Cliffbee.com: Acid Storm Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Acid Storm
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: F-15 Fighter



PLANE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 18.5cm Width: 13cm

   A pine green F-15 fighter in the spirit of the original Seekers, Acid Storm brown and tan camouflage markings along with a dull blue nose. Acid Storm is a repaint of Classics Starscream (and the other Classics seekers), although this toy represents a new seeker character. There are some black elements here and there, such as the thrusters on the back and Decepticon logos on the wings and tailfins. His canopy is transparent amber and there are red lights on the tips of his wings. Surprisingly for a toy based on blue and green with other colours in the mix, Acid Storm's colours work quite well. His colours and their layout don't really follow the typical style of the seekers, and I doubt we'd see these colours on an actual F-15, although the camouflage pattern itself is likely enough.

   For the size this is a pretty realistic F-15, with a seat inside the cockpit, subtle but complex plane seams moulded on top of the jet and _underneath_ the wings, detailed engine cowlings and canopy ribs. The guns underneath his wings are similar to the longer missiles of the original Seeker toys.

   The guns underneath his wings are actually missile launchers, the missiles fire about half a metre, and aren't susceptible to popping out the moment you touch the triggers, which I appreciate. The launchers detach for his transformation, but I'm happy to report that the wings and tailfins do not - fuselage-only G1 Seekers are far too common, but this guy won't be ruined by a missing tailfin. There are four pseudo-tyres underneath - moulded lumps rather than wheels, and while Acid Storm sits flat on the table, rolling would have been nice.

   A creative paintmask and set of colours, which work well and do a great job of differentiating Acid Storm from the seven other established Seeker characters. There's not much realism in the colours, but the mould itself is realistic enough to keep me happy. The vehicle holds together well and the launchers work.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the missile launchers, extend the rear to form the boots. Fold up the tailwings and rotate the tailfins forward to form heelspurs. Fold down the feet and stow away the front wheels. Stand him up, swivel the wings up. Fold out the chestplate, rotate the canopy and pivot down to form the centre of his chest, rotate the nose and fold back to reveal his head. Flip out the arms and fold the chestplate back into position. Flip out his fists, give Acid Storm his weapons, either on the upper arms as traditional null rays or as handheld missile launchers.

   I really like this transformation. Without trying to get too fancy, it takes the original seeker layout and improves on it. He gains proper thighs and manages to keep the wings and tailfins permanently attached, integrates the fists and both configurations are true to the original seeker plan.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm

   A green robot with blue blue thighs, black feet, head and hands and an amber canopy on his torso, Acid Storm has a silver face with red eyes. Aside from carryover on his wings, the camouflage has essentially disappeared here. There's yellow on his kneecaps, shoulders and inside the air intakes on his shoulders while there are some blue elements here and there. The layout is clearly than of a seeker, and the colours used on Acid Storm's head are those seen on Skywarp and Thundercracker. The only allegiance symbols Acid Storm has here are the partially concealed black ones on his wings. Again the colours work better than they sound, thanks to a smart layout. Acid Storm really does feel like a generic seeker here, which is what I suspect the designer was going for.

   There are updates to the G1 Seeker robot mode here - Acid Storm has thighs and is a lot more poseable - the head turns, the shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. The wings have to swing back accommodate the moving arms - these wings are set back slightly. The hips are ball jointed and the knees have both hinges and swivels. The waist is fixed - but I don't mind. The feet are a little too static, the heelspurs are decent but not great, so we don't get too many stable leg poses. On the whole the poseability is good but not fantastic.

   As with most Classics moulds, Acid Storm lacks any true gimmicks - instead the toy focuses on being a good Transformer. The added poseability, solid build, hand weapon option and thighs are enough for me. We do of course get firing missiles - and they are an improvement over the neutered ones the originals had - but they don't really qualify as a gimmick.

   While it's simple in many ways, this is a solid robot mode without any significant flaws. The poseability is good even if the legs are a little limited. As was the case in his jet mode, Acid Storm's colour scheme works very well despite a risky combination of colours.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker.

OVERALL

   I'm not sure why they went for Acid Storm without giving us a Classics or Universe Sunstorm first, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a well executed repaint. Sure, I still want to see Sunstorm get a retail release, but I'm more than happy with Acid Storm's distinct colours and clever paint job in both modes. I have all six G1 characters in this mould, so this 7th one isn't really anything new, but the character concept is strong enough for me to appreciate this repaint while the colours ensure he easily stands out alongside the G1 characters. The mould is a great modern take on the tried and tested Seeker concept, with great poseability, fewer removable pieces and proper thighs. If you're willing to venture this deep into repaints or don't have the Classic Seeker mould, I'd recommend Acid Storm - 9/10

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