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The original G1 Superion was made up of the five Aerialbots1:

G1 Superion

However, in the latest release from Hasbro, Combiner Wars2 Superion includes the Decepticon Dragstrip3 (in this image, the right arm):

Combiner Wars Superion

Both images from tfnd.net.

My question is: why did Hasbro originally include a Decepticon as part of the makeup? I cannot remember them previously mixing up a combiner with robots from different allegiances.

Was it a mistake4? Or some clever way to sell more toys?

The main Hasbro site shows both Superion made up entirely of Aerialbots and Menasor made up entirely of Stunticons:

Combiner Wars Superion from Hasbro site

Combiner Wars Menasor from Hasbro site

And it seems that the Superion and Menasor being sold at Amazon have been updated to sell the correct Transformers, implying it was a mistake.

Kotaku is the only site I've found offering some kind of (unsourced) explanation:

And finally add in the Decepticon Dragstrip, who's technically part of the Stunticon Combiner Menasor, but winds up puling [sic] cameo duty since Hasbro decided to release one wave with four Autobots and then reverse it later in the year.

This is an incomplete explanation - why would Hasbro only release four Autobots (Aerialbots) and one Decepticon?

Ideally I'm looking for a quote from Hasbro explaining this.

1 And therefore they are all Autobots.

2 Note, there are multiple Superion versions, some from Hasbro and some from other vendors. This is specifically about the latest (at time of writing) toy: Hasbro's Combiner Wars Superion.

3 Dragstrip is a Stunticon who makes up part of Menasor. He is therefore a Decepticon.

4 It could easily be a mistake. Eg another mistake is that the Hasbro site currently states: "allows six different bots to combine" whereas actually it is five.

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    I'm still looking for something more official, but BWTF mentioned "production issues" being the cause – phantom42 Oct 5 '15 at 22:11
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    Man, I've found a handful of forum posts and such mentioning "production issues", but nothing official. Not even a news/blog post about it. – phantom42 Oct 6 '15 at 12:16
  • @phantom42: thx for looking; if it was easy I would've answered it myself! :) I'm wondering if Hasbro are trying to forget it happened. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Oct 6 '15 at 14:16
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    Might be a mistake or a way to show you can mix the transformers forming the bigger ones (Superion, Menasor... ) and you also got a Optimus Prime that can form a bigger one with other autobots or decepticons that create arms and legs. – Jonathan Drapeau Oct 7 '15 at 15:08
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    Even worse, they never sold the extra aerialbot here in the netherlands (at least not to my knowledge) or any of the other stunticons so unless I want to pay some hefty shipping costs, superion is stuck with dragstrip – Floris Wesseling Dec 2 '17 at 14:04
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This combination of four Aerialbots and Dragstrip was never actually sold as "Superion".

While Dragstrip was shipped alongside four Aerialbots in the first wave of Combiner Wars toys, and the art on the back of the packages showed Superion with Drag Strip combined as one arm, this was merely billed as a diagram of how the toys could be combined - not as a representation of the character Superion.

As seen below, each package only advertises this combined robot with a multilingual label suggesting that these toys can be combined - it does not provide any name for the combined robot in question:

In the second wave of Combiner Wars toys, including one Aerialbot and four Stunticons, this was no longer the case - now, each figure had a diagram of the combined robot it is meant to be part of on the package, along with that robot's name.

As you can see, the one Aerialbot included in the second wave not only has "Superion" named on the package, but the diagram has also been modified to include that toy - Air Raid - in the correct position, instead of Dragstrip. Likewise, the diagram of Menasor does not include an Aerialbot.

Likewise, when Quickslinger and Brake-Neck were released exclusively via web retailers, they also included the names and accurate diagrams as featured in the second wave of toys.

All future waves of toys in Combiner Wars included the four arm and leg components of each combined robot, shipping together, and the packages from each wave showed an accurate diagram of the combined robot along with its name.

In short:

  • The diagram showing Dragstrip combined with four components of Superion was only used for the very first release of Combiner Wars toys.
  • Hasbro markedly avoided the use of the name Superion on those toys' packages.
  • On all future Combiner Wars releases, Hasbro used accurate names and diagrams for each combined robot in its traditional configuration.

From these facts, it seems evident that Dragstrip was never intended to be part of Superion. Rather, Hasbro merely communicated that the Dragstrip toy could be combined with the four Superion components that were currently available at the time.

(Of course, this leaves an underlying question - "Why was the Dragstrip toy shipped earlier than the other Stunticon toys, and why was Air Raid shipped later than the other Aerialbots toys?" - but that is clearly a matter of corporate logistics, as Hasbro distinctly avoided connecting it to the Transformers fiction as presented on the toy packaging.)

  • This image is of Silverbolt's packaging. It mentions Superion (on the left) and shows the combined robots including Drag Strip (on the right). Furthermore, I don't see how your answer addresses the original question of why Hasbro did this: was it a mistake or a deliberate decision? – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 17 '17 at 20:25
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    @Wikis Sure, Silverbolt's descriptive paragraph mentions Superion, but it doesn't mention Dragstrip being part of Superion. And the combination diagram isn't labelled as Superion - in contrast to every CW package illustration that depicted the traditional combinations. Your question is "Why is Dragstrip included as part of Superion?" The answer is that your question's underlying assumption is incorrect - Dragstrip was never part of Superion, because there is never any depiction that contains Dragstrip and is labelled as Superion. – recognizer Dec 17 '17 at 21:15
  • "Why was Drag Strip sold with four Aerialbots instead of selling all five Aerialbots together?" – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 17 '17 at 21:48
  • @Wikis That would be a different question, as it doesn't involve Superion or the Transformers fiction at all - it's merely a quirk of retail distribution. – recognizer Dec 18 '17 at 4:48

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