Cliffbee.com: Fallback Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Fallback
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Infantry
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy



DUNE BUGGY MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 10cm Width: 6.5cm

   A mid brown beach buggy style with a transparent blue crane arm, silver headlight assembly, black seats, transparent blue windshield, some beige bits and a blue engine-block on the back. With black tyres and silver hubcaps, Fallback's colours are reminiscent of Outback - who represents the same character. The spare tyre on the back is transparent blue, which looks rather odd but not as bad as Strongarm's red one. This is a better colour scheme than on the two versions of Strongarm, easily the most focused colour scheme this mould has seen.

   There's just enough similarity for this vehicle to work as Outback, and the colours make it quite believable, making this a nice G1 tribute - and a great BotCon concept. The crane arm is still a stretch for a dune buggy, but the transparent blue works well, and the barrel on the tip actually helps in this case, since it mimics Outback's roof-mounted gun. While it's not the best Energon weapon we've seen, it comes into it's own here. I spill prefer to leave Energon chips off, but in this case I can deal with leaving it attached to the engine block, even if it does cover the spark crystal.

   While the transparent plastic may not have worked previously, this is still a good buggy. He has black seats, which are the back of the robot thighs, and between them on his... backside... are moulded gearstick and handbrake! On the left side of the engine block is a raised and painted Autobot symbol, the right side has a grey post onto which the crane arm attaches. In front of the engine is a grey rollbar.

   The crane arm can swing around, and it's post is on a hinge so it can lift up and down. His tyres are ridged and while they roll on soft surfaces, the rear tyres tend to just slide along a hard surface.

   A definite improvement on previous versions, this is a really nice dune buggy, and the accessories really come into their own. This is quite believable as an Outback upgrade and the colour set is well thought out.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip over the front to form the robot legs, twist them 180 at the waist. Swing out the arms from underneath the vehicle. Remove the spare tyre, you can either clip it onto one shoulder, split it and place the halves on either shoulder or just set it aside. Turn the head around, fold down the rollbar to become the groin and attach the shoulder cannon if you feel inclined. Stand him up and straighten his feet up so he's not leaning backwards.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 8cm (no weapons)

   A mid brown and beige robot with grey forearms and black thighs, Fallback has a silver head with yellow blue eyes. The colours are roughly a reversal of Outback's, and while the blue on his chest is new, the colours are close enough that I can believe the tribute. Considering how weak some of the dedicated tributes in Energon are, these colours are a pretty good tribute for a recolour. Again the colour scheme is impressive, although there are some silver lines on the thighs I don't think much of. The Autobot symbol sits on his left shoulder and looks good there, and the transparent blue works well again, including the windshield halves which become his feet.

   The spark crystal located in the middle of Fallback's chest is a nice centrepiece, and looks good nestled in the blue block of his chest. As I've already mentioned, I don't mind the attached spark crystal so much on this version of the toy, although I still think it looks better left off. As mentioned, the crane arm can be a shoulder cannon in this mode, or he can hold it as a giant club in either fist. If you attach the spare tyre halves, it's a giant (and probably impractical) battleaxe or handheld cannon. This gives Fallback a handheld weapon - something Outback missed out on.

   The poseability is okay, but not fantastic. His head rotates, the shoulders swivel, his arms can swing out to the sides and his elbows are hinged. The waist can swivel, but both the groinplate and the armour skirting formed from the buggy doors prevent it from doing more than jiggling. The hips are ball joints, which can move everywhere except backwards, where the seats get in the way, and of course hips don't move that anyway. The knees are hinged, but the location of the hinges is about 1/3 of the way down the calves, so bending the knees too much results in very odd looking legs. His feet can fold up and down.

   While I think the buggy mode is fantastic, this is still a good robot mode. The colours are again nice and the tribute is carried over fairly well considering that the face is clearly not that of Outback. The weaponry is okay, and looks better here than on Strongarm.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, this is a repaint of Strongarm, produced exclusively for BotCon 2005, as part of a set of seven toys. Fallback was available either in a giftset or in a simple bag as the "spare set" available to pre-registrants (I have the latter).

OVERALL

   A great repaint that puts many of the recent unfocused repaints to shame, Fallback does a great job of updating Outback (it's a shame Hasbro lost the rights to that name) and has a better colour scheme than either version of Strongarm anyway. The transparent accessories look much better in blue and the toy itself has subdued colours, no yellows or oranges, which helps. The mould itself is nice, although there are better basics around. Whether you want to grab this puppy depends on how much money you have to spend (BotCon figures don't always come cheap) and how much you like the character. Still, of seven more common BotCon 2005 figures, this is easily one of the more appealing - 8/10

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