretty cool looking. Definitely a weapon befitting a Decepticon, it looks especially nice in Galvatron or Thundercracker's hands. The only real problem here is stability. Jetstorm and Runway tend to fall off Sonar, with the Air Defense team, people found that you could attach Jetstorm's legs to Sonar's Powerlinx ports to add some stability, but you can't do that here, only one of my Jetstorm's legs will stay attached to Sonar. I'm also not really fond of the flat gray used on these guys. I think it would have looked a lot cooler if the Air Assault team had been molded in translucent plastic like the original pictures showed. I don't care about the light-up feature, I just think the underside details would look better than the plain flat gray areas predominant in this case.

Transformation: 3 - No real problems.
Durability: 7 – Sonar’s forearms pop off as do Jetstorm’s, hell I’d bet that Runway’s do too.
Fun: 10 – Alone, pretty cool, combined, still pretty cool, but they need to hold together better as the Dark Saber.
Price: 2 - $6.84 as are all the Minicons at Walmart.
Overall: 8 – The stability issues and lack of detailing, or perhaps lack of translucent plastic in needed areas brings my rating down a little.
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