KRE-O Microchangers Sunstorm Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, KRE-O, Microchangers

KRE-O Transformers

General Information:
Release Date: August 2012
Price Point: $2.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Parts List:

  • Helmet
  • Head
  • Torso/arms x 2
  • Wings
  • Waist/Legs
  • Weapons x 2
  • Weapon handle/tailfins
  • Cone piece
  • Connector tube

Images:

*Images above with an asterisk(*) are from both the Official Hasbro KRE-O site and the Official Transformers web site.

One of the biggest demands made by fans after KRE-O was revealed was the chance to purchase the cute little KREON figures separate from the larger (and more pricey) playsets. Hasbro listened, and in 2012 the "Microchangers" sub-line of KRE-O was released. This sub-line focuses on the KREONs themselves instead of larger playsets. Assembling and reassembling is still part of the play factor, but these guys are a lot faster to convert from one form to the other given their small size and limited parts. For the most part, these are recycled parts from other figures in new colors and put together in creative ways to represent characters spanning different eras of "Transformers" history.

The first Micro Changers released were the "Preview" wave, a set of six characters who were "blind packed" in bags in a cardboard box case. On the surface, it appears you just have to keep buying these until yo have tons of extras, but in fact each KREON has a code printed on the bag that tells you just who is who. The codes for this assortment break down as follows:

  • Crankstart - A1010 (214510)
  • Galvatron - A1008 (214518)
  • Scorponok - A1011 (214511)
  • Spinister - A1007 (214517)
  • Sunstorm - A1009 (214519)
  • Waspinator - A1012 (214512)

Back in the first episode of the "Generation One" cartoon, several "generic" Decepticons were used during the scenes on Cybertron. One of them was a guy who looked a lot like the "Seeker jets" (aka Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp) but their colors were completely different. Years later, one of these characters was retroactively added into Transformers continuity as "Sunstorm", the name partly inspired by his orange colors shown in the cartoon. As time has gone along, Sunstorm has popped up in the "Transformers" toy line now and then. Once he showed up as an alternate universe version of himself and more recently he appeared as one of Starscream's clones in "Transformers: Animated". Now he's part of the KRE-O universe as one of the first "Micro-Changer" figures.

Vehicle Assembly:

  • Slide the wing piece to the lower body with the wings angling upward.
  • Attach the upper body piece to the lower body/wings assembly.
  • Attach the head.
  • Attach the connector tube (the orange piece) to the top of the head. Then connect the cone piece to that connector, forming the vehicle's nosecone.
  • Connect the weapon handle piece to the legs at the back of the vehicle, forming the rear fins on the jet.
  • Attach each of the blasters to the arms, ensuring they are pointing forward.

Vehicle Mode:
Most Transformers fans are used to the aerial members of the Decepticons transforming into vehicles that somewhat resemble or represent Earth vehicles. In the original series, many transformed into the F-15, which cemented that image in the minds of fans for decades to come. However, before Starscream and gang came to Earth, they transformed into a very different vehicle, a triangular shaped jet that appeared in the first episode of the original "Transformers" series. It seems in some ways this vehicle mode is using that, not an F-15 or F-22 as its base design, but then goes in a different direction. Like the "triangle jet", his wings sweep back, but here they sweep upwards whereas the "triangle jets" had them in a different position. He does still look "triangular" though. Between the wings and the nosecone, he definitely has the feel of a more alien vehicle and not an Earth based jet.

I like the use of the weapon "handle" piece as his rear stabilizer fins. Even more fun, the handles on that piece wind up looking like blasters here, suggesting he has more weaponry than just the two rifles under his wings. While he doesn't include additional blasters beyond the ones that attach to his arms, you can attach a KREON sized blaster to the small hole in the center of the vehicle.

Sunstorm's colors all harken back to other incarnations of the character, with yellow, orange and white being the main colors. All that brightness gets a bit of a break by the grey on the head, but overall this figure is instantly recognizable to fans in the know. The translucent purple on the weapons looks fantastic and adds a nice visual element to the combination of colors, and the purple is a nice reminder that this guy is a Decepticon.

Robot Assembly:

  • Attach the wings to the upper body piece so the wings angle back.
  • Attach the torso/arms/wings section to the lower body.
  • Attach the head to the upper body.
  • Slide the helmet over the head.
  • Attach each weapon to one of the arms.
  • Attach the cone and tube pieces to the flat part of the rear stabilizer/fin piece.
  • The combined weapon piece can be held in both of Sunstorm's hands.

Robot Mode:
While the vehicle mode is not based heavily on the G1 Seeker design, the robot mode for Sunstorm definitely is! The helmet on top of the head piece here is the iconic design for the Seeker heads, including a dual crest on the top and vents on the sides. The weapons attached to his arms are based on the iconic arm mounted Seeker rifles with little fins on the ends and a barrel that narrows towards the front, then gets wider before narrowing again at the end. The final design touch comes in the torso deco, which uses black to create the outline of a cockpit in the center and rectangles on the sides similar to those found on the G1 Seeker jets. Even if you don't recognize his colors, most fans will instantly recognize him as a member of Starscream's fliers!

Orange and yellow are the primary colors in this form, with the fists cast in white. His head is grey, but has a pair of narrowed red eyes with black outline (and even a hint of a brow) and a face set in a rather unhappy expression.

Sunstorm's weapon is an interesting "cannon" of sorts. It's pretty much made up to utilize his remaining parts in this form, but I really appreciate that. It's a bit annoying when you have tons of pieces left over from one mode to the other, so I appreciate the effort to integrate the remaining parts into the robot form as an accessory.

Final Thoughts:
The Seeker design is one of the most basic among the Transformers, so much so it has been reinvented over and over across the years. This little guy is a great KRE-O style rendition of a Seeker and I really love the way he looks. Also kudos for working all the parts into the robot mode. Recommended!