Monday, 7 October 2013

Transformers Generations Voyager Sandstorm Review

"When the smoke clear's - I've cleared out!"

Well, after many week's I am back with a post. I have been to Spain, and since I have got back just been very busy with things going on. So I am hoping to get back posting a bit more regularly. Though it's not as if anyone is actually reading these blog posts.

I have just noticed, I have not posted an actual review of anything since August. There's a review of Masterpiece Soundwave and assorted Cassette minions that I have been meaning to finish since that figure first came out.

Need to get on that.

Anyway, Sandstorm, the G1 Triple Changer. As a kid, I remember wanting Sandstorm and seeing him in the old Toy Master store, in Broad Marsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham, for many week's during my Grans Saturday morning shopping trips - which I was always dragged along to. But hey, I always got toys. Sandstorm though, for some reason eluded me for weeks until my gran finally gave in and took me to buy him...only I chose something else. I cant even remember what toy I chose instead, but its one of those memories burned into my mind.
So Sandstorm is a 25 year or so itch I have yet to scratch. May have to rectify that with some EBay stalking this week.

But last week, I finally gave in and ordered Generations Voyager Class Sandstorm from Kapow Toys and he turned up promptly. I have wanted this figure for ages, but have just not gotten round to buying him. Mainly because I already own one version of the mold in Springer, and I tend to want to buy new things first. But when I saw him in the sale, he became a must buy.

I am very relieved I did as well...

To read the review, and see all of the pictures - hit the button





Robot Mode

Moody 

Right off the bat - he looks wonderful. This is how you would expect an updated version of Sandstorm to look. This figure is part of the the Thrilling 30 line, and is part of the IDW comic series of figures. It even has the IDW logo attached to the back of the box.
It looks very much like an IDW character design, even if he has not shown up in the comics in this form as of yet. But you could imagine Nick Roche or Alex Milne drawing Sandstorm exactly like this. With the way Hasbro are getting toy designs into the books lately, I will be amazed if Sandstorm does not show up in this form at some point.

He is a gorgeous deep Orangey Yellow colour, with Orange and Black sections along with some Silver detailing. So no money was skimped on the paint detailing.

The robot mode shares a mold with Springer, but he looks completely different. The amount of new tooling involved makes it look, and feel like a brand new figure.


Off the top of my head the head, chest and legs are all remolded from Springer. But then, the updating extends to parts of the upper arms, and of course the the giant Wheels on his back along with the Orange tail rudder. Even the the 2 pieces either side of the chest are different - with grey vent detailing added.

Genuinely, there are so many new parts that it looks very different.

The detailing is fantastic with a nice technological look, but it does not go so far as to be hyper detailed to make the figure look too busy. Its a perfect balance


The head sculpt looks very nice, and mimics the G1 Cartoon head as opposed to the toy. Its a nice head, with some good light piping, though my dark photo does not really show that.

Oddly, when I look at the head - it makes me think of Rung. Rung being the character from IDW's More than Meets the Eye comic series. Looking at the picture, not so much - but close up in hand it really does.

Go figure.

The chest is completely different to Springer's, with a Bull bar and a really nice Silver backed Autobot symbol. Being Silver backed, gives it a really neat retro feel, like its on a G1 figure.

The only downside is that the Autobot symbol is placed over a panel line which runs across the chest. So it looks creased, which I guess adds to the G1 look.

Every kid suffered sticker folding with at least some of their G1 toys.


He is highly poseable with all the same joints and articulation as Springer. There's all the things you would expect, so I wont waste time going over that.
Just know you can pose him in just about any pose you want. The only thing that hampers that are the huge back wheels which make him very back heavy. But this can be alleviated if you have them folded more forward.

But I have not been able to get him in the super kick pose as a result of those, which I could do with Springer.


There's a lot of options with this figure and you can display him in a couple of ways. I have noticed in photo's that a lot of folks have the fans/wheels folded out to the side, which to be fair really helps to counter the back heaviness, and with the Orange tail section folded down back behind the figure.

It looks very nice, but I personally prefer to have the wheels folded back and the tail sticking up. It just gives him that more classic silhouette. Even the two tail fins fold inwards to a point, just to further give it that look.

Prop's to whoever designed this guy with so many different options and tastes in mind.

"Don't cross the stream's!"

I almost forgot to mention his weapon. He comes with a yellow and black rifle, that does have a projectile mechanism - but its done with your own force instead of a spring. If you have Springer, its a similar experience, only you pull back on the rifle instead of pushing a switch forward.

The weapon is odd, as in pictures I thought it looked cool - but in hand its not very good. I can see why a lot of people just leave it in the box, or discard it to the side.

Robot mode is easily my favourite mode of all the different modes, and it will look good on my Masterpiece shelf until the dream day that Takara makes a Masterpiece Sandstorm.

Well a guy can dream

Helicopter Mode


Its a strong look VTOL copter mode. As you can see it looks almost nothing like Springer's helicopter mode. Everything is different. with the exception of the cockpit. The whole top of the craft has been completely remolded, which makes sense with the huge VTOL engines strapped to the side. The can turn and move up and down to be posed however you want.

The Orange tail section folds out and is also unique to this version of the mold. Just to further separate the figure from Springer.

Its ironic, that Springer's helicopter mode is almost a perfect fit for a G1 Sandstorm homage, but this update actually looks better in my opinion.


Its clearly a fictionalised alt mode, but it looks like every futuristic VTOL craft you come across - and that is not a bad thing. It somehow makes it feel more realistic and familiar, despite being totally made up. The arms even transform differently to how they do with Springers chopper mode, so again its another change.


The rifle can attach onto the bottom of the crafts cockpit, but again the weapon suffers and it weakens the alt mode. 
Again though, the designers worked hard on it, as when you flip the handle up there is a little wheel on it, which forms landing gear. Its a neat touch, but the gun just doesn't work in this mode.


There are a range of options again though, with 2 peg holes on the top allowing you to configure the rifle in a bunch of ways.



Personally I prefer it pointing backwards like this, forming an engine block of sorts. It suits it more to me, but really, when in that alt mode the rifle will be left to the side.

It doesn't harm the alt mode though, and Hasbro have really done an fantastic job not only making a good toy - but going to such lengths to make it look different from Springer.


Dune Buggy Mode


Go on, its the Tumbler isn't it?

This thing looks awesome. Like its rolled out of a Batman film, or Mad Max. Its like a car that's been turned into a tank.

It is so much fun to play with!! I love it! At first I thought the huge wheels, formed from the copter modes VTOL engines, looked goofy - but in hand they are perfect.


The Orange tail section of the helicopter folds forward, and over the top of the car and the sides fold down to give the windows the armoured dune buggy look. That is just brilliant, there are no other words for it - brilliant.

There is an Orange grill added to the front end, which looks like a grinning face from certain angles. I am not sure why, but theres an almost Real Ghostbusters/Ninja Turtles feel to it. 


One of the best things about this figure, is the fixes. The panels all fit together a lot better than they do on Springer. This is particularly evident in the car mode, as the windows and front section all come together flush.

On Springer, they ended up gappy, and didn't sit right.

The designers have clearly taken note, and solved whatever the problems were.


There is so much chunk to this mode, it feels like a toy. That may seem silly, as of course it is a toy, but in recent years a lot of toy's feel like collectibles and fragile. This guy has all the chunk that you feel like you could bash him into things and he would survive.

The rifle can mount on the top, and the way the Orange section folds means the hole on that sits directly above the other peg hole underneath. So the peg sits nicely on top and there is no large gap. 

It certainly looks nicer attached in this mode, but I still prefer the car mode without the weapon. If you point it backwards, it adds a flame thrower to add to the Batmobile look


The car mode is my favourite of the alt modes, by quite a distance. It just has everything you want from a toy, in that it looks great, homages perfectly the original toy, and feels like a really fun toy.

I find myself transforming Sandstorm through his modes far more often than Springer. That is because I actually prefer Sandstorm to Springer. I never thought that would be the case, and even reading other people's reactions I didn't believe I would have that opinion.

But this is a brilliant figure. I really hope it gets the love it deserves, and it finally pop's up on release over here. At the moment it is not available here, as we still have mountains of Voyager Grimlock's and Soundwave's that everyone else got at the start of the year.

I got the American version, imported through Kapow, so its nice to have a box not covered in 5 other languages I cant read.

But to sum up - BUY THIS TOY!













4 comments:

  1. Some people do read these. Nice review!

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  2. Thanks dude, really appreciate that!

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  3. Just wondering if Springer, Sandstorm and Blitzwing scale well with other masterpieces? I'm guessing Blitzwing is a tad short compared to the other MP seekers? BTW, nice review. Your blog is awesome too.

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    1. Cheers for that mate, glad you like it and hope you read and comment on more articles.

      They are a mixed bag scale wise. Blitzwing is smaller than Starscream and Soundwave on a Masterpiece shelf. Springer and Sandstorm are slightly taller than the MP cars, so they fit in quite well (along with Whirl.

      They all look too big for the Classics shelf in my opinion, so buried away at the back of an MP shelf they blend in alright. I have stuck Leader Jetfire there too, and it is not that he is small....he is just far away...

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