|Don't cross him, seriously.|
I really dig Air Raid's bot mode. He has a nice dark red and black color scheme, with some dark gold accents. His chest is different than Shockwave's, and I actually like it better. His head looks cool too, but if I had to pick, I think the signature purple cyclops is a better head. There is some light piping, but it's not very good so don't expect to have glowing eyes on Air Raid very often. He doesn't have much kibble, and the wings don't really get in the way. His legs are a big skinny, but does stand well on his own.
Air Raid's head can turn around, and the shoulders have swivel and hinge joints. The elbows have hinge and ball joints, giving the arms great posability overall. The only weakness there is the wrists, as they cannot turn. With the arms so posable, you probably won't notice though. There is no waist movement, but he has ball jointed hips. His knees are hinged, as are his ankles. The feet don't swing very far, so he can't really stand in the myriad of poses he is capable of, unfortunately. It's that way because of his alt form, so let's move on to the actual alt form.
|It's a floating...cannon?|
To me, this is the weakest part of the figure. As a recolor of Shockwave (from the same line of toys, but an earlier wave), his alt mode is very slightly retooled. My main problem with the Shockwave alt mode was the wings were too small, but it was farily accurate to the in-game model, so I could let it slide. This time, Air Raid's alt mode is advertised as being ""Cybertronian Mobile Artillery". It does look more like a floating cannon than a jet. The only part I actually like better is there is a small peg on the top to store his sword, but you can also turn him upside down and have a figure hold him as a cannon. His alt mode is ok, but I think he looks far better and is far more fun to play with in his robot mode. It's a plus that his weapons store so easily on it, and he's not very hard to transform.
To me, this is the best part of the figure. I'm a sucker for blades, and I really like the sword that Air Raid has. It has a lot of translucent red plastic that looks nice, with a painted silver edge. The sword is split in the middle and these two halves can fold back. This makes it nice and compact for storage on the alt mode, but could also be attached onto another figure's arm to make a sort of claw. You could also not fold it back all the way and it looks kinda like a crossbow to me. A surprisingly cool and versatile weapon.
Of course, that's not his only weapon. Air Raid also comes with an arm gun/blade contraption. It can be held like a gun or attached to his arm. When held, it looks pretty cool, but the blade just hangs back and doesn't plug in or anything. It's slightly less awkward when attached to his arm, but not by much. When the blade is extended, it is pretty long and looks vicious. You could have him hold it with the blade out, but I think it looks much better on his arm. The part with the gun/blade is removable, leaving him with a double barreled weapon. If you've seen Shockwave's gun without the signature part on the end, it's very similar, just with 2 barrels instead of 3. I really like the look of it, but it's not too steady on my figure. it's just the way this one's hands are produced. The arm gun attaches super tight when put on my Shockwave figure, so it's not a fault of the mold, just that particular figure.
|But does it make Julian fries?|
Just like a light nigh infomercial, "wait, there's more!" You can take the gun/blade part off (or even leave that part attached to the double-barreled arm gun), extend the blade and attach it do the sword. Just split the sword blade a bit and you make a big and crazy sword. It's not very practical (assuming plastic toys fight), but it's neat. A very anime style giant weapon that looks cool but unwieldy. You could also conceivably mount the gun/blade to a peg and give someone a bayonet or a sweet looking arm blade.
If you liked the Shockwave mold, Air Raid is just a slight retool of that. If you aren't in love with the weapons, there isn't much reason to get him if you already have Shockwave. If you don't have the purple cyclops and aren't particularly attached to the character, I'd recommend getting Air Raid. The robot is solid and the weapons are lots of fun to play with. Just like Fall of Cybertron Starscream, I had to order him on Amazon since I still haven't seen one in stores. He was in stock almost constantly, so he shouldn't be too hard to find. That should also mean he won't be price gouged, so you can find him at cost (maybe plus shipping).
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