When G1 Transformers started being re-released in 2003,
online Japanese retailer e-Hobby offered a few of their usual repaints. One of the flashy new figures was a white and orange version of the classic "Seeker" mold - i.e., Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker - based on a one-time coloring hiccup in the premiere episode of the cartoon. The new character was dubbed Sunstorm, and has proved pretty popular, going so far as to become an officially adopted part of G1 continuity and even making a surprise appearance at the tail end of Cybertron.
Sunstorm is a diabolical, super-powerful Decepticon thug.
Wow, a little brief on the bio there, huh? Let's pad that out with some info on the G1 character, and assume that this version is at least somewhat similar.
Sunstorm was originally a lifeless clone of Starscream, created by Shockwave. Sockwave had been experimenting with installing fusion reactors in the clones, in an effort to free the Decepticons from the need for a constant supply of Energon. The bodies kept burning out,
until he tried coating a clone with electrum, the golden substance which renders Transformers virtually invulnerable for a short period of time. Still, the clone was lifeless until Shockwave tried to download the contents of Vector Sigma, the central computer of Cybertron, and the info got dumped into the clone's processors, driving it insane and making it think it was the divine agent of Primus. Due to his improperly shielded energy source,
Sunstorm is constantly engulfed in a halo of flame, and things start to malfunction when he comes near. He's much more powerful than his fellow Transformers, and can use his reactor to create intense light, heat or magnetic waves.
Hot damn, now isn't that better? Now you know something about the character.
Sunstorm was released in Series 4 of the Legends of Cybertron, alongside Galaxy Force Optimus Prime. Not only was this the first new character (i.e., one that's more than just a scaled down version of a larger figure) in the line, it was also the first time Sunstorm has had a wide release. Neat!
The figure is just a repaint of Legends of Cybertron Starscream, which is logical. He's a clone, after all. He's got a nice yellow and orange color scheme that suits the character nicely, and the few black accents really pop. There's a surprising amount of detail sculpted on here, especially considering the small size - 3¼" tall. He moves at the neck, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles, and has two fold-out weapons: one sword, one gun.
Transformation is easy to figure out. Twist up the tail fins, tuck back the arms, fold down the upper body, and rotate the legs into place. Simple, straightforward, easy to pull off... pretty good for a tiny figure.
In plane form, Sunstorm is 3½" long and has a 3" wingspan. He definitely looks bigger than the Minicons, but there's no question that he's intended to be a large character.
Since this is basically a scaled-down and simplified version of Cybertron Starscream, Sunstorm has the same "flying triangle" look that was influenced by Don Figueroa's designs for The War Within. That means you can play that Sunstorm is still on Cybertron before the end of the great war.
The Legends of Cybertron line is a great idea - priced at about $4 and available mostly in market six locations, these just scream "desk accessory." Or maybe "impulse buy." If you want a larger Sunstorm, there's a 6" Titanium version due out some time this year. In any case, it's cool to get a toy of the first official G1 character introduced since the end of G1.
Which incarnation of Starscream would you most like repainted into Sunstorm? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.