GF Sonic Bomber

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Xcandescent, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Xcandescent

    Xcandescent TRUKKS are the new MUNKYS

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    Just did a quick search ... there's no feedback for this guy yet??? That's gotta be a mistake ...

    So the minute I saw those first pics of Cybertron Wing Saber, I said "screw that" and ordered Sonic Bomber online. I can't say he's worth what I paid for him -- but he'd be ten times uglier without the gold chrome chest, for sure.

    Sonic Bomber is a strange, strange beast. He's a wings, guns, and swords upgrade for a leader bot who's already got two out of those 3 in his normal Super Mode. He's got a decent enough alt. mode, but the robot mode is generic, unposable, and prone to falling over and smashing into a million loose pieces (but not breaking). He makes more sense than, say, a lion hand without fingers -- but when paired with Prime he looks less like an upgrade, and more like a ... sidegrade?

    Sonic Bomber ships in bot mode, with a bunch of other pieces -- 2 weird-looking missile launchers, 2 missiles, 2 handle things, and 2 swords. His Force Chip is generic Autobot, and not planet-specific.

    As a bot, he's basically a plane with legs and chaingun hands. The missile clusters on the wings point upwards, and can't be rotated forward (unless you make him do a Jetfire-like "bend over and pretend this isn't awkward". No thanks.) The gun hands are similar to Armada Demolishor's, but with a twist -- a switch extends/retracts two of the six barrels on each hand: one partially, one completely. This gives the illusion of the shorter barrel being a thumb, with four other barrels for fingers. Original and interesting, but not really useful as those hands still can't hold anything.

    There are holes drilled in the sides of each arm for weapon mounts. You can mount the weird double-L shaped missile launchers (which normallly reside on the wings), or you can mount the swords. Mix and match as you please.

    The swords are unique in that they serve a function in alt. mode: they're the wing flaps, and are adjustable up and down just like on a real plane. Pretty cool. The downside is that they're unusuable as swords for Sonic Bomber or Prime unless placed in special handles. I've combed over the instructions -- and officially, there's nowhere to mount those handles on the figure when not being used. Unofficially, I just stick them on the sides of his arms, hole side foward, so they look like additional guns. There are a couple of other places you can stick them as well, including the holes under the wings used for the missile launchers.

    Finally, the nose of the plane is a big ass cannon. Behind the head is a flip-up mount, which you park the nose on top of. Insert the Force Chip, and the nose splits apart. Push another button to make sound effects, and possibly lights, if I'm understanding the manual correctly. (I never put batteries in my figures because I despise most of the sound effects used in TF's -- witness Jetfire's cat-torture sample.) You can leave the Force Chip in for storage; you might have to trigger the gimmick a couple of times, but eventually you'll be able to keep it in there and not pop the cannon open.

    --

    So far, he sounds pretty cool, no? Well, now for the bad news.

    One of the very, very first things I noticed about bot mode is the damn thing can't stand. It's not as bad as Jetfire, but it's pretty close. The problem is with the feet ratchets -- they're not too strong, and tend toward letting him lean backwards.

    Add to that all the clip-on weapons and bits mentioned above, and you have a prime candidate for "figure most likely to fall and scatter stuff across your floor you'll never find again within the first 10 minutes".

    So if he can barely stand, then leg posability is more or less out. Unfortunately, so is arm posability. He can angle his arms outward in theory -- there's a nice ratcheting joint for that -- but in practice those missile clusters on his wings block any outward movement. So it's basically all forearm and (forward) shoulder movement. You could extend the wings to take the missiles out of the picture -- but then it's even harder to keep him standing (plus he just looks goofy).

    Again, don't wanna use the "b" word, but articulation in theory doesn't work if you can't use it in practice.

    Transformation to alt. mode is simple in theory, awkward in practice. Folding up the arms and extending the nose is a no-brainer. The legs are another story.

    To get the legs into position, you first have to rotate the waist 180 degrees. This is only doable if you lift the chest plate -- which is a multi-jointed mess of tabs and joints that should easily rotate, but don't. Basically, you have the chest, and two fold-down extension arms on each side. The back arm has tabs which the front arm rests on when the whole thing is folded up. On mine, the front arm was pushed back so far it got stuck on the tab on the back arm -- and getting it unstuck without breaking stuff was a total nightmare. As near as I can tell, it SHIPPED that way.

    Be VERY careful when dealing with this -- you never, NEVER want the front arm to go past that tab on the rear arm, EVER -- and it's very easy to do that if you're not paying attention, i.e. if you happen to be the target audience for this toy. WHOOPS.

    So, presuming the chest piece is out of the way, you push the legs together, pivot the hips up, spin the waist around, and pivot the hips back into place. Except ... you can't, because the engine/knee covers and the folded-up rear nose cone are in each other's way. So, you split the legs before pushing the hips back into place. But if the legs are split too far, spinning the waist causes them to hit stuff. It's very precise, and very annoying. Oh, and don't forget to put the chest piece back in place.

    Now ratchet the legs upward, and fold the feet out. Fold the rear nose down. Fold the calves down until the back of the feet interlock with the thighs. Fold the engine covers down ... and interlock those tiny tabs on the feet with the tabs on the rear nose.

    Go ahead, I'm waiting.

    C'mon, it's not THAT hard.

    Oh, who am I kidding -- it's a PAIN IN THE ASS.

    Of all the things you'd expect to be tough on a toy like this, lining up tabs that are obviously MEANT to be used but don't quite fit is something you probably hoped went away with Car Robots. Well, it's back. Getting the ratcheting joints, the rear nose, and those stupid tabs to magically line up and STAY IN PLACE is a little like trying to get the stars to align by waving your arms frantically -- maybe you're doing something, maybe you're not -- either way, it doesn't really matter. I THINK I've puzzled out how to do it consistently, but I can't really describe it ... and really, I'm probably just fooling myself.

    It's not too big of a deal -- the target audience will either not notice or completely ignore it, but it's another one of those weird design "gotchas" that this toy seems to be packed with.

    --

    In alt mode, the first thing you'll notice is that the missile clusters sag. Turns out that the tabs that hold them in place kinda don't. At all. If you happen to have stuck the sword handles on the arms, they'll keep the wings from hitting the floor, but it still looks bad.

    Also, those wing extensions don't have pins (ala Cybertron Prime). Except them to fall out ... a lot.

    There's a fold-out front nose gear, which you should immediately use if you don't want that nice shiny chest plate to scrape whatever shelf or table you're resting the plane on.

    --

    The Sonic Convoy combo is most easily achieved by starting Sonic Bomber in alt. mode, and not bot mode as the instructions have it. All you have to do to prep Sonic Bomber from alt. mode is to fold the nose cone back, and extend the arms, chest plate, and wings -- whereas from bot mode, you have to fold up the legs.

    Remove the missile launchers. Get Prime's rear leg gun things, and position the guns as you would if they were on Prime, and he was standing. Attach the launchers at the BOTTOM, where there's a spare octagonal tab. THEN attach the rear leg gun things to Prime.

    Believe it or not, it's easier to do it that way. See, there's these tabs on the missile launchers that stick into the wheel wells under Prime's feet, and make it difficult to attach/remove the launchers with the rear gun leg things attached.

    Your reward for doing this is ... Prime now has tiny looking missile things on his feet. Also, heel extensions to keep him from falling over.

    Remove the swords from the wings, and pop them into the sword holders. Or leave them be if you don't want the swords.

    Next, attach Sonic Bomber to Prime's back. Stick the yellow tab into the slot that holds the switch which pops up Prime's head, and mate the large rectangular tabs into the holes in his back. Swing the chest plate arms down; two tabs fit on top, and two more rest under the windows on his chest. Rest the chain guns on his shoulders. Split the chest plate and extend to the sides. If desired, pop out the giant nose cannon.

    Fit the swords into Prime's hands. This might take a while; the tolerances are quite tight.

    I won't say this mode doesn't look good ... it's just a little bit underwhelming. Essentially, Prime's done a wing swap, and traded off two Giant Cannons Of Doom for one cannon + two chainguns. Also, short swords (which I can take or leave), and two big ass engines on his back. I haven't seen GF, so I don't know what he can/can't do in this mode, but visually it's about equivalent to his original Super Mode ... which makes me wonder what the point is. Plus, because Sonic Bomber uses the two tabs in his back, you can't do Savage Claw mode, because you can't fold Prime's arms back.

    Of course, none of this has stopped fans from attempting various fan modes with combinations of Prime's Super mode, Sonic Bomber, and/or Ligerjack. The easiest variation I've found is to swing the clip-on shoulder straps on Prime's Super pack straight upwards, then stick Sonic Bomber on top (with the ends of the shoulder straps going between the wings and engines), and slot the chest plate into place, with the rear arms going straight up and surrounding his head. It's not exactly secure -- but if you can deal with Armada Overload, you can deal with this. Plus, you can add on Ligerjack if you wish.

    Overall, Sonic Bomber is kinda mediocre. His combination with Prime is better than his bot mode, which puts him in the weird position of being a toy you'll buy/not buy depending on how much you like GF/Cybertron Prime -- vs. last year, when Wing Saber was used to sell Zord Prime. I would say if you want any version of this toy, get the GF version -- no gold plating just looks sad.

    Final Grade:

    Sonic Bomber: C
    Combined with Prime: B
     
  2. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    I think Sonic Bomber is a pretty good toy on his own. He's got weird feet but and his arms have no outwards movement unless you raise them but he looks hella cool. The chrome looks very nice and shiny, after having him I'd never settle for Wing Saber.

    Vehicle mode is really good too. Loads or firepower. Tons of sculpted missiles, machine gun hands, two cannons on the nose of the jet,the actual projectile firing missile launcher and the Galaxy Caliber make him one well armed jet. Looks very nice as well.

    Now you may think Sonic Convoy is a downgrade but I can see how it's an upgrade. It would just be more versatile. He still retains a lot of fire power, now has some melee weapons plus Sonic Bombers speed make him a fighting machine. Once again the chrome finish looks very nice, especially on Galaxy Convoy.

    Get him, like Xcandescent said, the lack of chrome on Wing Saber just looks sad and overall I think he's very fun and definitely worth getting.
     
  3. My03Tundra

    My03Tundra LOVES TO EDIT POSTS!!

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    AWESOME Review. I've debated getting Sonic Bomber/Wing Sabre, especially at some of the prices he's quoted at. From what I've seen, he isn't exactly cheap. Even though the lack of paint applications on the Cyberton version may "cheapen" him, I'm waiting for his less expensive release.
     
  4. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

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    you know he has an area (under the ass of the plane) where he can store his sword handles. its not in the manual, but its obviously what its for.

    as for posing, i've had not problems getting dynamic poses out of him, no worries with standing at all.

    [​IMG]

    lining up the engines in alt mode is a pain, but if you click the hip joints in one extra click before you try to line them up, they fit much better. just play around a bit.

    the only points i really agree on its the restrictions on moving the arms and the rather silly way the engines just rest on the supports. they should have made a plug or something for them to slot into. other than that, for a combiner he's freakin awesome. not many figures that are designed to upgrade another character are as articulated as this guy, and with as many features. and sonic convoy looks the business, armed to the teeth and all sworded n stuff.
     
  5. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    Yeah I made a thread in the Toyark about where to put SBs sword handles but now I know. I also have no problem getting cool poses out of him. Lifting up the arms immediately improves the sideways movent. The SB fire version is nice but I prefer the original version. But I wish the regular SB had the fixed head.
     
  6. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    I so cannot wait for this toy! I'm gonna get the GF regular version, the fire one is outta my wallet's leauge, and I don't like the yellow on the Cybertron version.

    Andy
     
  7. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    Don Figueroa (sp?) also tells us that hecomes with silver instead of chromed swords.
     
  8. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

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    does anyone have comparison pics, as i have both and the heads look the same to me.

    silver instead of chrome? technically, arent they the same?
     
  9. Ray Kremer

    Ray Kremer Well-Known Member

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    I think it means silver/grey colored plastic rather than vaccum metalized or whatever the heck it is they do to get the chrome.
     
  10. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

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    ah i see. so its just a kinda grey colour now? hmm. i presume it has to do with production costs.
     
  11. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    Here you go.
    [​IMG]
    The regular is on the left and the fire version is on the right.

    Basically it's gonna be like the Noisemaze/Sideways situation. The chrome will just be regular silver paint or perhaps grey plastic.
     
  12. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    I wonder how easy it would be to swap heads.. get the takara and hasbro versions and put hasbro's head on the Takara one, so you have a perfect copy :ev: 

    Andy
     
  13. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

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    thanks dude i'll have a look when i get home to see if my 2 are like that.

    i take it the hasbor version already has a fixed head then?
     
  14. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    No problem. :) 

    I don't think it's known yet on Wing Saber, all we've seen are in package pics and Hasbro stock photos.
     
  15. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Although Hasbro's stock photos show the cross-brace across his nose being straight, like it should be.

    And really, the piece is just warped on the regular release Sonic Bomber. Heating it with a hairdryer for a bit will soften it, and then you can bend it back into place.
     
  16. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

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    !!

    i dunno if i can really bring myself to melt my tfs...
     
  17. Tannerbot2000

    Tannerbot2000 Well-Known Member

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    I have looked at sonic bomber a lot and i keep thinking of him as hot but not. He looks kinda cool, but his arm articulation is weird at best, and he has a not quite right aura about him. Granted ill be getting a release of him, but im wondering if hell be another leobreaker, interesting but not liked.
     
  18. Cloudraker

    Cloudraker on auto-pilot

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    So does anyone know if the American release will have the swords yet?
    I know its been asked a million times but I cant recall if there was a definitive answer.
    This will be the deciding factor in whether I import or not. Thanks.
     
  19. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    Yes the US version will have the swords but in silver paint instead of chromed. We've seen in package pics of Wing Saber which shows the swords stored in the wings as opposed to the Hasbro stock photo.
     
  20. Sonscreen

    Sonscreen Casual TF collector<br><b><font color=#FF0000>aksm TFW2005 Supporter

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    Let me put your fears to rest. He is MUCH better than leobreaker. I just got him today from
    http://www.digital-toys.com/galaxyforce.html for only 25.95 + shipping. I was going to wait for the Cybertron version but heck for only a few dollars more than retail I decided to get him. It also saves me the grief of hunting him down.

    This is my first Galaxy Force toy and I'm very impressed with the toy and packaging. The bot mode is more articulated than I thought. This version is way ahead of the Energon version. The plane mode is cool too, I'm going to pose him with his little Superion Maximus limb brothers Skyfall, Treadshot, and Skyshadow.

    As a standalone figure Sonic Bomber rocks, but combine him with Optimus Prime and prepare to be blown away. The Sonic Convoy combined mode is much more impressive than with Leobreaker in my opinion. I think it's because of the weapons overkill. Sonic Convoy has over the shoulder gatling guns, overhead missile launcher, swords, hip cannons and frigging feet missiles!

    I highly recommend this toy. Doesn't matter whether if it's the Hasbro or Takara. Be sure to pick one up especially if you have Optimus/Convoy.

    P.S. What type of paperwork does he come with? I didn't get an instruction booklet with mine. :thumbdown 
     

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