Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Generations: "Thrilling 30" Sandstorm!

11.20.2013 – Sandstorm is one of those second or third tier characters that were introduced in the 3rd season of the original Generations One cartoon.

This was after the 1986 animated movie set in the year 2010. In the cartoons Sandstorm has rare screen time unlike the main Autobots that was introduced in the movie.

Sandstorm is known as a member of the Wreckers an Autobot subgroup revealed more back story in the comic books published by Marvel in the 1980s.

The original toy was released in 1986 and later reissued in UK in 1991. But after that there was no further reissue until Sandstorm appeared repaints of Rotorstorm for the Machine Wars toy line and repaint of Dune Runner from the “Revenge of the Fallen” movie tie up.

It took nearly seventeen years until Hasbro re-created the character based from Generation One for the modern times. Sandstorm re-imagined and was designed with modern alternate modes.

Sandstorm was part of the fourth wave of the 2012-2013 Generations Voyager Class toys, “Thrilling 30” a redeco and heavy retool of Voyager Springer, and is a Triple Changer, transforming into a robot, VTOL aircraft, and dune buggy. Entirely Sandstorm looks like a new character in appearance, but he was based on the Generation One Autobot from the 3rd season cartoon and comic books published by Marvel and currently with IDW Publishing.

The packaging is similar to the Generations Grimlock that was released early this year, but with the “Thrilling 30” motif to commemorate the anniversary of the Transformers brand for 2014. The window box packaging shows that his head is not based from the 1986 toy but there’s more of that when you take him out of his rattan twisties…


Oddly enough Sandstorm doesn’t looks like his vintage look that you first saw in the cartoon or the comic books from the 1980s. But there are some significant details that would take you back to the character because of his signature colors.

This time in a lighter shade of yellow and orange combination he can now be considered to let you crave in delicious cheese. Totally far off from the vintage colors in the old toy that Sandstorm was first introduced. You won’t recognize this figure which was based from Springer which was heavily retooled.

Sandstorm just like Springer is a very handsome Triple Changer having articulated waist and ratchet joint arms. The head with its cool light piping eyes is mostly based in the cartoon without his signature mouthpiece plate that was incorporated in the vintage toy.


Being a Triple Changer Sandstorm is a fun character like any other figures with two alternate modes. But Sandstorm can be one of the latest figures that really put some challenge to transform either two of his vehicle forms.

The box say the challenge level was two, but for someone who doesn’t really play that much lately or for those who first timers would consider reading the instruction manual. But like the previous instruction manuals Hasbro has included in each Transformers product they have they are not as reliable as you think.

But it’s a good reference guide and it’s about figuring out how to go in changing this figure into another vehicle. This is the fun part of owning a Transformer in the first place.


When the images of the Dune Buggy first appeared in Transformers sites it was rather odd to see that it had huge rear wheels. But for anyone who owned the vintage Sandstorm this takes a very crude and wild idea in making this character bad ass.

It’s like making Batman’s Batmobile into the Tumbler that you first see in the movie “Batman Begins.” You can call it wickedly wild in some extent how the designers put some imagination in re-tooling Springer’s alternate mode to this.

Sandstorm’s dune buggy mode looks more of a less car but more armored four-wheel beast with a gun turret. To that extent Sandstorm is a heavily re-tooled toy now having is own identity. You can still see a little bit of Springer in this mode, but with more Sandstorm classic “sand rail” dune buggy taking more prominence in the design.


The design is as wild as Sandstorm in dune buggy mode, but it’s something more science fiction in nature. The rear wheels that make the dune buggy as a wild four-wheel machine turns into the part of the VTOL that makes this mode a flying vehicle.

Sandstorm is no longer the Sikorsky S-62 amphibious transport helicopter in the vintage version, but a more dynamic flying machine that reminds you of the attack drone from the Terminator Salvation film. The only difference is that the propellers are flat rather than cylindrical in appearance and its painted in the colors of a delicious cheese.

It doesn't look like the helicopter mode that Springer has, and due to that re-tool this appears now as a fictional VTOL aircraft. This might be more fun to transform Sandstorm into with an interesting design.

The only thing people would be bothered about is how to attach his rifle to nose cockpit, and the instruction manual is not helping. It took some fiddling to find out how it should be done and it wasn’t that hard.


Overall Sandstorm is a fun Triple Changer not since Hasbro introduced the first two characters (Blitzwing and Springer). Lately Sandstorm is difficult to find in Philippine stores since he’s the short pack in a case for the fourth wave that was released.

Besides that some claims to be an improved version of Springer, but entirely Sandstorm is a separate character on its own. It just happens that Hasbro used Springer as a base figure for Sandstorm and not just a repaint. The same will happen to Blitzwing when Double Dealer gets released.

Sandstorm is great overall in design that stands out among the latest Triple Changes in the Voyager Class scale. If you happen to see one better get it first as it has enough play value for hours in changing Sandstorm to his two modes.

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