Transformers Timelines Huffer Toy Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Botcon, Generation One, Mini-Bot, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Year: July 2007
Retailer: Botcon 2007 Exclusive
Price: $47 (in a two pack with Springer)
Accessories: Gun/crane arm, Cyber Key

Images:

The difficult part about making a Classics themed set of Botcon exclusives is that up until late 2006, there was a very limited set of sculpts available to use in the line. We determined that the boxed set would have to be all Classics sculpts, but when it came to the souvenir figures we had a bit more latitude. One redeco immediately came to mind when we planned the souvenirs, and it is one fans had speculated on long before we began work on this set: Cybertron Armorhide as Huffer. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a more detailed look at the sculpt, check out Armorhide's review.

Vehicle Mode:
Armorhide's vehicle mode is a small truck cab. Between his size, flat front end and lack of a trailer he evoked immediate thoughts of G1 Huffer, who shared many of the same features. As a general rule, I prefer redecos of any figure follow a different deco and color distribution pattern than their predecessors, and Huffer certainly fits that bill. The vehicle is cast in four plastic colors: blue, light blue, black and orange. Due to the way the mold trees for this figure work out, it was not possible to have Huffer match up to his G1 counterpart in colors exactly. Some colors had to be distributed differently, but this works to the figures' advantage.

The front section is primarily cast in metallic orange plastic, a bright shade that comes very close to G1 Huffer's colors. There is some black plastic too in the form of the windshield and wheels. The panel that makes up the grille and headlight section is cast in blue plastic, but it is covered in blue, red, grey and orange paint applications to match up with the rest of the vehicle. Instead of using a stripe angling up and then across the sides, Huffer's color patterns work out very differently. The painted blue line starting in the front of the vehicle extends to the side up to where the wheels begin. Instead of a silver line on the side vehicle we have the words "Cybertron Wrecker Service" which is a nice little nod to the Wreckers group and Huffer's planet of origin. The windshield sections are cast in black, with the windows themselves painted metallic silver. On the sides the windows are also painted metallic silver with a black outline on the ones towards the front. On the front of the vehicle is a line pattern painted green here instead of red as it was on Armorhide. An Autobot symbol is tampographed on the top of the vehicle pointing back, more for the benefit of the robot mode than this mode.

The rear section is comprised of metallic blue, light blue and black plastic. Unlike Armorhide where this section was left unpainted, metallic silver fills in some of the details where a trailer would normally hitch onto the cab. The wheels are all colored metallic silver on the sides as well.

Huffer's weapon is the same crane/cannon combination piece included with Armorhide. This time it is cast in blue plastic with a light blue hook. The top is painted orange as is the barrel of the gun. Huffer also includes the Earth Planet Key originally included with Armorhide. This time it is cast in translucent orange with silver paint details on the outer edge. The Earth symbol in the center is painted black. The weapon still attaches to the back as a crane or as a cannon, and if you take it off and insert the Key, the front panel swings down revealing a nasty surprise for Decepticons: two rows of missiles! This is definitely a more heavily armed version of this classic character.

While I had seen preliminary images of Huffer's vehicle mode before his release at Botcon, it actually surprised me just how much his paint applications differed from Armorhide's. There is a lot more detail here than on Armorhide (who already looked great in vehicle mode). My favorite touch is the "Cybertron Wrecker Service" and the painting of the front grille.

Robot Mode:
When planning the Botcon exclusives we only have a limited number of retools available to us. Fortunately despite his body form looking quite different than G1 Huffer's, the head has a very similar shape. With it's rounded helmet section and face, it bears a strong resemblance to Huffer's G1 comic book and animated head (but nothing like the G1 Huffer toy head which was rectangular with huge visor eyes).

Huffer reveals a lot more of the blue colors in this form. His head, shoulder and waist areas are cast in blue plastic. The upper arms and upper legs are cast in light blue. torso and lower legs are mostly black and orange plastic (except for the blue panels on the front and back). This color distribution works well because it spreads out his colors across the body, giving him a nice, even look.

It is in this form that a lot of the decos from the vehicle mode serve a dual purpose. Since so much of the robot mode's main body is made up from the front of the vehicle mode, those details are very prominant. This includes the red squares running along the top of the chest, the silver grille in the center and the green patch which is now on the lower part of the torso. On the robot head the crest is painted orange and his eyes are red. The face is painted metallic silver. The crest deco is an additional deco that Armorhide did not have. The lower arms carry over the silver details from the vehicle mode and add a welcome splash of color to parts that were unpainted on Armorhide.

The lower body is mostly unpainted in the front, with only the windshield parts being painted. The Autobot symbol from the vehicle mode is now right side up, on Huffer's right leg.

While Huffer's deco is very strong and visually striking, there is one down side to the figure. Sometimes the consequence of reusing a sculpt are loose joints, and in Huffer's case his leg joints at the knees are very loose compared to Armorhide's. He can still stand but posing is a bit harder. I'm not sure if this is just my Huffer or the entire run. I haven't heard others complain of the same issues so my hope is that this is a one off situation.

Final Thoughts:
Huffer is a fantastic redeco. He has everything most fans ask for in a redeco. He's a Classics character, he has more paint applications than his base mold and he has those apps in a different pattern to boot. He averages (at the time I am writing this) for about $40 on ebay, which is quite a bit to pay for a Scout Class figure, but considering his limited nature it makes sense. Of course if you're a completist that won't matter. Recommended, but be wary of the loose legs.