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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Festive December - Sandstorm


"Sandstorm was built to survive for extended periods in the harshest climates. Anything Earth can throw at him, he can endure and come out smiling. He requires the same fortitude from his human partner, Private Dedcliff, a Special Forces survival expert with years of experience. Together, they hunt Decepticons in the most remote places on the planet."

Generation: Live Action Movies
Toyline: Dark of the Moon
Faction: Autobot
Size Class: Basic Human Alliance

Strength: 6
Intelligence: 5
Speed: 5
Endurance: 8
Rank: 4
Courage: 8
Fireblast: 4
Skill: 4

Robot Mode
Sandstorm is a mostly green robot with some grey, black and red parts as well. His Autobot insignia is located on the very top of his chest.

Sandstorm's chest is concealed behind a black panel that can be opened outwards so you can either pretend to have him bear the Matrix or something or you can have his human partner sit on it as a chair. He features some pipes at either side that you can lower by about 90 degrees if needed. Sandstorm's head is connected to the torso by a pivot joint that allows it to rotate fully allowing him to look to either side. His waist is able to rotate on a pivot joint, so he can gyrate as needed. You can also store his gun on the bar on his back thanks to his C-Clip, which is quickly becoming a common feature on Transformers.
His head is stylized like most other Movie continuity figures but prominently features a silver face area with mouth, nose and chin, a pair of blue eyes and a red upside down trident style head decoration.

Sandstorm's arms are connected to the upper torso by a connector piece and a ball joint allowing it to move very freely as needed. His shoulders feature his rear vehicle mode wheels, but thye don't interfere with his mobility at all. His elbow joint is created with a ball joint meaning that it can bend inwards and to the sides as far as needer for poses, the hands are connected to the lower arms by a hinge joint that allows it to bend inwards by about 90 degrees. His hands are simply sculpted with digits and details, so they aren't actually articulated, however he does feature a standard peg hole allowing him to hold his supplied gun in either hand.
If you want to, you can fold his hands in and use his vehicle mode triple exhaust pipes as a retractable gun in this mode too.

The upper legs are connected to the lower torso by a ball joint at the sides of the groin allowing them as free a movement as possible without obstructions. The knees are created from a pivot joint that allows them to bend backwards b about 90 degrees (like a normal knee). His feet are connected to the lower legs by a pivot-ball joint combination that allows them to be positioned in pretty much any way needed depending upon the standing surface it's on. Despite having the front vehicle wheels on the sides of his feet he can't skate on them (aww).

Vehicle Mode
Sandstorm's vehicle mode is a mostly green military dune buggy which features an exposed driver's cockpit which features a seat for the driver and an immobile steering wheel.
The vehicle mode also features a pair of triple piped exhaust pipes at the rear (which can be raised upwards if needed) and a set of four large brown treaded wheels, which are fully mobile, so ong at the surface is flat and smooth. He also features some sculpted headlights etc that you'd expect to see on a ground based vehicle Transformer.
Sandstorm features a strange connector at the back which doesn't seem to do anything, however it has to be rotated around depending on what mode he's in, so maybe it does have a purpose, or it used to have one, I'm not sure.
Sandstorm's gun (and any C-Clip compatible weapons as well) can be clipped onto the buggy's bars to gun him an extra weapon if desired.

Base Mode
The "base mode" is essentially a folded out version of Sandstorm's vehicle mode. The main changes are that he's been rendered immobile thanks to his wheels being off the ground, although he is still stable thanks to some support struts etc. His vehicle mode exhaust pipes have been turned into guns in this mode and also come with some levers/handles for the operator to manipulate.
The vehicle mode cockpit has been retained, but flipped over by 90 degrees, meaning that the operator sits down on what was the back of the chair and leans against what was the seat before. An added feature that wasn't accessible in the other modes are some deployable missiles that are extended by just pushing the seat backwards.
Sandstorm's gun is able to be connected to any of the bars available by using the C-Clip, like in the previous mode too.

Private Dedcliff
Dedcliff is just an annoying little figure designed to interact with Sandstorm when in his alternate modes (as shown here) he doesn't do anything too spectacular, he has bendable areas on his upper legs, knees and shoulders. He has disturbing little dead black eyes, so I like to pretend that he's just a holo-avatar for him to use (considering he's an open-top vehicle). I tend to just keep him locked up in a box with the other human figures in my collection.

My Thoughts

I actually really like this figure, he's small, so he's affordable all three of his modes are interesting and fun to play with and he even comes with a small human to act as a holo-avatar (or a real human if you prefer to use toys as they're meant to)
Over all this is probably my favourite non-screen character toy from the DOTM line so far (as of the end of 2011 anyway) so I'd strongly advise anyone to buy him, he'd make a good Christmas present to either a friend, family member or even to you!
Also a weird thing I've noticed is that Sandstorm is very similar in basic design to the Cybertron series toy Hardtop, who also turns into a military buggy, has a removable gun and some very striking similarities to Sandstorm...maybe this guy was intended as an update on his toy?

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