Cliffbee.com: Brainstorm Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Brainstorm
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Biomechanical Engineer
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 17.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   A turquoise jet with light grey sides and grey wings that vaguely resemble those of the X-Wing fighter. Brainstorm has transparent yellow canopy and behind that a grey roof panel. The colours work really well, and the two Autobot logos on his wings looks good.

   While he's not really an X-Wing, there are quite a few design elements that Brainstorm shares with Luke Skywalker's fighter. The bulk of this jet's mass is at the back, with a long turquoise nose at the front. The main wings, which are quite small, protrude at the back with the tailfins right above them at about 40. The wings have posts sticking out, which along with the tailfins, conspire to look like the X-Wing configuration. The nose tapers inwards and down, while the handguns attach to the sides of the tip, forming twin cannons, complete with winglets.

   There's about as much play value here as one could really ask for. The canopy opens and Arcana can sit inside, there are three small turquoise wheels underneath for him roll on - although on hard smooth surfaces Brainstorm has a tendency to slide. The guns don't aim, but look useful anyway - especially since this jet is a small single-man fighter. The wings and tailfins can lift up and down, although this isn't intended to be a play feature. The guns, which can be lost, are needed for this mode to really work, which is the main flaw of Brainstorm's jet mode.

   An attractive jet mode with some X-Wing style elements, good colours and a reasonably useful touch of play value (for the time, anyway). Brainstorm's jet mode is unusual amongst Transformer planes in that the centre of gravity is at one end, which makes this plane interesting. It really needs the guns to work, although Brainstorm is by no means the only Headmaster whose alt mode relies on detachable accessories.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the guns, fold the nose underneath the cabin. Swing out the legs from underneath the sides, flip out the feet. Swing out the fists, fold the wings back and flatten the tailfins. Fold up Arcana and plug him in to form the head, give Brainstorm his handguns.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 11cm

   Brainstorm retains the turquoise on his torso, with the grey chestplate and the yellow canopy, which now sits midway down his torso (straddling the waist and groin). Brainstorm's arms and legs are light grey with dark grey feet, thighs and fists along with the tailfins that sit on his shoulders. The head is actually an intermediate shade of grey while his face is a mustard yellow. The rubsign, which sits on top of the canopy, represents the only Autobot logo visible in robot mode. The colours aren't quite as appealing now, since the greys make him a tad duller, but Brainstorm still looks good.

   While it's not immediately obvious unless his arms are lifted up, Brainstorm's legs attach to the side of his groin, giving him reptilian hips. This isn't really an issue unless you lift both arms up, since the torso widens just above the hips anyway. The gap between the legs is also quite wide, but he manages to get away with that one. The arms are fairly short, but the handguns add enough length to mask this. Brainstorm's full of smoke and mirrors, making you miss his bad proportions - which in the end is a good thing.

   The poseability is limited to swinging shoulders, which is average for the 1987 -master toys. His biggest liability in robot mode is his dependency on Arcana - detaching the head looks silly and if you don't have Arcana this mode is a write off. When you plug the head into his neck, you can flip open the tech spec meter and click in the head, which will cause his specs to appear (SPD 9, STR 5, INT 8).

   While I wouldn't call this a weak robot mode, it would have to be the weaker of Brainstorm's two modes, mainly because of the proportions. Yes, he largely gets away with his proportion problems thanks to some diversions, but once you factor in the dependency on Arcana it's got more working against it that the jet mode. Despite these flaws this is still a good robot mode - the colours are nice, the tailfins and canopy give him some jet relics, which help make this an attractive robot mode.

Arcana
   Arcana has a grey torso and head with a mustard yellow face - like the giant face on his back. He has turquoise arms and legs while his hips and knees bend, allowing him to sit. His shoulders also swing, giving Arcana better poseability than Brainstorm himself. The face has tiny eyes, nose and mouth, which is cool. The colours are good, even if Arcana does introduce a third grey to Brainstorm.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Probably the most visually appealing of the 1987 Autobot Headmasters, Brainstorm has good colours and a nice interesting jet mode. The robot mode looks good in spite of some proportion problems, which Brainstorm manages to hide quite effectively. If you like the 1987 -master toys, then I'd recommend Brainstorm - 8/10

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