Transformers Timelines Fallback Toy Review

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Botcon, Generation One, Mini-Bot, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: Botcon 2005 Exclusive
Price: $315 included in Primus Package registration, $265 for fan club members
Accessories: Energon cannon, Wheel/shield halves x 2

Images:

The Botcon 2005 set of toys consists of seven figures: Buzzclaw, Chromia, Deathsaurus, Dirge, Fallback, Ironhide and Ricochet. The concept was to create a story-centered set of toys. The Botcon program with the "Descent into Evil" comic book is included with this set. Attendees who received this boxed set were able to purchase an additional loose, polybagged set as well. Fallback is one of the G1 characters "reborn" included in this set.

Background Information:
This is one exclusive I cannot take any credit for because it evolutionized from an idea that was never used for last year's Botcon. The idea for turning the Strongarm sculpt into a new version of Brawn had been kicked around and sketches showed up online last year. However, we did not want to just take the idea directly, so instead we decided to use Brawn's G1 redeco, Outback instead. Unfortunately the name "Outback" has been registered as a trademark for everything from restaurants to camping equipment. Hasbro legal was not going to let us touch that name with a ten foot pole.

In a bit of a pun, I decided to try the word "Fallback" as a name instead, as in this is our "fallback" name for the character. Legal approved it and thus Outback was reborn. People may think the name has negative connotations as in "fall back!" being a command of retreat. However that is not the intent either. "Fallback" refers to his being a budding leader and serving as an Autobot anyone can "fallback" on. It's a sign of reliability, not cowardice.

Given the time period that has passed between G1 and the pre-Beast Wars era the "Descent into Evil" story takes place in, I wanted to allow for characters to change. Outback's G1 comic book tech spec had him labeled as a rebellious Autobot who didn't generally follow the rules partly due to his pessimistic nature. Believing that over time characters can try to change, I had Outback go through a body change due to his old body almost being destroyed. Upon surviving this, his view on life changes and he tries to emulate heroes like Ultra Magnus and Rodimus Prime. This allowed me to also off handedly make Magnus and Rodimus officially part of this pre-Beast Wars era continuity. If this growth process sounds familiar, it is very similar to what Bumblebee went through when he became Goldbug.

Vehicle Mode:
Fallback's vehicle mode has the unmistakable brown/beige colors that Outback had. Outback also had black on him (via his tires and a weapon on top of his vehicle form). The similarity in colors and vehicle form make this one unmistakable redeco. Even if we had named this guy "Fireflight" fans would have figured out who he was intended to be!

Silver, blue and grey are also tossed into the mix, making this one of the nicer deco patterns in this year's set. The silver is used on the hubcaps, the front and rear of the vehicle. The blue parts are in the center. The windshield and Energon Weapons have been cast in translucent blue plastic, a much more solid and strong blue than the color used for Chromia's weapons. This contrasts really nicely with the brown shades which make up the primary colors of the vehicle form.

Robot Mode:
Like the vehicle mode, there is no mistaking who this character is in robot mode. Fallback's color pattern just becomes more prominant in this form, now with the beige of his arms and the silver head showing. Making the head silver was important as we wanted to keep the same color pattern as G1 Outback. HOwever, the blue brow added on gives needed detail and helps bring out the yellow eyes a bit more. The lower arms are silver and the upper legs are black with silver details.

The fist holes on Fallback are slightly wider than the ones on Energon Strongarm. This means the weapons fit nicely, but not completely snug. It is important to note that Fallback is a redeco of Energon Strongarm and not Strongarm. The difference is in the head sculpt. Strongarm had a sort of grin/smile on his face. Energon Strongarm's face was a more serious looking face. If we had been able to include another modified head sculpt, I would have loved to give this toy "Visor Eyes" to match those on Outback, but the colors work well enough that it evokes the classic character well enough.


Final Thoughts:
For a straight forward redeco with no retooled parts, Fallback does a smash up job of being a classic character in a new body. I was very happy with the way this toy came out and think he is one of the strongest pieces in the seven piece set.