Cliffbee.com: Sunstreaker Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Sunstreaker
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Modified Lamborghini Countache



COUNTACHE MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 6cm

   A yellow Countache with transparent windows, a chrome silver spoiler and chrome silver engine block. The spoiler is a lot higher than the standard spoiler, and the engine block sits well above the line of the roof - Sunstreaker is very much a souped-up sports car. The rear wheel bays are also pushed out somewhat, presumably to fit the larger engine. The back of these wheel bays is red - actually there's red stickers over black plastic. The bottom edges of his doors are black, thanks to black stickers.

   Sunstreaker's Diaclone was in fact red, which is why he has red apparently random stickers on the back of the car. The theory goes that the red one was to be Sideswipe and the yellow one Sunstreaker, but the moulds got mixed around and the red Diaclone became yellow in Transformers and the yellow one (Diaclone Sideswipe) red. So the engine block is probably the jet pack mentioned in Sideswipe's tech specs!

   Sunstreaker's body shape in car mode is not a perfectly realistic Countache (modifications aside). The wider rear axle is part of it, but his hood is flatter than a real Countache, the doors aren't as convex, and the rear section is almost totally resculpted. I suspect that part of this is actually intentional - but I'm not sure if the flattening of the hood and doors was something they aimed for.

   I don't mean to sound negative, by the way. Sunstreaker's not a completely realistic Countache, no, but he's got his own beefed up charm. He's certainly got a different feel to his twin, Sideswipe - he's actually a slightly smaller scale, his wheels are smaller and he has a lower ground clearance. Sunstreaker would be perfect for street racing, but I wouldn't take him over a speed hump.

   The tyres are rubber, as you'd expect (the same tyres as Ironhide, Ratchet and Skids), his wheels are chromed silver. The front section (the boot) is die cast metal, painted a shade of yellow that's very slightly richer than the plastic of the rest of the car, with a black painted bumper. The yellow plastic's quite a nice, rich, yellow, actually, which is worth mentioning. I like the use of chrome on Sunstreaker, since it's sparing and to maximum effect.

   Aside from the slightly off proportions, Sunstreaker's biggest flaw in this mode is that the back of the car isn't at all Countache, but one of his black forearms. His play value is probably more than you'd expect - he can roll along when pushed, as you’d expect. You can also swing up the entire cockpit - roof, windscreen and all - to insert a Diaclone driver, which is kinda cool.

   Personally I find the modifications are a plus - sure there's 3 Countaches amongst the Diaclone Autobot cars, but Sunstreaker is more than just a straight repaint. The colours are good, also, but I prefer the car mode of his twin for the more realistic curves that Sunstreaker's flat and angular car mode lacks.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the black panel under his engine, deploy his arms and fold the panel back up. Flip up the roof, dragging the driver's seat up into the bay where the engine sits. The engine, which folds out to become the head, has to hinge backwards at the very rear of the car. Position the arms, add his fists and shoulder rockets. Extend the legs, fold down the feet and stand him up. You can sub out one of both fists for chrome missiles, or the yellow shoulder rockets, if you like, although in the show he always has hands.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 9cm

   Sunstreaker is still essentially yellow, with the addition of a lot more black. His forearms, head and shins are black, his shoulders red. He has a silver face with yellow eyes and yellow cheek antennae. he has an excellent facial sculpt, even the cheeks are curved rather than just flat.

   Sunstreaker's very bulky looking in robot mode, largely due to the huge forearms (which are no doubt the forearm piledrivers in his brother's spec!). His head is set back from his chest, since it flips out. The chest, incidentally, is the roof of the car, and his feet are the halves of the hood. He's got his rear wheels on his shoulders, too - Sunstreaker's got a lot of car parts forming distinct features of the robot mode, which is a plus.

   Sunstreaker has no real groin, although there is a small protrusion of yellow sticking out from underneath the roof, so there's the hint of one. He also has no handgun, but you can fire missiles about 3cm from his wrists, and of course the missiles are designed to look like wrist-guns anyway. On balance, I'd have preferred a handgun. But at least he has a head...

   Sunstreaker's poseability is limited to his elbows which swing as part of the transformation anyway. Add to this the missile launchers and that's all he has in play value - a little disappointing, frankly.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although he was released on 1990 outside North America as a Classic. In 2003 a RiD mould Convention Exclusive Sunstreaker was released (who's standing next to the original on my desk as I write this review).

OVERALL

   Sunstreaker has good colours, the souped up Countache is cool, but he's also got proportion problems in both modes. His hands, missiles, shoulder rockets and easily detachable spoiler can all get lost, too, which has the potential to be really annoying. It's not that I don't like Sunstreaker - because I do like him - but he's not as well done as his brother Sideswipe (or Red Alert). Still, I'd recommend him anyway, he _is_ a cool toy - although one with some flaws - 6.5/10

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