"Generations" Combiner Wars Stormclash Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Combiner Wars, Deluxe, Generations, Torchbearers

Generations

Stormclash General Information:
Release Date: April 2016
Price Point: $99 (In a boxed set with Dust Up, Jumpstream, Pyra Magna, Rust Dust & Skyburst)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc. - Sales were primarily online)
Accessories: Hands x 2, Feet x 2, Swords x 2, Axe, Shield, Crescent Blade

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Victorion is the first Fan-Built Combiner. Through voting in the Transformers app, fans voted on whether the team would be Autobot or Decepticon characters, their vehicle modes, what the Combiner robot's special power would be, and the name of this Combiner character. Bring home a piece of fan-made history and build a Combiner super robot with this Combiner Wars Victorion collection pack. In the Combiner Wars, teams of Autobots and Decepticons combine into giant super robots and battle with the fate of worlds in the balance. Laws don’t apply in the Sea of Rust, the unstable area of Cybertron where the Rust Renegades learned to work together and survive. When it’s time to stand tall, the team combines to form Victorion, the most relentless and resourceful Combiner.

The helicopter twins Skyburst and Stormclash make Victorion the only Combiner able to fly, and her extreme adaptability makes Victorion the only Combiner who can change her configuration to meet any challenge. Get 6 Rust Renegades figures that combine to form a Victorion Combiner figure. The Voyager Class Pyra Magna figure forms the torso; the Deluxe Class Dust Up, Jumpstream, Skyburst, and Stormclash figures form the arms and legs; and the Legends Class Rust Dust figure becomes Combiner armor. These figures work with other Combiner Wars figures! Combine the Pyra Magna figure with other Deluxe Class Combiner Wars figures or combine the Dust Up, Jumpstream, Skyburst, and Stormclash figures with other Combiner Wars Voyager Class figures to build more Combiner super robots! (Additional figures each sold separately.) The Pyra Magna figure converts from robot to fire truck. The Dust Up and Jumpstream figures convert from robot to sports car, the Skyburst and Stormclash figures convert from robot to helicopter, and the Rust Dust figure coverts from robot to motorcycle. Comes with 5 accessories, a poster, and a Victorion character card. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In 2015 Hasbro held a poll on its web site to give fans a voice in planning out the next Combiner figure to be released. Fans were able to decide on the figure's gender, name, molds, color scheme, special power, place of origin, rival and personality. This extensive poll was much wider in scope than previous fan built Transformers since its results would affect not just one or two characters but an entire team and Combiner robot. The result of this poll was Victorion, the first "Scramble City" style Combiner with all female components. This represents a huge shift for the Transformers toy line. Once upon a time, a team of all female robots at this price point would have been unthinkable from a marketing perspective. However giving fans a say clearly helped push this idea through.

The base mold for Stormclash began life as Alpha Bravo, an Aerialbot. Later it was given a new head and released as Protectobot Blades. More recently the base sculpt was released as the Combaticon Vortex. I'm reviewing this figure after reviewing Skyburst and this figure is so similar to that one I recommend reading that review before this one. I cover most of the critical points on how the figure was changed for this set in the Skyburst review, so check it out! This review will focus on differences between this figure and Skyburst.

Packaging:
The packaging for Victorion resembles the one used for G2 Superion. It is a huge rectangular box with a black background. The side features a vertical "Transformers" logo with the "Generations" logo above it. Most of the box's front features Victorion's poster art. The other side features the poster and card art that is packaged inside the box. Below that are photos of all six team members in vehicle mode. This figure has the distinction of being called "Fan Built" above her name and the "Combiner Wars" logo. The back features a large, vertical photo of the character with a write up about her. The individual character names are broken out along the top of the box with cropped images of each team member.

Accessories:
Stormclash's weapon is a large sword that is almost the height of the figure itself in robot mode. The sword is a gorgeous design and resembles a wing of an insect or a bird's feather in shape. It has a 5mm handle at the bottom with a hand guard over it leading to an angled hilt. The blade is the part that looks most like a wing or feather with lines that curve downward. The sides have tabs on them that are used when combining this weapon with the others to form Victorion's sword. One side of the sword has a 5mm peg that allows it to attach to the vehicle form. Note: the attachment points on this weapon are a mirror image of the sword meant for Skyburst.

The sword is cast in translucent blue plastic. The hilt, hand guard and back edge are all painted silver. The sword blade is painted white with a beautiful blue gradient from the side to the edge of the blade. I love the look of this weapon and it contrasts well against Stormclash herself.

The hands and feet on Victorion are new parts and do not follow the "hand/foot/weapon" design used on most of the "Combiner Wars" figures. Instead the hands are just that, two distinct hands and the feet only serve as feet. While that means Stormclash does not have an "extra" weapon as most "Combiner Wars" figures do, Victorion winds up having all new hand and foot pieces that are distinct from the rest of the line. The only unfortunate result of this is that when the six team members are separated they can't really use the hands and feet as weapons, so you just have to stow them away somewhere.

Vehicle Mode:
Stormclash's vehicle mode deco is very similar to Skyburst's, except it is a mirror image. That means a lot of the red detail found on the right side on Skyburst is instead on the left on this figure. This includes red behind the cockpit of the vehicle and a red line on the tail section. The way Stormclash's personality is written, she is said to be the opposite of Skyburst in many ways, so this "reverse color scheme" makes sense from a thematic standpoint.

If you look at the left side of the figure, you will see several Cybertronian glyphs. These are part of a poem spoken by an ancient Autobot hologram in the G1 episode titled "Cosmic Rust". In that episode the Decepticons come across a planet that has been destroyed by a substance known as "Cosmic Rust". Since the fans voted for the Torchbearers to be from the "Sea of Rust" the designers thought it appropriate for the Torchbearers to each have a piece of this poem "tattooed" onto their bodies as a sign of defiance against something as deadly as Cosmic Rust. For those curious, the poem goes like this:

If Cybertron be your home, far away never roam.
Hear my message, listen and fear.
Danger comes, the end is near!
Just like us, you soon will rust.
All shall be turned to dust.

Some artistic interpretation of the Cybertronian symbols was done for this set, so I'm not exactly sure which character has which part of the poem on them. That said I think it's really cool that this part of G1 history found its way onto the deco of these figures.

Like Skyburst you can use any of the three 5mm ports on the top or bottom of the figure to attach accessories. The various parts of the figure hold together nice and tight and the rotor spins without a problem.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the sword and set it aside for now.
  2. Lift up the helicopter rotor.
  3. Swing the sides of the vehicle out (these are the robot arms).
  4. Swing up the top of the cockpit section.
  5. Split the front of the vehicle and rotate each half up to the sides, pushing in the tabs into the corresponding gaps on the sides.
  6. Swing the bottom of the vehicle's rear half out.
  7. Swing the top half of the vehicle's rear section up then down.
  8. Connect the two halves you just flipped out together, then split the legs.
  9. Rotate the waist around.
  10. Swing the tail section of the helicopter back and down, then push it against the back of the robot.
  11. Turn the tail rotor section to the side.
  12. Swing the rotor section down, then swing up the rotor blades.
  13. Attach the sword to either hand.

Robot Mode:
Stormclash features two main differences from the Skyburst version of this sculpt:

  1. Head: Stormclash's head sculpt is completely different than Skyburst's. At first it may seem like it was the same basic helmet section with a different face, but putting the two side by side you can tell they are different. Both feature panels on the sides of the helmet section, but Stormclash has extra details that go up the side and over the edge of the "helmet". Her crest is slightly different and she has "visor eyes" instead of the thin rectangular eyes found on Skyburst. Of the two I would say I prefer this sculpt as the visor eyes give her the appearance of wearing a flight helmet, which matches the theme of her vehicle mode nicely.
  2. Chest: In keeping with the "mirror image" theme, Stormclash's chest features the same flat panel with a circle on it that Skyburst does, but it is on the right side of the chest instead of the left.

This sculpt uses the same forearm pieces that Skyburst has, featuring a more curved arm section and armor that has the horizontal fins of the vehicle mode sticking out on the sides.

Stormclash's deco is almost the same as Skyburst's except several details are reversed. For instance her Autobot symbol is on the left side of the chest instead of the right and the extra deco on the lower legs is on the left leg, not the right. If you stand the two toys next to each other they really do look like siblings, both similar and distinct all at the same time.

The joints on my copy of Stormclash are just as tight as those on Skyburst. She can also hold her weapon without a problem.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Swing the helicopter rotors in.
  3. Swing the robot arms out to the side.
  4. Split the front end and swing them back to the sides.
  5. Lift up the panels that formed the top of the cockpit section.
  6. Swing the bottom panel of the front end down.
  7. Lift up the rotor section.
  8. Swing the top half of the vehicle's front end out, then extend it forward.
  9. Push the top and bottom halves of the vehicle's front end together.
  10. Rotate the lower half of the body around so the legs can bend as the Combiner's "elbow" joint.
  11. Swing the robot arms back down and push them into the tabs on the sides.
  12. Lift up the rear of the vehicle and push it up and then down (as if you were forming the robot mode).
  13. Swing the robot head down to reveal the Combiner connector piece.
  14. Attach the fist to the end of the arm.

Arm Mode:
From a deco and functionality standpoint, this mode is the same as Skyburst except for the "mirror image" details. This section is being included to make this review as complete as possible.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Swing out the palm portion of the hand/foot piece to flatten it out. The thumb piece should act as a heel.
  3. Swing the back of the vehicle up and back down, just like it would be set in robot mode.
  4. Swing the top part of the cockpit section up.
  5. Split the cockpit itself and swing the parts out against the sides.
  6. Swing the rotor blades up.
  7. Push in the robot head to reveal the connection piece.
  8. Attach the foot piece to the 5mm port revealed in the cockpit area.

The tail/rotor piece can turn so if you want you can rotate it around or at an angle if you don't like it sticking out. It's really an optional feature and not 100% necessary.

Leg Mode:
From a deco and functionality standpoint, this mode is the same as Skyburst except for the "mirror image" details. This section is being included to make this review as complete as possible.

Final Thoughts:
Clearly the reuse of the Alpha Bravo base sculpt was partly a cost saving measure in the development of this set, but I think if you must do that, make it work for the set and by giving the two helicopters a uniting theme of sisterhood it both creates a connection between them and adds some symbolism to the entire set of figures. I still am not crazy about the deco on this figure in terms of color choices. If they were different colors in the exact same pattern I'd probably feel differently. However I recognize some folks may dig the colors regardless so I won't condemn the figure purely based on that factor alone.