Cybertron Toy Reviews: Backstop

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force, Jungle Planet / Animatros

Cybertron

General Information:
Release Year: November 2005
Retailer: General US (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key

Backstop Packaging art

Images:

Tech Specs:
Once the most feared and powerful warrior on the Jungle Planet, Backstop was long ago beaten and cast out by Scourge. Forced to live among weaker beasts, he came to value the equality of all creatures above all else, and now fights against Scourge with the other Jungle Planet rebels. He hates the cruel dictator and dreams often of the day on which he will finally throw down and destroy the evil, three-headed dragon-bot.

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 6.5 Speed: 5.5 Endurance: 7 Rank: 5 Courage: 9 Firepower: 7 Skill: 6

Backstop is the domestic release of the Galaxy Force Saidos figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the toy for this release. Please read Saidos' review for more detail on the toy's mechanics.

Each Cybertron Transformer comes with a Planet Key with a code printed on it. Backstop's code is stw7. Unlocking this at transformers.com gives you the following text:

Backstop is an ancient and wise master of martial arts. He may not look like it due to his stocky size and Rhinoceros alt-mode, but deep within this thick-skinned bot lies the beating heart of a master warrior. At one time he was just like Scourge and Leobreaker – quick to anger, full of rage and unable to keep his temper in check. He went on a journey as a young Transformer to find the meaning of life and saw the galaxy – he learned the secrets of martial arts and the teachings of the wise from ancient masters like Banzai-Tron and Bludgeon...upon his return to Jungle Planet, he was a changed Bot. He realized that fighting may be important, but it is what you fight for that makes you a strong warrior.

Beast Mode:
Backstop surprised me in just how incredibly different he looks from the Galaxy Force version of the toy. Intead of two shades of grey/silver, this toy is primarily cast in dark lavender and dark grey. The head and main body are dark lavender, the legs are dark grey. The horn piece is still red, but a much bolder shade than that used on Saidos. Red paint is used for the rounded joints on the beast mode legs, but oddly it is a lighter shade than the ones on Saidos, going against the tendency for US releases to have more striking contrasts in color.

Gunmetal grey is still used for details on the main section of the body such as the inner ear. However, the gold parts on Saidos (including the tail) have been replaced with a metallic yellow color. Backstop has a tampographed Autobot symbol on his side just as Saidos does. The yellow color itself is actually really nice, but the contrast with the lavender is just really ugly.

The Force Chip gimmick works the same way as Saidos, no changes there.

While I still think that this is an excellent beast mode sculpt, these colors are just really bad. It's a lavender rhino. Need I say more?

Robot Mode:
In robot mode we get to see more of the red color used for the horns on the arms and waist. The legs and arm joints show more yellow. All the gunmetal grey parts remain (the tubes on the central body for instance). The face deco is the same, with the grey brow and yellow eyes.

Final Thoughts:
It is bad enough that the robot mode is a disaster, but making it these colors just altogether kills the toy. While I didn't recommend Saidos at all, Backstop just should go at the bottom of the pile of Transformers for any fan to buy.