"Generations" War for Cybertron: Earthrise Sunstreaker Toy Review

01/27/21

General Information
Release Date: October 2020
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Rocket Boosters/Blaster

Official images and text in italics are from Amazon.com

  • DISCOVER EARTHRISE: The siege is over, but the War for Cybertron has just begun. The Autobots and Decepticons have left Cybertron, but their battle rages on as they speed through space in pursuit of the Allspark
  • BUILD THE BATTLEFIELD BEYOND: This ecosystem of collectible figures allows fans to build out epic space battle scenes, featuring figures that can convert into Modular Battle Station modes and connect together to expand the battlefield (each sold separately, subject to availability)
  • G1 EARTH MODES AND WEAPONS: Sunstreaker toy converts into classic G1 sportscar mode in 15 steps and comes with a blaster accessory.
  • EXCITING REVEAL: Every pack includes a piece of the Transformers Universe map and a red decoder to unlock the map's hidden paths! Collect other Earthrise figures to piece together the full map! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability)

Build the Battlefield Beyond -- The siege is over, but the War for Cybertron has just begun. The Autobots and Decepticons have left Cybertron, but their battle rages on as they speed through space in pursuit of the Allspark. Now, fighters must instantly adapt to battle anywhere in the cosmos. With the advanced A. I. R. (Adaptable Interconnection Retrofitter) Locks system, fighters don’t head to the battlefield -- they become it. Bots capable of converting to Modular Battle Stations can A. I. R. -Lock together in custom configurations to fit the needs of battle. Earthrise collectible figures allow fans to build out epic space battle scenes, featuring figures that can convert into Modular Battle Station modes and connect together to expand the battlefield (each sold separately, subject to availability). The skilled Autobot warrior, Sunstreaker, converts to classic sportscar mode in 15 steps. Includes a blaster accessory.

Sunstreaker is one of my favorite Transformers characters. This goes back (gulp) over thirty years ago when a family member purchased several of my first G1 figures. One of these was the original Sunstreaker. For many years Sunstreaker was at the forefront of my Autobot battles. Since he was described as a warrior in his tech specs I always had him placed as an extra tough Autobot. I loved the sleek look of his vehicle mode too. Since then I have always been happy when new versions of the character appeared in the line. Some of these include:

Robot Mode:
Sunstreaker is a new sculpt created for Earthrise but the figure shares engineering with Earthrise Wheeljack. While the two figures do not share any parts, they have very similar transformation schemes but that is about where the similarities end.

Like many recent Generations releases, this figure is intended to be a "modernized" version of the character that takes design cues from the original G1 representations of the character. These include:

  • Head: The head sculpt features Sunstreaker's distinct round helmet with "ear flaps" coming up to a point on the sides.
  • Torso: Sunstreaker's torso is formed from the top section of the vehicle mode including a trapezoid shaped indentation on top.
  • Shoulder: Each shoulder has a rectangular section on top with beveled details on the sides. These are based on accessories that attached to G1 Sunstreaker's shoulders.
  • Forearms: The forearms are rectangular and blocky with a series of lines wrapping around near the elbows.
  • Lower legs: The front panels on the lower legs feature some mechanical greebles, similar to G1 Sunstreaker.
  • Feet: The front of the vehicle mode splits to form the feet, so each has a curved shape with headlights on the sides.
  • Weapon: Sunstreaker's blaster can attach to his back to store away. A bit of it extends upward behind the head, looking like G1 Sunstreaker's head which was attached to a similar looking piece.

Sunstreaker is made up of yellow, black and translucent blue plastic. The yellow plastic looks good, but where the colors have caused some fans a bit of consternation is the yellow paint used on the translucent blue chest panel. The yellow paint does not quite match up with the yellow plastic. The thing is, this is more noticable in some lighting conditions than others. Different cameras also register the colors slightly differently. Fans have seemed to notice that higher end cell phone cameras tend to pick up this difference more than regular point and shoot cameras, but I am sure a photography expert would know better than I why this is the case. I will say to the naked eye this difference is a lot less pronounced and I think he looks good. Other colors include silver on the face, blue on the eyes and a red Autobot symbol on the chest. These colors are largely based on the cartoon model and not so much the G1 action figure and I am okay with that.

There are twenty points of articulation on Sunstreaker. This includes four points in each arm and five in each leg. Sunstreaker has eleven 5mm ports that you can use to attach accessories. Each arm has three (shoulder, forearm and fist) and each leg has two (back of the leg and bottom of the foot). He also has one on the back (mentioned above). His "rocket pack"/blaster weapon has a 5mm peg allowing you to attach it to his hand or any other of these points. I do wish he had a weapon like his "missile hand" from G1 and/or the shoulder rockets seen on the G1 figure and animation model. There are three attachment points for Blast Effects on Sunstreaker. There is one on each forearm and one on the right leg. These help simulate him being "hit" by "weapons fire".

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Point the feet downward, pushing it up against the edges of the windshield on the back of the legs.
  4. Swing the chest panel down.
  5. Swing the robot head into the chest cavity.
  6. Rotate the arms so they are raised up.
  7. Rotate the torso piece around (it is connected to a large swivel joint).
  8. Swing the arms down and in.
  9. Swing each robot fist into the forearms.
  10. Rotate the forearms around, then swing the forearms together.
  11. Swing each lower leg up and over the thighs, then push them together.
  12. Swing the torso piece forward to complete the top of the vehicle.
  13. Attach the blaster to the middle 5mm port on the back.

Vehicle Mode:
In G1 Sunstreaker transformed into a Lamborghini Countach, a sleek and futuristic looking sports car. Specifically Sunstreaker transformed into the LP5000 variant of the vehicle, but this car looks much more like the LP400. The most distinctive feature of this variant is the very thin front end. The designs on the windows and the rear of the vehicle also echo some of the designs on the rear of the L400. The blaster accessory sits on top of the vehicle, calling back to the panel where G1 Sunstreaker's head was hidden in vehicle mode. It is pretty impressive how close this design skirts the edge of looking like the real life vehicle, but it is just at the edge of needing a trademark and it looks great.

Unfortunately, there is one design choice made that I'm not crazy about, though I understand it. The 5mm ports on the forearms wind up at the back of the vehicle where you would expect there to be accessories that would form a spoiler in the back of the vehicle. However there is no spoiler so there winds up just being two holes in the back of the vehicle, which looks odd. The thing is, the L400 did not have a spoiler in the back, so this totally makes sense in that respect, but personally I would have liked something to fill in that area.

This mode is mostly yellow and it shows off the translucent blue on the cabin section beautifully. Yellow paint is used on the back and black paint can be seen in the front. The vehicle's colors definitely evoke the original Sunstreaker, but yes, the yellow paint on the cabin section does not 100% match the yellow plastic (see my commentary on that above).

Final Thoughts:
Earthrise Sunstreaker is a solid figure. Both modes pay homage to G1 Sunstreaker brilliantly and he's a fun toy to boot. I do wish he came with more accessories but that is my biggest concern. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt in both modes.
  • Good "cartoon style" deco.
  • Good play value.

Cons:

  • Could have used more accessories.
  • I do wish the yellow paint matched better to the yellow plastic, but I don't have as much of an issue with it as some fans I have seen online. Your mileage will vary.