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Stratosphere - Revenge of the Fallen - Figure

For obvious reasons Stratosphere’s name keeps invoking one of my favorite Masters of the Universe characters Stratos. Fortunately this gray winged RotF toy does justice to the fond memories I have of He-Man’s flying Avian friend.

Bio

“When the Autobots need to be delivered to the front lines fast, they rely on Stratosphere. His cargo bay has enough room for an entire Autobot strike team, and his engines have enough power to get them all the way to the other side of the world in only a couple of hours. High altitude weapons allow him to deliver a punishing barrage against Decepticon targets on the ground as his comrades move in for the finish.”

Tech-Specs

Strength     
Intelligence
Speed
Endurance
Rank
Courage
Fireblast
Skill

Alt Mode

Stratosphere’s plane mode is his reason for being. Like several vehicles from the first movie, Stratosphere’s alt mode is a regular non-transforming human vehicle in the movie (unless someone knows something about Revenge of the Fallen that most of us don’t).

I’m not sure what real life plane he is meant to be, but he bears a resemblance to modified Boeing 747.s N.A.S.A uses to transport Space Shuttles. This led some to speculate that he would come or be compatible with a Space Shuttle Transformer.

To the reviewers understanding at the time of writing, N.E.S.T. Deploys Transformers, Optimus Prime in particular, from a similar airborne transport several times during Revenge of the Fallen. Thus Stratosphere has a cargo bay that opens out of his rear when the tail wings are tilted down which accommodates the miniature Optimus Prime he comes with.

The plane mode itself is good looking. It’s hard to say what the rational for the orange on the engines is, unless Stratosphere is going through re-entry. The seams are in natural places, and over all it’s a good plane toy.

It has landing gear with rolling wheels. However the opening bay of five wheels of which only one is real. The other four would be a fine detail but they are un-painted and look awkward. With out the paint, the plane would look better with just the functional wheels.

Transformation

Stratosphere’s transformation is fairly simple and intuitive. Like other RotF toys I’ve examined, Stratosphere breaks in the front center of his alt mode and then folds back to re-attach and form the torso. Seems to be a theme.

This transformation seemed really easy, but after RotF Leader Optimus… Everything might seem easy.

The “Mech-Alive” gimmick of the chest opening as the arms unfurl seems more like an “Auto-Morph” function. It backs the theory that these gimmicks would be best skipped. Transformers have a gimmick. They Transform.

Robot Mode

Overall Stratosphere is a good looking ‘bot. Despite chicken legs from head on he looks great. The main and tail wings frame the skinny figure nicely and better than average articulation give a wide range of play possibilities. Stratosphere is sturdy and play worthy, but still durable.

His intuitive and straight forward transformation eliminates the need for ball or break away joints, totally absent from the figure. He’s not going to come apart in your hands as you try to pose him.

The big detractors here are the GIANT airplane backpack he’s got on and the clogs he wears to hold it up. They’re “friggin ‘Huge!”

The excess plane parts stick nearly 5’ off the back and depending on the angle you choose to keep them, the wings can nearly double the height of the figure.

Those chicken legs aren’t there for no reason. They feed into feet with a base more than 3’ long. These size 12’s do the figure functional credit though, stability is not an issue here. However they do represent the aesthetically weakest part of the figure. They’re giant and hollow and visible. The plane backpack is more hidden from the front but those feet are right out there.

Articulation

HeadTurns from side to side.
ShouldersFull range of motion.
Upper ArmRotates.
ElbowsDouble hinge, up and down.
Hands No wrist motion. Fingers and thumb open and close. Thumb leaves room for circular weapon grip.
WaistNo Joint.
ThighsFull Range of motion. Legs rotate under the thighs.
KneesBend up and down.
AnkleBends up and down in a double jointed digitigrade fashion.

Overall

Stratosphere was designed to be fun to play with, and he is. These concerns are going to be more for display purposes than actual play. Stratosphere, is a solid figure with good articulation, lacking in a weakness of joint that many of his contemporaries suffer. Fun for kids, but collectors may wanna pass.

L’il Prime

Oh, ain’t he cute?

Possibly the smallest transforming movie Prime, this little guy gives the Worlds Smallest Transformers a run for their money.

Pictured with LOC Prime for scale.

Unfortunately being small is about all this Prime offers.

Some paint might have done shorty wonders. The one splotch of red flamey paint isn’t enough. Like last movies LOC Prime there’s just too much dark blue here.

His transformation, like so many Primes, hearkens back to the old G1 classic stand by, here with the unfortunate result that the grill that forms the washboard abs of a snub nose Prime turns out as a prodigious beer gut on this petite prime.

As long as you stow his feet properly during transformation, (not shown well in the instructions) he rolls nicely in and out of Stratosphere.

Pictured with LOC Prime for scale.

Articulation

HeadMoves up and Down
ShouldersOpen outward.
Upper ArmUp and down.
ElbowsNope.
Hands Seriously? He’s an inch tall.
WaistPelvis thrusts. Really.
LegsAre one solid piece.
AnkleMoves feet up and down.

This Prime exists mostly for function, and dispite not being much to look at, he fills that role well. For some the fact that Stratosphere poops out this little guy will be the principal reason to buy him.

Overall

Honestly, I love the little guy, but I’d be lying if I said he was anything but slag.

"People thought I was Silverbolt?! More like Superion, glitch!”



ReviewerEnder  
DateJune 15th 2009  
Score 7 stars (7 out of 10)  
Reads13685
Link  




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last 10 shown - scroll to view more   TFormers Member Comments
knuclear200x
2009-06-17
9:31 pm

Awesome review Ender. This guy really does look awesome. If he's cool in the movie, I'll buy him. Also I loved how you used animated gifs for the transformations. 
Ender
2009-06-17
3:46 am

Well, the one design is intended to be a toy the other is intended to be a cgi character. Not surprisingly, they do one better than the other. 
KFGatri
2009-06-16
11:51 pm

To my eye the non-movie designs are all much nicer looking than the on-screen ones. 
MikePrime
2009-06-16
8:09 pm

What, did the small, unpainted, shuttle/gun cost too much to include with Stratosphere? 
TRANS-Lego-MaN
2009-06-16
6:17 pm

 
Ender
2009-06-16
3:51 pm

Oops. I can type. Really. 
formerly nortagem
2009-06-16
3:15 pm

fix'd & yeah...  
astronut
2009-06-16
2:14 pm

As much as I am trying not to, I am liking this guy. A little gunmetal and battleship gray paint to those arms and tan upper legs, and he's a winner IMO. I can ignore the ugly feet too, although a hinge that brought them together a bit to fill the gap and tighten them up would have been nice... 
HMRC4EVR
2009-06-16
2:13 pm

I've got him and he's a great figure. Other than the huge pontoon feet he's got some good lines and he poses really well. But I have to think Takara designers were looking back at some of their old Brave molds-this guy just begs to be repainted at Fire Dagwon from Brave Command Dagwon.... read more 
Breaker
2009-06-16
11:15 am

Kudos to Ender for killing that review. In the box pics, some witty entertaining comments and the transformation .gif is pure genius. Way to go buddy! As for my opinion of Stratosphere himself, he looks nifty but I dunno if Ill end up getting him. I love his size and I chuckle at his ability t... read more 
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