New characters, new characters, new characters! Once again Hasbro adds a new character to the Decepticon ranks. Instead of going with a 100% new character, this time Hasbro has gone with sort of an homage to something very unexpected-a reference to a comic-only character from Generation 2! While a later incarnation of the mold actually shared that character’s name, he’s… nothing really like that guy, in terms of backstory or personality. So forget all that. Let’s just take this guy here for what he is-a new Decepticon tank. Get ready to meet… Hailstorm!
Hailstorm transforms into one of those weird little rocket launcher tanks that are usually seen getting blown up by Zakus in Gundam or getting stomped on by Godzilla or something. It’s similar to Universe Dropshot’s vehicle mode, but much more compact. It’s honestly kind of cute, really. He has a very neat green/black/white camo scheme on the sides of his cockpit and along the missile tubes.
Some people seem to think that Hailstorm’s missiles don’t fire. I guess they weren’t around for the Cyberjets, then. These missiles aren’t spring-loaded, but are actually “pressure” missiles-you fire them by pushing on the ends. No annoying springs that’ll just wear out after use, though they can be kind of painful to your fingers if you do it over and over again.
Right above the missiles themselves are two 3mm clip bars. Points if you get the reference with this picture.
Hailstorm’s transformation is very creative, and does many things out of the ordinary. He has a very unique head reveal, essentially coming down on a “scissor” joint. The treads from the vehicle mode actually fold up the reveal the arms, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before!
This is one stumpy robot mode. I love it, and it goes so well with this guy’s personality-apparently everyone on Cybertron views this guy as some weapons expert, but in reality, he’s just a total klutz that fires all of his weapons and gets the hell out of there. It’s nice to see goofy/imaginative bios return to Transformers.
I absolutely love the detailing on this guy. Like most of the other 2010 figures, he skirts the line between classics and Movie styling, though he’s definitely more on the movie side of things. He has some long, lumbering arms with nasty four-digit claws on each hand (no 5mm holes, sadly). His face is nasty, and he even has some additional micromissiles on his shoulders.
His poseability is quite decent considering his stumpyness. He doesn’t do anything quite spectacular but he doesn’t do anything wrong when considering his transformation scheme. I do wish there was some way to have his hands touch his chest, but, that doesn’t quite work considering his proportions. He can pose like a running ape, though, which is awesome. I can imagine this guy redone as a drone, with dozens of them storming the Ark. Awesome.
Oooone piece of big annoyance with Hailstorm is the missiles in robot mode. As you can see, they REALLY stick out the backs of his launchers making him a total shelf hog. If it really bugs you that much, you could just stick them in his backpack… which leaves you with weird holes in his launchers. Oh well, can’t please everybody, I guess.
Hailstorm’s a really neat figure with a few minor problems that might detour some buyers, but they’re not enough to keep me from recommending him. He’s a neat little guy and represents a pretty great new character. He’s definitely recommended, but I’d suggest buying others like Terradive or Tomahawk first.