Release Date: Q3 2011
Price Point: $8.50 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Limited Markets (Family Dollar, Big Lots! etc.)
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key
Often certain stores that do not cater to the same markets as stores like Toys R Us and Wal-Mart want to carry a limited amount of Transformers items. Often buried among a sea of knock off Transformers figures are real ones that Hasbro creates for these "limited markets". These often wind up being redecos of existing figures or straight repackaging of previous releases. One of the more recent releases in this line of figures is a redeco of the figure first released as Galaxy Force Saidos and later Cybertron Backstop. He was released alongside Cybertron Undermine and Wreckloose, but of the three he was the only one to receive a whole new deco treatment.
Some may find putting Backstop into the "Generations" toy line category a bit odd, and to be fair nowhere on the packaging does it actually say "Generations", however the packaging uses the "Generations" template background and style. His tech spec also differs a bit from his "Cybertron" appearance, so I'm going to label this guy as a new interpretation of the character until told otherwise by an official source.
The previous iteration of Backstop was rather brightly colored for a rhinocerous. With bright colors including yellows and reds, it was quite off-putting on an already off-putting sculpt. The designers seemed to have decided to go in a totally different direction with this redeco. I'm partly convinced that some inspiration for this figure came from the colors of the original Transmetal Rhinox, who was heavy on silver and black colors with some blue colors worked in for good measure. This new Backstop has three primary plastic colors: dark green, metallic brown and black. The head and central body are cast in the green color, with the legs cast in brown. The horn and tail are both cast in black. You can see some of the other black parts on the underside of the beast, but they are really intended for use in the robot mode.
The paint colors used on this figure offer a nice contrast to the dark green, brown and black plastic colors. Silver is used liberally on the front end of the figure where it colors the lower part of the head and the horns. You'll also find a bit of silver on the sides, near the rear legs. Blue paint is used on the joints near the hinges on each leg as well as the beast mode eyes. The last paint color is metallic green, used on the panel that makes up the rear of the beast, matching up with the green plastic in the middle of the body.
The Cyber Key included with the figure is now cast in translucent blue, matching up with the blue theme on the figure itself. The shad eof plastic is darker than the blue paint however. Keeping consistent with previous releaeses, this Key is the "Beast Planet" key featuring "teeth" on the outer edges with a claw print in the center. The center has vacuum metallized silver on it with silve rpaint on the edges. It's really quite striking looking!
All of Backstop's joints are still tight and the Cyber Key feature works perfectly. For the uninitated, there is a slot at the top of Backstop's head. insert the Key and his horn shoots out, "ramming" whoever is in front of him.
I have to say that of the three iterations of this figure, this one is right behind the original Saidos release in terms of having a nice deco. I like the use of metallic colors that enhance the sculpted mechanical details.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the Force Chip if attached and push the rhino horn in.
- Swing the tail onto the rear end.
- On the underside, swing the robot head under the beast mode head out.
- Swing the rear of the beast out to reveal the left robot arm. Rotate the arm around at the shoulder joint.
- Flip the panel on the mid-body up to reveal the robot head.
- Swing down each beast mode leg. They attach to each other to form each of the robot legs.
- Pull down the legs to reveal the waist section.
The robot mode hasn't changed in terms of sculpt. Some of the decos that appear in this form appeared in the beast mode. The most significant "new" deco is the silver used on his chest, painting a pattern of techno-organic looking details on the left side. You also get to see some gold and blue on his face, and the black plastic used for his arms and head becomes apparent. Despite my bias against this figure, I will say in the interest of fairness that this figure looks great in terms of deco. All the colors balance out very well and I find myself liking this deco more than the US release.
Functionally, all the joints are tight and you can still use the Cyber Key gimmick, though it's a bit odd since the horn sticks out the side of his shoulder, making it an awekward weapon at best.
I wasn't a big fan of this figure to begin with, and truth be told I can't really sit here and recommend it whole heartedly. I will give credit where it's due and say the deco is nicely done, and it's sometimes nice to get an unexpected exclusive popping out here and there on the market, but overall this figure is blah at best. I also think the price is a bit much. Me? I'm hardcore and insane so I'll pay $8.50 for this, but I don't expect the average collector to pay the same for a figure that was $5 not too long ago.