Monday, September 2, 2013

Generations Sandstorm

Now that Abominable August is over, it's time to catch up on everything that piled up over the month.  Not that there was much, but I did accumulate a few things.  The first item on the pile?  Generations Sandstorm!  The retool of Generations Springer!  Wait, what's that Nick Roche?  Springer is actually a retool of Sandstorm?  Get out!

According to Roche, he originally did the Sandstorm design for Hasbro.  They fell in love with it so much that they decided to reverse-engineer Springer out of the design.  Yet Springer was released first.  Huh.

Sandstorm was always my favorite triple changer as a kid.  The black and orange color scheme, the fact that he was an actual helicopter as opposed to whatever Springer is supposed to be, the faceplate, it all just added up to a great character.  He was portrayed as a bit of a pacifist in the cartoon, but his tech spec mentioned his tendency to do dangerous things, especially in battle.  This discrepancy never tainted my love of the character.  And now he's based on a Nick Roche design?  Yes, this had to happen, I had to have him.  After some searching, I found him!

I got home and opened him up, ready to take in his glory.  Then I put him back in the box and took him back to the store.  Why?  This particular Sandstorm had two left arms.  Which meant that transforming him would be next to impossible.  Luckily, the store I got him at had two on the shelf at the time, so I was able to swap him out.

Here's a funny story about my experience swapping out Sandstorm.  I waited in line at the return desk and when it was finally my turn, I handed the lady my receipt and Sandstorm.  She looked me dead in the eye and asked "Did you break it?"  I then had to explain about the two left arms.  She smiled and gave me a refund.  The entire time, there was a lady behind me kind of snickering.  Ah, the joys of being a toy collector in your thirties.  Why I didn't simply say that my son didn't like it, I'll never understand.

So I got my new Sandstorm, and he had one right and one left arm!  Nice!  I went to transform him, and I discovered that the little clip on his landing gear was broken.  Great.

Using a screwdriver, I disassembled the chest and pulled the landing gear out.  I could have taken him back for yet another, but at the time, I wasn't sure if I could find another Sandstorm, so I decided to just take one on the chin.

Who needs a faceplate?  My face is cartoon accurate!
Landing gear issues aside, Sandstorm is a great figure.  Looking at him, there is virtually no signs of Springer on this guy.  Well, maybe the fins on the forearms.

It's difficult to get a good closeup shot of Sandstorm thanks to those huge VTOL wings on either side of his body.  I was a little concerned about Sandstorm's color scheme not strictly adhering to the G1 palette, but those concerns proved to be unfounded.  Just look at those colors.  The black, orange and creamy yellow look gorgeous together.  Hasbro has outdone themselves with this deco.

I've seen several other pictures on the Internet where Sandstorm's helicopter tail is flipped down in robot mode.  I'm guessing people are doing this to increase stability since Sandstorm is a bit top heavy.  I prefer this look as it adheres to the G1 look.  Still, this does lead to some problems when trying to get a great dynamic pose.  I don't know, maybe if I spend more time working on it, I could come up with a system to do it, but when I took these pictures at 1:00 in the morning, I was too tired to really try.  Here's what I managed to come up with.

As you can see, it's a tad awkward.  It doesn't matter as I love this figure.  His robot is great, but what about the rest of the his modes?

Pay no attention to the window guards that aren't down all of the way.
Man, just look at those rear tires!  That's a dune buggy!  Actually, with this update, Sandstorm transforms into an armored off road vehicle, but it's still impressive.  Add Sandstorm's gun to the roof, and he can blast away 'Cons while he's tearing up the terrain.

Those rear wheels just stand out.  They're my favorite thing about this mode.  I can just imagine him barreling through the desert or jungle chasing down Decepticons.  The armor plating on the side windows is a great little addition.  I'm not sure what vehicle this is based on, but I'd love to see one of these vehicles in real life.

Here's the helicopter mode.  I love the VTOL wings as I'm a big fan of VTOL aircraft.  This mode is so fantastic that I don't even care if Sandstorm is missing the helicopter blades.  The Springer elements are most pronounced here.  They both share the same canopy and the sides of the chopper are definitely the same.  Other than that, there really isn't anything here that reminds me of Springer.  Except that they're both awesome.
Here are some comparison shots between Generations Sandstorm and his G1 counterpart.

So tall
Here are some more pictures, but with Generations Springer.
When Generations Springer was announced, I thought that it was the best figure that Hasbro had ever done.  Now that Generations Sandstorm is here, I've begun to rethink that.  The colors, the size, and the VTOL wings have all combined to create a great figure for a great character that sorely needed an update.


  1. These guys really show what Hasbro is capable of; now if we could just get this level of quality as the standard for our figures we would be in good shape.

    1. Tell me about it. If only they had used this level of care for Blitzwing.

    2. oh yeah, Blitzwing was a piece of sh*t toy.
      Generations Sandstorm is one of my favourite Gens figures... i went and waxed lyrical about him here....