"Timelines" Botcon 2014 Exclusive Cannonball Toy Review
Release Date: June 27, 2014
Price Point: $395 (in a boxed set with Ferak, Tornado, Scorponok, and Olin Zarak)
Accessories: Blades x 2
The theme of Botcon 2014 was "Pirates versus Knights". Leading the pirates is Cannonball, a character who originally started as a redeco in the "Cybertron" line. Originally the base figure for this character was "Cybertron" Red Alert but the redeco was a Decepticon pirate! The character was pretty much positioned to fade into obscurity but he later came back as part of a story called "The Dark Heart of Sandokan" written by yours truly for the Transformers Collector's Club.
At Botcon 2014, a new version of the character has emerged with the "Cannonball" name being repurposed as a title passed on or taken by many Cybertronians over time. "Timelines" Cannonball is based on the "Transformers Prime" Ratchet figure so check out that review for my original thoughts on the base sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The original Cannonball was an wagon style vehicle in his alternate mode (based off the Dodge Magnum). This new Cannonball has a more SUV styled vehicle mode with a high front end and a back section that is raised up and angles upward slightly. In an interesting bit of coincidence, both the original Cannonball and this version are based on sculpts that were originally emergency vehicles. That's not the only similarity, this version of Cannonball has several details inspired directly by the original. These include:
- The main plastic colors on this figure are black, gold and translucent purple.
- Silver paint is used to paint a line down the center of the hood and the edge starting at the front bumper and wrapping all the way to the back of the vehicle along the bottom edge.
- Silver is also used to paint the rims on the wheels.
- The grille is painted gold, a call back to the gold plastic grille piece on the original Cannonball.
- The headlights are painted yellow.
- The side windows are painted purple, offering some color continuity from the translucent purple windows.
- Each door has a stylized skeleton design in teal. It looks like the skeleton is falling down with one arm up, a design copied directly from the original Cannonball.
- The top of the vehicle has a large, stylized skull on top with flame like designs above it. This too is copied directly from the original Cannonball figure.
- The light bar sections are painted purple, calling back to "Cybertron" Cannonball's translucent purple light bars.
On top of all this detail there are extra silver details on rails running along the top of the vehicle. Taken as a whole I have to say this is one impressive homage. It manages to duplicate virtually every detail of the previous Cannonball figure in some way.
Unlike his predecessor, this version of Cannonball comes with two blade weapons that can be attached to the front in this mode. The blades are fairly solid plastic, unlike the "Asia Day Kid's Exclusive" First Aid, which also uses the Ratchet sculpt but included blade weapons with very soft plastic. Have no fear however, the plastic is not sharp and I ran my fingers over it to see if they were sharp enough to cut skin (they're not).
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Push the front end of the vehicle up a bit.
- Split the front section in half.
- Flip the vehicle over, then rotate the feet out and down. Swing each foot and heel piece out.
- Swing down each of the panels that form the vehicle mode's windshield/cabin section.
- Swing out each of the robot arms and swing the shoulder joints forward.
- Swing the robot hands out, then fold the panels on each arm down to form the forearms.
- Swing the back panel of the vehicle mode back. When you do this the robot head will pop up.
- The blades can be attached to his hands.
Cannonball is one of the figures in the Botcon 2014 boxed set to receive a new head sculpt. The original Cannonball was a direct redeco of "Cybertron" Red Alert, with no new tooling so this head sculpt winds up being based on Red Alert's head design. This includes a curved helmet section with raised circles on the sides, a curved visor eye (though this version comes to a point in the center) and a pronounced "chin strap" piece at the bottom of the helmet section. This new sculpt looks like a more refined version of the Red Alert head and it looks fantastic. By the way, if you're thinking this design sounds a lot like Robocop, I'm right there with you!
The rest of the figure has no other sculpting changes. What it does have are all new colors based on "Cybertron" Cannonball. The main plastic colors in this mode are black and gold, both primary colors of "Cybertron" Cannonball. Like the vehicle mode, several deco elements from the original figure are mirrored here. These include:
- The head is gold plastic with purple painted on the eyes. The left side of his face has black on it, symbolic of a pirate's eye patch.
- The center of the chest is painted silver, mirroring the detail from the original Cannonball.
- There are yellow details painted onto the sides of the chest, a call back to the yellow lights on "Cybertron" Cannonball's chest.
- Gold paint is used on the hip area, calling back to the gold panels on "Cybertron" Cannonball's hip area.
Rounding out the details in this mode is silver on the face, gold deco on the shoulders and a "Pirate" Decepticon symbol on the center of the chest. Just like the vehicle mode, the robot mode has a fantastic deco and I really appreciate how well it echoes its predecessor.
All the joints on Cannonball are nice and tight. His blade weapons also hold tightly in his hands.
Cannonball is one of the coolest pieces out of the Botcon 2014 line up. I always loved the idea of a Decepticon Pirate and the new head sculpt and deco are awesome. As with many Botcon exclusives I will warn that you can expect to spend about $45-60 for him on ebay (as of 12/11/15) so he's really a piece for more hardcore fans.