"Timelines" Botcon 2014 Flamewar Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Price Point: Attendee give away with Boxed Set ($395)
Retailer: Botcon Exclusive
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Missile launchers

The theme of Botcon 2014 was "Knights versus Pirates". This theme allowed for a very ecclectic mixture of characters including the Decepticon Flamewar. Long time fans know I have a very strong attachmen to the character as I wrote much of her personality in 2005 (though I credit the talented Lanny Lathem of Fun Publications with her awesome deco) for the "Descent into Evil" set. This new iteration is based on the "Beast Hunters" Arcee figure. Fans in the know of course remember Flamewar was also the "give away" figure for Botcon 2005 and more recently she saw a mass release as a character in the toy line for "Transformers Prime".

Vehicle Mode:
Like her previous iterations, Flamewar's "mold lineage" traces back to Arcee, so it's no surprise she's a motorcycle in this mode once again. This time, she's less of a straight forward "ninja" style motorcycle and more of one with some animal-based flair. You should check out my "Beast Hunters" Arcee review where I talk more about the design, but overall it still works as the character (as opposed to say, a tank or something).

When I spoke to Lanny Lathem about the figure, he mentioned the larger scale of this figure and the budget this time out allowed him to do a lot of deco on this figure he would have liked on the first Flamewar back in 2005. This is readily apparent as there's tons to look at here. Given that the main lines like "Age of Extinction" are cutting back on deco, it is always extraordinary to see a sculpt given deco to its fullest potential. The figure is cast in black, red and translucent purple plastic. Black makes up most of the figure, with red used for smaller parts such as the lower section of the vehicle's front end. The translucent purple is found on the windshield towards the front. These colors alone are rather striking, but the actual deco is spectacular.

The most striking of the paint colors used on this figure is orange. It is used on the "bat wing" like panels on the side, the fins in the back and even the ones on the rear wheels. In line with the orange, a yellow flame tampograph is found on the area behind the windshield. Purple is used to paint the seat while red is used on each of the wheels. Thin silver details are used for additional headlight detailing on the front section. Altogether, the paint applications come together to form a very detailed figure not just in sculpt, but paint applications as well. The colors also match the "flame" theme very well and I love the use of purple and black, showing off her Decepticon nature.

Flamewar's bow launcher is cast in black with red ends. The arrows/missiles are also red and still cover a couple inches when fired. Like Arcee, the weapon can be connected to the section on the front wheel to make it look like it is providing additional armor over the front of the vehicle and weaponry at the same time.

Trasformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Swing the panels on the sides out.
  3. Pull the back wheel out to begin forming the robot legs.
  4. Separate the halves of the rear wheel.
  5. Swing the halves of the rear wheel up.
  6. Swing the robot arms out from the sides.
  7. Swing the front wheel back, and then rotate the wheel around so it can be pushed flat against the back.
  8. Push the robot head up.
  9. The weapon may be placed in either hand.

Robot Mode:
There were no changes made to the "Beast Hunters" Arcee mold for this release, it's a straight forward redeco. However, the deco that is there looks fantastic. Like the vehicle mode, most of the plastic here is black. There are small parts cast in red such as the waist and knee armor. The same paint colors from the vehicle mode carry over here. Her head has a yellow crest and the outline of the helmet around her face is red. Her chest and mid-body have silver on them while a purple Decepticon symbol graces the section right under her chin. Purple is also used on the forearms and lower legs. This helps reinforce her association with the Decepticons, whose symbol is usually represented as purple in color. True to the name of the character, her chest has a flame detail on it similar to the one seen in vehicle mode. Overall she looks fantastic. The colors on this figure really contrast nicely while keeping the theme "dark" overall. She definitely looks like an update of the 2005 figure and I am super happy with how she came out.

Flamewar's joints are all still nice and tight, which is expected since this sculpt has only been given two major production runs (one for the U.S. another for Japan). She can also hold her weapon, though her shoulder joint is not quite tight enough that the bow can be held pointing directly forward or up but you can get it pretty close.

Final Thoughts:
I have a pretty emotional attachment to Flamewar, so I am ecstatic to see her getting such incredible treatment in a fun toy. She's not going to be cheap to get however, so be warned if you're going to hunt her down, it's going to cost some serious cash (at the time I'm writing this review she's going over $100 on ebay). Beautiful work on a cool figure. Recommended if you can afford it, otherwise you can just pick up "Beast Hunters" Arcee to enjoy the sculpt.

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