Monday, January 25, 2016


I think that it's high time that I start clearing out a bit of this vintage backlog that I've acquired!  Since mid-November, I think I've purchased around 20 G1 figures that I really need to talk about.  Some of these guys have been sitting on my hard drive for a very long time.  Of course, the heart attack and the holidays played in to a lot of that delay, but I think now is as good time as any to get the ball rolling.  We'll start with a character and figure that has always been very near and dear to my heart - Cloudburst.
Picture from
Cloudburst has always been a dear figure to me for different reasons, and a lot of it has to do with the cover above.  See, I started getting Marvel's Transformers comics around issue 35, the issue with the Throttlebots, but I could only get them when my parents would take me on base to the Exchange, or Aafes, the PX or whatever you want to call the store on a military base.  They all had a different name based on the branch, if I remember correctly.  At any rate, getting my Transformers books on a semi-regular basis wasn't really cutting it for me.  There were gaps in my collection, same for my Uncanny X-Men  and Daredevil runs.  At any rate, with issue 53, my family had relocated to Norfolk, VA (again), and I found a comic store near my house.  This was at a time when it seemed like there was a comic store on every corner, and I remember walking to this one, Trilogy Comics, on a near weekly basis to get my books.  There was a woman that worked there that I always thought was cool because she would use curse words while talking to 12-year-old me.  This cover would also introduce me to the fact that Jim Lee cannot draw robots.  I'm just not a fan.  I remember getting this issue and then reading it at a Sizzler Steak House while my family and I ate dinner.  Good times.

I know what you're thinking - if I had such fond memories of Cloudburst, why am I just now getting one?  Ah-ha!  You see, this is my second Cloudburst!  My first Cloudburst I inherited from my brother not long after issue 53 came out!  My brother got Cloudburst when I got Bomb-Burst while my parents shopped for stereo components.  Nice guy that he was, my younger brother had a habit of giving me his toys for birthday presents.  Voila!  Instant addition to the collection.  Fast forward twenty years, and all I had left was this:

Gah!  Cloudburst had lost a foot, and his shell.  Well, that isn't accurate, I still had the front half, plus the helmet.  Still, not very good looking.  It was time for an upgrade, but I couldn't bring myself to just buy the first one that I came across.  Or the second or third.  It turned out that I had a set of criteria that I wasn't even aware of while shopping for a replacement.  First, Cloudburst had to be complete (duh).  Second, he had to resemble what mine looked like when I last remember having him in my collection.  Ok, so that wasn't really a set of criteria, but that second one was important.
After looking on and off for a couple of years, I finally found a specimen that I felt was up to par.  Cloudburst is one of the more plentiful figures I've seen on the secondary market, so I really had my pick of the litter, so to speak.  There are a lot of very nice, complete Cloudbursts to be had for small prices, which made this quest difficult.  I had to stop myself many times from just pulling the trigger on a mint version, which I found to be hilarious.  At any rate, this version looks like the one I had, but with an added foot!  So far, so good.
Cloudburst transforms just as a I remembered him in Marvel's issues 52 and 53.  Minus the skids on the bottom, of course.  One thing that never made me completely happy with Pretenders was the fact that the shells were always so big.  I've always wanted to recreate the scene where Cloudburst placed Landmine and his shell in vehicle mode to find those microchips.

As nice as the inner robot is, what about the shell?  In short, the shell is exactly what I wanted.  For the most part, it's pretty flawless.  The stickers look great, but where this sample puts me in my happy place is the small details, especially on the sides of the shell.

Look at those glorious scratches!  The kid that owned this must've been clumsy!  Just like my brother was.  It's amazing how small details like that can really add to an experience. 

Finally, here's a shot of the inner robot standing with the shell, which is how Cloudburst will be displayed in my case.  Sweet Christmas, it's good to have this guy back.


  1. Cloudburst has always been one of my favorites as well, he was the first pretender (and the only one) I had for the longest time. Looks like you've also been grabbing a bunch of new things, I just read about your heart attack, I'm very sorry to hear about that but I'm glad you've come through on the other side with no signs of slowing down!

    1. Yeah, the heart attack wasn't fun, but I needed it, oddly enough. It forced me to out things in perspective and take better care of myself. Of course, there was the "I'm alive!!!!" period when most of the next 30 posts were purchased. I've gotten back to normal now, so I'm not sure what else I'll be purchasing this year.