"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Ion Storm Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Seeker, Target Exclusive, Voyager, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: July 2019
Price Point: $79.99
Retailer: Target.com
Accessories: HPI Null-Ray Laser Launchers x 6

*Special thanks to fellow fan Jason S. for racing out to his Target and picking up this set for me when I was unable to find it in my area!

Acid Storm

Official images and text below in italics are from Target.com:
Highlights

  • BUILD THE ULTIMATE BATTLEFIELD: Discover an expansive ecosystem of collectible figures and weapon accessories with Siege figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability).
  • EXPAND YOUR SEEKER ARMY COLLECTION: Imagine raining down terror from above with this exclusive 3-pack. Pack includes WFC-S52 Seeker Acid Storm, WFC-S53 Seeker Ion Storm, and WFC-S54 Seeker Nova Storm.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE WEAPON LOADOUT: Each Seekers figure includes 2 RM Storm-Range Null-Ray Laser Launcher accessories. Figures features multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapon ports to attach weapons, enabling custom configurations in bot and vehicle modes.
  • G1-INSPIRED CYBERTRONIAN ALT MODE: These Voyager Class Seekers toys features classic conversion from robot to Cybertronian jet mode in 22 steps.
  • ADD BATTLE EFFECTS: Attach Fire Blasts accessories (not included. Included with Battle Masters figures. Each sold separately. Subject to availability) to the ends of weapon accessories to add battle effects.

Build the ultimate battlefield with Siege figures (each sold separately). Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. The Decepticon resistance army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters gear up with the C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian Omnifuctional Modular Battlefield Assault Tech) System, the universe's most advanced modular weaponry.
Expand your Seekers army collection and imagine raining down terror from above with this exclusive Seekers 3-pack, featuring 3 Voyager Class figures: Seeker Acid Storm, Seeker Ion Storm, and Seeker Nova Storm.

- Includes Transformers Generations War for Cybertron: Siege Voyager Class WFC-S52 Seeker Acid Storm, WFC-S53 Seeker Ion Storm, and WFC-S54 Seeker Nova Storm figures, 6 accessories, and instructions.
- Figure scale: 7 inches
- Ages 8 and up
- Warning: Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.
Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

As part of a set of Target exclusive Transformers in the summer of 2019, a set of three Seekers was released as the "Rainmakers". These characters originally appeared in the Generation One episode "Divide and Conquer" as a trio of Decepticons on Cybertron who actually created a "toxic rain" that disabled the Autobots. Ion Storm was the blue colored member of that team and only appeared on screen briefly in the episode.

The base sculpt for this figure was originally released as Starscream. More recently retools and redecos of this base sculpt were released as Red Wing and Thundercracker, so check out those reviews. This review will focus on the changes made the figure for this release.

Packaging:
The Rainmakers three pack is a very impressive set. Each figure in it is a Voyager Class, so the box is rather large. Each Seeker is in robot mode laid out across the box with a large window showing them off. In a fun Easter Egg, the three are standing in the order they appeared in right before they transform and take off in "Divide and Conquer" (see screenshot above). Each Seeker has a chyron with their name near them: "Seeker Acid Storm", "Seeker Ion Storm" and "Seeker Nova Storm", though for the purposes of this review I will omit "Seeker" from the name. The illustration on the side of the box shows all three Rainmakers in vehicle mode. The back of the box shows off each Seeker in both robot and vehicle mode. The packaging calls out 22 step transformations for each. This is a very impressive looking set in box!

Accessories:
Ion Storm includes two "HPI Null-Ray Laser Launchers". These are loosely based on the iconic Seeker weapons usually seen mounted on his arms in animation and comic books. However, the design of the Null-Rays winds up looking more like a flat rifle, complete with a targeting scope on top. That said, the front and back ends of the Null-Rays do recall the designs from the G1 cartoon (and other media) so the design lineage of the Null-Ray is present even if a bulk of the weapon design is new. The Null-Rays each have an attachment point for Blast Effects on the front and back. Personally I would have preferred the term "Null Ray" remaining as Starscream's weapons and not applied to all the Seekers but that's a minor quibble.

These weapons are cast in the same blue plastic as Ion Storm with no paint applications. Each weapon features a 5mm port and an attachment point at the end for attaching Fire Blasts effect pieces included with Battle Master figures. Personally, I would have preferred Null Rays that better reflected the look of the original Seeker weapons from the toy or cartoon, but they are really nicely sculpted with tons of detail.

Robot Mode:
This three pack uses the Voyager Class Starscream sculpt as its foundation, but while it features three Voyager Class figures, it is priced about $10 USD cheaper than one might expect. Each figure winds up costing about $26.66 USD instead of the retail price of $29.99. This was largely achieved by reducing the amount of deco points on each figure. Ion Storm is mostly blue plastic with some smaller parts cast in black. Silver is used to paint the same "battle damage" pattern seen on the other Seekers in Siege. Silver is also used on the face with red in the eyes. Some gunmetal grey is used on the wings along with purple Decepticon symbols. Like the other figures in this set, a white stripe runs across the middle of the body and gunmetal grey is used on the chest turbines. For those curious, the blue plastic used on this figure is not the same color as Thundercracker. Thundercracker is a darker blue. That said, the photographers did make one mistake: the official product photography for Ion Storm shows Thundercracker's vehicle mode (with its red marks) instead of Ion Storm! Given that, any confusion between the two is perfectly understandable.

There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure. This includes six on each arm and leg and waist articulation. Due to the way most Seeker sculpts are constructed, it is not common for Seekers to have waist articulation so I was very surprised by this. All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight.

Ion Storm has thirteen 5mm ports in this mode. Each arm has three (including the fists), each wing has one, the thrusters on the back count as three and the others are on the sides of the lower legs. This allows you to attach a lot of accessories to the figure. Even better, each port is nice and tight so weapons don't go flopping around. Ion Storm also features several smaller attachment points for Blast Effects (included with Battle Master figures). You will find these on the left shoulder, the forearms and the lower legs. Attach the Blast Effects and it looks like he is getting hit with weapons fire. It is a very cool way to display the figure, however at the same time the pegs do not ruin the aesthetic of the figure if you do not have Blast Effects attached. Want to do more with Blast Effects? There are ports on the bottom of his feet, making him look like he is flying. One more bit of functionality is a small port on the bottom of the crotch area. This is for use with display stands typically made by Bandai for display.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the lower part of each forearm out to the sides.
  4. Rotate the fists in, then swing the forearm panel back in place.
  5. Push the forearms up against the shoulders.
  6. Holding the wings and pylons, gently pull that entire section back. This will reveal tabs on the back of the figure.
  7. Rotate the lower body around.
  8. Swing the pylons down and clip them together to form part of the vehicle's nosecone.
  9. Swing the torso panel up.
  10. Swing the robot head back. The black panel it sits on should go through the slot and the edge should show where the robot chest was located.
  11. Swing the arms forward at the shoulder hinges.
  12. Swing the thrusters from the back of the robot mode up, then back.
  13. Swing the robot legs back, partially covering the thighs with the back of the lower legs.
  14. Swing the robot arms down. Rotate the forearm sections so the slots on them snap into the tabs on the sides of the legs.
  15. Swing the wings down. Tab them under the back of the nosecone section (near where the robot knees are located).
  16. Swing the torso panel up, pushing it into the tabs on the back.
  17. Attach the Null Rays to the 5mm ports on the bottom of the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Ion Storm mostly shows off blue plastic in vehicle mode. The tip of the nosecone and the edges of the wings are painted dark grey. The cockpit is painted translucent orange. On either side of the middle section are purple Decepticon symbols. The "damage" pattern in this mode is the same pattern used on the other Seekers who used this sculpt but painted in silver. Some fans would have preferred each Seeker having a distinctive pattern, and I totally get that but it doesn't ruin for me at all. Interestingly this mode winds up looking like it has more deco on it than the robot mode thanks to the grey sections and it looks good.

There are four 5mm ports on the underside of the jet, but you really cannot use all four at a time because of the position they are in. I prefer to use the ones under the wings instead of the arms. Meanwhile, there are five attachment points in the back for Blast Effects. There are the three thrusters on the top section and the thrusters formed from the robot feet. If you have the Null-Rays attached, you can utilize their attachment points for the Blast Effects, adding even more "thruster power" in the back and making it look like he is firing his weapons at the same time.

Final Thoughts:
Ion Storm comes very close to looking like Thundercracker, and if he was an individual release he may be a harder sell so he works best as part of a multi-pack. The whole set is well worth the money and a fantastic way to bolster your Seeker army. However, unlike the Micromaster 10 Pack released alongside this set, this three pack was difficult to locate in stores and only became available online sporadically so unless you snap it up within the Summer/Fall 2019 time period you may wind up paying a fairly hefty after market price for it. Recommended with reservations.

Pros:

  • Fantastic sculpt.
  • Good deco.
  • Lots of play value and articulation.
  • Intuitive transformation.

Cons:

  • Extra "greebles" may bother some fans.
  • The "damage" pattern is not unique (but it still looks good).