Stormbomb from FansProject Causality (Transformer 3rd Party)

June 4, 2012
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There’s a load of 3rd party Transformer products out there anymore, some good, some bad.  I’m happy to say FansProject’s Causality line is among the best.

3rd party products have become a major force in the collector community over the past decade.  What started out as a few customizers producing resin pieces in their garages and basements has become in some cases, nice little cottage industries producing full factory runs of collector pieces.  Some 3rd party accessories and figures are phenomenal and can add a great deal to any collection.  However, if you’ve ever delved into 3rd party produced toys, you know there can be a vast difference in quality from one toy to the next.  So, how does Stormbomb from FansProject stack up?  In one word: FANTASTIC.

Stormbomb is a reimagining of the Insecticon Bombshell from the G1 Transformers line.  Hasbro has yet to update the classic 80′s trio (save a soon to be released pseudo update of Kickback) that featured prominently in the G1 cartoon and is a favorite of fans worldwide.  FansProject stepped up to the plate in released their own versions of the classic toys in their own Causality line of toys which also features updates of the Combaticons.  In a neat little twist, rather than just co-opting Bombshell outright, they have created an alternate bio for Stormbomb and the other Insecticons that make them individuals reformatted from Insecticon clones (which feature in both the comics and toon) in a nod to the reformatting done in the 80′s movie.  While the back story isn’t really needed to sell these toys, it adds a really cool dimension to the TF continuity.

Packaging is really nice and collector oriented.  Boxed with a window that displays Stormbomb in robot mode, it includes sharp artwork reminiscent of the G1 toys.  Inside is a clamshell that allows you to remove and return the toy without damaging the package along with storing all Stormbombs accessories.  It’s a very Japanese styled packaging in that it is extremely collector friendly while still looking very sharp.

Looking at the toy itself, Stormbomb feels very sturdy.  Plastic is of high quality and joints feel snug, which can be an issue with many 3rd party toys.  There are a lot of moving parts utilized in the transformation, but when in robot or insect mode, all parts fit snuggly and feel very solid – something that can’t even be said for many Hasbro Transformers.  The insect mode is very reminiscent of the classic toy, a Rhino Beetle, while being a bit more angular and sharp.  In robot mode he comes off a bit shorter and stockier looking, especially in the legs.  While maybe not as “ninja” like as his bio would want, the result is a very sturdy looking robot.  The head has the classic locomotive styled “mouth” while the classic shell launcher on the head is now more on his back.  The shoulder pauldrons almost give him a bit of a Seeker look.  Transformation is complex enough to be satisfying, without being overly fidgety that it becomes annoying.  I’d put it about on par with the Classics styled deluxe TFs.  He stands just a tick shorter than a typical deluxe, bigger than a scout, so I’d say scalewise about spot on.

Parts are cast in colored plastic with very few paint apps.  That isn’t to say that the figure is plain-looking, rather that Stormbomb utilizes its various part colors to make up the deco rather than relying on paint.  The paint aps that are present are crisp and highly effective at bringing out detail.  Colored in the classic black/purple/yellow/silver of the Insecticons, you know exactly who Stormbomb is by looking at him.

For accessories, Stormbomb comes with a couple of options to shred his opponents.  To start, his insect “horn” can detach and split apart to make a pair of wicked knife/stabby things.  I’m sure there’s an actual name for them.  Just as I’m sure there’s a name for his chained scythes that are legs in insect form.  The chain can be detached (and needs to be for insect mode), so you actually have more options just in those accessories.  Stormbomb also comes with another set of blades and handle bit that I believe are actually meant for the Kickback figure as he can’t hold it himself.  Also of note, Stormbomb can attach the pincer blades from the Shrapnel style figure.

Articulation is about as good as can be expected in a TF.  He has a ball joint head, ball joint shoulders, elbows, hips, and feet.  There is an additional hinge joint at the elbow.  Cut joints at the waist, bicep, and thighs.  A single hinge joint at the knees.  In insect mode the”horn” is articulated with 3 hinge joints and the legs have a ball joint attaching them to the body and another hinge joint.  The only real knocks are missing articulation at the wrists and the stocky nature of the legs limit them slightly.

All in all, if you can’t tell, I really dig this toy.  All three FansProject Insecticons are great and have their individual merits, but I think Stormbomb is the most solid all around.  I’d highly recommend a purchase if you’re looking to dabble in a 3rd party toy, especially if you can get him on sale like I did from BBTS.

 

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