"Generations" Acid Storm with Venin Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Amazon, Target etc.)
Accessories: Venin figure/weapon, Blasters x 2

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Some warriors prefer an all-out frontal assault. Acid Storm and Venin take a more treacherous approach. Acid Storm can seed the atmosphere with toxins to create metal-melting acid rain. Venin uses his stinger to poison any life form and rot them from within. It might not be as flashy as triggering an explosion, but for the evil purposes of the Decepticons, it's just as destructive. Bring some road fury to your Transformers adventures with this treacherous pair of Decepticon warrior figures! Your Acid Storm figure can take his Autobot enemies on in robot mode and then blast off to the next battle in fighter jet mode. But your Venin figure can attack in robot mode, then convert to either weapon mode or insect mode! Will the Autobots be able to handle this poisonous pair? Only you can decide! Transformers and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro.

Continuing the trend started by Optimus Prime with Roller and Bumblebee with Blazemaster, the "Generations" Legends Class line rolls on with the introduction of Acid Storm with a new character "Venin" into the line. Acid Storm has appeared in the toy line before as a Deluxe Class figure. This set is a straight up redeco of the Legends set with Starscream and Waspinator. Check out that review for details on the sculpting. This review will focus on the changes made to the figures for this release.

Venin Review

Robot Mode:
For those curious, the term "Venin" refers to toxic substances in snake venom, which is interesting if you consider the character Venin may just be using some type of toxic substance derived from snake venom to attack enemies. This gives the figure and character a distinct "Beast Wars" era vibe and given that he is a redeco of Waspinator, this is very appropriate.

In an effort to make him very different from Waspinator in color, Venin is mostly purple and black plastic. Purple is used for most of the central part of the body while black is used for the arms, legs and "stinger". Black paint is used on the head and his eyes are painted green. The same green is used on the beast mode eyes on his chest. The wings are painted silver. The color scheme looks great and I'm glad it is radically different from Waspinator's.

Much to my surprise, a lot of the plastic on this figure has been replaced with soft PVC plastic. These parts include the arms, legs and the peg that is used to hold him in weapon mode. It doesn't affect the functionality of the figure really. The hands can still hold Acid Storm's weapons and he stands up just fine. My only concern is that if the parts are pushing up against something or if the weather is hot enough the parts can warp, so be warned.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Swing the robot arms to the sides.
  2. Swing the robot chest up to form the beast mode head.
  3. Swing the stinger/peg back.

Beast Mode:
In beast mode Venin shows off his bright green bug eyes and silver wings. Again these simple color swap outs make him look very distinctive, and since even Waspinator wasn't the only "Beast Wars" character with this mode (he had a redeco "partner" named Buzzsaw) Venin isn't imposing on any sort of design legacy. Since this figure is so small and light, he stands just fine even on the soft PVC plastic legs.

Transformation to Weapon Mode (from Beast Mode):

  1. Swing the tail/stinger down.
  2. Swing the beast mode head down.
  3. Push the wings together and the cannon barrel will push forward.
  4. Swing the beast mode head back up.

Weapon Mode:
The weapon mode is largely a variation on the beast mode so there aren't any big deco reveals. The one comment I will make is that the stinger now forms a weapon handle, and the soft PVC plastic works just fine, and it's thick enough that I wouldn't worry about it breaking. If I had any concern it would be the hinge being a tad loose. Since the PVC plastic is softer, it doesn't quite "grip" the hinge as tightly as the previous version did, but he still looks fine in weapon mode.

Acid Storm Review

Robot Mode:
Acid Storm was largely inspired by a generic Seeker Decepticon seen in the G1 cartoon who was a bright green color. However, his Deluxe toy went a bit more "realistic" with a military color theme. This iteration of Acid Storm however fully embraces his more campy roots as a neon green Seeker. Acid Storm is cast in two primary colors: neon green and black, and the contrast between the two colors looks fantastic. Green makes up most of the figure. His weapons, feet and the stabilizer fins on his lower legs are all black plastic. The stabilizer fins are soft, PVC plastic so be warned if you have him leaning on anything or toss him into a drawer with other figures - those parts can warp.

Of course, a few black parts isn't enough to really offer a good color scheme. Silver is used on the torso and the parts that flank the head. It's also used on the face. Black paint is used on several smaller sections including the head's "helmet", forearms, the turbines in his chest and parts of the lower leg. His eyes are painted red and the cockpit cover on his chest is painted orange (a nice callback to the G1 jets who often had orange cockpit covers). The final touch to the deco involves the wings on his back, which have purple and white patterns on them with large Decepticon symbols. Overall I really love how clean the contrast between colors is on this guy. I also love how deep the red eyes look. Not only is he distinct from Starscream, but he also looks good in his own right.

Functionally all the joints are still tight on this figure and he can hold his weapons (including Venin) just fine.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Remove the weapons for now.
  2. Push the two halves of each foot together.
  3. Connect the two lower legs together.
  4. Swing the rear stabilizers out to the sides.
  5. Swing the wings piece back and connect it to the back of the lower legs using the tab.
  6. Swing the cockpit section up, folding out the nosecone.
  7. Swing each arm down, connecting the forearms to the wings using the tabs on the underside of each wing.
  8. Connect the weapons to the sides of the arms.

Vehicle Mode:
The jet mode largely carries over all the colors from the robot mode - but that's a good thing. The neon green is still front and center color-wise but there's enough black plastic showing that a good dark contrast is present. The pattern on his wings take center stage here in all their purple and white glory. In another nice deco choice, silver paint winds up flanking the cockpit section, adding a bit of metallic color to the mode. Finally the cockpit is painted orange with a green line in the middle that calls back to the design of the Seekers in Generation One. Overall I think this guy looks great in this form.

Venin can attach to the back of the figure and he holds on snug. The blasters on his arms also attach just fine in this form. There are no loose parts falling off to worry about.

Final Thoughts:
This redeco isn't for everyone. First, many people expected the first (and second) redecos of Starscream to be Thundercracker or Skywarp so it's disappointing in that respect (though Thundercracker is out as part of "Combiner Wars"). Second, the neon green color may turn some folks off. It is rather garish and you kind of have to have a sense of humor about the character to fully appreciate it. I also dig the addition of a new "beast" character into canon via Venin. My big disappointment is the change of some of the parts for Venin from regular plastic to soft PVC plastic. I'm guessing this was a cost choice more than a safety one, but it's disappointing regardless. Overall this is a cool set, but not one I'd expect anyone to go out of their way to find. Recommended with reservations.

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