Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Toy Review: Transformers Generations Brainstorm


Review:  #208
Name:  Brainstorm
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Autobot
Line:  Generations
Year of Release:  2014
Size Class:  Voyager (Wave 8)
Variations:  none as of this date

JET MODE:


Brainstorm transforms into a futuristic jet with a huge nosecone, he is very faithful to the original G1 toy.


Unfortunately, the jet isn't that great.  The arms are obviously the sides of the jet and the legs just stick out the back with no effort to hide it.


This causes some undercarriage issues.  The two guns on the nosecone are removable.  There is also a flip out front landing gear.


Size-wise, Brainstorm benefits from being a jet in that the wingspan allows him to look bigger than he actually is.  Still, he is a decent size, despite feeling somewhat light, especially compared to Generations Springer.


Now, we shall diverge a bit and focus onto the Headmaster.  Brainstorm is the first updated Headmaster toy since years (not counting Armada Overload or Energon Omega Supreme).  While he is not explicitly named, this is undeniably Arcana.


Unfortunately Brainstorm's face is clearly visible on his back.


The head is on a balljoint and is super tiny.


Articulation is limited to the balljointed head and arms.  A common complaint is that the arms are the whole side panels of the head, which looks horrible.


A cool feature is that Brainstorm's cockpit open up and you can place Arcana inside.


A passable jet mode.  I felt that the designer focused too much upon making the robot look good that this mode was more like an afterthought.  The amount of kibble is laughable considering the engineering advances over the years and also considering the complexity of Generations figures we've been getting like Springer and Rhinox.

TRANSFORMATION:


The transformation mirrors the G1 figure and is very simple.  This was a little bit disappointing considering that we've had some complex figures before in the same line in earlier waves and the jet mode could have done with some improvements.  Anyway, you fold the nosecone up and the arms and legs down.  The best part I guess is the attachment of the Headmaster, which also flips down some tech specs in his chest.  A common issue is that the Headmaster attachment is too tight in the socket and you could end up detaching the balljoint instead of the head.  I found that pushing the joint forward towards you and then pulling makes it slightly easier to get it off.

ROBOT MODE:


Brainstorm's robot mode looks like absolute perfection.  It captures the character well and has fantastic aesthetics.  The sleek proportions makes it seem not so much as a Transformer but kinda similar to Gundam and other mecha properties.


He does carry the nosecone on his back as a big chunk of kibble.  However, since it is hollow, it doesn't give him any weight issues.


The head sculpt is really nice and he has a balljoint for a neck too.


In terms of size, he is quite tall and if you have the wings left out, he's wide.  In summary, Brainstorm is big and imposing.


As mentioned earlier, plugging in the Headmaster activates a spring loaded level which flips down tech specs.  This is the back of the cockpit seat.


Brainstorm's poseability is decent.  His arms have a lot of range thanks to the transformation, covering double jointed elbows and a swivel.


I found that the wrists are a bit loose in that they swing around and not enough friction to hold them fully flipped out.  We're also missing some wrist swivels.


A really cool thing is that Brainstorm has ratchets for hips, knees and shoulders.  The ones for his hips are really strong though.


Brainstorm's weapons are a pair of guns which you detach from the nosecone.


If you like, you can leave them attached which ends up behind his head.


The guns look quite nice and you can get some decent dual wielding poses out of him.


Brainstorm is lacking a waist swivel, which is a shame. His waist skirts are also adjustment if you need to get them out of the way.


The feet are on swivels to assist his balance.  Furthermore, they're long and makes Brainstorm very stable.


One of the good things it that even though Brainstorm has a fair few hollow parts, they're sealed so you don't actually see the hollowness.


An amazing robot mode that makes for a great display piece.  This is clearly the better mode and what the designer focused upon.

OVERALL:

Brainstorm is a good toy.  While he's simple, this just means converting between modes is faster.  He makes for a good display piece and is also a solid toy in his own right.  Considering that his is also a Headmaster, something that hasn't been done for a while, it is a nice refreshing gimmick.  Brainstorm is highly recommended.

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