Altered States Magazine - June 2002

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    Armada Wave 1
    Air Defense Mini-Con Team

    By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor

    ASM Quick Facts

    Includes: Jetstorm (jet), Sonar (space shuttle), Runway (jet)
    Difficulty: 2 (Intermediate)
    Packaging: Blister Card
    Contents: Jetstorm, Sonar, Runway, instructions, mini-comic/catalog

    Vehicle Modes

    Jetstorm is a Concorde jet. Or possibly not; the instructions and packaging differ on which one is Jetstorm and which is Runway. Weíre going to assume for the moment that Jetstorm is the jet with blue and white detailing, grey robot parts and a solid blue tail. Most of Jetstorm is made up of faintly purple transparent plastic. Although most of his robot body is folded up under the jet (as usual for small Transformer planes), itís surprisingly compact for a toy of this size. Astonishingly, the jetís nose includes a tiny foldable landing gear.

    Runway (or possibly Jetstorm) is another sleek and speedy-looking jet. Like Jetstorm, most of the toyís body is molded in pale transparent purple, with silver, black and red detailing and grey robot parts. The wings of the jet are intricately detailed with tiny etched lines and circles. Runway also includes a folding landing gear.

    Sonar is a wedge-shaped concept model space shuttle with upswept wings and stubby tailfins. Few translucent parts are visible in this mode, which is mostly white and blue with some black, grey and gold detailing. Although no landing gear is provided, the shuttle can balance on the transparent cylinder slung beneath its rear half.

    Transformation to Robot Mode

    Jetstorm: Raise the landing gear and fold the jet nose onto the back. Un-peg and straighten the robot legs, turning the shins to face forward. Lower and unfold the arms. When looking at the top of the jet, pull up on the tail, then swing it down onto the robot chest, pushing it into place.

    Runway: Raise the landing gear and straighten the legs, lining the robot hips up with the spine. Flip down the arms, swing down the rear engines onto the chest, and use a fingernail to flip up the robot head.

    Sonar: Pull forward the front half of the shuttle, then separate it into legs. Rotate the cockpit halves to become feet, turning them toward the front. Rotate the cylinder onto the back of the shuttle and flip up the robot head. Flip down the lower arms and rotate the wings.

    Robot Modes

    Jetstormís body is mostly transparent, with grey upper arms and legs. The jetís wings are fixed behind his shoulders and the tailfin sticks out from his lower chest. His tiny face has red detailing and a vaguely bat-like appearance. His faction symbol is molded onto his right shin.

    Runwayís body is split evenly between transparent purple and grey. The jet nose, hanging down behind him, balances him like a tripod. His large chest and turbine-laden forearms give him the look of a teensy tiny brawler. His faction symbol appears on the wing next to his left shoulder.

    Sonar is mostly grey and blue with a gold chest and red face. With his large lower legs and the wings on his shoulders, heís a bit less graceful-looking than his two teammates. His faction symbol is on his back, on top of the shuttle mode.


    Jetstormís shoulders can swing to the sides and his elbows are hinged. His hips rotate forward and his knees are ball-jointed.

    Runway has hinged elbows and rotating hips and knees. His head can also be angled up or down.

    Sonar has rotating shoulders and hinged elbows, with hips and knees that swing to the sides and ball-jointed ankles.


    Jetstorm, Runway and Sonar can combine to form the mighty sword Star Saber. It looks a little silly, but for something made out of two jets and a space shuttle, itís a decent sword. The transparent plastic used in all three Mini-Cons will presumably allow the Star Saber to glow when placed in Optimus Primeís light-up fist.


    The Air Defense Team has an impressive amount of molded and painted detailing and some pretty amazing articulation for robots the size of Micromasters. Although the transparent material used for much of their bodies looks a little fragile, the joints all seem to move comfortably without putting too much stress on the plastic. One concern is that Jetstormís left hip does show white stress marks where the grey plastic is especially thin. Durability is, of course, an issue with Transformers of this size and intricacy. It remains to be seen how well they will hold up over time and play.

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      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication