Cliffbee.com: Finback Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Finback
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Naval Assault
Alternate Mode: Submarine

Thanks to Sofaman for loaning me a complete Finback for this review.



SUBMARINE MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 10cm Width: 9.5cm

   A lilac pod shaped thing with a black window at the front, small grey winglets on either side and some claret robot kibble on top (the arms), Finback has a large backwards-pointing gun on top, and no fin. The colours are quite bland and non-descript really, but the claret and lilac work a lot better than you might expect, largely because the lilac is such a light shade.

   There's not a whole lot to this submarine, and unfortunately Finback suffers from the "it's a sub because we say so" syndrome so common amongst the early Pretenders. The arms really look like arms and there are gaps and hinges here and there, ruining any real chance Finback might have had of passing himself off as a sub. There are at least eight screws visible in this mode, which doesn't help matters much at all.

   There's really no play value here - the gun on top can be removed and inserted pointing forward, but that's really the only play value we get. There are no underside wheels, in fact Finback just sort of rests on robot mode features rather than sitting comfortably flat.

   This really is a dud of an alt mode - if not for the window on the front he'd look like a lump with winglets, and even with the window he's still rather poorly defined. The gun doesn't really add much and without any play value, there's nothing here to save Finback from himself.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the gun, swing the sides forward and straighten to form his legs, folding away the winglets. Fold the arms down to his sides and swing down. Flip up his feet, give him the gun and stand Finback up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 6.5cm

   Again lilac is the primary colour, present on his head, boots and torso. His arms and feet are claret while the thighs are grey and his face yellow. The gun is lilac and matches Finback. Thankfully there are no visible screws to break this robot mode up, and the claret pieces are no longer so kibbly, making this a far more unified colour scheme. The yellow paint on his face highlights a well moulded face and there's a Decepticon logo sticker that lives on his waist. The colours are again not terribly exciting, but there's more to like here than in the sub mode.

   As with most of the 1988 Pretenders, Finback's robot mode is awfully generic, without any real hint of what he turns into, which conspires with the colours to make him look very uninteresting. The body is lanky but well defined, as with most Pretenders from this series. There's not much poseability - the arms can swing at the shoulders and his head turns.

   Dull but with better colours than his submarine mode, and it's far better defined than his alt mode also. Still, I can't help but feel that this guy's disappointing here - there's just nothing jumping out to make him interesting.

The Pretender Shell

   The shell is mainly burgundy, and darker than the claret on the robot itself, although still fairly close. His head, harpoon gun and belt are grey while the arms are black. The chestplate and thigh armour are painted yellow and the eyes are red. There are tiny teeth on the upper and lower jaws - the latter is really just part of the chest.

   Visually this is easily the most interesting part of the entire package, thanks to the striking yellow and unusual head. The right arm ends in a point, it's something of a cross between a flipper and an arm, in fact. There is a yellow fin running down the back of this figure, rounding out the marine theme and justifying Finback's name.

   While I personally don't think much of the styling here, I find the shell far more distinctive than the inner robot itself. The organic sculpt actually extends to scales moulded onto this thing in several places, making this figure work. Sadly, I have only the inner robot, not this part of the toy.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Really the best part of this guy is his shell - the robot and vehicle modes aren't really worth worrying about. Even then there are better Pretender shells out there, although this is far from a bad shell. Unless you really fancy Pretenders or love his somewhat unusual Pretender shell, you can safely skip Finback - 3/10

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