Series: Generation 1 They can't beat the best.
Categories: Autobot Car
The complete egotist, Sunstreaker thinks he is the most beautiful thing on Earth. Loves his sleek styling, contemptuous of other Autobot race cars (particularly his twin, Sideswipe). Fires laser-guided ground-to-air rockets and high energy electron pulses at 300 bursts/sec. Tough polymer-steel skin resists artillery. Not a team player. Can be baited into dangerous situations, but is a very calm, competent and ruthless war machine
Like most of the original Transformers toys from 1984 and ’85, the emphasis of Sunstreaker is on a realistic alternate mode. So the robot gets the short end of the stick in terms of posability. Sunstreaker can move his arms at the shoulders and elbows, but the rest of him is pretty much a brick. Okay, he can move his feet, too, but that’s a transformation requirement and doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of poses.
Being able to move aside, Sunstreaker is a gorgeous robot, though. He’s actually a very close match to his animated counterpart (not a given in the original toyline) and even after 27 years he still looks quite cool (even if the chrome is showing quite a bit of wear). Sunstreaker is also one of only relatively few 1984 robots who has a proper back. A black plate prevents you from looking right through him. Not sure why, but I like that about him.
Sunstreaker is armed with silver missiles he can exchange for either hand (or both), and those yellow things on his shoulders are also supposed to be missiles (at least they were displayed as such in the Marvel comics), so he’s quite well equipped. So the bottom line here: a great robot, whose only shortcomings are those shared by pretty much every single Transformer toy from that year.
The disguise aspect of “Robots in Disguise” didn’t really play that big a role in the original series, seeing as Sunstreaker transforms into a “Super Tuning” customized Lamborghini Countach LP500S with an exposed rear-mounted engine. Not something you saw a lot of on the streets, even back in the 80s. That said, I adore this car. Not only does it look cool, it’s also one of the most 80s-looking car I’ve seen.
The original toyline placed a big emphasis on realistic car modes, so you have rubber tires, die-cast parts, an opening cockpit (with a single seat for a Diaclone-style driver figure), chromed parts and details galore. No further gimmicks here, but back in the day transforming into a car WAS the gimmick. So bottom line: one of the coolest cars of the 80s. Two thumbs up.
Sunstreaker was among the original crew of the Ark in both the G1 cartoon and the G1 Marvel Comics. The cartoon never showed him as anything else than just another (slightly vain) Autobot warrior, only the comics hinted at the rather anti-social tendencies that his profile text describes. It was only when Sunstreaker played a rather prominent role in the IDW G1 comics that he was really allowed to come into his (sociopathic) own.
The Sunstreaker figure also has a bit of a history, being one of the three “Lost Molds” of the G1 era, along with Mirage
. Which is why we haven’t seen a reissue of this toy since the European Classic Heroes line in 1990. For me, Sunstreaker was the missing link in my crew of the Ark and I finally found an affordable one at the 2011 C.O.N.S. convention. I also had this one as a kid, so he holds nostalgic appeal, too. Bottom line: a great figure, showing a cool character. Considering that this toy was never reissued after 1990, the odds of finding one cheap AND in good condition are slim, so I won’t recommend him to everyone, but if you’re like me and remember this dude from way back when, then you should grab him if you have the chance.