Superion was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however. Superion was designed by Koujin Ohno and Kaoru Matsumoto. Superion’s US Patent, titled Assembled humanoid robot toy (aka Transformers G1 Superion) was filed on May 13, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD295060 S).
The Aerialbots attach directly to Silverbolt using the standard rectangular connectors (the smaller figure’s heads) to form Superion’ limbs. Like all US G1 combiners, he requires a number of accessories to complete his combined robot form, namely fists, footpads, a head, waistplate, and a chestpiece. The fists and feet attach by a standard 5mm peg. Superion is characterized by his long, spindly legs, and the way the jet cockpits and wings protrude from the sides of his arms and backs of his legs. The individual members can form any limb of Superion, but typically Air Raid and Slingshot form the right arm and leg, and Skydive and Fireflight form the left arm and leg, respectively.
Superion’s Aerialbots have some common design weaknesses, which are described in their individual articles. Always use care when removing Bruticus’ limbs from Superion, to prevent breakage of the heads. Furthermore, the black foot-sockets on Silverbolt tend to cause black scuffs on the sides of the heads of the team members molded in white plastic.
Superion has several production variations. The Japan-only gift set included a Silverbolt with a functioning spring-loaded vehicle launcher. The figures did not feature noticeable variants.
Superion was available in 1986, either as a boxed gift set, or individually carded and boxed. Due to the popularity of the combiners, he was available again in 1987 with or without a random red Autobot Decoys packed in with the small members. He was re-released on new gold colored cards and box in Europe’s G1 as the Classic Aerialbots in 1991.
Redecos & Retools
Superion’s mold was redecoed in 1994 as G2 Superion in various bright colors with new pattern stickers, such as flames and tiger stripes, available only individually. The Silverbolt of this set was slightly retooled to mount two missile launchers beneat his wings.