Saturday, December 21, 2013

Transformers Generations Autobot Sandstorm Review by Davestator

Time for another Guest Review. Enjoy!!!

Transformers Generations Sandstorm Review
Review by Davestator

So long as Hasbro faithfully and lovingly acknowledges the characters they gave us that made us fall in love with the franchise in our childhood, I suspect they will always have a fan base. So long as the figures keep getting done right, and for the right price, I will probably keep my eyes peeled for the newest releases for the rest of my days.

The trend of revamping those characters has continued admirably with the triple changer Sandstorm, an Autobot who turns into both a dune buggy and a helicopter. In my own honest opinion, some of the classics revamps have not turned out to look as cool as their original counterparts. In the case of Sandstorm, however, Hasbro seems to have surpassed their original design while also cleverly revamping an existing mold, tweaking Springer's mold into this one.

Sandstorm in a snowstorm! Get it??

In bot mode he looks pretty slick. The wings/wheels assembly form a cool "backpack" that can be displayed either opened outward or compressed behind his shoulders:

"There was a fat guy in a red suit trying to sneak in through your chimney, but you don't need to worry about that NOW, ma'am! Fat Bastard Claus is now just another stain on your wall!"

Noticeably different from his original G1 form, not the least of said differences being that he now lacks a face plate, replaced instead with a mouth:

Is it just me or does this guy kind of look like Michael Bay?

His overall build is much less "dumpy looking" than his original version, which I feel is a plus. The whole backpack effect, unfortunately, does make him rather top-heavy which can make some poses difficult to achieve, albeit not necessarily impossible. Being a reworked version of the Springer mold actually works for this guy in my opinion, but mainly because he was also given a new, very formidable-looking weapon.

"Say I look like Michael Bay ONE MORE TIME! I DARE you!"

The interesting thing about this weapon is that it does feature a firing missile, but instead of a spring-loaded firing mechanism, there is a pull-back assembly that sends the missile flying into some poor unsuspecting passer-by's eye. (Please watch where you point that thing, seriously!) Personally I have always thought that firing missiles were an unnecessary addition to any TF toy but that may just be me. There are, after all, better and less embarrassing things one could accidentally choke on.

Alt mode 1: VTOL Aircraft Mode

The original flight mode on the G1 toy was a huey-style military helicopter. If you thought that one was cool (which I know I did at the time,) then THIS one blows that away! Gone is the single rotary blade on top which used to make for an awkward appendage when trying to decide how to mold the other modes. In its place is 2 side-mounted rotary blades which are much easier to work into other modes by comparison.

You will notice in the pics above there are 2 ways you can mount the gun in aircraft mode. On the pic on top, you can see I mounted it to the top. On the bottom pic, it is mounted beneath the nose, which is how the instructions and box images show as the "correct way." In my honest opinion, the "correct way" is a pain in the ass. It does take some figuring out and jockeying to get the gun mounted that way and it also renders the landing gear useless. It does, however, remind me of some cool '80s military action flicks I loved, so that may be a plus.

Alt mode 2: Dune Buggy

As with the helicopter alt mode, the G1 dune buggy was rather cool, but THIS! This totally blows away that one with miles to spare! Like many other reviews I have seen, at first I thought the jumbo rear tires may have been pushing it, but upon seeing the real thing, I see that if anything it gives it just the right touch. As you can see in the pics, the gun can be mounted on the roof. Of course, a dune buggy THIS epic is still plenty cool without it, but I like to keep all the pieces of a toy with the toy with the toy as much as possible.
I have to say, if I were ever to own a dune buggy I would want one JUST like this!

Overall Rating

The pros: Whether it be bot mode, dune buggy mode, or VTOL mode, this figure is several times cooler than the original. Posability is, of course, the most major improvement in any of the classics/universe versions, but this one looks like they put more time and attention into making the details more pleasing to the eye. Also, for a retooling of an existing mold, this one has a lot more of an identity of its own, thus relieving it of what I call "the seeker syndrome." It is a voyager class figure, so it does command a higher price tag, but this one is well worth it.

The cons: For how simplistic the differences are between alt modes, this figure can be frustratingly easy to transform incorrectly. In shooting the pics for this blog entry alone I had to go back and reshoot several shots after looking at them and realizing I either left the cockpit in the wrong position or had the arms turned wrong. I do admit however, that may be more my flaw than one of the toy's. The only other cons are that posability is somewhat limited by the whole backpack assembly, and the head sits loosely on its ball joint to where his head keeps looking down like he's making sure he didn't spill on his shirt. The loose head could possibly be fixed with some clear nail polish, but to date i have never tried that trick. Maybe it's time to try it....

"Sittin' on the dock of the bay...."

Maybe an Army career is for you?

Like any other figure, Sandstorm has his pros and his cons. Whether or not one outweighs the other depends on our own perceptions, but to me and a few other reviewers I've seen, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and he is worth the average $23 price tag on him. Until next time, this is Davestator saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY YULE LOG!!"

I have a Gift for you its up in my Bum!