Warning? DOTM Sandstorm (Basic HA)'s rear wheels

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Treadshot A1, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    EDIT: Measurements are as follows: Black hinge = 32mm, Peg = 2.5 mm long, 1 mm thick. this means a breaking angle of 21.8 degrees. The figures have been adjusted below. What does this mean? Well, it means it's even EASIER to break than i first thought. That's not exactly a comforting thought.

    I'm working on the computer version of the actual math which i'll upload when i'm done, just incase anyone's still skeptical.

    (See "EDIT 2")

    Okay, seriously, I've been experimenting with Sandstorm recently, and I've loved the rear hinged roll cage. It's great for making working toy gimmicks, such as flippers, axes, anything that needs a hinge it's great for. But there's one slight issue I have found, and that is with the rear wheel connection points.

    This problem has nothing to do with Kitbashing AT ALL. The mold itself, by design, is flawed and cursed to breaking. I didn't do anything at all stressful with mine that a normal kid wouldn't. Just regular play wear.

    [​IMG]
    (Image originally from the Moonbase blog, edited with Adobe Ideas for illustrative/demonstration purposes)

    Put your Sandstorm into vehicle mode. Go to it's rear wheels, and pull outwards. That will unlock its wheels from the body. The attachment point here, is a thin rectangular peg on the inside of the robot arm, which corresponds to the rectangular hole in the main torso.

    The problem with this peg, however, lies not in it's shape, but rather its proportions. The fact that it is longer (protrudes 2.5mm) than it is thick (1mm) means that the longest line one can draw from vertex to vertex on the side, is at an angle of 21.8 degrees. That means, any push past that angle (which is VERY slight, you'll push it past just transforming the figure) will stress the plastic there, and over time (ive had mine for two weeks), the joint will break.

    It's important to note here, that it's not a sudden snap sort of break. It's a gradual weakening, and then it will TEAR. You will quite literally rip the peg clean off, believe me, I watched both joints on mine tear apart.

    So, you might be wondering: "if I pull straight, then I won't push it past 21.8 degrees, and I'll be fine". WRONG. You see, the shoulder ball joint, which the arm is connected to, is the one fatal link. Due to it being diagonally DOWN from the peg, the peg will have to swing down to get out of the hole, due to it being connected to the shoulder. You can be as careful as you want, but it will stress every time you use it. The downwards component of the vector joining the peg to the ball joint pushes the peg past the 21.8 degrees angle, and hence it is not possible, to the best of my Maths, to safeguard this joint from breaking if you transform the figure at all often.


    So, anyone else have this problem? I'd post pics, but mine is being used for a certain event near my area (school engineering project, to be precise), and hence kept secret for the time being. I have a second Sandstorm, which I bought two days ago. As soon as that breaks, I'll post pics of that. Not that that will take long at all.

    For the record, mine has broken on both sides, no excessive play wear, just regular play wear as a kid would (I do count as a kid, actually), and ive looked at the build with the extent of my high school 3D vector space and engineering knowledge. I'm also a toy designer, having sold models designed from scratch, on these boards, so I am used to designing joints in toys. I'd be very surprised if I'm the only one who has had this happen to them.


    EDIT 2:
    The maths has been done: Turns out Hasbro has pulled this one way to close, but not yet past it. The maths was done assuming an ideal world, if you were to be a perfect person who made no mistakes.

    The result is this:
    Breaking Angle: 21.8 degrees
    Forced Angle (of Transformation): 19.91 degrees (to 2 decimal places)
    Tolerance Angle = Breaking - Forced
    = 1.809 degrees.
    > 0 degrees.

    This means, that if you are a perfect person, you will not break the joint even if you use it over and over and over again. Note, i said PERFECT person. I.e. If you were a robot in an IDEAL world, then the joint works.

    So, what happens to real people, in the real world? Well, what happens is that each time you pull it out, you have to transform it within 1.89 degrees of PERFECTION.

    In case you don't know how much 1.809 degrees is, the blade of a kitchen knife is MORE than 1.809 degrees. In other words, to avoid breaking the joint, you need to pull it in such a way as to be within (literally) a Knife's Edge from perfection. If you can do that repeatedly, good on you. But no kid, nor collector, nor anyone can pull a joint within 1.809 degrees of perfection repeatedly. No way. And as i was measuring my toy, another stress mark appeared. Just from measuring the toy. The joint will break, no matter how careful you are.

    Here's the maths for it, done on my iPad with a crapload of trigonometry. Anyone want to challenge my math, go ahead, i'm just a high school student. But i'm pretty damn sure, tolerance is 1.8 to 1.9 degrees.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    What a shame, I was just about to pick this up today. Perhaps I'll wait for Whirl. Please do continue giving us your expert opinion on the durability of these toys, seems like QC is becoming a bigger issue day by day.
     
  3. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Sounds like a potential fix would be to shave down the peg to about 1.5 mm? Thanks for the heads up, I'll look at mine again later.
     
  4. xion14

    xion14 Well-Known Member

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    Would making the Peg shorter help? It would still get stressed But it should handle it a bit better. Left arm on mine has it a bit so far so I'm going to try to shave it down to a /l shape.
     
  5. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Shaving down the peg to 1.5mm:

    While yes, in theory that would change the 22.5 degrees to 45 degrees, it wouldn't help much, I don't think. The problem is, the ball joint is on a 45 degree angle down from the joint, and hence the degrees applied to the joint each time you take it out is, coincidentally, 45 degrees. So you'd have to shave it down to <1.5mm, in fact I'd take a guess at shaving it down to 1.2 maybe 1.3 mm. Only at these lengths is the breaking angle greater than the angle that is applied.

    Of course, with a 1.3mm peg, I wouldn't count on it holding much weight, and as the entire upper torso is supported by two of these pegs, suspended above a rolling system (aka the wheels) which are prone to subtle shocks, the feasibility of shaving it down... It doesn't seem like it would work, but I'll do it to mine and see what happens.
     
  6. xion14

    xion14 Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't the /| shape help since it then it doesn't have the main area it was applying too much pressure to anymore?
     
  7. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    A wedge shape, xion14, will reduce the stress, but it will also hold less weight. But it is a plausible 'fix', i suppose. Due to the two pegs being necessary to hold the entire upper torso in car mode, though, i would be very wary of shaving down those pegs.

    Anyways, I've now added the maths and the diagrams to the OP, along with revised calculations. I will admit to being wrong at first, the joint's design does clear, but in a real world, the tolerance is so low, you will break it. I had another peg stressed, off a BRAND NEW Sandstorm, just as i was measuring the toy for this thread.

    EDIT: You'd have to make the slant on the top edge, so /````` sort of shape, probably slanted a lot more but i can't draw that with my keyboard. :( 

    However, i will stress here that it is not the area that is the problem, it is the ANGLE at which you are forced to pull by the design, and the fact that it is so close to the breaking angle of the peg.
     
  8. xion14

    xion14 Well-Known Member

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    The ball joints and black piece that moves the arm on mine seems pretty stiff and able to support itself even without the peg. If I shave it some amount slanted it should be good but as long as just enough is there to keep the arm at that spot it should be good.
     
  9. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    The black piece is certainly strong enough, no problem.

    However, the ball joints will loosen over time, and that's the problem. Mine already droops, and let me remind you, it's only TWO WEEKS OLD. Not a good sign. :( 
     
  10. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Hey A1 do you know if any other DoTM figures have such problematic design choices? What about the other HAs?
     
  11. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Well, i can confirm Backfire is okay, as mine had no such issues (i then subsequently kitbashed him, but in the few days he was left intact,he felt really solid. I mean, REALLY solid).

    I actually don't have the snowmobile nor the armor suit guy, so i don't know about them. I don't recall having heard of any problems with them, but then again, i hadn't heard of any problems with Sandstorm, and then this happened. :lol 

    Anyways, i've just emailed Customer Support AU of Hasbro with a link to this thread, so let's see what they're going to do about it, if anything. I'm personally hoping for a remold of the toy to come out later in the line, as it is a fantastic mold for my current bashes (which was Gravity, the combat robot). If only these problems weren't apparent, i would have bought many more than the two i have. :( 

    EDIT: Agreeing with xion14 below. I thought Icepick was a chick when i first saw "it" (i can't see Icepick as a guy, but not a girl either...), perhaps the ridiculously large hips and whatnot. I almost wanted to use it for making a fembot. :lolol 
     
  12. xion14

    xion14 Well-Known Member

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    Ball Joints can be tightened. Well time will tell.

    Well this isn't something that breaks the toy but on Icepick the light blue glimmerish paint on he/shes (yes I'm one of those people thinking of him as a shemale now) leg seems to scrap or come off a bit easy.
     
  13. KnightHawkke

    KnightHawkke A Man, Who Does Not Exist. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Heh, I have had him for weeks and never transformed it to tech mode, never planned to actually, took it right out of the pack, put it in the MUCH mode illustrated a few times on the boards and it was that way till last night when I put it in robot mode. So now I guess he never will see dune buggy mode eh.
     
  14. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Consider yourself lucky, since not transforming him is the only way to not break him. My second one is already showing stress marks.
     
  15. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Since Hasbro seem to be so interested in these fandoms (LOL), i sent off this to Hasbro about Sandstorm, linking back to this thread. The reply i got from them, along with my email, is quoted below. I hope you all remember, since hasbro has made no mention of this issue or any other mold changes in regards to "Half-track",the new gray repaint of Sandstorm, to be careful with these toys, for reasons outlined above. Yeah right. As if anyone's gonna listen to a teenager. :lol 

    *My real name has been edited out of both emails.
     
  16. megatroptimus

    megatroptimus Translatorminator

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    Weird. I've transformed mine multiple times without paying much attention and it's still perfectly fine.
     
  17. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Well if nothing else, I've gotta commend the OP for taking this to both his chalkboard & centipad.
     
  18. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I find your effort in uncovering all of this to be rather amusing. Carry on, A1. Carry on.
     
  19. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    A1, I have read that response before. That's their generic one...
     
  20. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Yeah, I know. That post was meant as a joke, as in "geez, they must be sooooooooo interested in this, those folks at Hasbro". :tongue: 

    Satomi: yeah, but it was straight after exams, so I had a lot of spare time. Plus, it only took 30 minutes to do the Maths. Oh well, Hasbro hasn't been known for great customer support, amirite? :lolol 
     

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