Cliffbee.com: TFU Wind Sheer Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Wind Sheer
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 11cm Width: 7cm, 11cm with wings out

   A silver swing wing fighter jet with maroon wings and purple camo painted all over, Wind Sheer has a maroon missile launcher claw on top which sports a pea-soup green missile. The undercarriage is this same pea soup colour (as jet wheels usually are, of course...). The canopy is transparent yellow plastic and behind the cockpit there's a stamped Decepticon logo. On the one hand, this colour scheme works quite well but on the other it's pretty obvious this is by accident than by design - why this toy has purple camo on maroon wings is beyond me. The two colours are very close together, which helps unify the toy and proves that whoever designed this colour scheme wasn't terribly focused. The pea soup green and yellow canopy similarly work together by accident. This is not the first time we've seen the first time a Decepticon logo on this mould, but the previous attempt was Cyberjet Jetfire - making it the first successful attempt.

   The fuselage is composed of a silver plastic which has a faint sheen, and this works well. For some reason mine was scuffed between the wings before I opened the packaging (although not visible inside the bubble). I don't know if this is shoddy workmanship or low quality plastic, but I suspect it's a combination of both.

   There's a little bit of undercarriage junk, namely the silver robot legs and maroon waist. None of it really stands out, and it's dark enough that it blends into the shadow anyway. The rear wheels fold down from his robot legs and the front wheel folds out from under the nose, while the groin sits under the cockpit minding it's own business. One mine at least, the front wheel's hinge is quite loose, and it doesn't take much for him to slump forward. R-Blade has the same problem, so I suspect this is a product of mould degradation.

   Aside from the already mentioned wheels, the swing wings and missile launcher give Wind Sheer pretty good play value for a small toy. The missile launcher is a ball-pressure affair. Basically, you push on the back of the missile until the ball slips out of the claw and the missile flies across the room. The upside is that there aren't any moving parts to wear out, but these aren't as powerful as spring launchers. Wind Sheer comes with a single missile while Air Raid gets two (the pair come with three but the packaging and instructions allocate two to the Autobot). The launcher is on a ball joint, so if you unclip it from the top of the fuselage it'll point in any direction other than those blocked by the tailwings - you can even swing it underneath the plane.

   When Hasbro first used the name Wind Sheer, several fans pointed out that it doesn't make sense - the phenomenon is wind shear - sheer usually applies to pantyhose or cliffs. Now it seems Hasbro have decided to register the name as a trademark. Score one for illiterate corporate America and -1 for attention to detail. Sigh.

   The fuselage doesn't fit together as well as it does on the G2 Cyberjets, they've had to rebuild the main hinges on the fuselage, and the end result is an undercarriage is not quite flush. It's not terribly noticeable but is still a flaw that doesn't need to be there.

   Despite the silly name this _is_ a good jet mode. The mould is a good one and has aged very well. The colour scheme works well in spite of laziness and lack of focus, the Decepticon logo is a nice touch and the play value here is good. Quality control issues do hold him back here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty involved for a small Transformer, and difficult to really describe. Basically, the landing gear folds away and wings retract, the legs swing out from underneath, the front of the jet becomes the front of his torso and the rear his back. The missile launcher becomes his right forearm while the left arm was buried inside the toy.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 7cm

   Again a mix of silver and maroon - he has maroon upper arms and thighs, a maroon right hand and dark grey feet while everything else is essentially silver. The head is silver with a T-shaped transparent yellow face, which makes for an excellent lightpipe. There's still some camo visible on the front of the jet, which is now his chestplate - meaning the Decepticon symbol is central on his chest. The back is pretty much a pile of wings and fins, but it's all close to his centre of gravity so there's not really a problem with stability. His face is a transparent blue "T" shape and works really well as a lightpipe, which is proportionally huge.

   The missile launcher come right hand works just as well in this mode, and if unloaded, the claw is about the right size to be a claw-hand for Wind Sheer. The left hand can hold his missile, but it looks much better in the launcher. The launcher is only half the coolness of this robot mode. The neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball jointed and with the exception of the neck have wide ranges of movement. A wide range of poses are possible, and he can aim his missile and gun or use it as a club.

   I can't really fault this robot mode. Even now the poseability is great for a basic, the colours work very well and the lightpipe works very well, especially amongst the dark colours Wind Sheer wears. The missile fits the colour scheme better than the missiles most previous versions of the mould (Jetfire's also suited well). I can see myself writing a fan spec for this toy, it's much better than the crappy name Hasbro have randomly assigned.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned he was sold with Air Raid.

OVERALL

   It's a great mould and while the engineering is ageing well the mould isn't - there are some problems that aren't present on the G2 versions. This is a nice colour scheme which is unusual for the TFU line, but it's evident the colour scheme just happens to work rather than it there being a lot of deliberation on it. The name is just plain bad and I really wish Hasbro would still recycling it. This is the best of the three Cyberjet moulds but the mould problems along with the stupid name make me appreciate Wind Sheer less than his partner Air Raid. You can skip him if you have the mould already - unless you particularly dig the silver and maroon, but even with the flaws here, I'd recommend Wind Sheer if you don't the Cyberjets - 7/10

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