Cliffbee.com: Sandstorm w/ Private Dedcliff Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Sandstorm
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy



BUGGY MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A light army green buggy with black rollcage & brown tyres, Sandstorm has a moss green seat and moss green rear fenders sporting silver exhausts. This lighter green also extends extends to the engineblock behind the seat. He sports blue headlights and a black nudge bar on the front. His black robot head is visible behind the engine (though not the face, thankfully) and behind this is a piece of grey plastic. There's a black Autobot logo stamped on top of the seat's backrest, rounding out a muted and fairly functional colour scheme.

   This buggy is quite small - being a one-seater, and it seats Dedcliff quite well. The rollcage is nicely done although it unclips at a front a little easier than I'd like. There's a somewhat crude steering wheel sculpted inside the open cabin. It's oval for some reason. Good luck steering, Dedcliff!

   The play value here is pretty good considering that Sandstorm devotes much of his engineering to the third mode. The wheels all roll, although there's pretty much no ground clearance so he doesn't roll well. The grey gun attached to the follcage using a light grey c-clip, itself on a ball joint. This gives the weapon a range of places it can attach as well as a wide aim. Dedcliff himself can sit in the seat and either plug onto a small post on the backrest or grip the steering wheel (but not both at the same time - these two attachment points are too far away from each other.

   While it's fairly uneventful with drab colours and by-the-numbers play value, this is a good buggy mode. The colours work and the rollcage is well put together. His play value works well aside from the low ground clearance and Dedcliff adds to this.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the gun, take Dedcliff out if he's seated inside. Unclip the front pylons of the rollcage, swing down the front of the vehicle & split to form legs. Rotate the waist, fold down the nudge bar halves to form feet. Swing back the rollcage to reveal his head, fold up the seat to form his chestplate. Swing back the rollbar elements sticking out from his hips. Unclip the rear fenders & pivot forward to form arms. Fold back the exhausts which will pull the hands into position. Place the gun in either hand & you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again based on green. Although this time there's more moss green, which is found on his arms, torso & thighs. Sandstorm has the army green on his chestplate, kneecaps & feet while his fists, ankles, feet and parts of his chest are black. The head is also black with a red crest, blue eyes & a silver mouthpiece. Incidentally, his head is very bird-like (it's amazingly similar to that of BW's Airazor for some reason). That Autobot logo on the top of the seat is now just in front of his face. Again it's a muted colour scheme, and one that melds the two greens together nicely. The red is a little random but works better than it probably should.

   This is a well laid out robot mode, with some interesting features. The chest is a folded up seat - something we've not seen before. There are faux headlights & a faux nudge bar on his chest, while the real nudge bar is his feet. The soles of his feet are actually the car's hood. While some of the rollcage ends up on his back as a fairly unobtrusive piece of backpack kibble, there's a more visible component on either side of his chest, which forms a nice feature.

   Poseability is good, especially given that much of his engineering is geared towards the third mode. His head and waist turn while his shoulders, elbows, hips & ankles are ball jointed. The knees are hinged without rotators, but this doesn't restrict Sandstorm thanks to the poseable but very stable ankle joints. He also has large footprints with useful heelspurs, giving him a wide range of action poses. The gun can be held in either hand.

   A good robot mode with a good colour scheme, nice integration of vehicle features into the aesthetic and good poseability. There aren't any gimmicks here but it's a solid robot mode. The only potential negative is a somewhat unusual head.

WEAPON MODE

   He basically folds up into a chair for Dedcliff, and Dedcliff sits on his shoulders. The chestplate folds forward and the head back, while the limbs fold away to the back. The gun then clips onto the rollcage elements tucked away at the back. It works well enough for what it is, but frankly Dedcliff riding the vehicle mode - which is mobile & carries the same gun - works better since that mode is mobile. Still, this mode doesn't impose on the Transformer itself so I have no issues with it.

PRIVATE DEDCLIFF

   Normally you wouldn't expect an enlisted soldier to be teamed up with a Transformer (Lennox is a Major by the time ROTF rolled around), but let's leave that aside. He's just under 6cm tall, is white with blonde hair (he looks Swedish, actually) with a moss green flak jacket and dark turquoise sleeves & pants. His boots are a medium brown and his gloves a very dark brown. He's very poseable, with a turning head, turning wrists and ball joints in his shoulders, hips and knees. The hands are designed to be able to grip Sandstorm's steering wheel, although getting both hands holding it together takes some fiddling.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A solid Transformer with nice colours and two modes which work very well. The robot mode is poseable while both it and the vehicle mode carry no real flaws. There's nothing outstanding here but considering that his engineering is also geared to allow for a third mode, I'm very impressed with Sandstorm. The third mode is forgettable but works as well as you'd hope, really. Dedcliff is also somewhat forgettable, but is worthwhile for the play value he brings to Sandstorm. Probably the strongest set in their assortment, and Sandstorm is worth the price alone - 8/10

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