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  1. #751
    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.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #752
    Cybertron Defense Red Alert reeks of so much awesomeness and he is definitely recommended!

  3. #753
    Yeah, CDRA's biggest problem is his white plastic, pretty much everything else rocks.


    I found Wreckloose yesterday at WM and bought him, here's the review, my condolences:

    TF:CY Wreckloose - This is a long review because I kept getting sidetracked while writing so it got drawn out, but basically the lizard mode is ruined by poor color transition, the hat is doofy, and the bot is ok but suffers many little issues. Bottom line: some good tries, but overall it's lame.

    Wreckloose's alt mode is a lizard, a monitor I think, but except for a few obvious areas it's techno sculpt does a fair impression of an organic lizard. I like his spikes running down his back, the barbs near the end of his tail, the "patched ripped skin" sculpts, and the mid-body's unique design. I can forgive the blatant robot fists behind the front feet, but there are a few things that bug me about this design: the eyes are too small, the opened mouth is all wrong for a lizard, the robot hips too obvious due to the gapping, the robot facade knees not well-integrated, the head halves don't close that well, and most annoyingly, the feet aren't articulated so the lizard can only stand tall instead of being able to lay low on his belly - that's all without his hat, which I'll cover a little later. Articulation is universal-jointed front hips, ball-jointed rear hips, ball-jointed knees (with a second hinge joint on the front legs), opening jaw, rotating midsection, ball-joint-as-hinge mid-section, hinged mid-tail, and the tip of the tail has a little up-and-down play.

    Normally I don't separate color comments, but here it's worth separate mention. Colorwise, he's an odd duck, he's far from Hasbro's worst colorschemes but what he's got doesn't really work. His lower half is very light pea soup green, the top half is black and so are his feet, there's a lot of copper plastic and not-quite-matching paint, there's silver rips, his front legs are hunter green, his tiny eyes are neon green and there's a small gold stripe just under that - the light soup green and black are a heavy contrast and except for the neck which got special paint for this, there's no transition from one color to the next and that doesn't work. Not only is the "black, no green!" lack of transition jarring, but the heavy use of copper details seems out of place, I suppose they were going for a specific striped look but the bot's false-knees kill that, and really there's a lot of out-of-place copper plastic here. Strangely, I guess they thought the sculpting for the "skin rips" wasn't good enough because all 5 have silver paint making more ripping, and they all work except for the one on the left side of his head which is too uniform.

    And now that I've covered the basic bot, I'll mention the key-gimmick hat. By itself, the hat is a pointy, indescribable mass, plug in the key and the sides pop out into antlers, they claim these are blades but they look like antlers. In terms of color, the hat is equal parts hunter green and copper plastic & paint, and the front left side has a Decepticon logo painted on - I don't know why they chose this but the blades are copper plastic which makes them look even more like brown antlers. The hat tabs clumsily into the top of the lizard's neck, there are spikes up the spine so it's supposed to mesh with the lizard, and you can sorta see another kind of lizard there but mostly what you see is a dopey hat because as if the shape wasn't goofy enough the colors of this thing don't blend in with the lizard's colors at all -- I believe they were going for the hat changing the monitor into a frill-necked lizard, that'd even explain the antler gimmick, but if so it's pretty vague and the color mismatch only worsens it.

    Transformation seems clever with the tail becoming the legs and the head splitting into wide shoulderpads, but it practice falls a little flat, it uses cheap tricks seen with a lot of basic beast Transformers.

    Wreckloose's robot mode is a basic humanoid figure, the head is small with a broad alien face and a large horn, the body has long legs, big thighs, wide shoulderpads, long thin feet, vestigial lizard legs hanging off the front and back of the right leg... wait, what? I'm having a hard time getting past that one, the lizard legs are just right there, both on the same leg, nothing much you can do with them and the back one has to be moved to use the knee articulation, it's just too weird - the fists have lizard feet above them over the forearms, and although they get in the way elbow articulation, they're way easier to get past than those birth-defect lizard legs. Wreckloose's long, narrow feet lead to some stability issues for more action-oriented poses, but he can stand on his own. The fists have regular pegholes, but the hat accessory uses a tab which is a tiny bit too large to fit in the fists, like I really wanted him to hold an antler-hat anyway! But now he has no true weapon, instead the hat is made to tab into the underside of either forearm to act as a shield, or into a screw hole in the middle of his back for storage - storage locks up the shoulderpad articulation, and forearm shield mode doesn't look much like anything and is unwieldy, but at least you can pop out the antler blades so it looks like a not-anything weapon. The color balance has shifted, now the right leg is light pea soup green and the left is black which overwhelms the whole robot and makes it seem like the Batman villain Two-Face if he were an alien. The only new element is the head, it's cast in the same light soup green plastic with the horn and lower mouth painted copper and the even tinier-than-alt-mode eyes that neon green, as a result the whole head seems lost, the soup green plastic seems totally wrong for the head and the eyes are lost because of their small size and similar color.

    Articulation is fairly good although some joints don't work in concert with others, there's standard neck, hinged elbow, rotating forearm, standard waist, limited ball-jointed hips, hinged knees, ball-joint-as-rotation "boots", and universal shoulders. The shoulder design is somewhat like Energon Scorponok's shoulderpads with arms decending from them, the instructions ignore the shoulderpad rotation joints altogether, instead relying on the true shoulders' universal joints as the only shoulder joints, but because of the stupid lizard feet kibble behind the hands greatly hindering elbow movement you end up with a less poseable arm - plus, why would the designers even bother putting a rotation on each shoulderpad or a hinge above each elbow? Those points of articulation would be totally superfluous for the beast mode, so I think they had to be designed to be main elements of the arm articulation, allowing the upper and lower arms maximum range of motion - including adding a side-hinge at the true shoulder that is lost in the official transformation.

    Overall grade: the gray area between D+ and C-
    This figure isn't awful, he's more "meh", I wouldn't recommend him but I wouldn't totally condemn him either.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #754
    I likes Backstop for some reason. I wasn't going to get him, but bought him anyway. Wreckloose is a'ight.

    I'm still on the hunt for Crosswise. I'm going to pass on Thunderblast/Chromia but may pick up Brimstone.

  5. #755
    Backstop has some funny charm, but I don't think Wreckloose does.

    I'm on the hunt for all 3 myself, but I haven't seen any traces so far. I am not expecting great things from Chromia... er, "Thunderblast", but I do like her alt mode. The deluxe-size figures are generally my favorite so I won't turn any of these 3 down.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #756
    I just seen Wreckloose and the Fat Rhino bot today. I almost picked them up, but ive got to save for presents more than indulge my toy habit. I thought the Fat Rhinos bio was funny, since it said that Scourge knocked him off, Scourge is like five times his size (at least toys wise) so it gave me a bit of a chuckle.
    Good Traders/Sellers: Cameo, Darth Cruel, Sith Killer 99, JJReason, icatch9, ChasingJediDogma, AT-AT Man, JediMasterGuyute, Brainiak76, JangoFett96, njscollectibles, Vulcantouch, AC Pin, TheDarthVader, msjedi, DarthQuack, Roojay

  7. #757
    FYI the new Alt Sunstreaker and Skids as well as the new Beast Wars 10th aniv. figures are appearing at various Walmarts in the US. I can't wait to find them all!

  8. #758
    A friend of mine (the one who sent in the news about the new SW Titaniums) found the BW anniversary packs and new-packaging Tracks at WM in Vegas last night.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #759
    Quote Originally Posted by Cataclizm1
    FYI the new Alt Sunstreaker and Skids as well as the new Beast Wars 10th aniv. figures are appearing at various Walmarts in the US. I can't wait to find them all!
    I'm in for Sunstreaker. I'll wait for a repaint on Skids for a character I'm more into.

    Did anyone see the Mirage alternator prototype featured on some sites? Sorry I don't have a link handy, but I'll probably be buying this! It looks like a totally new sculpt.

    Yes - Sunstreaker (my first repaint, but it's Sideswipe's brother!)
    No - Skids (but I want a repaint if it's a good character like Ratchet or Ironhide)
    No - Optimus Prime (but there is a kit sold to add a trailer to 20th Anniversary Prime)
    Yes - Ironhide if they repaint Optimus Prime's pickup truck form (this has not been announced, it's my idea)

    To this date I have no Decepticons as I want new sculpts, preferably fighter jets or military vehicles, and I would buy repaints from amongst Thundercracker, Starscream, Skywarp and good figures of Soundwave, Megatron and maybe some others. Shockwave (Shockblast) was a waste IMO, and Swindle wasn't a combiner and Ravage wasn't a Jaguar in any form. Dead End wasn't a combiner either, nor was Drag Strip. And I don't think the Stunticons will be featured in the movie either.

  10. #760
    How can you not like Skids? You have something against pacifist Autobots?
    Tommy, close your eyes.

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