One of the unfortunate side effects of the success of the first Live Action Film was demand far outstripping supply. The mainline movie toys were only a handfull of figures, and Hasbro quickly found themselves on the back foot, grabbing any mould they could lay their hands on and chucking it out in movie packaging, giving the line the most inconsistent look since RiD. So it was that ill-fitting moulds from the Cybertron and Universe line came to be thrown into the melee of movie toys. By the time the second film rolled around, Hasbro had plenty of new 'bots to beef up the Movie line, but still less than terrific repaints of older toys cropped up as store 'exclusives'. In the UK, these Scout Class exclusive packs found their way to our supermarket chains whom then retailed them at preposterous prices. This 'War Of The Waves' set found its way into my hands having been finally dumped into the clearance aisle at a far more reasonable price.
The main reason for purchasing this set was to pick up Storm Surge, the Decepticon Hovercraft. I'd previously owned the mould in his original outing as Cybertron Short Round, and he'd always impressed me as a simple, but very well executed toy. Finding reacquiring that figure now something of a costly excercise, I didn't hesitate to pick this set up.
Storm Surge has been given a slightly more 'realistic' colorscheme to Short Round, as well as a pointless 'Sector 7' tampograph (nothing says secret quasi-governmental organisation like advertising it to the world). The colours are pretty good, although the orangey-red that's used is perhaps a little too bright. Crimson might have looked better. Anyway, that doesn't distract from how fantastically detailed the alt mode is. From the engine turbines at the rear, to the plethora of rivets, rails and panels that are visible all over the shop, Storm Surge screams quality. A rare thing, compared to some of the awful tat the Cybertron line spewed out.
The robot mode is also a cracking little thing. Despite the weight on the back of the robot mode that houses the Cyber-Planet Key gimmick, Storm Surge is perfectly well balanced. The only real downside is the arms. Although they can swing out at the shoulders, his elbows just pivot at 90 degrees, where a ball joint would have been more appropriate. This small oversight means Storm Surge can't really put his arms in any useful poses.
In comparrison, Air Raid is horrible blocky lump and a prime example of the worst excesses of the Energon line (from which this mould originates). Whilst the Decepticons got some generally excellent toys during Energon, the Autobot figures were all awful. Air Raid isn't a totally lost cause. The pixelated camouflage paint scheme is nice, and I like the snap together Energon weapons, but that's as far as it goes for plus points. The jet is a stumpy bit of nonsense with some weird claw-like landing gear which give a strange creepy-crawly appearance. The robot mode is a clunky disappointment. The transformation is well executed, but its just wasted on such a portly, stumpy fart of a figure. And that bloody nosecone falls off the back of his head just by looking at it. I hate that on a lot of modern Transformers there's poorly engineered parts like this. All too frequently, parts that require a lot of handling aren't sensibly held in place with an axle of some kind, they're just held in place by an easily worn plastic clip-joint. Rubbish.
Not really a priority purchase for anyone (hence the shelf warming), and in the cold light of day, a lazy money grabbing exercise from Hasbro, whatever they've decided to package the toys as this time. It got me the Short Round mould relatively inexpensively, so I can't complain.