The newer assortment of Deluxe Transformers are starting to hit the stores near me and a few days ago on my weekly grocery run to Wally World, I picked up Hailstorm. He’s one of the few figures in the Hunt for the Decepticons line that I was really looking forward to, probably because he’s one of the few that isn’t just a repaint/rehash of a Revenge of the Fallen figure. He was kind of a surprise to me, as I had only first seen the early release shots of him about a month ago, but as soon as I saw him I was eager to pick him up.
The packaging? Blah. It’s a simple card with the figure mounted in its alt form. I don’t have much else to say that hasn’t been said before. It’s serviceable and it has a short blurb about the character on the back. Nothing more, nothing less. Good thing, too, since my card is all bent to hell. Usually this only happens when I order from Walmart online, but this mangled mess came right off the peg. They had better ones, but I decided to leave those in case a mint-on-card collector needed one. Yeah, I’m cool like that.
Hailstorm’s alt mode is a missile carrier, which is perfect for a Decepticon. He’s green with a spattering of white and black camo on the sides. It’s pleasantly conventional and adds a nice touch of realism to the deco. The sculpt is certainly solid for a Deluxe figure, with great detail on the molded treads and the cab. The missile launcher can raise and lower and turn, and all eight of the missiles are removable. On the downside, Hailstorm’s alt mode would have benefited from some more pegs to hold his front end together better. You really need to get everything stowed away perfectly for his alt mode to work, and even then the front feels a bit soft if you handle it. As mentioned, the treads are sculpted, but he does have four concealed wheels and he can roll along fine.
In robot form, Hailstorm retains the same basic color scheme as his missile carrier mode, with only some gray added. I like it because the military deco still suits him in bot form. He’s a stocky robot with over-developed biceps and really short, stubby forearms, but I love his overall design. It falls somewhere between the Bayformer look and the more boxy Classics/Generations style. He’s got a mean looking head sculpt, and his missile launchers peg nicely into position over his shoulders to give him the same amount of firepower in either mode.
Hailstorm has solid articulation, with balljoints in the neck, shoulders and hips. His elbows have are double jointed with additional balljoints at the forearm, and his knees and ankles are hinged. At first, I thought his claws were articulated too, but there not. That’s probably too much to ask from a deluxe.
This figure is definitely a big hit for me and I think that even the Bayformer-haters out there may want to give him a look. I think he’s a great example of compromise between the opposing schools of Transformer design. In fact, with a different head sculpt, he probably could have been released in the Generations line and no one would have really known the difference. Eh, then again looking at those arms… maybe not. Either way, he’s an excellent addition to any Decepticon army. Check him out if you get the chance.