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Quickslinger

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Sorry, Alpha Bravo, it's been nice knowing you.

If everything Quickslinger said about his feats in battle were true, he'd be the most decorated Autobot warrior. While he's not actually a battlefield legend, he is the best shooter among the Aerialbots. Once an enemy is in his sights, there's a good shot they'll end up in a sling.

Quickslinger is the "naming rights" version of G1 character Slingshot, an annoying braggart whose bravado concealed the fact that he lacked confidence - he was the slowest Aerialbot and had the shortest range, so he always felt inferior to his teammates. Originally, there wasn't going to be a US release of the character, which is why so many fans were ordering Takara's "Unite Warriors" Superion set: it came with "Sling" from the start. However, before the toys even reached stores, word came out that Hasbro would be making Quickslinger after all; so it was just a question of waiting for him to show up.

Or was it?

We previously said that Air Raid had the squarest head, but he's just been surpassed. Quickslinger has a fairly round head, but then there's a perfectly flat panel stuck to each side. That's pretty much exactly what it looked like in the cartoon and the comics. The original did have orange goggles, but this one's blue looks better. More contrast.

Other than the head, Quickslinger is a straight repaint of Firefly, which explains how they were able to change their plans and release him so quickly. You want a new sculpt? Buy Alpha Bravo. You want an update of a toy from G1? You'll take what they give you. The nice thing is that while he's a repaint, the paint makes a huge difference. He has a red chest with gold and silver details, and a black combiner peg. His hands (and the guns on the back of them) are black, as are the upper legs and the feet. Plus, all his kibble is white, rather than red, so Quickslinger looks like his own 'bot.

The articulation is plentiful. We get a balljointed head, shoulders, and hips; swivel biceps, waist, and thighs; and hinged elbows and knees. He comes with two weapons, the larger of which actually looks a bit like the "neutron rifle" he used to come with. Well, drawings of it, at least - the toy came with a single-barreled gun, while the art made it double-barreled. The flamethrower is harder to explain away.

Generation 1 Quickslinger's altmode was a Harrier jumpjet, and this update is the same thing! See, that's why reusing the Firefly mold was a good choice. And more importantly, the colors match: the jet has a white body, black nosecone, an oraange canopy, and blue and red stripes on the wings.

A single landing gear folds down from beneath the plane's nose - it doesn't roll, and there are no rear wheels, but it makes the plane look nice when it's at rest. There are ports for weapon storage under the wings, but nowhere that really looks "right" when the guns are plugged in.

The theme of 2015's Transformers is "Combiner Wars," so no surprise that Quickslinger can become a limb of Superion, just as he did in the '80s. Also, just as in the '80s, he can become either an arm or a leg, "Scramble City"-style. The packaging shows him serving as the right leg, though you can obviously make him whatever you want. The large black gun can turn into either a hand or a foot, depending on your preference.

Quickslinger also includes a comic - apparently Combiner Wars #3. It doesn't feature Quickslinger at all. Or Slingshot. Or Alpha Bravo. Or Superion or even any of the Aerialbots at all. But hey, getting free comics is always cool.

Quickslinger is a prime example of Hasbro throwing fans a bone: they knew that we're whiny babies, and would never shut up about losing Slingshot in favor of Alpha Bravo. But while we knew he was coming, it was less commonly discussed that he'd be an online exclusive: if you're waiting for the figure to show up on the pegs at your local store, you're screwed; and of course, now he's sold out everywhere online, so you're screwed that way, too. In short, you're going to have to pay way too much to finish Superion, unless you're okay with a helicopter.

-- 07/21/15


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