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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: Beast Machines Jetstorm

Name: Jetstorm
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Aerodrone General
"I am not bound by the Law of the Land!"

The appointed General of Megatron's aero-drones, Jetstorm is the hotshot lord of the skies over the enslaved planet of Cybertron. Quite a talker, tends to engage in tactics of verbal intimidation. Headstrong attitude and less than modest personality often cause friction with the other generals - but impressive combat abilities speak for themselves. Outfitted with various types of energy blasters and plasma bombs. Extremely swift and maneuverable in vehicle mode. Rather flighty, Jetstorm never touches land - must convert into robot mode where he hovers over the ground.

Ah… Jetstorm. A common multipurpose name in the world of Transformers. In this case, he is the Aerodrone General (with Aerodrone’s looking a lot like Jetstorm, come to think of it… just missing a few stripes here and there…). I must be honest, and say that I know nothing of the Beast Machines cartoon, having never seen it. In fact, I’ve only ever seen the G1 (including many Japanese episodes) and RID cartoons (of which I have since bought both on DVD). I hear that likenesses are somewhat strained – to put it nicely – with a lot of the BM line, though. Me, I’m a toy guy. I just love the figures. So, my review (like all my others) is aimed at the art of the toy itself. And Jetstorm is a great Transformer from this standpoint.

Alternate Mode:
Jetstorm’s alternate mode is a futuristic, erm, jet. It’s got a load of nifty fins, adjustable wings (have them face forward or back – I like forward best), and kick-ass missile launchers. As you’d hope, he also has retractable landing gear, which actually look nicely detailed – although the wheels are molded. The colour scheme is great, being a metallic blue with slightly off-yellow stripes and details, while silver picks out a few techno-details. Red finishes it off, with the glowing missiles peaking out. The outline on the nose resembles the Vehicon symbol.

The molding is superb, with loads of intricate details.

The missile launchers work brilliantly – almost on par with the G1 Turbomasters and Predators.

The only downside to this mode is the trailing missile tails sticking out the back, which look daft.

Of course, Jetstorm wouldn’t be a Vehicon if there weren’t some biomechanical feature to his alternate mode, and, in his case, this is a moveable ‘head’ formed by the nose section, after pressing a spring-loaded button to release it. Just to make it look that bit evil, this also reveals light-piping, and red eyes glow on either side of the cockpit. Alas, although trying to look like an evil bird of some sort, the whole affair just looks daft really. Keep him in jet mode – he rules like that!

Robot Mode:
Jetstorm’s transformation is really cool. Although looking at the jet and robot modes side by side you’d think it’s simple, it’s actually quite complex. Good fun to fiddle with! I particularly love the way the chest plates hold the whole upper body together. The final piece is 5 ½” tall.

For some reason, Jetstorm reminds me a lot of some HR Geiger paintings. The whole affair is just somehow very biomechanoid –which is cool. While looking a little awkward, the hips lend a somewhat skeletal quality to the whole affair, and the hands are just so industrial. The ensemble looks fantastic!

Articulation is phenomenal, but, alas, centre of gravity isn’t the best, so poses for display are limited.

The head molding is beautiful, shouting biomechanical apocalypse, and the glowing red eyes look great.

And, of course, the missile launchers are located on his arms, and so can be used to blast any Maximal or Autobot who happens to chance by!

The only negative point is that the jet’s tail fins are located on Jetstorm’s head, and look a lot like bunny ears…

Now, Jetstorm also has a secondary (or primary, as suggested by his bio) robot mode. In this mode he hovers, rather than walks. Not the easiest to photograph! Unfortunately, despite the cool fold out rocket-boosters, to me the whole affair looks like what it is – a pair of legs awkwardly pegged together. Still, it’s not all that bad, I guess.

In general, though, the robot mode is superb, and somehow very unique in its look. I think this is largely achieved through the amazing tech-noir detailing and superb paint scheme.

The guy has been available in another four forms (Sonic Attack Jet, 2000; Storm Jet, 2002; Jhiaxus, 2003; Universe Skywarp, 2004), and any of them are worthy of your collection – but, in my humble opinion, Jetstorm has the best colour scheme to highlight the biomechanoid elements of the design.

Transformation: 8 – It’s quite complex, and really cool.
Durability: 8 – He seems fairly sturdy, and has a lot of vaguely rubberised parts, so should stand up well, yet he has the odd hinge and clip that makes me shudder from time-to-time.
Fun: 9 – Jetstorm is excellent fun!
Price: 8 – He’s not badly priced at all, and you can pick him up carded for the same as you could when he was released.
Overall: 8 – Jetstorm is a superb mold, and you should definitely have one version of him in your collection!
 
 
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