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Series: Dark of the Moon Mechtech
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Human Alliance
Year: 2011

Sandstorm was built to survive for extended periods in the harshest climates. Anything earth can throw at him, he can endure and come out smiling. He requires the same fortitude from his human partner, Private Dedcliff, a Special Forces wilderness survival expert with years of experience. Together, they hunt Decepticons in the most remote places on the planet.

Robot Mode: Back in the nineties there was a Transformers size class called “Basic”, which eventually became today’s Scout- / Cyberverse Commander class. Originally it was called Basic, though, so it’s only fitting that the Human Alliance Basic figures are Scout-sized. Just a touch of nostalgia here to warm things up.

Sandstorm is a very decent figure in robot mode. Posability is cool, no limitations or restrictions worth mentioning, and his huge feet give him a stable platform for all sorts of poses. The overall look of the figure appeals to me and the black pipes that go across his chest and over his shoulders can hold clip-on weapons to your heart’s content. Sandstorm’s own rifle is a clip-on weapon, too, by the way, so he can swap weapons with other figures to your heart’s content. One cool gimmick, though probably not an intended one: Flip his fist upward, so that the triple exhaust pipe points forward, instant machine gun.

The only thing I’m not one hundred percent satisfied with is the head. To me it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the body. I think a head like that of ROTF Brawn, for example, would have fit better here. Not a deal breaker, though. So all in all a pretty good robot mode with no complains except for that purely subjective one.

Alternate Modes: All Human Alliance Basic figures are triple changers. Sandstorm’s first alternate mode is a kind of one-man, military-style dune buggy. Sort of like a down-scaled Dune Runner. Private Dedcliff can sit in the single seat and hold the molded steering wheel, while the rifle and additional clip-on weapons can be fastened to the black pipes that form the buggy’s roof. Detailing is what you’d except in this size class, so no complaints about this good, solid vehicle mode.

Sandstorm’s third mode is... yeah, a weapon of some kind. Basically it’s a missile launcher, I guess, with left-over parts surrounding it and forming a seat for Private Dedcliff. You know, so he can sit there, pull on those black joysticks that flip out of Sandstorm’s robot mode arms, and dangle his legs right in front of the missile launcher. Strange. The weapon mode has a big peg on the back which allows it to plug into the larger DOTM figures’ Mechtech ports. So bigger figures such as Sentinel Prime can use Sandstorm as a hand-held or shoulder-mounted weapon. Not a bad idea, but not all that well executed in Sandstorm’s case.

Partner: Like all Human Alliance figures, be they big or basic, Sandstorm gets a human partner, in his case it’s Private Dedcliff. Not sure where they came up with that name. The figure as such looks pretty good, the only thing bugging me is its eyes. Two black dots. Did you see the movie “Coraline”? Those other worldly doppelgangers with their black button eyes? Yeah, that’s what he reminded me of. Not a bad figure, but the way it stares at me with its black button eyes is unnerving.

Remarks: I was rather skeptical of the Human Alliance Basic figures at first, figuring that the down-scaling, coupled with the addition of a third mode, wouldn’t yield anything good. So far, though, I’ve been shown the error of my ways. Sure, Sandstorm’s weapon mode is nothing to write home about and his human partner’s creepy little black button eyes creep me out, but both the robot and the vehicle mode are very good. And seeing as there is no price difference to a normal Scout / Commander figure, that’s quite enough for me. So while Sandstorm is certainly not in the same weight class as the (mostly) superb bigger Human Alliance figures, he’s a fun little figure and well worth his price tag.

Rating: B+
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