Transformers Earthrise: Sunstreaker by Hasbro

Well, I didn’t know it at the time, but this past Marvel Monday was my last review of 2020. It was a pretty shitty and challenging year, but overall still better than my 2019, which is admittedly a pretty sobering and horrifying thought. Needless to say, it’s been tough to keep FFZ afloat these past couple of years, but I’m doing my best. I’ve still got some rough months ahead, but I’m hoping things will start to fall into place as we emerge from Winter. And I guess kicking off 2021 with a new review on Day One is a decent start. I’m not going to be doing any End of Year List or Best & Worst kinda crap. I’m just going to focus on trying to get back to some kind of regular routine. And with that being said, how about we look at a new converto-disguise-change-robot?

I have fond memories of Sunstreaker as a kid. His G1 toy was unique and a lot of fun to play with, and he was actually the only one of the Lambor Brothers that I had as a kid. Needless to say I have been jonesing for a new modern update for a while. And then he was revealed, and I was a bit taken back by how bad the official solicitation pictures of his robot mode looked. Well, it’s not the first time that Hasbro promoted a figure with bad pictures, so I just waited and hoped for the best. So now he’s here and I’ve got my fingers crossed!

See that up there is Hasbro’s official packaged shot and I’m using it for a reason. No, it’s not because I was too lazy to take a packaged shot before I tore into it. Well, maybe, but I’m also making a point. Sure, the Earthrise packaging is looking as fabulous as ever with some absolutely gorgeous artwork of Sunstreaker on the angled side panel. The window shows him off in his robot mode and straight away I’m seeing some really badly matched yellow paint and plastic. The chest/roof is so vibrant and the rest is so dull. Is the actual figure going to look like that? Well, let’s start with the vehicle mode and find out what this sunny boi looks like in hand.

Well OK then! That’s not bad at all. Make no mistake, there is some difference between where the blue transparent plastic that makes up the roof is painted yellow and the rest of the yellow plastic, but it is nowhere near as bad as it looked in the solicitation shots. As for the design, Earthrise has played it pretty close to the Classic G1 alt-modes and Sunstreaker here is no different. His auto mode is a canary yellow Lamborghini Countach and it looks damn good here. The low profile of this design is still as sexy as ever and when you pair it up with that flashy yellow, well it’s no wonder that Sunstreaker has a problem with vanity. I particularly love the tinted blue plastic used for the windshield and side windows, and you also get some silver for the wheels, headlamps, and engine. There’s a bit of black trim and an Autobot insignia on the roof. This is a beautiful alt mode!

I did have some difficulty getting all the seams on this car locked in together, and even then I felt they could have been a little more flush with each other, but with a little patience I was able to get a solid car that rolled pretty well. Because Sunstreaker’s engine doubles as his weapon in robot mode, there isn’t any additional weaponized mode for this car, and that’s fine by me! So far, I’m very pleased. Let’s transform him and see how the rest of him looks!

Transforming Sunstreaker isn’t too finicky and the result is a pretty damn good looking robot. He’s fleshed out pretty well, and not as flat and two-dimensional as the original G1 toy. Indeed, proportionally speaking, Earthrise’s version is very well done. All that beautiful yellow is still on full display here, and once again, the differences in paint and plastic are not nearly as bad with the figure in hand. I do like the additional black showing off here, particularly in the lower legs and forearms. The wheels land comfortably on his ankles and upper arms and instead of adding unsightly kibble, I think they compliment the robot mode nicely. Even from the back, this bot mode fills out nicely, and his engine can plug into his back where it looks pretty natural, and with a little imagination could easily double as a jetpack.

The original toy had two weird “rocket boosters” that would attach to his shoulders, and the sculpting here kind of pays homage to those. I really dig the diagonal vents in his upper arms too. Of course, the roof of the car makes for a great slab of chest with the translucent blue plastic on full display and the Autobot emblem on the roof landing in the middle of his chest. I would have liked it if they could have worked in some missiles to plug into the ends of his arms, as the original toy was able to shoot his fists and replace them with missiles, but I’m still happy with what we got. Sunstreaker sports some useful articulation, and he’s fun to pose and play with.

And that head sculpt is damn handsome, even if Sunstreaker does say so himself. The pronounced ear-vents are painted in yellow, while the face is painted silver, leaving the chin black. There’s no light-piping, but the blue eyes are still quite vibrant.

I’m not a huge fan of the engine-gun here. I would have liked to see a little bit of conversion here, like maybe have the sides fold down and make it look a little more gun like and less like he’s holding his engine. I don’t want to come down on it too hard. I willl, however, point out that the peg fits way too loosely in the hand and it does not stay put in his grasp. I was able to get him to hold it, but when I pose the figure it immediately falls out every time.

A workaround is to attach the engine-gun to the peg in his forearm, where it fits snugly and will not fall out. I’ll admit, I think I like it better as an arm-attachment than a hand-held weapon.

And so, I came into this figure with a lot of trepidation and I’m coming away a happy robot collector. This is an excellent update to that weird and wonderful toy that I loved so much as a kid. It remains true to form as both car and bot, and brings with it all the lovely updates that I look for in these releases. In the end, my only real gripe is that I would have liked to see a proper gun or some wrist-missiles, and that’s just me looking for something to complain about. Sunstreaker also looks pretty good paired up with his Lam-bro, Sideswipe, even if Sideswipe is sporting his Cybertron mode and not his Earth mode. I’ll admit I was weary about getting a lot of do-overs when Hasbro moved the line from Cybertron to Earth, but this is one case where I would not mind getting a proper Earth Sideswipe to display with Sunstreaker.

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