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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Detective Barricade's review: Wingsaber

Name: Wingsaber
Allegiance: Autobot
“Wingsaber, transform!”

WING SABER formed a close bond with OPTIMUS PRIME during the POWERLINX BATTLES. Their friendship was forged in the treacherous interior of the unconscious UNICRON, when they first combined to form the powerful Sonic Wing mode. Though he is a canny warrior with a keen tactical mind and wisdom beyond his years, he is still eager to prove himself to OPTIMUS PRIME and the other AUTOBOTS. As one of the few AUTOBOTS with a warp system capable of interstellar flight without the use of a space bridge, he is often assigned duties as a lone flanker, attacking enemy positions from behind. With weapons systems and armor to rival the most legendary warriors of CYBERTRON, he is more than up to the task!

For my first review ever, I decided to do Transformers Cybertron Wingsaber, one of few Autobots in the Cybertron series able to travel through deep space without need of a space bridge. He tends to come off as overconfident and a bit stubborn. But mostly, he wants to prove himself to Optimus Prime. As for the figure, I picked him up in Zellers a few years ago because he did appear on the Transformers Cybertron cartoon, and I liked the look of Wingsaber in the commercials. I found it in Zellers one day and I bought him. Was he worth it? Read on and see for oneself...

Alternate Mode
In this mode, Wingsaber is an A-10 Thunderbolt. Basically, it’s the physical form of a really bad day for tanks. He does a great job looking the part, with a pair of machine guns mounted underneath the nose. Two four-packs of bombs, two missile batteries (holding four missiles each), and two mini-guns with six barrels each all mount under the wings. The mini-guns also have landing gear on them, along with the retractable one under the nose. The only real weakness to this mode is that the tail fins don't clip well on to the back. They tend to come off, leaving them "floating" in mid-air. That area could have been done better,but it's not a huge problem for this figure.

Wingsaber is mostly white and dark brown, with some gray on the mini guns and machine gun muzzles, a darker gray for the missiles, yellow for the tips of the bombs and for the obvious robot chest plate. The nose cone, wing tips, tail fins, and top of the turbines are glossy red. The canopy is silver. The symbol on his chest is chrome red. And finally, the autobot symbols on his wings, which look just like the ones on Classics Thunderwing, are a slightly metallic red.

If AAA batteries have been put in, pushing the button behind the canopy makes a sound, and an LED inside the nose cone will light up. When the Key is inserted, the nose panels swing out and forward, revealing the "Hyperdrive Ram-Scoop". The left nose panel on mine won’t lock, however. I just use one of the rubber bands from the package to keep it closed. It could be just mine that has this problem. There are two missile launchers that attach beside the bombs, and cover the back of the fake ammo. The missiles can be fired a decent distance. Lastly, Wingsaber is one of few Transformers Cybertron toys able to hold Minicons (please hold your excitement)! He has room for 4.

Robot Mode
After a somewhat involved transformation, you get a very nice looking robot. The only new colors in robot are gold for the face, and green eyes (not light piped). He has a very unique hand design, in that Wingsaber’s hands are the mini guns from vehicle mode. But, by sliding a lever on his arm back, one barrel withdraws halfway, forming a thumb, while a second barrel is completely withdrawn. All the gimmicks from vehicle work here, too, although the "Ram-Scoop" is now a huge cannon and needs to rest on a special stand behind Wingsaber's head that flips up. The missile launchers can peg onto the side of his arms, since the hands can't hold anything. Wingsaber also carries swords! These are made by removing the hilts from the underside of the fuselage (the part where the tails clip on to) removing the wing flaps and then putting them together.

Wingsaber has a great deal of articulation. The feet are hinged, the knees, hips, and shoulders are ratchet joints (the joints that "click" when moved), and the upper legs and upper arms are swivel joints. The shoulders are attached to hinged joints. The elbows are double-jointed (mostly for transformation). The head can turn 360 degrees, but can't turn up or down. His waist can turn 360 degrees, and can bend forward a little, but it's mostly due to the transformation. The back and chest plate get in the way. All the joints on mine are still very sturdy, showing no signs of weakness.

There are some people who say that Wingsaber's legs are useless. That's simply untrue! He's kind of back-heavy, but that's easily fixed by moving the jet nose to the "attack mode" position (over his head, resting on its stand). The underside of the wings can flip out to give him some more use of his arm joints. Tricky to stand? Yes. Impossible? No. Overall, Wingsaber will proudly do a cool pose for display, so long as it's fairly reasonable.

Sonic Wing Mode
For this mode, Wingsaber replaces Optimus’ backpack, with the missile launchers attaching to the heels for stability. The gimmicks from his previous modes are still there, but the missile launchers are less useful for firing here. One thing I really like about this mode is the chest plate. It looks great on Optimus! And this mode is where the swords shine. Just like his blaster, the swords peg into Optimus’ hands. And Wingsaber doesn’t hinder Optimus’ articulation any more than the regular backpack would! Out of both of the “add-on” modes for Optimus (Savage Claw and Sonic Wing), this one is the best. And Cybertron Megatron/Galvatron is not able to combine with him, giving Optimus an edge. However, there are two downsides to this mode when it comes to displaying it: a) Optimus’ backpack is left behind, and b) it’s a real shelf-hog, even rivaling Depth Charge for that title. Overall, it’s still a beautiful and solid mode for play or display.

The Cyber Planet Key included is a Cybertron key. It has a silver-gray border with a red Autobot symbol in the center. The code on the back is uya7. I'm sure everyone was curious about the key (okay, not everyone..), so now you know.

Transformation: 6 Wingsaber is easy compared to the Movie line’s figures, but the ingenuity of it raises this score a bit.
Durability: 8 Aside from the nose panel problem, the wing extensions do pop off, but easily go back on. Otherwise, nothing feels like it’ll break! (Note: do not drop from 10 story building)
Fun: 10 A jet that turns into a good robot, AND combines with Cybertron Optimus? How can this not be fun?
Price: 6 For about $30 US (retail for Movie repaint), Wingsaber is worth it, however he isn’t getting any cheaper...
Overall: 8 If you like jets, grab him. If you like Transformers, get him. You won’t regret it!
 
 
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