Cliffbee.com: Ultra Jetstorm Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




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

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Jetstorm for this review



JET MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 31cm Width: 26cm

   A blue jet with a long nose and forward swept wings, Ultra Jetstorm is brighter and more colourful than his earlier, deluxe, counterpart. There are some metallic mid blue, yellows and orange painted highlights while much of the fuselage is chrome blue. There are some grey elements here and there which don't stand out at all. The canopy at the front is painted blue with transparent red "eyes" on the sides. The chrome looks good but the yellow and orange is a little brighter than I'd like.

   There's a fairly good level of moulded detail here and a fairly intricate paint mask. I do wish there was less yellow, but I'm still happy that a lot of effort has gone into laying it out. There's a small metallic brown panel on the front of the central block (just behind the base of his long nose), lifting it up reveals an orange the spark crystal.

   The play value here is good - even for an ultra. There are three grey wheels underneath (all solid moulded), and while he can't lie flat on his belly, being able to lift the wheels gives some flying play value. There are three hinges along the length of the nose (two up and down, one side to side), allowing the head to move around like a bird's head. Many of the Vehicon toys were designed with a "head" in vehicle mode and this neck really enhances the "head" here. There's a lever buried underneath which causes the tail section to lift out when pulled. There are three LEDs inside the toy - two behind the missiles now protruding from the front of the raised section and a third inside the cockpit. They'll stay illuminated for around 45 seconds (or until you stow the tail). The missiles are fired via twin levers underneath the tailfins and the launchers are quite powerful. There's a gear mechanism inside, when you turn the head side to side, the tail section follows, so as Jetstorm looks, around, his missiles follow. It's a fairly straightforward gimmick really, but the tracking works quite well so I'm happy. What's more, the gearing doesn't really get in the way of Jetstorm's transformation or poseability in robot mode. There are two drone missiles underwing which detach rather than fire, and they resemble little sharks which is rather cool (and harks back to some of the more aggressive BW toys).

   There aren't really notable flaws here, although the yellow is a little garish. The robot feet kinda hang out the back, but look fine from most angles. This is good jet mode, and while I think the deluxe's colour scheme works better aesthetically, this one is closer to the show colours.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As you might expect, it's broadly similar to that of Deluxe Jetstorm, but not as close as you might expect, The drone missiles detach and the landing gear folds up (you need to fold the front wheel _back_). The legs unclip from underneath and the groin rotates them clips into the body. The nose folds underneath like a loincloth while the legs rotate to reveal the shins. The feet and heelspurs fold out, or you can spin the legs into each other and lift the shins for a hovering mode. Unclip the sides to form arms, swing up the wings and open the front of each arm to reveal Cyclonus's hands. The back of the central block (mainly that tail section), folds back, revealing the head which pivots forward. There's a whole bunch of panels folding and sliding that goes on in his chest, bringing the chest itself and his shoulders into place - it's all fairly intuitive but not easy to describe. The drone missiles plug into sockets on the outsides of his thighs, just below the hips.

   One thing I find very frustrating with this transformation is that it's almost impossible to complete it without one of both missiles firing.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 26cm Width: 23cm

   Again mainly blue, Jetstorm's torso is mainly chrome blue while his thighs are dark purple. His arms, head and boots are blue. There are red missile launchers on either side of the head, flush with the top of his chest. The colours are again more show accurate, and this time there's less yellow so he's aesthetically about on par with the smaller toy. His face would have looked better if it wasn't the same blue as the rest of his head. The eyes are transparent red, but there's no lightpipe so they just look black and this only serves to make the face stand out less.

   Jetstorm has three pronged claws rather than true hands, composed of soft plastic. While this means he's unable to hold weaponry, the drone missiles on his thighs and the red ones on his shoulders ensure Jetstorm isn't defenceless. The drone missiles actually have heads that turn side to side, which makes aiming them kinda quirky. Jetstorm's spark crystal is now on his waist.

   Cyclonus has mixed poseability. The head turns and the tailfins form soft plastic antennae similar to those of the original. The shoulders rotate and there's some wiggle in the elbows - but the arm poseability is pretty disappointing overall. The hips are ball jointed, while the knees, ankles and heelspurs are hinged. As I've alluded to there's a hover mode available, which looks nice even if there's no way for Cyclonus to stand on his own in that configuration. It fits into the Beast Machines origins of the mould more than into the character, but still counts as a feature. I do wish there was some way for Cyclonus to actually hold his little drone missiles which come with white teeth and red eyes, since they're really nifty but tucked away down there.

      This robot mode isn't as cool as the jet mode since the arms are kind of limited, but the colours are better since the yellow subsides. The claw hands and limited movement hurt his arms but Jetstorm still manages cool weaponry and his leg poseability is good. I would have preferred it if the face wasn't so non-descript, especially with those prominent antennae stealing the show.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although there was a Cyclonus repaint available exclusively at BotCon 2002.

OVERALL

   A decent toy with good play value and some nice attention to detail, but Jetstorm still carries a few flaws. The jet mode looks good but could have done with less yellow, while the robot mode loses some yellow and as a result looks better. The play value is pretty good overall despite limited arms, even if the missiles fire too easily. The chrome is a little fragile, but not as bad as some BW toys. This is the more show accurate version of the character, so if you're buying him for the show character, this is the version to get even if the smaller one is a slightly better toy for the price - 7/10

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