Solar Storm Grapple – Transformers 2010

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Buy Cool Toys, Transformers
Tags: , , , , ,

I recently got in my hot little hands an upcoming Hasbro release, Solar Storm Grapple.  Actually, the packaging says “Grappel” but… just no.  I can’t bring myself to spell it that way.  The figure is set to be released sometime in late 2010 or early 2011.

Grapple is, of course, a modern update of a classic Transformers character.  The original looked something like this:

Look ma, one hand!

The old-school Grapple was a redeco and retool of Inferno, a fire-truck Transformer. That hasn’t changed. The new Grapple is a repaint and retool of Universe Inferno. The differences are cosmetic, for the most part. Of course the color is different. Grapple is a rather light orange–in fact, a much lighter orange than portrayed in official Hasbro photos. His emergency lights are amber, as opposed to Inferno’s clear lights. He has a different head, and his arms are rounded to resemble his G1 counterpart, whereas Inferno’s arms are squared.

So… on with the review, shall we? First, let’s take a look at his alt mode:

Here for all your crane-ish needs

The vehicle mode is pretty much no frills. A lot of the outer shell comes from folded up paneling in bot mode, so in some respects, this is really more of a “shell-former.” The deco on the truck mode is pretty slim. A few hazard stripes and little else. Nary an Autobot sigil is to be found on the one I have in either mode. The color is actually pretty ugly. It’s not orange, it’s not yellow, and it’s not pleasing to the eye. Something about the clear plastic windshields doesn’t sit well with me either, as I would’ve preferred something more tinted that doesn’t scream “let me look at your insides!”

Another complaint with the alt mode. It only looks right from the side. If you look from the top, there is a lot of kibble visible.

Look at me guts, boy-o!

Robot mode is a bit better. Thankfully, there’s some black thrown in there to break up all that orange. (There’s no way I’m buying the United version with the orange head.) The figure is a nice nod to G1. The only problem is that the crane makes a rather unwieldy weapon. I’m not even sure what he’s supposed to use it for, but it certainly doesn’t lend itself well to combat. Grapple doesn’t come with any guns either. The crane makes him difficult to pose on a crowded shelf, too.

As far as transformation goes, he is pretty simplistic, perhaps even a little too simplistic for a Voyager class toy. Pretty much all the transformation entails is folding up the shell parts, folding down the legs, folding out the arms and turning up the head. I only encountered one real problem. The head is spring-loaded, so it should pop up immediately, but there is a lip from the clear windshield plastic that catches the neck plate and keeps it from flipping. When transforming to robot mode, I had to really put some force on the plate, and I was very afraid I was going to break him. This, along with the rather average truck form, assures me that in all likelihood, I will not be returning Grapple to vehicle mode.

So, without further adieu, here’s Grapple’s gallery!

"Hauler, pull 'im up!!"

I will rebuild this town!

You think these buildings built themselves?

Yeah, I'm yellow. What of it?

Color comparison shot: Legacy Classics Bumblebee and 2010 Solar Storm Grapple


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