Posts tagged with "brainstorm" - 1
Posted July 30, 2016 at 4:01 am

Finally, I got my hands on a Titans Return Deluxe Class toy.  Weirdly enough, it's a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive (no, I didn't go personally this year), and it's a drastically retooled version of a wave 1 toy that's been out in stores but I haven't gone looking for.  So I kind of feel like I skipped ahead instead of starting from the beginning.

Titans Return Brainstorm is the second Brainstorm toy in just about as many years, with Thrilling 30 Brainstorm coming out shortly before Combiner Wars got its start.  That Brainstorm was a Voyager Class (translation: bigger) and it was directly based on Brainstorm's More Than Meets The Eye comic book series design.  This new, much smaller Brainstorm is.... sort of based on MTMTE.  It's a heavy retool of Titans Return Blurr, and so it primarily looks like Blurr with wings glued on.  That's an oversimplification of the changes done, but it gets across the idea that this toy was not created with Brainstorm first in mind, not like the previous toy.  

However, most importantly, he does have MTMTE Brainstorm's face.  There are a number of other styles of Brainstorm face Hasbro could have gone with, such as his cartoon/Marvel design, or the weird faceplateless version from Japan's Headmasters (which is a face we can assume Japan will get on their version eventually), or another interpretation of the original toy's face.  But naw, we get a second MTMTE face, which is fine by me.  I likely wouldn't have much use for this new toy otherwise.

So why bother with him at all, if the previous Brainstorm toy was closer to his MTMTE look?  Well, a few reasons.  First is me reminding you that I am obsessive.  Second is his size.  The previous, Voyager Class Brainstorm was kinda a honkin' huge toy, and Brainstorm's not quiiiiiite that tall a guy.  And so this toy feels better scaled to everyone else.  Third, the SDCC version of this toy has a specifically-MTMTE-y deco, with the more cyanish teal and the teal on the legs instead of bare gray.  And probably most importantly is he comes in a three-toy box set with a new Fort Max-themed Windblade that I definitely wasn't gonna not have.  (The third toy is a translucent orange Sentinel Prime, which, again, yeah.  You know me.)

But all that said, this Brainstorm toy is a better toy than the larger, earlier one.  The previous Brainstorm was pretty damned simple.  You fold his legs under himself and he's done. ...Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Simple toys can be more fun to play with than complex toys, but this new Brainstorm his a better sweet spot between simple and complicated.  The new Brainstorm transforms a little upside-down compared to the old one, where instead of the feet folding underneath the front, you flip Brainstorm around so his feet fold up into the rear of the spaceship mode.  The arms unravel from the sides and you flip them front-to-back as well.  The giant nose of the spaceship, which just folded behind the back of the previous Brainstorm toy.... still folds behind his back, but you can also remove it and use it as an arm-mounted weapon or as a vehicle for his little head dude.

(his little head dude is called Teslor, by the way -- back in 1987, his head's name was Arcana, but i guess that trademark isn't available anymore, so it's TESLOR, which is............... definitely a real historical guy's name with -or on the end of it, ain't it)

Versus either of the "official" ways to store his giant spaceship nose, I have decided to do it my own way.  I hang it upside-down on his back so that Brainstorm keeps the over-the-shoulder cannons that he has both in MTMTE and his previous toy.  (As seen in this post's first image.)  They're an important part of his silhouette to me, so first thing out of the package I tried to find a way to recreate them.  They definitely don't plug in securely, requiring gravity to do most of the work, but if you angle the support structure just behind his head just so, you can kind of hook his nosefins across the large tabs back there and have it stay in place well enough.

If you don't want to have to buy a SDCC-exclusive Brainstorm, well, sort of good news!  There's a single-carded version of him coming as an exclusive to Walgreens very shortly.  The Walgreens Brainstorm tries to be more like the original toy, with a mintier green, warmer grays, a  yellow cockpit window, and minus the teal on his boots.  Also his helmet might be a darker gray, we dunno for sure yet.  

If you have a Walgreens nearby, I recommend trying to pick him up.  I thiiiiiiiiiink he starts showing up in August?  

Backing up, Brainstorm is a retool of Blurr, right?  Well, that means he has the same partially-open canopy that Blurr does.  Which means Brainstorm is a spaceship without a fully-enclosed canopy.   Better hope whoever's driving can breathe in space!  

Posted December 2, 2014 at 7:01 pm

We don't get a lot of working Headmaster toys at retail these days and for good reason -- find yourself a random Transformers toy and check out the size of its noggin.  Those things are tiny.  Now imagine that becoming a robot.  The tiniest robot!  We're talking like a centimeter or so high.  Transformers proportions are pretty pinheaded.  They make comic book superheroes look like Charlie Brown.  The original Headmasters all had proportionately huge heads for a Transformer.  They kind of had to.

This new 30th Anniversary Brainstorm guy tries to lessen the head/body ratio math by engineering him in a larger size class.  He's a Voyager, and a pretty tall one.  He's a wedge taller than, say, Springer, and he doesn't look too far off from Jetfire's height.  He feels like something in between.  He's way less complicated than either, which may be why he can command such real estate.  He's definitely larger than the original Brainstorm, while also having a smaller head.  The usual Transformers proportions have persisted despite his gimmick.

He's a Headmaster, meaning his head transforms into a little robot guy (or guy in a robot suit).  Brainstorm's neck is actually Arcana's head.  (Arcana is not named anywhere, but we can assume it's the same guy as the original Brainstorm head.)  Arcana's head is balljointed on his own tiny body, and so Brainstorm's head is also balljointed, which is nice.  Usually the Headmaster gimmick precludes neck articulation.  

To remove Arcana from Brainstorm's torso, the instructions say to pull down on the gray piece across his collarbone.  This accomplishes a little.  It does remove some of the plastic obstructing Arcana's head's removal from that hole in Brainstorm's torso, but you still kind of have to yank hard.  This may end badly in some cases -- as I said, Arcana has a balljointed head, and it seems feasible to me that one day I may yank and pull Brainstorm's head away while leaving Arcana's head buried in Brainstorm's torso.  But then, I have gone through like three TNBA Batmen this month, so I may be viewing things through Paranoia Glasses.  

Brainstorm transforms simply, largely because he wouldn't look much like Brainstorm if he didn't still Transform like the original toy, which also transformed simply.  You tuck his forearms back and fold his legs under the jet.  The shins kind of point a bit far out the back of the jet mode, which I thought meant I missed a step, but everything pegs together perfectly and there are no other moving parts to suggest some additional transformation magic.  The head obviously doesn't have to hide anywhere, since it becomes the pilot.  

I am biased strongly in favor of this toy since Brainstorm has been appearing very importantly in the More Than Meets The Eye ongoing comic book series from IDW for the past three years and this toy is based on that design.  (Minus the Headmaster gimmick, so far as we know.)  The toy is a great representation of that iteration of the character, and so I have fits of glee just looking at him standing on my desk in robot mode.  I should keep that going, I worry about the neck balljoint thing.

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