Sunday, 8 February 2015

Transformers Generations Brainstorm Review

Transformers Generations Brainstorm review

With Brainstorm being such a central part of the recent Transformers comics, I figured I would go back and review the Voyager figure Hasbro put out late last year.

Based on his appearances in the IDW comic series, but retaining the Headmaster gimmick of the original toy it looked like it was going to be a special toy.

Well is it? Click the button to see the review.


Generations Brainstorm Arcana Headmaster

Let's start with the Headmaster figure, Brainstorms partner Arcana (though he is not named as such on the box).

Once you get past the amazement of Hasbro doing a headmaster figure at all, he is quite neat. He looks alright and there is a resemblance there to original figure. Articulation is limited, although madness prevails (okay awesomeness) and his head is on a ball joint. The arms do move, but they are the entire sides of the Brainstorm head, so it looks like he has cornflake arms.
No real leg articulation, save for the transformation joints which is really disappointing.

Whilst it is not a bad figure, I don't think it looks as good as the original Arcana figure, and there is not even a flap on the back to hide Brainstorms face.

MTMTE Brainstorms headmaster

Oh boy, it is time already to delve into the one big problem afflicting this toy and that is the head mode. It transforms exactly as you would expect if you had any of the G1 Headmasters and does a fantastic job of capturing the IDW comics look more than the original figure.

Transformers Generations Brainstorm

But, for a figure who's primary gimmick is the head being removable, it is staggering that many of them seem to be borked out of the box.
Mine came with the head jammed into the socket, and pulling it out caused Arcana's head to get stuck in Brainstorms neck joint.
It is caused by the grey paint in the neck joint being too thick, so my good pal N131 customs had to remove some of it which made it easier to get in and out.
It still wasn't right though, as the tiny head on Arcana still liked to come apart, so I had to take it apart, glue the screw into Arcana's head, and then had some clear polish to Arcana's neck joint to stop Brainstorms head just wobbling about.

Sigh, it is amazing that it managed to come out like that, and that the quality control could be that poor that the figures most important feature was broken.  I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO FIX SUCH A CRUCIAL PART OF THE TOY MYSELF.

The Headmaster, once everything is fixed is okay but with modern engineering could and should have been a bit better - and the QC should have been way better.

Jet Mode

generations Brainstorms jet mode

Brainstorms jet mode is very G1 in its look and design. It is the same pointy jet, that looks a bit like a futuristic flying shiv.

Being based on the IDW comics it is more rounded off than the original, but you can tell the designer was probably watching "The Rebirth" over and over again and decided he wanted a new version to fly around and make swooshing noises with.

generations brainstorm side

The G1 approach carries over to the transformation which is almost identical to the 80's toy. The jet has landing skid that can fold down, and also the wings can be adjusted on a hinge so you can have them however you would like them.

Colours in this mode are dominated by the Teal and Grey, with a touch of white underneath. You do feel like as they were going for IDW style, they could have chucked in a few extra glowing Orange or Red paint apps that seem to have become all the rage since War for Cybertron.

Side note, I am playing Rise of the Dark Spark at the moment, and it is not too shabby.

The cockpit of Generations Brainstorm

Brainstorm's sickly yellow cockpit does open and there is a comfortable little seat for Arcana to sit in. Though there is a bit of a gap between the Grey piece and the cockpit window, so if they were in space - Arcana probably would not last very long.

Air tight seal Brainstorm, as a scientist you should really know that.
Unless you are trying to kill Arcana....

brainstorm in jet mode generations transformers

Space jet mode is perfectly serviceable as an alt mode, and is a brilliant homage to the original toy, whilst also evoking the IDW comics interpretation of the character.

Not only does it look cool, but it is a lot of fun to play with, which is the crucial point really.

Robot Mode

Transformers Generations Brainstorm

Transformation is easy, and the same as his G1 counterpart. You unfold the legs, flip the feet out, flip the nose cone onto the back, release the hands from their prison insert the head and you are done.

I love this, as it is fun and quick so it works very well as a toy.

The pictures show him with the wings still left out, but I like to fold them up so he looks a bit more streamlined, and it helps him out if he wants to fit through doors.

transformers generations Brainstorm in robot mode

When you plug the head in, if it is not busted, it causes a the seat in the cockpit to flip down and turn into a readout that homages that feature from the G1 Headmaster toys.
Nice to see that referenced.
The Grey piece on Brainstorms chest acts as a latch of sorts, and when you pull it down if the head is not in, then it activates the chest mechanism. If the head is in, pull the Grey piece down and that should release the head.

Articulation is really good, with tons of joints allowing you to get some wonderfully dynamic poses which match well with his design. Brainstorm even has ankle tilts and a ball jointed neck (stupid problems aside).
He is one of the very few Transformers who can actually pull off a decent arms folded pose - that is how he will stand on my shelf.

generations brainstorm mtmte lost light

Whilst Brainstorms jet mode was super G1, his bot mode is very much the IDW design bought to life. Man, I wish Toy Story was real.

He looks incredible and the designers have managed to take the comic book aesthetics and recreate them absolutely perfectly. The Grey, White and Silver colours stand out much more in this mode too, which helps to make his colour palette more diverse and less like a searing knife of Teal.

Voyager Brainstorm generations guns

Brainstorm is a decent sized voyager figure in hand, and thankfully Hasbro have managed to resist having any hollow gaps on him. My heart leapt when I got him and rotating him in my hand I saw no holes - everything is filled in.

It helps to make it feel like a much higher quality product, and stops me lamenting Hasbro's obsession of making their toys look unsightly for the sake of saving a few pennies. If they are going to do that, you wonder what the point of making the toy is, because it is like they are saying "here, we got it mostly done, then could not be bothered to figure out a better solution to make your toy look finished".
Ah, I am lamenting again.

Transformers Generations Brainstorm guns

I suppose you could call his head an accessory, but the only other things he come with are his two rifles, which conveniently stay attached to his nose cone during transformation. It is probably the best example of weapon storage, because they are supposed to be like that. The guns do have some hollowing which I suppose you could claim was "detailing", but it is something I can overlook as it is not as intrusive as it is when is on the actual body of the figure.

Generations Brainstorm turned out to be one of my favourite figures from the whole era of Transformers Classics/Generations. It is a bot with bags of character, great articulation and a fun, vintage transformation.

Yes the broken head gimmick is really frustrating and might cause you to pull your hair out (for a bit), but once that is fixed the toy you have is a great one.

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