Release Date: June 18, 2015
Price Point: $79.00 (Two Pack with Burn Out)
Retailer: Fun Publications
Accessories: Rifle; Blaster
The theme of Botcon 2015 is "Cybertron's Most Wanted". This doesn't just refer to the story where the boxed set had a group of criminals in it, it also refers to toys that represent characters that fans have wanted for a long time - with a new spin of course. One of the story conceits of the Botcon 2015 comic book is the introduction of "Diaclone" inspired characters. Specifically two characters "Dia" and "Cline" (included with Sgt. Hound) are introduced as humans who control mechs with built in AI. This concept comes straight from the Diaclone toys that pre-dated the Transformers.
One of these mechs is Burn Out, controlled by the human "Dia". It should be noted that Dia is a woman, and the way Burn Out is drawn in the Botcon 2015 comic book the facial features are different than the actual toy to make it look smoother and with fuller "lips" (hey, it's a human constructed machine, human bias is present). If you want to be technical about it this is a "female" Transformers figure (though technically it's not an Autobot or Decepticon or really "alive" the way Transformers characters are).
You may look at the thumbnails in this review and think "It's just a black Skids, what's the big deal?". Would you believe it's actually based on the toy that existed before Skids? You can see the Diaclone Honda City Hyper Turbo black variant here. This review will discuss how the Honda City Hyper Turbo toy influenced this one. You'll also want to check out my "Generations" Skids review for my original thoughts on the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
For some this inspiration may seem out of the blue (okay, it totally is). However the "Diaclone/Microman" era of Transformers toys always held a special mystique for me. Back when I was a kid I saw these toys everywhere in the early days of Transformers. I remember seeing a huge "Diakron" display at Kay Bee (when Takara tried to market the toys on their own in the U.S.) and to this day I regret not having scooped up every red "Sunstreaker" and black "Ironhide" that I saw. It is for that reason that homages that tap into that era really hold a special appeal to me.
Burn Out is packaged in vehicle mode inside a plastic bag with his instructions and tech specs. This is then packaged in an even larger bag since he comes in a set with Lift-Ticket.
The color swaps from Skids to Burn Out are pretty simple. The blue plastic is now black and the windows are a darker shade of translucent blue than those on Skids. The weapons are cast in silver but it seems a shade lighter than the weapons included with Skids. You can see red plastic peeking out through the windshield, much more of that appears in robot mode. Back in the Diaclone era there were many color variants of the pre-Transformers Skids mold including blue, red and black. There was a silver variant with a new head which eventually became the character Crosscut in Transformers lore. Of all the colors the black version is perhaps the most striking and it was a good choice for this release (and contrsts nicely against the red on Lift-Ticket). It also serves as a nice canvas for the paint and tampograph details.
Silver paint is used extensively on this mode. You'll find it on the front end for the grille and the area around the headlights. On the windshield it is used to paint the edge at the bottom including the windshield wipers. The rims on the wheels are also painted silver and there are some thin silver lines on the top of the vehicle towards the back. Red paint is used for the headlights and the rear lights. Running along the sides of the vehicle are tampographed details based on those from the Honda City Turbo. These tampographs start with a horizontal line that then angles up and then back over the rear wheel wells. These tampographs have a white edge with gold and red details in between. The original stickers on the Honda City Turbo also had white outlines and red in between, but the gold is a color specific to this figure and I think it's a nice touch. It calls back to the gold that was used on the Diaclone packaging and I think it looks great!
Functionally I have no issues with this mode. The weapons still attach nice and snug to the holes behind the rear wheel wells and the wheels roll along just fine.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Swing the car doors up, then rotate them forward.
- Swing the rear of the vehicle back.
- Swing the side panels with the rear wheel wells down, then swing the robot feet down.
- Rotate the feet around.
- Pull the lower arms and upper arms out to the sides.
- Swing the front section of the vehicle down, then flip the robot head up then push the panel down.
- Push the windshield piece down on the back, then move the top of the cabin section up.
- Rotate the waist section around.
- The weapons can be placed in each of the fists or combined into one larger weapon.
Burn Out's robot mode uses the black variant of the Honda City Hyper Turbo as its base, but since there are several details on this figure that don't exist on the Diaclone figure there are definite differences. In general the color layout is roughly the same. Most of the figure is black with some red parts. The thighs are silver, which echoes the silver thighs on the Diaclone figure. The weapons are silver plastic, calling back to the vacuum metallized silver weapons on the Diaclone figure.
Silver paint is also used to help draw parallels to the vacuum metallized silver on the Diaclone figure. This is most evident on the chest, where the front grille of the vehicle mode and the outline of the headlights are painted silver. Red paint is used on the feet, creating yet another callback to the Diaclone toy. The face and crest are painted silver, similar to the Diaclone figure. These parallels between the two really help make this a true homage to the figure that would eventually become Skids and the black/silver/red combination is one of my favorite color combinations for a Transformers figures.
There are a couple decos unique to this figure. The blasters that come up on either side of the head are painted silver. The rocket launchers build into the shoulders are painted gold with red on each individual rocket. This is a nice way to bring in the gold from the vehicle mode into the robot mode. These details look great, especially the rocket launchers!
Functionally the figure has no issues. All the weapons fit tight and they combine without a problem. The joints are also nice and tight.
Burn Out is a fantastic homage to the black Diaclone Honda City Hyper Turbo figure. She looks great in both modes and makes me almost want one more homage (a red version)!