For Transformers fan, you will be spoiled by another triple changer released just recently: the Sandstorm from Thrilling 30 year Transformer generation toyline. Before you dictate that this is yet another repainted Springer figure, well, you are half correct. He is actually a heavily retooled figure from the original Springer mold. What actually a retool means? Beside the usual repaint, the original mold has been enhanced with EXTRA bits which bring out the most of the new figure. How extensive, you may ask? Well, that’s what we are going to find out with this in-depth comparison. Read on!
(A) Weapon Comparison
Let’s start with the smaller bit for comparison: the weapon. The new orange bot only comes with his handy blaster which is a non-spring loaded single projectile launcher. As compared to the predecessor, both having the exact mechanism for deploying the projectile, except that the triggering mechanism has been shifted from top to the front. Moreover, the blaster is being retooled to only shoot one projectile instead of two. If you are expecting a heli-blade/cool looking sword for the new guy, sorry to say that he doesn’t need one as he hovers!
Personally felt that the Sandstorm’s blaster is being simplified not only from the mechanism, the details and coloring also being so. It’s hard not to observe that different color treatments (such as metallic silver paints) being done to the Springer’s. As opposed, the orange and black is purely the color of the plastic and hardly any paint job applied.
(B) Car Mode Comparison
Now, off to the car mode. At first glance, you might notice that Dune Buggy (Orange) looks much more bulkier than the armored car. Thanks to the heavily fortified structures such as the front grill, the top armored section and the massively huge rear wheels that improve the overall visual balancing. The armored car, has no doubt, looks much bare now as compared.
From top view, you can notice that what used to be an “extra” cannon holder seating of the armored car has been removed entirely from the dune buggy. Of course, the port that holds the helicopter blade suffered from removal too as he transforms himself into a hover craft instead.
A side view comparison to see the massive rear wheel he has. In exchange of the wheels is the original rear spoiler from the armored car which has been removed. You will also notice the heavily fortified driver windows with grill-like panels. Don’t get it wrong, the transparent plastic windows are not being removed. They are still there but just now with an extra shade to cover them.
We must say we are very impressed with the coloring done to him especially the abundance metallic silver applied to all the wheel rims. They add to the realism of, well, being rims as opposed to just a simple green plastic color of Springer.
Most of the transformations are the same between these two except the final and extra step needed for the orange bot to transform into the buggy shown in the picture below. This is you will need to flip down the panel that holds the rear wheels and fit them into places.
Comparison in Details
Now let’s go in more detailed comparison between the two. From the front, you will notice the additional structures such as front grill, different headlights and a pair of black turbo injection parts located on both side. The Autobot insignia has been relocated and re-sized to a very much noticeable portion.
The front headlight has been redesigned into a 1-2 combination (1 main light, 2 fog lights) painted in metallic bronze color along with an armored front bumper. Compared to the Springer which comes with 2 main lights but with greenish translucent plastic treatment.
Notice how the additional top panel creates a visually different top section.
(C) Jet Mode Comparison
The jet mode is a hovercraft with the large rear wheels becoming the hover mechanism. In this process, the helicopter blades have been removed to give way for it. Obviously, that’s the first difference you can notice.
Both appears in the same length.
The “rotatable” rear fins of the helicopter has been replaced with a pair of more solid fin in the hovercraft. Another thing worth mentioning is: the opening panels of the hover mechanism are painted in metallic silver as well.
Again, the transformation is similar between the two of them except the additional step to flip the top panel. In additional, the side transformation is a bit different as well whereby you need to flip out the smaller side fins for Springer, but in Sandstorm, you don’t have to.
Comparison in Details
A detailed and closed up comparison. Much detailing from the vehicle mode has been carried forward to the flight mode. The heli-blade is replaced by big sized hover mechanism instead.
Here’s the part where the transformation is different asides from the flipping of top panels. You don’t have to flip out the smaller side fins for hovercraft due to the space allowance needed for the hover mechanism to stay in position. You can still flip it out if you like but you might have a hard time pushing down the big hovers.
The rear portion of the flight mode. The Springer having a better silver metallic paints here.
The once used to be “rotatable” rear fins have been replaced with a solid flap-able fin.
From first glance the landing gear looks very similar. In actual fact, the orange one is actually shorter and fatter while the green one is longer yet thinner. Both wheels are also rotatable.
There’s a small wheel located below the blaster for the orange bot as compared to the green one. Disappointingly, the small wheel can’t be rotated like the normal landing gears.
(D) Robot Mode Comparison
Now off to robot mode comparison. Though from the same mold, you can hardly notice the resemblance of both figure. To top off with that, Sandstorm weights much more compared to his green counterpart. Thanks to the overwhelming rear wheels we must say.
From the side, he does have a very heavy back kibble and it really pulls down the figure. You might have a hard time posing him without proper legs/knees adjustment.
From the back, the rear wheels are just too overwhelming but attractive. They somehow form some kind of wings.
Comparison in Details
An entirely new head sculpt altogether. In comparison, his light pipe does shine out more due to the bigger eyes. The Autobot insignia can be seen clearly on the right chest section. Looking more enticing with the bigger sized insignia.
Remember the orange one being the shorter and fatter landing gear? Here’s a very clear view of what we meant of it. The landing gears now form the knee cap of the robot.
As the orange bot doesn’t have the smaller rear wheels, they are being replaced by a nicely designed and metallic silver painted structure.
The missing curve from side view is where the rear wheels come in.
Another thing missing is the shoulder pad from Springer in which is now being replaced by a pair of fixed panels.
And of course, with the presence of a beautifully designed back part.
(E) Gallery of Goodies
We really love the newly designed massive rear wheels and we actually took a bit more pictures of them.
Very nice details we must say.
Well, do you still consider this as a normal repaint and a way to milk us collector? Think again. To be frank, we actually find Sandstorm a much more nicer figure to have as compared to his predecessor. Not hard to understand why as the new figure comes with added details, bulkier/more solid exterior, stunning colors and the massive redesigned rear wheels! Anyhow, it’s definitely a must buy even if you already have the Springer. YES! A must buy and this is definitely a much better retooled figure of the century.
My PCR for him: 9/10
What I like – Overall retooled design from Springer; great colorings/details (abundance of metallic silver paints being used); massive rear wheels which gives a much more solid and bulkier look!
What I dislike?– The heavy back kibble which pull the figure down while standing still.
Until then, enjoy hunting and hauling!
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