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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: Fireflight

Name: Fireflight
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Reconnaissance
Sub-Group: Classics Legends

Well, the Cybertron line has ended, and Classics has taken the Transformers fan world by storm. Still, one element of the last line continues – Legends. Now Classics Legends (CL), the new tiny pocket money ‘bots accompanying our re-imagined G1/G2 loved-ones are straight recolours of the Legends of Cybertron (LOC) line. With all the effort that has already been put into what is, at the end of the day, merely a filler line (at least in intent), it’s hardly surprising Hasbro felt they may as well try and gat some extra mileage out of their marvelous tiny little Cybertron molds. And I am very glad they did – as some very nifty toys have come out of it (amid a wash of terribly ill-advised recolours, such as CL Bumblebee…). Also, unlike the LOC series, many of the CL figures are characters unique to this size class.

Among those that grabbed the attention of this compulsive collector of itsy-bitsy Transformers, was Fireflight.

The G1 namesake was a sleek jet, and member of the Aerialbots. The name has only been sparingly reused over the many years between (with the G2 repaint [1994] and Universe [2004] versions all I am aware of), and it’s nice to see it on a box again – it is a great name.

Given the tech-specs and function, it’s pretty clear that Hasbro have intended this guy to represent the G1 character. However, he must have taken a serious knock to the head in the intervening decades, as his intelligence has dropped from ‘5’ to ‘3’! Wonder how time has treated him otherwise?


Alternate Mode:

As he is packaged in robot mode, you’ll have already noticed that CL Fireflight bares little resemblance to the G1 or G2 incarnations beyond being a plane of some description. Ballooning in size, time has left Fireflight a cargo carrier (wingspan 4” [10cm]), and has dulled his bright red, white and black to a tarnished, faded shadow of his former glory.

Of course, the jet mode is down to him being a recolour of LOC Jetfire. The Cybertron Jetfire design, at all size classes, is fantastic, and the jet mode like something you’d see in Indiana Jones 2006. Great for battlefield presence, as an Aerial Lieutenant, but it’s only gonna work for reconnaissance if the Decepticons have no idea who Fireflight is. That’s gotta be one good disguise! But, wait! An Autobot insignia gives it all away… Ach well.

The mold is wonderfully detailed, and the tiny windows are all defined, and brought out as a silver strip. Unfortunately, Hasbro seem to have abandoned the white outlined insignias that shone so well in the LOC line, and the symbol looks a bit sorry printed on the dark grey. The paint application design is fun, as well, with strips up the wings, and down the sides of the fuselage, and a pale underbelly.

The colours are really what attracted me to this figure. (Crazy, you think?) They just smack of the ‘80s it almost hurts! Surely no other decade would team maroon, charcoal and pale green and think it’d be a good idea?

Although the colours are something of a faded and twisted interpretation of G1 Fireflight, it has been suggested that the toy may have originally been intended as a Classics Legends version of G1 Powerglide, with Hasbro changing the name due to licensing problems (and the tech specs being wrongly applied due to a marketing blunder). A compelling idea, which may one day worm its way out of the corporate woodwork that is Hasbro!

Of course, the robot’s hands are sticking out the engines for all to see, but we’ll let him off.

If you see in it what I do, and get that nostalgic kick, then Fireflight is already on your shelf, or will be shortly!


Robot Mode:

The transformation is almost identical to the Ultra class Cybertron Jetfire, with a few details missed out on account of the tiny scale. It works beautifully in miniature – one of the more successful of the Legends molds.

The resulting robot stands just over 3” (7.5cm) in height, and looks like an 1880s wild west outlaw about to draw! The colour mix is the same in this mode, but rearranges itself so as the hideous pale green defines his arms and legs.

Detail looks nice in this mode as well, yet little new in the way of plastic is revealed (save the thighs and head). I think this is a huge achievement, as both modes look great.

The head is one of the best of the Legends sculpts (and looks to have been stolen from Alfonse, out of Patlabor). The green and charcoal which pick details out keep the figure consistent, at least.

Articulation is pretty good for a Legends figure, with elbows, shoulders, waist, hips and knees all poseable to varying (and often limited) degrees (and you can alter the shape of the wings to your preference). He’ll always look bowlegged, but it still amazes me how well he balances with that huge tail on his back!

All in all, I feel that this figure, above all other Classics releases, captures the spirit of the ‘80s. Ironic, given that he is a recolour! Still, whether that is a good or bad thing depends on what you want out of Classics (and whether you can stomach ‘80s style for a second time!). It is a great mold that ought to be in your collection in one incarnation or another, though.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 7 – Well thought out, at a tiny scale, and great fun!
Durability: 8 – Solid for such a little fellow, with most parts re-attachable.
Fun: 8 – Great fun! Especially if you love the colours! If not, he drops a couple marks, as display ability would be reduced. But at least he will always stand out!
Price: 8 – Prices for the Classics Legends figures have slightly more variability that their Legends of Cybertron predecessors. Still, ranging between £2.90 and £5, they are worth it. Our pals across the big water can expect to pay the same figures with a $ sign in front (i.e. around half the UK price!).
Overall: 7 – He is a worthy addition for collector’s who have been into Transformers since the ‘80s, although the appeal will be less if you already own LOC Jetfire.

 
 
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