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with Nightscream

Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Supercon
Year: 2003

Airazor, one of the most powerful airborne Transformers there is, has been reborn into the Transformer Armada universe in the hopes that her special aerial skills will help to destroy Unicron. Flying high over the Decepticons with her Mini-Con partner, Nightscream, Airazor uses her keen eyes to spot any Decepticon activity. With the balance of power up in the air, Airazor and her Beast companions are in for a strange new future...

Prelude: When the Armada toyline was far, far more successful than anticipated, Hasbro scrambled to get more figures out to the retailers. Several Beast Wars Transmetal figures were taken out of storage, Mini-Con ports were added, random Mini-Con partners were assigned, and finally these older figures were sold under the Armada banner. One of them was Airazor, the very first Transformers figure ever originally designed as a female. How does Airazor fare in Armada? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: I reviewed the original Beast Wars Transmetal Airazor way back in 2005 and, more recently, the Fox Kids Transmetal Airazor in 2018. So this review here will focus mostly on the changes done for the Armada version. Feel free to read my earlier two reviews of this mold for the full info.

The most obvious change is, of course, the paintjob. Instead of yellow, blue, and (chromed) silver, Airazor now sports much darker colors, wearing red, dark purple, and black with some blue highlights. Oh, and most importantly: no chrome paint anymore. As much as I like the Transmetals from Beast Wars, the chrome paint is their bane and prone to start shedding sooner or later. Armada Airazor will never have that problem, she is chrome-free. That is already a huge plus in my book.

The only other change is that Airazor now sports a Mini-Con port on each wing, where you can attach her Mini-Con partner Nightscream (or any other Mini-Con, of course). Naturally Nightscream does not unlock any gimmicks or anything, he merely attaches.

Well, there is one more change worth mentioning: Airazor has a Decepticon symbol molded into her back (see 10th picture in the gallery) in a spot where it’s visible neither in robot nor in beast mode. Why? No idea, but it’s there.

Otherwise there are no changes to be found. Airazor is still a figure with great articulation and a pretty cool look. The ball-joints actually appear tighter than they do on my Beast Wars figures; it’s either the different paint or the age difference, who knows? Airazor can still spread her wings, use her claws, unfold guns from behind her back, and armor up using her falcon shell. The only slight downside is, of course, that it’s a slim robot with a huge backpack, so in certain poses you are well-advised to use her wingtips as additional stabilizers. Bottom line, though: a great robot mode and I like the new paintjob much better than the original one.

Alternate Mode: Of course Airazor still transforms into a metallic falcon with huge engines on either side of her body, but now the falcon is mostly black with blood-red wingtips and tailfeathers. There is a very nice color transition on the turbines, which are grey on the front and the fade into the black of the main body. Nicely done. No other changes, of course, except the Mini-Con ports on the wings. Nightscream looks a bit more natural attached in this mode than in robot mode, but still... he’s not really needed.

Airazor is still a triple-changer, able to modify her falcon mode into a falcon-like pontoon plane. No real changes here except the color, too. So bottom line: still a very nice alternate mode with an innovative if minimalistic change to vehicle mode. Here, too, the new colors look much better.

Partner: Airazor comes with Mini-Con partner Nightscream, a black repaint of Oval from the Armada Street Speed Team. He, too, received a new, darker paintjob and now comes all in black. Fits in well with Airazor, so all good. The Mini-Con is okay, but a little black sportscar does not really fit all that well onto a huge metallic falcon.

Remarks: Airazor had a brief appearance in the Dreamwave Armada comics where she, along with several other Maximals and one Predacon, was kidnapped by Unicron shortly before his defeat. She then returned in the Energon comics, transformed into the Horsemen Death, and rained fire and destruction down upon Cybertron. Had the Energon comics not been canceled due to Dreamwave’s bankruptcy, Airazor and her fellow Horsemen would have seen defeat at the hands of Omega Supreme.

Bottom line: it’s the Beast Wars Transmetal figure, just with a darker and less shed-prone paintjob. The Mini-Con is okay, though I really wouldn’t have needed it. As a fan of the Beast Wars line, though, I am very happy to see these figures again and the fact that they don’t have that damn chrome paint on them is a very welcome bonus. Fully recommended to fans of Beast Wars, female Transformers, and bird bots.

Rating: B


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