Cliffbee.com: Storm Surge Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Storm Surge
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Hovercraft

Thanks to Pulse for donating Storm Surge for this review.



HOVERCRAFT MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 6cm

   A white hovercraft with royal blue on top and a black cushion, Storm Surge has twin grey turbines at the back and small light blue windows on the bridge. There are red and silver fans on top, along with red elements here and there. On the starboard side of the bridge roof there's a small stamped Decepticon logo. There are black S7 logos on either side, and no Decepticon logos. The basic colour scheme of white, black and blue looks good, if quite similar to Shortround's, making this a fairly minor repaint.

   This is a pretty good hovercraft, with a convincing cushion and distinct turbines. The fans on top and distinct bridge are the most obvious features of Storm Surge's sculpt, which also includes headlights and seams in the cushion. There are small winglets on sides of his cushion, towards the stern. The robot head is visible from above, but it's far less prominent than Shortround's blue head - and can simply plug the handgun into a slot just in front of the head to partially it anyway. An attack hovercraft is a little far fetched, but it covers the head so I like the fact we can add the gun.

   Storm Surge's black Planet Key plugs into a slot at the back, behind the base of his elevated turbines. As with many Cybertron moulds, the key can sit partially inserted for storage, or push right in and activate the gimmick. In Storm Surge's case that gimmick is a pair of red-tipped grey cannons that flip out from the turbines, effectively replacing the turbines. The idea is simple enough but works, even if it robs him of propulsion. While most Cybertron toys need the key to activate the gimmicks, you can easily flip the cannons out with your fingers, making the key rather redundant. While it's not really a major feature, Storm Surge has three wheels underneath and rolls remarkably well. I'm not planning in finding out whether or not he can float.

   The attention to detail on this hovercraft is pretty good and the colours work, but the most obvious aspect of this vehicle is a passing semblance to Seaspray. The base of black and white make this vehicle mode a little too similar to Shortround for me, but it _is_ a good colour scheme.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the handgun and set aside. Lift the sides of the cushion up to either side, extend the front of the hovercraft body to form legs, flipping up the bridge to form feet. Split the feet and swing the lower half of the body back, forming his torso. Lift out the robot head and rotate to reveal the face. The sides of the cushion form arms, and there are grey pieces at the hand ends which slide up, forming claws.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 6cm

   The same colours are again prominent here, with a little more light blue - making itself obvious as "allspark" blue. His torso and boots are a mix of blue and while, his arms are black, claws and groin grey and the head is black with a grey face and allspark blue eyes. The grey turbines sit behind the shoulders, again evoking Seaspray (the boots are also similar). As on Shortround, these colours would seem to make more sense for an Autobot - it's worth noting that there are no Decepticon symbols on this toy. Again the colour scheme is good, although the layout isn't as nice as that of the hovercraft mode.

   Storm Surge cuts a very distinct figure, with his ridiculously long arms and a smallish torso. The torso I don't mind but the arms really bug me. I'm not sure whether they're the result of a stylistic decision or a lazy design, but they feel like laziness with styling to try and cover it up. The claws don't look that convincing, and certainly don't justify the long arms. To reveal the claws you have to rotate the forearms 90, but the elbows can only bend naturally if the claws aren't visible, which is pretty stupid. The gun clips into the inner prongs, and this only works if the forearms are rotated, so for Storm Surge to aim his gun he has to lift his straight arm.

   The key gimmick is available, and the cannons work well on either side of the head. Again the key isn't really needed, the guns will happily deploy with help from your hand. The poseability is mixed, with the head on a ball jointed, the shoulders on rather restricted ball joints and the elbow motion poor (as I've already mentioned). The hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged, giving Storm Surge good leg poseability, although the range of decent action poses is quite limited since you can only do so much with the arms. The claws don't really bring much play value, since you have to choose between really long, straight arms or naturally bent elbows with no claws.

   With a little more effort in the arms, this could have been a good robot mode. Sadly, the arms really ruin this robot mode. The colours, gimmick and most of the toy are good, but the effort that has gone into this robot mode is essentially wasted. As with the hovercraft mode, I find the colours very similar to those of Shortround.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A fun hovercraft mode with good colours, good detailing and some nice play value contrasts sharply with a poor robot mode. The frustrating part is that 90% of this toy is good - but the ridiculous robot arms sabotage Shortround. Unlike Spittor, with a rather poor robot mode overall, Shortround's robot mode is otherwise quiet respectable. I only got Shortround because he came with C.D. Red Alert (as part of a store promo), and while I quite like the hovercraft mode, I'm glad I didn't pay anything for him, since as a Transformer he's held back by his arms - 4.5/10

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