Finally got my first two HA guys from the fine folks at Kapow Toys.
Y'know, I thought they looked like they'd be a lot of fun, that they'd have cool weapons and plenty of features but I was wrong. They have all that and more!
I got Sandstorm (more like Grassstorm...but the greens aren't nearly as strong as the official packaging shots suggest. the lighter green is an almost pastel colour, nothing like the neon on the packaging art, a big improvement, and the darker green is less of a forest green than a guacamole green. this stands out much more on the black, and blends well with the lighter, yellowy green and the silvery-grey plastic on the arms.
I'd caved on this guy because the design looked so nice, despite the colours putting me off, and am very pleasantly surprised at how good he does look in person. In his packaged robot mode he's just a plain cool bot, tons of articulation, an okay gun and a pretty good headsculpt for a movie toy. The colorscheme on the head is pretty much the same as the box art, and I'm not sure that really does it for me, but it does definitely have character, the mostly black head with his little silver nose/mouth piece not looking like another rip-off of Prime's design, the red crest looking kind of like war-paint maybe? There's a bit of a BW Depth Charge feel about the head, but with these colours on this body, it makes it look a bit sinister.
The dune buggy alt mode is nice enough. It fits the human guy in pretty well, everything locks statisfyingly in place and the rollbars (another good alternate name for him) provide ample mounting points for and clip-on weapons should you choose to arm this guy to the teeth. I have to confess I haven't actually put him into Wheelchair Of Doom mode yet, instead opting to adapt the robot mode into a sort of Power-Loader/War-suit by flipping the seat down and the canopy on top. I think this looks much better, although the artillery platform does resemble a GI Joe weapon that was out in the 80s so I might give it a go one day.
The human alliance part of the toy - Private Dedcliff is okay. He's the first HA human I've owned, and honestly, in my head he was bigger. The initial disappointment at the size of the figure soon disappeared, as he's really quite articulated. Other than elbow joints, which I admit would be a struggle to fit in there, he's much better than I'd expect for his size and looks good next to the robot, or interacting with him as a driver or "wearer" in the mech mode. He actually has a fair amount of detail on his outfit, including a little Autobot symbol on his left sleeve. Just a shame they didn't paint the back of his vest. The head sculpt has a lot of detail as well, but sadly, the proportions, and a dodgy paintjob on the eyes make him look a bit "special".
Overall, a solid figure, that stands about mid-chest to most deluxes, but doesn't seem to sacrifice any engineering for the size. Paint apps aren't flashy or overly intricate or complicated, but it's getting that way with a lot, and they've done very well with what they've had to make this look good. Great value for money, and highly recommended, 8 out of 10 Energon Cubes!
assembling a Neo-G1/TF:TM cast. Please PM if you have (or know of) the following at a reasonable price: Classics or Henkei Astrotrain, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, or 3rd Party iGear Ratchet and Ironhide.
Also looking for Universe Repugnus and Overbite, Frostbite and Longhorn and any Webdiver toys.