I take no shame (maybe a little shame) in the fact that I’m 35 and still playing with toy robots. My biggest obsession? Toy robots that stick together and form bigger toy robots. There is no way that the end result is not badass. Or so I thought. Somehow the very robot gurus who claimed so much of my childhood allowance still manage to fuck it up once in a while. Their new line? Hideous. The line a couple lines before it? They decided that hands and feet were no longer important. Here’s a prime example of the horror you will find:
Pretty bad, huh? But there’s something here. I mean, other than the pink leg with the red toenail polish and the junkyard appendages, the central robot feels like the ones we grew up with – even a bit better. A really talented (read: superior to Hasbro) group of customizers has put out several nice pieces and they did make an Aerial Team Appendage Add-On Kit (eww) for Superion. The downside? It’s now $200+, assuming you can even find the damn thing.
I have good news. If you can find Universe Ultra Onslaught (he should be relatively cheap, even know), you can do some harmless surgery and give real arms on the cheap to your Aerialbot commander. That’s right – no damage to either one of the figures in case you ever want to revert. Why?!
You’ll end up with something like this:
Hey, that’s not so bad! The color actually seems to match. It’s hard to tell there’s anything unnatural there, isn’t it? How does it work? Taking the arms off Onslaught is pretty easy. You really only need to take out one side screw to open up the “wrist” end. You may have to loosen the other screw as well if you need more wiggle room. You’ll need to be careful with the gun arm (the gun arm! How cool is that on Sups?!) because it has two springs in it. If they pop out, they are easy to get back in. Nothing complex. Even if you lose a spring, the arm still works, you just won’t have the nifty pop-spring action.
Well look at that! Between the two halves, we have a little bar. A bar *just* the right size to slide through one of the little jet hands. It’s like those crazy Hulk glove toys, but for your Aerialbots! Simply slide that through the hand (you may have to apply a little force to squeak it through the hole – heh – but it does fit without any damage). Simply put the screws back in and there you go – arms that actually look roboty! And you didn’t pay $200!
I know some people are picky about the components fitting into the robot design. The good news is the hands do fold up into the wrists and look kind of like cargo crates. Can a jet fly with a cargo crate dangling below? Fuck if I know. The riot shield still attaches too! You can even use the uh… energy fingers (?) as some sort of riot cattle prod if you want.
He holds a lot of stuff! These are the two extra guns that came with Fansproject’s Bruticus upgrade kit. Hell yeah. You’re probably wondering if it’s too floppy to hold them up. Yes. Yes, it is. However … if you pull out the landing gear on the jets, the arms sit nicely against them, giving you a lot of extra support for posing. If anybody finds a gun that feels much more Superion and works with these hands – let me know!
Finally, this is what I did with the other arm (only one can hold the Onslaught extension, after all. I folded the feet up to make shoulder blades at the top and tucked the arm out of the way where the leg used to be. I do tend to prefer the shape of this Superion modification a LOT more than the Fansproject one, even if it’s a lot lower tech and nowhere near as impressive.
One final note – I checked the hands on my Energon Bruticus figures (at least the helicopter guys) and the same trick works for them. If you weren’t able to pick up the Fansproject kit for old Brutey (you really should – it is jaw-dropping in its perfection), you might be able to find a nice look for him as well. Devastator? No idea. He was just too ugly for me to even consider. I’ll stick to my G1 since it looks infinitely better!
If you are not a fan of Transformers and read through this whole thing anyway, I am so, so sorry.