Release Year: December 2005
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Motto: "You think I look good now? Wait 'till you see my driving."
Back in mid-2004, pictures leaked of an upcoming Binaltech/Alternator with a head design that was instantly recognizable. Looking just like the G1 character's head, everyone anticipated the release of a Binaltech/Alternator Sunstreaker as a variant on the already released Lambor, who later became Alternators Side Swipe. It was much to everyone's surprise when this toy did come out - as the Destron Dead End, a Stunticon reborn. As the next few Binaltech and Alternators releases came out, it seemed like Sunstreaker would never become a reality, until now. Fourth quarter of 2005 has seen the release of two Sunstreakers, both based on the same sculpt but with different color schemes. The first was Binaltech Sunstreaker, and then came Alternators Sunstreaker.
This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a more detailed review of the sculpt itself, check out Dead End's review.
Sunstreaker was originally written up as the twin-brother of G1 Sideswipe. They shared similar vehicle modes with some differences. That thinking has carried over into Alternators Sunstreaker as he has the same basic vehicle form as Alternators Side Swipe, but modified. The same as Dead End, he has a different spoiler, some additional details along the sides and a top (rather than being open like Side SWipe).
Sunstreaker's deco layout mirrors Dead End's, it just utilizies different colors. His primary color is, of course, yellow. It is a medium shade of yellow, not too light. Running from the front all the way to the rear of the vehicle are two large black racing stripes. Along the sides on the lower portion of the doors are silver details and exhaust pipes painted silver. The headlights are cast in clear plastic instead of the tinged color used on Dead End. On the back of the vehicle, the words "Dodge" and "Viper SRT-10" are still in silver lettering, which makes them a bit hard to read against the yellow, but I believe this was most likely a manufacturer request. The engine/gun piece is the same vacuum metallized silver and light red combination as the ones included with Side Swipe and Dead End.
The largest pattern difference is the license plate, which has an Autobot symbol to the left, and the word "Sunstreaker" to the right. I was somewhat surprised they squeezed the entire name in when Side Swipe's name was shortened down. This looks much nicer.
While the deco design is not new and really just a simple color swap, it works very well. You don't look at this figure and see "Dead End in yellow", you see it and think "Sunstreaker". The black stripes are welcome details, offering the perfect contrast to the yellow.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Lift the hood piece up and remove the engine.
- Split the front of the car and swing down each half.
- You can now see the robot feet. Swing them out.
- Flip up the magnetic tubes (used to link the wheels in vehicle mode)
- Swing the piece the feet are attached to in on each leg.
- Swing the gold heel pieces back against the pieces of the front grill on each leg.
- Rotate the feet around so the front of the feet point the same way as the painted leg details.
- Separate the front windshield piece from the top/rear window portion of the car.
- Swing the rear portion of the car back a bit.
- Lift the windshield up a bit.
- Twist the lower body section around.
- Swing the arms out to the sides, then straight out the arms/fists.
- Push the steering wheel inside the car down.
- Swing down the piece of the robot attached to the arms.
- Flip the robot head back.
- Push in the front windshield to hold the chest piece in place.
- Flip the rear window piece into the car's back piece, then swing it all the way back, and then collapse it against the back of the robot.
- Flip out the barrel in the engine and place it into Dead End's hand.
The robot mode is the form where this sculpt's new colors really get to shine. Clearly the designers were trying to emulate the G1 color scheme as best they could. With most of the yellow parts on the back of this form, there is a fairly good distribution of yellow, black, red and silver that work together to create one good looking robot.
The best thing about Sunstreaker is that his yellow is prominant in this form, but does not overwhelm it. Yellow is a tricky color to work with on a Transformer because it can so easily make a toy look like a knock-off if not applied just right. Here it is used very well. Sunstreaker's neck, shoulders, car doors and the sides of his legs are all cast in yellow plastic. In contrast, much of the central part of the body, from the lower legs, to feet and the chest are all mostly cast in black. The upper legs and lower arms are cast in silver. Of course, paint deco is where more detail gets filled in. The robot head is painted perfectly. The face is silver with blue eyes and the lines within the two parts protruding from either side of his head are yellow. His chest plate is yellow with silver in the center and a large, tampographed Autobot symbol to boot. The upper arms are painted red, which is significant as this was a color detail borrowed from the G1 Sunstreaker whose upper arms were partially red as well. The upper legs are painted yellow towards the middle. The lower legs are the most ornate, with silver and red details that even overlap around the knee area.
Sunstreaker has twenty four points of articulation. This includes the waist, several points in the legs and hands.
Despite "just" being a redeco, the fact is this is the color scheme and character this mold was intended to be, and I am happy to see it finally take form. Highly recommended!