Cliffbee.com: Hailstorm Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hailstorm
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Missile Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 11cm Width: 7cm

   A green missile tank with bronze treads, silver wheels inside the treads along with black and white camouflage. Hailstorm has eight red missiles in his missilerack, rounding out a solid colour scheme. The colours are quite realistic - aside from the red missiles (and even then, red tips on missiles are realistic enough). The camouflage has something of an Arctic feel to it, so I guess he's painted for winter forest combat. There are small black Decepticon logos on either side, above the treads towards the front.

   This is a pretty good tank mode, visually. I'm not really sure what the name has to do with anything, mind you. The treads are well sculpted and the shape of the camouflage patches is quite intricate. There's a black grille of sorts on the front and on the front right side a cabin, similar to those on a mining truck. There are grey brackets on either side of the missilerack, which is the only kibble here.

   The play value is better than we'd expect from a movie toy. The missilerack lifts from 15 up to 85 while the turret itself turns through 180 So he's useful in anti-aircraft applications, but can't shoot anything behind him. There are four small grey wheels underneath and he rolls fairly well on them - better than most tanks with undersized wheels do, anyway. The missiles protrude at the back of the missilerack, and pressing on these ends will cause the missiles to fire with some force. What's more, it's possible to fire a single missile, or various combinations, rather than just all right at the same time.

   A good tank mode with a nice level of detail, useful if fairly standard play value and no real shortcomings. Eight firing missiles make him fun, and he's more realistic than most Transformers tanks down the years.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Open the top of the missilerack, fold the two racks of four inside out to either side & close the top. Unclip the front section from the treads, fold the front halves of the treads back and clip onto the rear halves, forming upper arms & dragging out the forearms. Pivot the front section down and clip into place forming his groin. Pull out and straighten Hailstorm's legs. Pivot his feet into position, stand him up. Unclip the rear corners of the tank, flip out his head, collapse the shoulders, bringing the head into place. Rotate the turret on his back, pivot the 4-missile racks and clip onto his shoulders. Straighten the arms and you're done.

   It's a clever transformation that makes good use of the missileracks, which are useful in both modes without being kibble in robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 10cm

   A green robot with bronze upper arms, grey shoulder & elbow joints, silver hands and a silver face, Hailstorm has red eyes and some gold on his forehead, feet and groin. There are twin black missileracks above his shoulders, each carrying four red missiles. There's no visible Decepticon logo here, unless you want to count those now on the outsides of his thighs. It's a decent colour scheme but the bodyshape (which I'll come back to) dominates this robot mode's overall look.

   There are some nice sculpted details here but it's really all about the bodyshape. Hailstorm is short and squat, with long arms and a wide body. There's more than a hint of lumbering oaf here, especially with hands that almost touch the ground. He looks like he's built for destruction, and the eight missiles on his shoulders reinforce this. The torso is notably short, and the arms exceptionally long. The sculpted details here are of the standard we'd expect from a movie toy, mind you. There's a black false grille on his chest, a detailed face and complex fingers on either hand.

   The play value here is good, thanks to the missile racks on his shoulders - which are of course the gimmick here. The missiles fire as in vehicle mode, although they're no longer targetable. His head is on a hinge, allowing Hailstorm to look up and down. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. His elbows are hinged and can also lift out to the sides (for the transformation) while his hands and waist are fixed. The hips are ball jointed, the knees hinged with rotators in this thighs and the ankles hinged in two directions. Hailstorm has short heelspurs, and with the missiles hanging out the back, this does limit the range of stable poses, but then he's not exactly nimble looking, so I'm not worried by his fairly limited range of poses.

   A good robot mode but the brutish shape won't appeal to everyone. The arms are very long and the torso short and wide, giving Hailstorm a distinctive shape. The play value is good thanks to the missile racks, and the sculpt is pretty good as well.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Hailstorm has two good modes and a clever way of using the missile rack in both modes, but the unusual robot mode won't suit everyone's tastes. Both modes have good play value, the transformation is clever and both his colours and sculpt are on point. The only real negative his is the relatively small range of pose in robot mode. Assuming you can deal with his odd shape, I'd recommend Hailstorm - 7/10

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