Transformers Timelines Flareup Toy Review

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Botcon, Generation One, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: Botcon 2005 Exclusive
Price: $65 (in a two pack with Autobot Ratchet)
Accessories: Exhaust pipes x 2, Missile, Scope, Missile Launcher, Energon Star

Images:

In addition to the Botcon 2005 seven figure exclusive boxed set, additional figures were available for purchase at the convention. Among these was Flareup, a female Autobot polybagged and sold as a set with Autobot Ratchet.

Background Information:
Female Transformers are a rarity in the history of the line. Generation One barely had any, and even in recent times, female characters are still hard to come by. This is changing slowly with 2005's "Cybertron" line which features at least two female characters. All questions of "Why Transformers have gender" aside, it has always been a neat concept to see more "feminine" Transformers fighting alongside their gruff "male" counterparts. One of the earliest introductions to female Transformers took place in the G1 cartoon where we met a resistance group of Autobots fighting against Shockwave's rule on Cybertron. Three of the warriors featured in this group were Chromia, Moonracer and Firestar.

The Energon Arcee mold was a natural choice for a female Autobot. While recent years have given us female characters such as Nemesis Strika, their forms do not look particularly feminine. The G1 female Autobots looked like females, so the choice was clear.

Originally this toy was supposed to be Firestar in a new body. However, the trademark for the name "Firestar" was unavailable. Fortunately we found this out early on in the development of the toys. This gave us an opportunity to create a new character for the Transformers universe, and thus Flareup was born. In G1, Firestar was shown as having some rescue mission history with the Autobot Inferno. Following this track I had the idea of turning Flareup into a student of Firestar's. With both Firestar and Inferno being primarily red (and thus, visually associated with rescue vehicles) the color scheme worked for Flareup as well.

However, instead of making her a carbon copy of her mentor, I decided that she would take her knowledge of rescue and invert that knowledge base to become a demolitions expert, and that would also give her more reason to be on the mission at all. I was going to mention that Firestar had been killed in the last Great War but ultimately opted to keep that out of the tech spec for fear Hasbro would not appreciate me "killing" one of their characters in any way. Obviously Flareup's tech specs contain references to Inferno's tech specs, but I had fun taking his quote and inverting the meaning to fit the character.

Vehicle Mode:
Like Flamewar, Flareup's color scheme is dramatically different than the base sculpt Arcee's. In keeping with G1 Firestar's color scheme, we set out to make red and orange the primary colors of this toy. The base plastic colors are red and black. On top of that are silver, orange and black painted details. The red and orange work very well together, but the black is necessary as it offsets the brightness of those two colors.

All the tranlucent parts have been done up in orange. The windshield, weapon pieces and Energon Star are all cast in translucent orange plastic, which really looks awesome. The missile is done in black, again offering a good contrast to the brighter orange color.

If I had to do anything differently, I might have added another black detail pattern on the orange parts on the sides of the vehicle. The bold orange is nice, but it is almost bright enough to obscure the details a bit.

Robot Mode:
Flareup has a retooled part, the head design. While she shares the same face as the Energon Arcee toy, the helmet area was redone as a combination of Moonracer and Firestar's helmet designs. The result was a head that would be used for both Chromia and Flareup. While I believe the head sculpt came out nicely, I do wish there had been more time to add a bit more of detail in such as vents or line details on the sides.

The same primary colors from the vehicle mode carry over into the robot mode, but here we see a bit of yellow and silver that wasn't as visible in vehicle mode. Her face is a pastel shade of yellow with blue eyes. This combination works nicely as the eyes really stand out well. The silver helps offer breaks in the colors where necessary, but it does not overwhelm any other colors. An Autobot symbol is tampographed on her chest.

During the course of Botcon weekend I was able to transform roughly three sets of these toys apart from the ones I am using for these reviews. The problem I have encountered with this particular figure involves the left side wheel half that winds up on the back in robot mode. It has a tendency to pop off. Again, this is one out of four that I transformed, but it is worth mentioning.

Final Thoughts:
Flareup is a great looking toy. The colors are very different from the base-Arcee sculpt, and very different from Chromia, which helps differentiate the figure greatly since they share the same sculpt (even the new head). I was very happy with the way Flareup came out (wheel problem aside).