Itís funny to see which Transformers toys seem to have a little more effort and care put into them. As with 2010s Powercore Combiner line, 2011s then newly minted Basic Class Human Alliance figures also seem to have a level of detailing and paint applications lacking in the larger Deluxe figures available. Whilst the Main Dark Of The Moon movie tie-in line was characterised by a high level of cost cutting, that doesnít appear to be the case for these Human Alliance figures. That may be so they mix in with the larger and similarly detailed Human Alliance toys, or to encourage a purchase of the unfamiliar. Whatever the reason, it is interesting to note that toys at the opposite ends of the size spectrum seem to be benefitting from a larger budget than afforded the all-important Deluxe size class, which of late seems to be thought of as being such a strong seller that it doesnít really matter what is slung out in that bracket.
Backfire is another example of a good, tough durable figure in comparison with some of his rather flimsy feeling Deluxe cohorts. Heís a zippy little three wheeled bike of questionable military purpose. Itís a neat looking thing with a swish looking body sat on a powerful looking engine and set of wheels. Thereís some nice paint applications applied to various engine parts, notably the gold springs and silver exhaust and elsewhere the deep grey mixes nicely with the black chasis. The seat for the Spike Witwicky figure to sit on (or, er squat over) is also nicely textured as well as being painted. Thereís a nice orange lamp at the front too. The Spike figure is nicely detailed but does look ever so slightly small sitting on the bike, but heís such a good little figure that this is easily overlooked.
Being a Basic sized figure (although heís actually not so far off DOTMs Deluxe figures in terms of height), Backfire isnít a model of complexity. His robot mode is quickly cracked out of the vehicle form. The robot mode isnít the most graceful, being a slightly clumsy and cluttered rearrangement of various bike parts. He can stand up just fine, but his legs, whilst able to bend, suffer from having knees on his thighs making any poses look uncomfortable and the kibble that makes up the back of his legs and heels doesnít help matters. Likewise the arms are awkward things, just being fairly solid chunks of bike. The hands are cute little blocky lumps that are barely noticeable as such, but are sculpted with fingers and thumbs. He looks good enough waving those machine guns around from the C-clips on his wrists though. Itís the look of him, with his nice mix of black, silver, orange and gold that makes him stand out and a cut above what he could have been had he suffered the sort of cost cutting that is apparent on the larger DOTM toys. The headsculpt is excellent, a spiky looking thing with a friendly looking face Ė not bad going as itís just a visor and a faceplate and the engine block making up most of the chest looks good too.
His Targetmaster mode is a bit silly looking (here modelled by Armada Megatron whose disgust at handling an Autobot is readily apparent) as it looks like any larger robot is just waving around a particularly deadly wellington boot.
Backfire isnít the greatest of the smaller Human Alliance figures and he certainly wonít win any beauty contests, but he is such a charming little fella and has a fun little alt mode that he canít help but be lots of fun. The interactivity with a human action figure also helps him stand out as a solid playset / roleplay set and in terms of this sub-lineís remit, heís a success.
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