As fun as it might be to sometimes be on the leading edge with high quality photographic coverage of the latest toys, it’s also something I think is bad if I let it be the sole or even main focus. So I’m trying something new by revisiting an older favorite.
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Stormshot, from the third year of the 2015 Robots in Disguise line’s Warrior Class pricepoint is a personal favorite figure. Does it have any remarkable engineering? No. It’s basically a Combiner Wars Aerialbot without any combining hardware. The amount of paint is pretty average, and while its accessories have some solid visual design, they’re also basic static pieces. But it has some personality, and besides that, by staying well within the lines, it gets to focus on being simple and solid and being really good at being pretty basic.
It’s also a wholly new character, not even vaguely based on any G1 anybody. In RID2015, that wasn’t so unusual for the Decepticons, but the Autobots were much more frequently based on legacy names and/or concepts. And even better? Stormshot is a non-show toy. That’s pretty amazing all by itself. Way back when, non-show toys were common and a normal part of collector life. Beast Wars and Beast Machines had small casts because of production budgeting, but they still had to have full toylines. As we moved forward to the Unicron Trilogy shows, the landscape changed and you had shows with lots more characters appearing, bringing a majority of the product lineup on to the screen. Non-show toys dwindled and became very rare, and in that something special was lost.Non-show toys could often be a source of great personalization in collecting. Even when everybody had a bio note to suggest character traits, there was always a lot of room to imagine and develop who it was that this toy represented. I mean, sure, you can always do that with toys representing characters with normal media appearances, but at least to me there’s a different feel about substitution versus complete or near-complete invention. You might have the very same toy as countless other people, but in the way you perceive it and who it exists as in your mind, it’s entirely and uniquely yours.
Stormshot holds a special place for me because it so well represents this memory of a time when collecting felt very different. And while it may be hard to convey exactly those feelings in a gallery, I can at least share with you my appreciation for a really cool looking, well-made toy that is a highlight of the line it came from. I love it so much in fact that I have two of them – and would gladly add a third if the right opportunity came along.
I hope in the near future I’ll be able to share more things like this, along with shoots for more current, up-to-date toys. And maybe even venture outside of Transformers a bit here and there too.
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