Cliffbee.com: Beast Machines Deluxe Jetstorm Toy Review

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Name: Jetstorm
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Aerodrone General
Alternate Mode: Jet Plane

Note: You know a name's being reused too much when not only are you forced to define which series, but also which pricepoint, the toy in question is.



JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 18cm Width: 13.5cm

   A metallic dark blue jet fighter with lots of yellow highlights, transparent red missiles in his side missile launchers and transparent red cockpit, and a few silver bits here and there. This is clearly not a real plane model, mind you. It looks to me like it should be a space cruiser of some sort. The yellow is a mixture of pale yellow paint, which is on his nose and forms stripes on his wings, and brighter yellow plastic on various bits on the fuselage itself.

   The reason I call this a space cruiser is that he has very small wings - I doubt he'd generate enough lift to stay airborne. That's not to say this is a bad mode, it's just not one that would beat gravity. It actually looks pretty cool, the overall shape is a fairly pointy arrowhead, with the small wings at the back. He has retractable silver landing gear, one wheel under the nose and wheels under the wings. The wheels are solid cast, and do not roll, but I like the fact they retract - it would have been easy for Hasbro to not bother with them at all.

   Jetstorm has pretty good play value for a deluxe. There's a yellow button behind the cockpit, which causes the cockpit to pop forward about 2cm on a yellow "neck". The "head" is jointed, so it can look from side to side and downwards, which is pretty nifty. I'm not sure if this is meant to resemble a bird's head, but it does. Smack in the middle of the fuselage is a silver hatch which opens to reveal a transparent red Vehicon spark crystal. Sure, all Beast Machine toys have spark crystals (except the Deployers, who aren't meant to have sparks), but since they gave him a hatch I'm counting it as play value. The other gimmick is the missile launchers, which are built into the toy, and not detachable - they're basically the bases of the wings. Anyway, they're also activated by yellow buttons, and will send the missiles about a foot. They activate a little too easy, but you can easily leave the missiles out.

   While the missiles have a tendency to fly out without being asked, this is a pretty good jet mode, all up. It looks quite nice, too. The blue actually looks sea green to me, since I'm colour blind, but I like what I see. There's enough play value to keep me happy, too, with the "head" gimmick and missile launchers.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Quite complex for a deluxe. Fold up the landing gear, first off. I'd recommend removing the missiles (if they don't pop out like mine just did). Unclip the sides and pull them out, to become the arms. Fold the legs down from underneath, swing the hips out, swing the pelvic plate down underneath the nose of the jet to form his groin. The torso folds and swivels around and comes together quite well with chestplates locking it all together. While this is elegant, it's hard to describe so I'm not going to try. In transforming his torso, the head will be revealed and snaps into place on his shoulders. Rotate the legs, fold up the feet and heelspurs. Position the arms and fold up the wristguards to reveal the claw-hands.

   It's a tricky transformation until you get the hang of things, largely due to all the interlocking and rotating that the fuselage undergoes in becoming the torso. As I said, it's complex, but it's not hard once you get the hang of it - in fact it's nice having a deluxe with such an elegant and satisfyingly clever transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 17cm
exact width will depend on the pose

   Again mainly metallic dark blue, with the yellow highlights, although now Jetstorm has more silver. His torso, arms, thighs, feet and head are blue. Jetstorm's hips, heelspurs, wings (on his arms) and claw-hands are yellow, his shins and shoulders are silver, as well as the spark crystal cover - but that's now on his back.

   The head may be blue, but the face is silver, and is moulded like the breathing mask that jet pilots wear, which is a nice touch. His forehead is painted yellow, and his eyes are red, with a working lightpipe. The eyes on mine are glowing at the moment, and I've got him standing in front of the control panel on my monitor - not directly in front of a light source. There's a big red section of the back of his head allowing this lightpipe to work so well.

   The missile launchers are now on the outsides of his arms, and can still shoot in this mode, although I tend to leave them off so I don't lose them. There's another gimmick in this mode, however. If you rotate his legs outwards and fold down his feet and heelspurs, you can attach the legs together, forming a large triangle around the groin. Lift the shins out to reveal yellow jet hover engines. This is the hover mode featured in the Beast Machine cartoon. While it can't stand up, it's great play value.

   Jetstorm's poseability is excellent. The head turns, although the tailwings get in the way of the large antennae formed from the tailfins. His shoulders rotate, and also lift out to the sides. His elbows bend inwards, and there are swivels just above the elbows. His claws can rotate with some difficultly, and are made of soft plastic so he can potentially grasp stuff. His hips are ball joints, with swivels directly below them, while his knees, feet and heelspurs are all hinged. The end result of all this is an incredibly poseable robot that can be made to stand in almost any pose.

   A decent colour scheme, and while I'm not sold on the hand-claws, the facial sculpt is cool, so it pretty much evens out. The poseability of this mode is great, so overall it's a good robot mode - if only he could retrieve his own missiles.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although they later made an Ultra sized version of the same character with the same basic transformation scheme. Sonic Attack Jet, Stormjet and Jhiaxus are repaints of Jetstorm. There was also a TFU Skywarp repaint (thanks to BikerTrash for pointing out that neglected to list this one).

OVERALL

   This is a great mould, and while I prefer Sonic Attack Jet's colours, Jetstorm is definitely a toy I recommend. I'm not a fan of the Beast Machines line in general, but they got this guy right. He's way ahead of the rest of the first wave of Beast Machines toys, which is evident in the number of repaints they've done - it's a mould that'll sell - even in the poor colours of some of the repaints - 8/10

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