I found Backstop at Target and Cybertron Defense Red Alert at WM last night...
TF:CY Backstop - let me start by saying that the pictures don't really do this figure justice, it's WORSE! "Backstop" is a pretty odd choice for this figure's name, it kept making me think of "doorstop", which turns out is all this figure is competent for anyway.
Backstop's alt mode is a rhino, purple-gray for the main color with regular darkish gray for the legs, a red horn and some other accents, yellow eyes and tail and faux-hips, silver at the key slot, and off-black toes and a couple other accents. The general shape is like a rhino with a huge upper head for the key-slot, and a tail which sticks out a little too much. The overall skin shape is rhino-like, but the top areas are smooth which I don't care for; there are plenty of good sculpt details, but look too carefully and you'll notice the hand under the neck, it's a little odd. The designers kinda screwed this figure from the right, that's where they put the 5 screw holes (it looks like a lot on a small figure such as this) plus the copyright text on the rhino's upper right torso, that sucks bad. The articulation is weird all around here, the head rotates like a confused dog, the knees are hinged, and the hips are restricted ball joints but WAY down below the actual hip, making it hard for any decent walking poses. The key inserted into the head actually looks fairly natural there, like a dino. The key gimmick causes the horn to jut forward about an inch, it's ok but not super exciting or dangerous-looking.
Transformation has some interesting ideas but comes off very simple and goofy for a basic. The instructions spend way too much time straightening out the left arm, the only real surprise involved is that the shoulder slides out. After that, lower the right hand, fold the legs together, pull down the waist, flip over the head panel. I like some of the ideas here, but as a basic there's just not enough resources to utilize them well, as a deluxe or mega I think a lot more could have been accomplished with the leg idea and head reveal, all the arms and legs would have had more to do... but alas, it was not meant to be I guess.
Bot mode is pathetic, goofy, silly, embarassing. Backstop's overall shape is squat, wide, kinda helpless, like that kid who always got picked last for kickball in grade school. The simplistic red head is revealed from the upper torso, or rather, in it, and has no articulation and a constant downward gaze. There's more red and corn-yellow plastic brought into the mix which helps differentiate it from the alt mode, but it's a little garish at times. The left arm stars alright but ends in a butt-hand, it doesn't look too bad in front of him but down at his side it looks kinda lost. The right arm is the rhino head plus a red forearm with an open hand, it looks like a weird combo. The detail of the new waist and hips is pitifully non-existant, though the lower torso does gain a tapered shape from losing the rhino hips. The legs look like they're going sideways mainly because they still have toes pointing that way, if they had left the alt mode toes off it would have been much less of a problem (the left hip still would have that kibble, but it'd be less directional by itself). Articulation is crap, you have standard left shoulder, a universal right shoulder joint, both elbows hinges inward, the right hand has a hinged middle finger from transformation which can lift up, standard hips, and the knee/ankles can hinge left and right some which is of no use at all except in alt mode (which this ain't); there's also a little rotation play of the legs thanks to the ball joints inside, but it's not intentional for this mode and can stress the armatures which make up the hips and can lead to breakage. So basically, you can pose him wanting a hug, touching his chest, or having just fallen on his butt, always looking down like he knows how bad he sucks and is embarassed about it. The key gimmick is pointless here, his shoulder horn pops out to the side, can't really use it - if they had made the head higher and able to turn, and if the waist could turn, then maybe it wouldn't be so worthless.
Overall, this is one figure to avoid except as a total goof. He looks completely silly and dopey in bot mode, he has nothing really to offer at all. I bought it so you wouldn't have to, purchase at your own peril.
TF:CY Cybertron Defense Red Alert - The first CY Ultra I've actually kept (I bought Jetfire but returned him due to defect and disappointment - though this Cybertron Defense Red Alert actually had a defect too but WM is so very far away and it wasn't as compromising). Cybertron Defense Red Alert is a mighty robot, ridiculously well-armed and very cool, though me thinks this mold would be better suited as a Decepticon.
Alt mode is an 8-wheeled armored missile-carrier vehicle, the missile itself is nearly as big as the vehicle, this ain't no puny payload, it's a long-range WMD - Weapon to Massacre Decepticons! The vehicle's got decent if not stellar details, some armor plating, open window-slits at the front, some rivets and gratings, and a small twin cannon on top of the cockpit which is hinged; there's also a minicon-style dead hardpoint at the middle on either side. The overall shape is a long vehicle with that "armored vehicle" angled front end. Also, there's a bot-mode-only gimmick, the big gun/tool that flips out, the key slot is blocked in alt mode but if you can get the barrel to activate it makes a mean-looking cannon right at the front of the vehicle. The vehicle's chief color is white plastic, then blue in the middle, some dark bronze painted accents, a small red Autobot logo on a "V" tampoed to the cockpit roof (the Vanguard team logo I guess, but that's the Japanse line's thing), very dark blue-gray wheels, and some not-as-subtle-as-it-should-be dark gray weathering paint spewing from the wheel wells -- the white color is too plain, it loses a lot of the details and just looks kinda "eh", the weathering should have been better and should have been EVERYWHERE. The missile launcher is hinged and can tilt up about 70 degrees, the 8.5"; missile can slide off the launcher track completely which is fantastic. The missile itself is big and rocket-like, has great sculpted detail, is titanium-colored plastic with lots of dark blue-gray paint and a translucent red center ring. The bottom of the missile has 6 sculpted exhausts and is also the speaker grill for the sound effects, designers added a small crescent sticking out the back so it couldn't be placed standing straight upright (for fear that a child would fall and impale himself on it).
The vehicle's key gimmick involves the missile, the front halves of which pop open to reveal a huge translucent red cannon with a spring-loaded projectile at the tip, the red plastic catches the light great and looks amazingly wicked with lots of tech sculpting, the projectile is dark blue opaque plastic and also the tip of the closed missile - the missile can pop open without the vehicle OR the key thanks to a tab on the bottom. There's also lights and sounds once you add 2 AAA batteries, when you open the missile there's a "beep beep beep" sound, and when you slide it off the launcher there's a launching sound, and both times the center ring lights up - it's not bad but not enough of the cannon lights up and neither sound is really great.
Transformation isn't simple the way a lot of Ultras are, it's not Alternator-complex but there's plenty to do - even if it's all fairly straightforward. My Cybertron Defense Red Alert had a quality control issue that ended up chewing up the right shoulder's transformation joint, some designer put a screw hole behind this hinge and mine was assembled with the screw seated wrong so it didn't screw all the way in, this caused the screw head to gouge the hinge and cause the shoulder to not fold all the way in - since WM is *so* far from me, I opted to tap out the hinge pin and straighten the screw so it could be screwed in all the way, once this was done the hinge had enough surface left to stop in the right places, and the shoulder now goes all the way into place - this was likely an isolated incident.
Cybertron Defense Red Alert's bot mode even without the mega weapon is a bruiser, with a blocky look, wide shoulders set deep back and at the same height as the head, big boots, and a high waist, it's definitely not the previous Red Alert figure, this almost looks like a smaller bot wearing bigger bot arms and legs - the high waist, smaller thighs, small center chestplate, and head set low in the chest and looking like a small head wearing a big helmet all give this impression. There's a bit of backpack going on high up, but I don't find it very noticable or distracting. The chest plate is reminiscent of regular Red Alert even with the vents, but the head is weird because it does sorta remind one of Red Alert with the similar helmet shape, red light-piped visor (it works great BTW) and similar mouth, but the mouth is set WAY deep beind the long visor and chin sections, it's odd and looks like a bad-guy face. The articulation is fairly impressive, standard neck, standard shoulders, bicep-swivel, hinged elbows, rotating wrists, rotating waist, and universal-jointed hips and knees; plus the weapon launcher track is still hinged at the back, and it slides from the center to sitting over the right shoulder. The sideways ratchets on the hips have play after the first click so if you go for wide-stance poses they end up a little wider than expected, the knee hinge ratchets have a little play at the start so he leans back a little at times, but nothing disasterous. The fists have standard pegholes even though Cybertron Defense Red Alert doesn't come with handheld weapons. The big boots are actually partly a facade, they could be construed as kibble even but they don't look it from the front, the boots have solid toes and ample heels so the figure can stand without trouble even with the missile. There's a rifle/tool formed from the middle of the front end, it pegs into the side of either forearm (in fact, you don't have to remove it during transformation), insert the key and the barrel flips over to reveal a pump-style cannon, and there's a claw tool and a mallet tool in the boots behind the facade fronts similar to the previous Red Alert figure - the claw is hinged to open and close, the mallet has a spring-loaded head - both tools are a little tough to get out of their boot storage holes. The main missile launcher sits over the right shoulder now and points forward or can be hinged, it looks crazy deadly up there, and I'm glad the missile is removable or it'd be overwhelming after a while. The twin cannon on the cockpit now ends up just below the knee and is hinged to point forward. The figure's colors add more blue to the party, but it's still not a colorscheme that best suits this figure, I think this really would make a much better Decepticon really (the vehicle design and that big missile cannon makes this look more like Megatron than this line's actual Megatron!) and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a repaint as a Decepticon.
Overall, I don't like this figure quite as much as the original Red Alert in this line, but this is an awesome figure none the less, he's super-armed and ready to destroy! Uh, in the name of saving people, I mean. He's got good articulation, a tough alt mode, a wild mega-weapon, and even his regular weapon is huge, can't go wrong with Cybertron Defense Red Alert.