In the official corner, weighing in at 3 metric tons; Hasbro Sunstreaker and Diakron Red Sunstreaker, in the 3rd Party Corner, weighing in at a handsome £70 each (if you can find the yellow one), Badcube’s Sunsurge and Sentinel Blaze.
Who will win?: The fans (cliched applause for a cliched answer).
What a time to be a Transformer collector! There is more knowledge and interest in Diaclone than there has been for years thanks to the combined efforts of a huge amount of fan research and investigation into classic pre-Transformer releases, Diaclone V2 releases, a wealth of official Masterpiece repaints (including Clampdown, Red Tracks / Roadrage, Blue Bluestreak, forthcoming Powered Convoy / Delta Magnus, Loud Pedal / Black Tracks and many more) and thanks to 3P companies, we even get interesting gaps filled thanks to releases such as Maketoys Wrestle / Grapple and MMC’s Liger repaint giving us Red Mirage.
Today, we’re taking a look at what 3rd Party have done for us lately, namely; filling a Sunstreaker shaped gap in our collection, and giving us a red repaint too in the process. And because I love ya, we’ll be looking at the original releases as well with a decent sized gallery of comparisons.
Diakron DK-1 – Red Sunstreaker
Shown here is my original Diakron DK-1, a North American release of Diaclone Countach LP500S, originally released by Takara in Japan. The short lived Diakron range featured this guy, Black Ironhide (later released by eHobby as Protect Black Ironhide, an official Transformer) and a Blue version of Trailbreaker (coming soon in future blogs).
This mold is credited as being the first ever Transformer design, with credit to Kohjin Ohno (our Lord and master), so it’s a pretty important slice of Transformers right here. It was also released in Diaclone as a Police Car type in white, with red detailing on the head and a lightbar. More details here at the excellent TFsquareone blog.
Many Transformers fans consider it odd that eHobby have never released Sunstreaker in red as an official Transformer like they have Tigertrack (yellow Sideswipe), but they’ve not released Sunstreaker either, and the rumour is the original mold for one of his arms has been lost in storage. You might not know is that Sunstreaker’s original working name was Spin Out*, which is a name that the TFwiki (and TFCC) uses as an assumed name for this mold in red. Although the issue does get more confusing below…
Adding more nerdy trivia to proceedings; there has oft been confusion over the bios for the two toys, with evidence supporting that their colours and names were swapped. In the very first mention of Transformers in Marvel Age #17, Sideswipe’s description matches Sunstreaker (with references to pile-driver arms and a rocket back-pack), and Sunstreaker is absent replaced by Spin-Out’s description, which matches the bot we know as Sideswipe (shoulder mounted missile launcher). Whether a decision to swap colour schemes created this confusion, or whether the paint swap happened accidentally because of confusion between the two characters, is unknown. We’ll never know how deep the confusion went, and whether these guys are the Zuckuss and 4-LOM of Transformers (SSIRSIY!), but it does appear that way.*
It’s worth pointing out that Sunstreaker does not become a Lamborghini Countach LP500S like his brother, instead he transforms into an unlicensed, unapproved and heavily modified Lamborghini Countach concept car. This seemingly minor detail has a serious knock on effect down the line, as we’ll discuss later.
BadCube OTS-08 SunSurge
BadCube was teased some time ago, and the war was on against newcomer Omnigonix, whose ironically named Spin-Out (what, it’s not like Hasbro or Takara ever used it!) recently came out to a chorus of complaints and disappointment. Whatever you think of this figure, he has definitely won the war. So far.
Released at the beginning of 2016, this somewhat divisive figure is a complex little beast. Some people dislike the chest-cheat, with his windshield and alt. mode roof hiding away in favour of a smaller, arguably more screen accurate chest-plate. I’ve heard at least one fan derisively accuse SunSurge of looking like a young girl with big feet in a push-up sports bra, and I have to admit a certain Humberto Ramos influence in the feet, but in a way that works for me. Is there a better way to do it? I feel it’s very subjective. Omnigonix tries to follow the original G1 transformation in that he uses the alt. mode windshield and roof as his chest, but some feel this looks too big to achieve that animation model aesthetic that the Masterpiece line is veering towards.
Sometimes called Rubik’s SunSurge by sarcastic people like me, he can be tricky to transform, but I should point out that it is possible to transform him out of the box without instructions, as I did it twice. Thankfully, these guys are packaged in alt. mode (yay!) which means the first transformation is a lot more fun than trying to compact it back down, which can be very tricky indeed.
I don’t think anyone can argue with the results of the alt. mode, it’s pretty much exactly what anyone would want. It scales perfectly as a Lamborghini with the official MP Sideswipe, and perfectly nails the custom / modified rear engine / scoop look of the G1 toy. A lot of people complain about the back of the car, I address that in the Sentinel write-up below.
There are plenty of options with this toy as well, the weapon stores on the alt. mode for a modified attack mode, exactly like we’ve seen across the MP line – I love this feature as it adds a lot play value, not to mention stops people like me losing parts. As well as this, we get spare parts, so you can swap out chromed parts for subdued painted silver parts for the spoiler, wheels, and engine scoop. Great value and attention to detail.
Badcube Sentinel Blaze
Released very recently indeed by BadCube, we get the lovely Diaclone homage I wanted from the first time I saw SunSurge teased. The red is perfect, and he fits in with the rest of the MP line effortlessly, and makes me glad I committed to a separate Diaclone MP subline.
Some people complained about the back of the car, but to be honest, it’s absolutely no worse than the original 1984 release which I include for comparison.
Few display these in alt. mode (which is a shame as they are beautiful) and fewer still display them in alt. mode facing backwards. I suppose an argument could be made for lack of real world accuracy, but this modified Lambo does not exist in the real world. And even if it did, I doubt it would become a cool-ass robot. Yes, reality sucks.
Are these acceptable figures to use for Sunstreaker / Red Sunstreaker, or is it merely a stand-in? I guess that depends entirely on your subjective point-of-view. Traditionally, I’m not a fan of cheats, and the radiator grills in both MP01 and MP-10 both annoy me, but don’t stop me owning the figures, and I barely hear people complain about those, yet many TF fans complain about this guys cheat. For me, I’m thankful that BadCube committed to this look, rather than compromising with a midway cheat, this way, we have the best of both worlds (if you can get past Omnigonix’s QC and bad reputation).
I absolutely adore this toy, it looks brilliant in both modes, gives us one of those fantastic key Ark characters we sorely need to stop our MP Sideswipes from getting lonely. We need this toy.
But what happens if and when we get an official Sunstreaker? Sadly, I think we know the answer from most fans. First though, I don’t thing we can count on Sunstreaker being an inevitable MP release, Takara have had a license agreement with Lamborghini since the very start of the new MP cars line-up, so why no Sunstreaker? As I’m sure many of you are aware, there is a possibility that Lamborghini (who are VERY protective of their LUXURY brand) will refuse to license an unsanctioned modification as an official product, and Takara wouldn’t be able to do it without their approval. Sticky territory. As a silver lining, perhaps we should look to the Super Deformed QT release of Sideswipe, which is fully licensed by Lamborghini – how is Sunstreaker different from a deform?
Ultimately though, I do not believe that an official MP disqualifies a 3P offering. I can’t see how MT Hound or MMC’s Mirage homages can be beaten, and I’m someone who replaced MP09 with Carry and kept Quakewave over MP Laserwave.
With the releases of MP Ironhide and Ratchet, and the initial images of Inferno, it seems that Takara is going fully towards show accuracy, rather than maintaining the real world / toy / animation model balance that the line originally strove towards. If this is the case, then there is totally a place for more comic / toy accurate interpretation of characters for people like me.
Even if we do get Sunstreaker officially, and it totally blows us all away and has that magic “Eureka!” moment we all crave from MP, I dare say at the very least I will keep Sentintel Blaze at the absolute minimum, so I can have the best of both worlds with official and 3P, like I plan to do with Wrestle and MP Inferno, if Inferno somehow convinces me to part with the amazing Hellfire.
What more could a toy collector want than that?
BadCube Sentinel is on stock at Kapow right now! Go to, and secure your Diaclone repaint future!
*Spin-Out naming clarification thanks to the immense knowledge of Maz! An excellent article here covers Marvel Age #17.