Cliffbee.com: Rotorstorm Toy Review

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Name: Rotorstorm (also called Storm in some markets)
Series: "European" G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Guide & Strategician
Alternate Mode: Apache Helicopter



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 22cm Width: 10cm (rotors are 23cm across)

   BTW Strategician is not a word. I think they meant 'strategist'. Try googling it - the first result returned is the TFU entry for this toy.

   Non-existent words aside, this is a mid blue chopper with a royal blue underside, silver cockpit area and runners. For some odd reason Rotorstorm has transparent crimson windows on the cockpit and the same colour on his rotors - the latter looks pretty bad. There are some stickers here and there and twin royal blue engines on either side of the rotor base. While the colour scheme is ok if you ignore the crimson, that's easier said than done.

   This is a fairly blocky chopper, with most of the toy more or less ready to turn into a robot, and while Rotorstorm is squarer than an Apache should be, they have few curves so he gets away with it. There's a green sticker on the front of the rotor base sporting an Autobot symbol and some generic seams here and there, but on the whole he's a mid blue block with a tail and a silver cockpit. The tail is wider that it should be (it even has two tailfins) since the arms are stowed inside.

   There's some play value here - the rotor spins and pressing a button just behind the rotor will deploy the engines to the sides as missile launchers, and he comes with yellow missiles that mount in the launchers. The runners tend to flop around, which isn't play value but they're loose enough that I feel I should mention it.

   While this isn't a bad concept, it's basically ruined by the stupid choice of transparent crimson (especially in the rotors). The mould itself is okay, but Rotorstorm _looks_ cheap. The rotors break off quite easily, while the engines and runners detach too readily and are also easily lost - complete Rotorstorms are hard to find second hand. Mine has one runner and nothing else (I cheated and measured MW Sandstorm for the dimensions).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the engines, which will become robot mode weapons. Split the tail, fold out onto the sides to reveal his arms, swing back the underside to form the legs. Fold down the canopy as a chestplate, swing the arms down, swing the rotors down on his back, fold away the tailtips, flip up the feet and fold the runners back. Attach the launchers in either hand (with missiles).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17.5cm Width: 8cm (no cheating this time!)

   Now largely a mix of darker blues, with the royal blue on his forearms and boots while we now have a cobalt blue on his elbows, thighs, feet and head. The mid blue is largely limited to his torso and shoulders. Rotorstorm's face is silver with pink lightpiped eyes (it's a very effective lightpipe, too). The chest is now mainly silver and pink, and there's an Autobot symbol moulded into the top window, which wasn't so obvious before. The lightpipe and Autobot symbol make the crimson a much more useful colour here - along with the fact the rotors are stowed. The three blues combine well, making this a much much colour scheme than on Rotorstorm's chopper mode.

   The head is quite detailed with a well shaped face. The lightpipe is especially impressive - it'll glow a lightsource off to one side. The rest of the robot mode actually fairly non-descript but is well proportioned, if rather blocky. The sculpted detail on his limbs should have been a lot better, and while there are some simple stickers he does come off a little bland.

   The play value is ok without being any special. The shoulders lift out to the sides while the elbows bend while there's no useful leg motion - Rotorstorm can stand at attention and aim his missile launchers. The launcher provide the only action feature here.

   While the face is good and the colour scheme avoids the pitfall we saw in chopper mode, this robot mode suffers from being a little bland. Considering that the limbs aren't based on chopper surfaces, I would have liked to see some more happening on those areas. He's quite blocky which makes him _feel_ unposeable, even if he's no worse than most of his contemporaries.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although this mould was retooled slightly as Machine Wars Sandstorm. Rotorstorm was not sold in the USA.

OVERALL

   The idea is right, but this toy was just done too cheaply. The mould has potential but the pink rotors in chopper mode and bare limbs in robot mode hurt him visually. The easy to lose parts would still be an issue - most second hand Rotorstorms are far from complete (it impacts heavily on the chopper mode). I can honesty say he's the best Strategician ever - but that in itself is an indictment on the care taken in putting this toy out. If the idea appeals to you, pick up MW Sandstorm instead - 5/10

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