Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Transformers Legends Brainstorm

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Figure Number: 9
Origin Series: Transformers: Headmasters
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 20cm tall
Original Price: 4,000 yen


Transformers Legends line is pretty much Takara's answer to their variants of the late molds from Hasbro's Generations line; much like their other non-movie lines, the Legends line comes packed in boxes that are made pretty much as a homage to old G1 boxes by having the black and red background with grids style, of course, this comes with a modern twist such that the artwork, based on the IDW comics, is much better now and that the box looks more classy in overall look.

The sides of the box feature the artwork yet again on one side while the other has this schematic-ish style that features half of the figure in a standing pose; the back, as usual, features the key points and gimmicks of the figure you're getting, which is Brainstorm in this case.

Details - Cana:

Cana (Arcana in the U.S.) is basically the Headmaster; to my surprise, he's actually quite well detailed in terms of paint, the head really looks identifiable and so are the other parts such as Cana's limbs. It's actually pretty impressive that such a small figure can look pretty well detailed.

Details - Jet Mode:

Moving to the main dish's vehicle mode, a majority of Brainstorm's jet mode looks sleek and fantastic, with the two protruding laser barrels attached near the nose cone. Despite the teal color, it actually looks amazing especially with the slight darker teal that Takara went with; it definitely blends well with the dark gray in the wings and fins along with the minor red paints that Takara Tomy added for their release. The Legends version also switched out the clear yellow plastic of Hasbro's with clear dark orange plastic and again, this definitely makes the paint combination do a good job of making the figure stand out.

I guess the one thing that really bugged me in the jet mode is the fact that around 1/4 of the robot's legs is sticking out there which looks really weird since the mass is ridiculously uneven.

If you might have noticed in the main pic, the Jet's cockpit can indeed be opened to fit the Headmaster inside and with Cana's articulation, it's pretty easy to make him sit down and pilot the jet.

Lastly, there's a panel you can flip down near the nosecone underneath the Jet and this does allow you to deploy his wheel-less landing gear.

Details - Robot Mode:

Moving on to robot mode, Brainstorm's head as formed by Cana looks really good! (for my taste that is) While the paint is simplistic, there's so much character on the head sculpt as given more life by the molded details; I guess the eyes could've been bigger or at least a bit more visible in some way but indeed, that is an awesome head sculpt.

Robot mode loses a good chunk of the teal, which goes to his back and form a neat little backpack, in exchange for more dark gray and cream goodness. The overall silhouette of Brainstorm looks really great and with Takara's extra paint details, it definitely does his IDW rendition justice as Brainstorm looks complete. Additionally, as I failed to mention in the Jetmode, the canopy now possesses an autobot insignia which also makes double bills as a G1 homage AND a more accurate IDW figure translation.

The best part of the figure's details for me is that they retained the "stats" in his chest which changes depending on which headmaster slots in the body.

For size comparison, below is a shot of Brainstorm standing next to Sons of Cybertron Henkei Rodimus.


The twin laser barrels from Brainstorm's jet mode actually detach and thus turn into twin blasters for Brainstorm's use in robot mode. 

Articulation Points - Cana:

As I've mentioned in the Jet's detail portion, Cana can definitely sit as he has a hinge in both his hips and knees. But more than just leg articulation, Cana does pack more articulation for being such a small figure; Cana's neck is ball jointed so this does allow you to make him look up, down or sideways as well as tilt his head.

Lastly, Cana's bent arms can be moved via his shoulders through a swivel.

Articulation Points - Brainstorm:

Going to Brainstorm's head, as the head is Cana transformed and is actually pegged to the body via Cana's head so that pretty much allow Brainstorm to fully utilize Cana's neck joint for all that good range of motion.I did hear that the 1st wave of the Hasbro release had a problem on the neck joint but rest assured, Takara's rendition doesn't have it.

As far as his arm articulation goes, you can fully rotate his arms via his shoulders and then raise them to a 90 with the help of hinges on each side. Brainstorm also has bicep swivels and his elbows are actually great double joint hinges while his wrists... well, let's just say you swing it inwards thanks to transformation. 

Before I proceed to the legs, the flaps on his waist can all be raised to certain degrees.

Going to the legs, Brainstorm's sideways split is just around 45 degrees even with the side flaps raised to its limits, however, his design does allow him to swing his legs both backward and forward to a perfect 90 degrees. Additionally, he does have thigh swivels and his legs can be bent to a full 90 via the knee hinges. Lastly, his ankles does have minor tilting capabilities and you can, of course, move it up or down with the hinges.


This is actually my first time getting a transformer with an actual small sized transformer that forms a part of the bot, and it certainly is really fun to play around with Cana even if he can really just pretty much pose with the Jet mode and, of course, forming Brainstorm as seen in the pic above.

While Cana was definitely a fun guy, I honestly think Brainstorm, despite having really get articulation points do still somewhat lack especially in the waist.

Brainstorm is definitely capable of semi-dynamic gunner poses but that simply could've been more with some more which I feel that they could've worked out on if they really wanted to.

Overall, all though, I think Brainstorm's just okay, he's not bad but he's not that good either in the playability zone though it's pretty neat that you can definitely use his blasters as some sort of back cannons.

And before I end this section, here's a neat little bonus of him fighting Hunter Nemesis Prime.

Final Thoughts:

Takara definitely made Brainstorm much better with the Added details and all but if you're not willing to shell out extra for darker colors and better paint apps, definitely just gun for Hasbro's since its not really bad either. Overall, I definitely love the mold aesthetics as it really brings justice to the character's design even with the whole "simple transformation" thing going on the Transformers goodies lately, however, again, I really wish that he got a bit more points of articulation as dual gun-wielding characters are one of my favorites when it comes to posing since they look badass but Brainstorm just didn't give me much content. But hey, if you like the character, definitely, this is the best official rendition you'll get for now, so get it if you can find one. While there is disappointment, I'm definitely glad I got this guy since he looks so damn awesome. Anyway, before I end, I got this neat headmaster from CWToys! Do check it out as it's only running until July 2015 releases, I believe. :(

I give Brainstorm a 4 out of 5.

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