Cliffbee.com: 6" Titanium Sunstorm Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Sunstorm
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 15.5cm Width: 14cm

   A canary yellow Cybertronian jet with some orange detailing here and there, along with black on his nose and thrusters at the rear, Sunstorm takes his colours from Hasbro's Cybertron Legend Sunstorm rather than Takara's eHobby seeker repaint, the original version of the character. While the colour scheme here doesn't really look all that much like the orange and white single-shot G1 cartoon extra which was retrospectively named Sunstorm, this toy represents the same character - the tech spec plants this toy in G1. Anyway, he's repaint of Thundercracker with a vastly different paint mask - Sunstorm's orange details are quite different to Thundercracker's silver aspects. His canopy is painted a metallic lead colour and there is a Decepticon logo behind it. I wouldn't say these colours really match the original extra, nor do they match the comic character, but it seems Hasbro's penchant for yellow repaints means that they're going to call yellow seeker-based repaints Sunstorm. The colour scheme is decent enough, mind you - even if the yellow is quite bright.

   This jet mode is taken from the War Within comics, which in turn were inspired by the pyramid-shaped seekers seen in the G1 Cartoon episode More Than Meets The Eye - bringing the character full circle (the cartoon extra was a Cybertronian Transformer, the original Sunstorm toy has an Earthen mode). This jet is more of flying arrowhead shape than a pyramid, with a raised area around the base of his single tailfin. Much of the fuselage is made of die-cast metal, with the small wings, tail, raised tail base and nose being composed of plastic. The nose is actually composed of soft plastic.

   Since Sunstorm is composed primarily (maybe 65%) of die-cast metal, this jet mode is quite heavy for its size. The rear is hollow - so don't look at him from behind or you'll see his hands and head. Thankfully the weight distribution still works - and this isn't really an angle you'd typically look at. Also on his underside are three black plastic wheels - the front one actually folds out on a metal leg. The wheels and retractable leg actually represent all of Sunstorm's play value here.

   The paint job here is a little simplified compared to Thundercrackers, however the orange paint actually matches the sculpt better than the silver on Thundercracker. That sculpt is also well done, with small cannons at the base of his wings, various vents on the fuselage and a complex rib pattern on the rounded canopy. There are quite a lot of sculpted seams, none of which are what I'd call typical of planes - but then Sunstorm isn't an Earthen jet anymore.

   There's not much play value here - I've already covered what little movement he does have here. The 6" Titanium line is aimed at collectors as display pieces anyway, so I'm not so worried about play value. On top of that, this jet holds together very well - which is far from given amongst this line which tries to marry die-cast metal and modern articulation, with varied results.

   A good jet mode a good paint mask which has been changed for this repaint and a good sculpt. The repaint deviates from the concept on which the character is based, but it's close enough to work. Heck, it's not like Sunstorm is what you'd call a prominent character. The jet is stable, which is perhaps the most important aspect here, in the context of the line. While it's not quite the flying pyramid seen in the G1 cartoon, it's close enough, and represents a more realistic airframe.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold up the nosewheel if you haven't already. Split the tailfin and fold the tail and its base out to the sides, revealing his head. Unclip the sides, releasing the nose, which folds underneath and reveals his groin. Clip the nose onto his back, pull the sides forward to form his legs, rotate the boots forward and flip up his feet. Swing down his shoulders, swing down the forearms from the back of his upper arms and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 14.5cm

   A yellow robot with white forearms and feet - bringing his colours close to what they should be. His head and feet are black, his face silver with red eyes. He wears half the lead canopy on his torso, just below the line of his shoulders (as on the original Sunstorm toy). There are orange pylons on either side of his head, which are meant to resemble the classic air intakes on the seeker bodyplan. The Decepticon logo is now well placed in the middle of his chest. It's now quite obvious that this toy's colours - and indeed the layout of the original Thundercracker version of this mould - is based on the Cybertron Legends class toy called Sunstorm. Again things come full circle! The yellow/orange and white make this figure fairly recognisable as Sunstorm, and the thoughtful placement of details like his canopy and pylons, anchor this robot as a seeker.

   The wings sit on the outside of his upper arms, behind the now opened tailfin (on either side). These compound wings resemble the traditional seeker wings, although the attachment point is quite different. The panels which were the base of the tail - which form the front of his upper arms - don't actually attach to anything, although the transformation hinges are quite tight so they'll stay in place without any trouble.

   Again there's quite a bit of die-cast metal - the front of his torso, backpack, back of his upper arms, boots and feet are all die-cast. Most of the robot mode aspects (thighs, lower arms, head) are plastic, along with the joints. His centre of gravity isn't affected by the die-cast metal, since his boots are metal, ensuring that the metal isn't a liability.

   The poseability is quite good here. His head turns while the shoulders swing, and lift maybe 10 out to the sides. The right shoulder droops in some poses on mine - a minor flaw not evident on my Thundercracker. There are two hinges per elbow and his wrists rotate. His hips swing and lift out to the sides, the knees are hinged with rotators just above these hinges. It's worth noting that all four of these leg joints are ratcheting and are quite tight - which is a good thing considering how heavy the upper body is - Sunstorm won't collapse in a heap, doing the splits spontaneously. The feet can swing down, which is really for the transformation rather than robot mode, but it does help in posing. The heelspurs are short but effective. As with all of the 6" Titaniums, Sunstorm comes with a grey plastic stand, featuring his name and faction symbol on the front. He doesn't need this to form stable poses, thankfully. His joints are all quite useful. Sunstorm lacks a weapon, and his hands lack holes anyway.

   A nice robot mode despite the colour scheme being a reinterpretation of a colour scheme that Takara took directly from the cartoon. The white, orange and yellow really have no right to work well together, but they do, which I'm happy about. Again everything holds together well and the articulation is good - and useful. He's stable and visually appealing. The colours and some well placed details will make this toy recognisable as Sunstorm to fans familiar with what's still a rather obscure character, and the layout of classic seeker elements is actually quite clever, when you consider that most of them are visible in jet mode. The stand is a nice add-on, really - he's stable enough without it.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he's a repaint of Thundercracker, and also shares that honour with Starscream, Skywarp and Thrust.

OVERALL

   The first thing that strikes me about this figure is why Hasbro decided to create it. Don't get me wrong - I like Sunstorm, and have the eHobby toy - but it's surprising that they decided to do Sunstorm before Skywarp (who we'll likely never see since the line has been canned). This is now the fourth incarnation of a very obscure character retconned into the G1 cartoon that really has no right to be as enduring as he is - Dirge has only been revisited once! Anyway, this is one of the strongest 6" Titanium moulds, since it manages to make the fusion of die-cast metal and modern articulation work, a feat not achieved by every figure in the line. Sunstorm makes a nice display piece offering both G1 style metal elements and modern posing. The character isn't really iconic, but it would appear that he's here to stay, and I'll admit I like the concept, so I'm happy enough with this repaint. The War Within jet mode is really geared towards the more dedicated fans (as is the character), but there's enough classic seeker here to make this new G1 character have something of an old school feel. He's not quite as nice as Thundercracker, but I'd recommend the mould if you have any interest in the 6" Titanium line, and wouldn't recommend against Sunstorm - 8/10

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