"Reveal the Shield" Fallback Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: November 2010
Price Point: $11.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2

*Text below and images from Transformers.com
FALLBACK has never been particularly interested in following the rules. The fastest way between two points, after all, is a straight line. Given a destination, FALLBACK will gladly drive straight to it, smashing through or knocking over anything that gets in his way.

Turn the tables on enemy forces when you throw this warrior into the fight! Press the button to reveal this figure’s robot allegiance and then prepare him for a battle. Your FALLBACK figure is dedicated to destroying any opponent and his dual pistols and robot-mounted rifle will help you two get the job done. If robot combat turns into a car chase, convert your warrior into 4x4 truck vehicle mode, attach his rifle and send him racing off to rule the “road”! Ages 5 and up.

In 1986, a wave of Transformers toys was released that looked very familiar while being new at the same time. Several of the Mini-Bots including Cliffjumper and Huffer from the first series of Mini-Bots were given new colors, tooling and identities. One of these characters was Outback, a retool and redeco of Brawn. I have fond memories of Outback. I never had a Brawn until my teen years, so as a kid he was a good "substitute" and at the time he was the only Mini-Bot with an actual weapon. When the character appeared in both the Marvel comic books and the animated series I was happy to see he was given more than just a background role whenever he did appear.

Years later, when I worked with Fun Publications to come up with the Botcon 2005 exclusive figures, we brought Outback out of obscurity and into the limelight. As I noted in my Botcon 2005 Fallback review, we needed to rename the character due to trademark reasons, but the character was meant to represent an updated version of the original.

Now, history has repeated itself. Earlier this year, "Hunt for the Decepticons" Brawn was released as the Movie universe incarnation of the classic tough guy Autobot. This figure has now been given a new deco as Fallback, a new version of Outback. Even his personality resembles his Generation One self with someone who is not particularly fond of rules. While this figure is a mold that was originally used in the Movie universe, I believe this figure is meant to be the "Classics" versin of the character given that so far all the other "Reveal the Shield" figures fit into that universe.

This review will focus on the changes made to Brawn for this release. Check out his review for details on this sculpt and design.

Vehicle Mode:
In heavy contrast to Brawn's very dark color scheme, Fallback goes to the other extreme with light colors. The vehicle mode is primarily light beige. I find myself surprised by just how bright the color is. The original Outback was a light brown color, and Botcon Fallback pretty much followed the same color scheme. To have such bright colors really separates this figure from its base figure visually. His other plastic colors are clear and black plastic. The clear window is used for his windows while the black plastic is found on the wheels, some the cage details and the weapon mounted on the top of the vehicle.

Paint details are done up in a combination of silver, black and orange. They're in a different pattern than Brawn. For instance, the front end has silver painted on the headlights and the grille. It is also found on the pod on the top of the figure, the row of lights on the top of the vehicle and panels on the side of the doors. The orange is easy to miss in this mode, but it's in the same place it is on Brawn, the front end of the figure under the headlights. This time around, the figure also has a sticker application in the form of a heat sensitive rub symbol on the right side of his hood. This is the signature element of the "Reveal the Shield" toy line. The sticker is normally black, so it contrasts very heavily with the rest of the plastic on the figure, but it looks good and works very well.

All the functionality of this figure is still intact. The wheels roll just fine and the weapon mounted on top can extend up and forward without any loose joints.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the panels that form the sides of the vehicle mode out.
  2. Split the front section of the vehicle down the middle.
  3. Move the parts that form the halves of the hood and windshield to the sides.
  4. Swing the robot legs down from the underside of the vehicles front sections.
  5. Swing the robot feet up and swing out the heel sections.
  6. Rotate the top half of the robot around so the robot head is facing forward.
  7. Swing up the panels that form the top of the cabin section and the truck bed.
  8. Swing up the forearms and rotate the arms around to the sides.
  9. Swing the robot arms down to the sides.
  10. Swing the panels on the upper arms out to the sides.
  11. Rotate the rifle from the vehicle mode on the back around and extend it so it winds up over his head.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, much of the Generation One influence on the figure becomes readily apparent. A lot of the light beige color still shows on his arms, waist, head and legs. However the key color that is featured here is brown. You'll find it on the torso, the upper legs and his feet. This shade of brown is more of a reddish brown than the one used on G1 Outback, but the influence is clear. Black plastic is used in this mode as well. You'll find it on the forearms and the shoulders as well as his back and upper legs. His hand held blasters are a combination of black and clear plastic. Together, these plastic colors work perfectly as a homage to Outback and Botcon Fallback while distinguishing it from its predecessors, not something that is easily done with a redeco that has no retooling.

The paint applications are the same colors as those seen in the vehicle mode. Silver is the primary color, with orange being featured heavily as well. You'll also find some brown paint that matches the plastic used on the torso. Silver is used on the face and the middle of the torso. Orange is used on three sections in the middle of the body, offering some nice breaks between sections of silver paint detail. The brown color used on the feet gives some nice continuity between the torso, the lower legs and the rest of the figure. If you're thinking this doesn't sound like a ton of paint detail, you're right. There isn't a lot here, but there doesn't need to be. The way the plastic colors break out in this figure they alternate a lot, giving a lot of visual diversity to the overall structure of the figure.

All of the joints on this figure are just as tight as those on my Brawn figure. This includes the ability of his hand blasters to clip on the "wings" in the back. The blasters also fit nice and snug in his fists and don't fall out even if you shake the figure around a bit.

Final Thoughts:
While Fallback may not be as elaborate of a redeco as Generations Blurr, it is a very satisfying one. It pays proper homage and utilizes an awesome sculpt as its base. Add in the historical ties of using a "Brawn" to turn into an "Outback/Fallback" figure and this is a great redeco. If you liked the Brawn figure and dig cool redecos, this is a great choice. Highly recommended!

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