This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!
In a way, when Hasbro first released Alpha Bravo back with their first wave of Combiner Wars figures, fans everywhere immediately knew that Vortex was just a matter of time. Not only was Vortex the same distinct kind of helicopter that Alpha Bravo was, but even the head sculpt was pretty unique to that Combaticon. With Quickslinger’s release, Alpha Bravo became the odd man out of the Aerialbots, so at this point, even though Vortex is a straight repaint of that figure, it doesn’t feel like a big deal, because the original version of the helicopter combiner has been rendered more or less extraneous.
I’ll admit Alpha Bravo was never my favorite of the first run of Combiner Wars, and that opinion is maintained with Vortex. The transformation feels a little clunkier and the robot isn’t quite so fluidly articulated as some of the others. That being said, looking at the Vortex source material, Hasbro did a pretty spectacular job of updating that character to a modern version, while maintaining much of the spirit and uniqueness of the original.
Most of Vortex is gray, like the original, with just the right hints of that nice shade of green. Even the yellow painted missiles are a nice mimic of the yellow stickers adhered to the side of the original G1 Vortex.
Even with the transformation being not as intuitive as other releases, it is still relatively easy and accomplished quickly, allowing for much more enjoyable “play time” for those of us who are Transformers novices.
I love the colors, really like the character now that I know him better, and consider this a pretty great update to the G1 original.
Combiner Wars Vortex
The original Combiner Wars helicopter, Alpha Bravo returns in the form of Vortex, and most Transformers fans agree this is who he should have been from day one. A very Vortex-esque head sculpt with a great vintage accurate paint scheme, brings us the assault copter version of the Decepticon Combaticon, only with two propellor blades instead of the vintage four. Using a very familiar base figure with cool transformation and great articulation helps the end result, though Vortex feels exceptionally familiar.