Tuesday 13 March 2018

Sunstorm 89 (e-Hobby exclusive, 2003)

Profile (Translated from the Trading Card)
89 Destron Aerospace Warrior Sunstorm
Function: Aerospace Warrior
Transformation: Jet Fighter
Ability: Created with a built-in fusion reactor running at higher than original efficiency, he can use it as a weapon to generate intense light and heat or other powerful electromagnetic waves. These energy emissions are constantly radiating from his body, inducing negative effects in his nearby team-mates' internal systems, so unless he provides rigorously secure shielding, he is only rarely included in unit activities. His top atmospheric speed is 2400 km/h, while he can reach 16000 km/h in outer space. Sunstorm is secretly convinced he is a supernatural being, and his frequent flashes of bizarre speech and behaviour tend to keep his comrades at an excessive distance.
Weapon(s): Gamma-Ray Laser Cannons, Burst Missiles.
STR...6; INT...6; SPD...9; END...7; RNK...5; CRG...8; FPR...9; SKL...7; TTL...57

Sunstorm is an obscure character who originally appeared unnamed in the first episode of the 1984 G1 cartoon, "More Than Meets The Eye Part 1" where he and three other Decepticon jets attempted to intercept Bumblebee and Wheeljack. His appearance was a blink and you'll miss it moment and he did not appear again in the  rest of the series.

Screenshot from "More Than Meets The Eye Part 1".

Between 2002 and 2006, Takara reissued many of the original Transformers in their Transformers Collection Series in "book box" styled packaging. To accompany the mainline releases, exclusive repaints were released by e-Hobby.co.jp; often the repaints were based on the original Diaclone versions but others were based on one off characters seen in the original cartoon who were retconned and came with a new backstory to fit into the G1 continuity.

Starscream was released in 2003 in cartoon colours alongside Inferno. e-Hobby then released Road Hauler and Sunstorm as a limited edition set; Road Hauler was a light green redeco of Grapple and Sunstorm was a bright orange redeco of Starscream.

The grey and red on Starscream was replaced with bright orange plastic which would not look out of place in Generation 2 and the blue was replaced with white. Sunstorm came with standard Destron jet fists, whereas the reissue Starscream's fists were remoulded to be able to hold an additional Megatron gun accessory. Sunstorm's box art was taken from Thundercracker and repainted in orange.

Sunstorm box art

Following his release Sunstorm gained popularity, appearing in comics and more Sunstorm toys were produced in the likes of the Titanium Series and Transformers Animated. The original 2003 version was reissued in 2009 and in 2012 Takara Tomy released a Masterpiece version as an Amazon.co.jp exclusive and in 2014 Hasbro released their own Masterpiece Sunstorm which was a repaint of Takara Tomys in a questionable colour scheme.


Sunstorm 89, e-hobby exclusive (2003, Takara)

Sunstorm 89, e-hobby exclusive (2009, Takara Tomy)

View the full gallery here on Flickr.

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