"Transformers Universe 2.0" Acid Storm Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: August 2008
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Missile launchers x 2

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
A member of an obscure squad of DECEPTICON air warriors known only as "The Rainmakers," ACID STORM is known as an individual only to his teammates and a very few others. He is highly intelligent, eager, and dedicated utterly to the DECEPTICON cause. He has a talent for marshalling vast amounts of data, as well as a way with words that would make him a powerful speaker. However, he prefers to remain anonymous, as part of his team. His hyperion3 blasters can seed natural clouds with a highly destructive form of acid rain.

In robot mode, this fierce-looking DECEPTICON figure features camo deco and twin missile blasters on each arm! Convert to jet vehicle mode and the blasters become twin missile launchers – ready to take on enemy forces!

By most conventional logic, Acid Storm shouldn't exist as a figure. He represents an interesting combination of fan involvement with Hasbro that many would have thought impossible say, fifteen or so years ago. But first, who is Acid Storm? Back in the days of the G1 cartoon, a team of Autobots ventured to Cybertron to recover a device to save their damaged leader, Optimus Prime in the episode "Divide and Conquer". During this mission, they encountered a group of Decepticon Seekers who created a rainstorm of acid rain. Most fans dismissed it as a one off scene, but fellow fan Matthew Karpowich (who also goes by the screen name of "Monzo") gathered information on many obscure characters, including Acid Storm and presented it to Hasbro. Using this as its base, Hasbro attempted to trademark the names "Rainmaker" and then "Acid Rain" for the character, but due to legal considerations had to settle for "Acid Storm" (this was announced at Botcon 2008's Hasbro panel). When writing the bio for the character, Matt was given due consideration by referencing his "talent for marshalling vast amounts of data" and "hyperion3 blasters", which references one of his email addresses.

It simply isn't common for a toy company to take both an obscure character from a twenty something year old cartoon, add in references to a fan and actually make a toy of it. In that sense Acid Storm is a triumph representing how far the Transformers fan base has come in influencing the development of the very brand they love.

In the G1 cartoon, Acid Storm was based off the G1 Seeker design, and so it was appropriate for the Classics Starscream Seeker mold to be used for this redeco. Check out Starscream's review for a detailed look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the deco for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
During his brief appearance in the G1 cartoon, Acid Storm was colored neon green and looked quite garish. However, for all the "Universe" decos, the designers have attempted to use a semi-realistic color palette, and thus Acid Storm's colors were toned down significantly. His base color is a metallic green. A bit of grey blue plastic is found on parts like the nosecone and hinges on the sides, but green is the dominating color. Black is used for smaller parts such as the ends of his missile launchers and thrusters. The cockpit is sculpted in translucent orange plastic, with the interior cast in green.

While the metallic green is really nice on Acid Storm, it is the set of paint applications that really make the look of this jet. Using a traditional army camouflage pattern, Acid Storm employs a brown "field drab" color with yellow to form several rounded and curved patterns extending from the nosecone all the way to the stabilizers in the rear of the jet. Green paint is used for the raised non-glass sections of the cockpit, blending very nicely with the metallic green. Decepticon symbols have been painted black on both wings and vertical stabilizers, a display of a warrior definitely proud of his heritage. A final, tiny touch that I love are bright orange tips painted onto the lights towards the end of each wing. This adds a bit to the implied realism of the figure and one can almost imagine those wing lights blinking on and off.

Robot Mode:
Acid Storm's robot mode offers up both brighter and darker tones, but keeps consistent with his existing color scheme. Green is still the base color, making up most of his torso, lower legs, missile launchers and half the arms. The grey blue color comes into play as well on the missile launchers (they act as the triggers) and his thighs. The color that darkens everything down a bit is black, which is now seen on his missile launchers, lower arms, feet and head. This is a nice balance of base colors, and while not utilizing camouflage in this form, it still keeps in spirit with the look of the character.

Paint applications are done in yellow (a brighter shade than the one in vehicle form), black, silver and blue grey. The yellow color contrasts the most with the darker green and black on the figure. It's used on the protrusions on either side of his head, the shoulders and knees. Black is found on the head and the top of the chest. The blue grey color is used on parts of the torso above and to the right and left of the jet cockpit. The face is painted silver and his eyes are translucent orange.

I really like this color scheme. I think it would have been really easy to simply take a bunch of camo lines and just run them all over the robot mode, but it would have looked rather odd. The duality of having a very "real life military" looking vehicle mode and then a cleaner color scheme with defined lines in robot mode embraces the very core of Transformers, changing from one form to another and having each look distinctive.

Final Thoughts:
Acid Storm is an excellent redeco of a very nicely made sculpt. In addition, he doesn't have any loose parts or weaknesses you'd expect from a figure created from a set of tools that have been run for over four iterations of the same figure. While I do highly recommend it, I'm the kind of fan who has no problem buying a sculpt I already own if the deco is strong enough. However, it is possible that you may already own this figure five times over and are not sure if you want another. If that's the case, I'd recommend taking a hard look at the photos before deciding, and also mess around with the ones you already own to see if you really like the sculpt itself that much.

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