It was a Sunstormy night, with Thunder Cracking in the distance.
Just so you know, this is a Transformers rant.
But before we begin, a little background info. In 2006, the tv series, Transformers: Cybertron and its associated toyline came out. Like the previous Transformers: Armada (2004) and Transformers: Energon (2005), the primary lifespan of the series was only expected to last about a year.
Meanwhile, the first Bayformer movie was slated to come out in the middle of 2007.
See what was going to happen? If Cybertron were to end by the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007, there’d be a 6-month gap between that and the then upcoming movie. During which, there would be no media or toys to sustain the Transformers property (other than some repaints to stretch out Cybertron’s lifespan).
Well, nothing to do about the lack of media, but at the least, Hasbro needed to put out some product during that lull. So toward the end of 2006, the Transformers: Classics toyline was released. And it was splendid.
Classics Starscream was released as a regular toy, while his repaint, Skywarp was released in a 2-pack with Ultra Magnus (a white repaint of Classics Optimus Prime). Not only that, but Ramjet was also released, and there was much rejoicing… until… Botcon 2007.
At the time, the folks at Hasbro had no idea if Classics would ever be revisited. This was a holdover line slated to DIE with the release of the 2007 movie. So as a… “favor” to the fans, they released the remaining Seekers as Botcon exclusives, promising that these guys will NEVER be released again.
Thus, it seemed that Classics Thundercracker, Dirge and Thrust would forever be denied to the casual hardcore G1 guys, such as myself. We’re hardcore about the G1 story and characters, but we’re just casual collectors who are unwilling or even unable to customize our own Seekers and Coneheads. Alas…
And so, for 3 years, we were denied. The people who went to Botcon had a bunch of really sought after toys on their hands. And all was right in the world. The haves had it, and the have-nots didn’t. The balance of nature was preserved.
…Until the JAPANESE came along and released those characters for their version of the Classics line (known as Henkei). They released Thundercracker and Skywarp with paint schemes different from that of the Botcon release and retooled Ramjet for Dirge and Thrust. So while they were using the same molds and the same characters with the same color selection, because they weren’t using the exact same colors or color schemes as the Botcon versions, technically, they were not releasing the Botcon toys, which were NEVER to be EVER be released to the general public.
Of course, that didn’t stop the hundreds, perhaps thousands of Botcon 2007 attendees from simultaneously screaming out in agony as the secondary market value of their exclusives suddenly dropped a few bucks.
Oh, that’s not to say that anyone could get a complete Seeker/Conehead set. The Henkei toys were cheaper than buying the Botcon stuff off Ebay, but they were still pretty pricey; partially because they were imports, but mostly because the import shops knew how sought after these toys were, thus jacking up the prices.
But now, oh now, the time has at last come. Hasbro has recently released the Henkei version of Thrust for the general market, under the Transformers: Generations line, and Dirge is on his way as well. In other words, the only Classics Seeker left to see mass market release is Thundercracker.
Me, I missed out on Starscream, but got the Henkei version. I got Skywarp way back when alongside Ultra Magnus, then I got Ramjet and I recently got Thrust. I’m 2/3 through to completing the Seekers set.
But here’s the thing. Personally, I’m not sure if Thundercracker will get released. As far as I know, there’s been no indication that he will. Hopefully, Generations will do well and Thundercracker will get added to the line-up.
The other thing I want to talk about is that one of the topics people have been talking about is a release of Sunstorm for Generations. Sunstorm’s a yellow version of the Seekers who appeared in the background of the first episode of Transformers, as a generic background grunt. He was given dialogue and a personality and even storylines in the Dreamwave comics.
Now, the thing is, I would probably buy a Henkei version of Sunstorm, since there’s a good chance he would be painted in gold with gold chrome. In fact, the more gold chrome he’d have, the more likely I’d be to buy him.
But only because he would be shiny.
Not because I like Sunstorm.
Because Sunstorm as a character, is a pile of shit.
I’d love to go on a long rant on that now, but I spent too much time with the background info, so here’s a somewhat condensed version.
You know why Sunstorm sucks? Because he’s a self-insert character. And not a self-insert character in the sense that he’s a stand-in for the author, but a SI in the sense that he’s a Gary Stu.
He had a biblical way of speaking, which was pretty stupid. Not because the speaking mannerism itself was a bad idea, but because it seemed like he was given this “accent” because it was thought that it made the character cool. It did not, it just made him lame for trying too hard (to be cool).
In order to further shove the concept that Sunstorm was awesome down the readers’ throats, he was given a condition where he radiated Electrum Radiation or something like that. This made it so that he was nigh invulnerable and that other Transformers couldn’t even touch him. I think one of the only guys who were able to hold him down was Jetfire, due to his armor, which shielded him long enough to hold Sunstorm down. But then Sunstorm escaped with a Stone Cold Stunner, which again, was just plain stupid. At this point, Sunstorm felt like he was written by the author’s inner bratty 7-year old.
If there was one time where Sunstorm was legitimately a decent character though, it was in his fight with Omega Supreme. It was a good fight. Sunstorm had been established as being pretty overpowered, so I was worried he was going to walk all over Omega, but surprisingly, Omega was able to take the win. It was done in a manner that was fairly believable too. Sunstorm might have been overpowered for a regular sized Transformer, but Omega Supreme was just too big with too much firepower at his disposal.
Because of how “realistic” that fight was, given the “power levels” established by the comic, I found myself forgiving Sunstorm a little. In defeat, he was able to shake off that feeling that he was written by a juvenile… until Omega got some dirt on his face and decided to open up his face window, wherein Sunstorm predictably blasted him in the face.
In victory, Sunstorm went right back to being badly done Gary Stu.
So no, I’m not too keen on the idea of Sunstorm ever getting a toy again. If the marketing or designer guys at Hasbro or TakaraTomy think there’s money to be made from releasing Sunstorm, then good for them. They should make ’em, it’s simply logical to do so.
But as a character, Sunstorm sucks and I doubt I’d have much interest in his toy unless he was chromed to the point of looking like a Lucky Draw figure.