Cliffbee.com: Cloudburst Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cloudburst
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Space Defence
Alternate Mode: Star Cruiser



SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 12cm Width: 9.5cm

   A red space cruiser with black wings and a blue cockpit. Cloudburst is not any real space design, rather a Cybertronian vehicle of some sort. The size of the cockpit indicates that he's probably about the size of a fighter plane, relative to the pilot. With wings that stick out to the sides and a long cannon that sticks out from underneath the cockpit, he almost reminds me of a mosquito. I guess he's got a huge cannon to blow potential threats out of the planetary system.

   This mode clearly looks like a space cruiser, which scores points with me. A lot of the 1988 Pretenders have modes determined by what Hasbro define them as, but there's no doubt in Cloudburst's case. On top of that, It's a fairly cool little spaceship in my opinion. The red black and blue works well, although there's not really play value.

   While it still looks like a folded up robot, Cloudburst's cruiser mode clearly looms like a cruiser. On top of that, he's got a good colour scheme in this mode and it just looks cool anyway. The only downside is that there's no play value to speak of.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the cannon, fold in the nose, fold the wings in, flip the legs down, rotate the arms down, straighten the knees and flip up the feet, rotate his head 180 and give him his gun. The gun has two handles, he holds it with the smaller one on it's side in robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 6cm

   The red that was dominant on his cruiser mode is more dominant in Cloudburst's robot mode. His thighs are black and his face and groin blue, but otherwise he's red. This works fairly well, although the blue on his groin looks a little strange. The blue face masks what is actually pretty good facial detail, so I suppose that counts against the application of colours, if not the actual combination.

   Like the rest the 1988 Pretenders, Cloudburst's robot mode is dominated by having to fold up into his shell. He's skinny, his legs are spread slightly, and his arms fold inwards. These design limitations influence his robot mode quite heavily, but manage to avoid creating any serious flaws. Some of this set require huge kibble pieces to transform, but Cloudburst manages to stow his wings. The great thing is that you can actually deploy his wings, either swept forward like his cruiser mode or backwards, behind his shoulders. While this will limit his poseability significantly, it looks cool.

   Assuming you leave the wings stowed, the play value is limited to his poseability. His head turns 360 (it's for the transform, but works here), his shoulders rotate, his ankles fold, knees give a little and his hips rotate, giving him some leg poseability. While it's not play value, the small attachment point on his gun means he holds it like a large pistol in this mode, unlike some Pretenders who end up up holding weapons that are way too large.

   The colours are good, although the locations they chose for the blue could have been better. Aside from that, nothing really stands out about this mode that's either really bad or really good, but it's better than a lot of the 1988 Pretenders' robot modes.

The Pretender Shell

   A human with brown hair and eyes buried up to his nose in a puffy red and grey suit. There's also some dark brown bits, and his helmet and belt are blue - both detach to allow you to open the shell. The shell holds the gun by it's large post, not only is it sideways relative to how the inner robot holds it, it now holds and looks like a pistol. Actually, it looks like a pistol with wings, but this isn't a bad thing. He also has a blue whip which the shell can hold.

   There's not much play value here. The arms swivel at the shoulders, and he can hold the gun in one fist and the whip in the other. The main point of the Pretender shell is that Cloudburst can stow his robot inside, which is I suppose the point of the whole toy.

   Like the rest of the 1988 Autobot shells, it's a big bulky humanoid, the colour scheme is a close match with the inner robot's, although not exact.

VARIATIONS

   None I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Probably my favourite of the 1988 Autobot Pretenders, I'm impressed with Cloudburst's space cruiser mode. The robot mode is solid, if unspectacular, and the same can be said for the Pretender shell. The colour scheme works quite well aside from some minor issues in robot mode. Most of this toy's play value lies in the ability for Cloudburst to hide inside his shell, but the fact that he manages to avoid simply looking like a folded up robot when he transforms makes him stand out amongst the Pretenders - 7/10

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