"Generations" Legacy Kickback Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: March 2022
Price Point: $22.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth etc.)
Accessories: Blaster, Swords x 2

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:

  • TRANSFORMERS G1-INSPIRED DESIGN: This Transformers: Legacy 5.5-inch Kickback robot toy is inspired by the animated series, The Transformers, updated with a Generations-style design
  • UNIVERSES COLLIDE: Universes continue to collide with Transformers: Legacy! This epic line of Transformers toys brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse
  • 2 EPIC MODES: Action figure converts from robot to grasshopper mode in 14 steps. Comes with a blaster accessory
  • HARNESS THE POWER OF ENERGON: Gear up with the most powerful substance on Cybertron, Energon! This Transformers Kickback figure comes with a 2 Energon blade accessories that attach in both modes
  • QR CODE: Scan the QR code on each package to reveal character tech specs from across the multiverse! Collect other Legacy figures to reveal their character tech specs (each sold separately, subject to availability)

Harness the power of Energon with the Transformers: Legacy Deluxe Kickback robot toy! Kickback is an espionage expert, making allies only to manipulate them to further his own agenda.

The Transformers Legacy packaging represents a radical update to Transformers packaging for a new "trilogy" of Generations toys. This packaging was designed with a new ethos in mind: minimizing the amount of plastic used to be more eco-friendly. That means the "window" that reveals the toy has no plastic over it. Instead there is just an empty space. The figures no longer sit in a plastic tray. Instead they are tied to a cardboard panel. I am all for eco-friendly packaging and reducing plastic use, but some fans have expressed concern that this could lead to figures being easily stolen or damaged in box. Frankly, I cannot say this is unfounded. During one shopping trip in early 2022 I did see Core Class Ravage gone from his packaging. He had simply been torn out. Now, it's probably easier to do that with a Core Class figure than a Deluxe or Voyager, but the concern is a valid one and I will be interested to see where this design choice goes in the future.

The box art itself is pretty spectacular. The more Earth-tone colors of Kingdom have been traded up for a very retro-scifi (circa the 90's) look. The background tones are mostly purple and black and the Legacy logo just screams "Pay Attention to Me!!!" with its sharp angles and beveled letters that look like something right out of 90's toy packaging (and yes, this is what the BWTF logo circa 2022 is a homage to). On the right is the now traditional vertical Transformers logo with the Generations logo above that. Both have a "worn metal" coloring on them that really looks great. Kickback is packaged in robot mode, with a good portion of the top half of the robot showing in an open window. His name has no specific universe callout so it can be assumed his from the modern day G1-inspired universe. The front features artwork showing him in beast mode mode while the angled side panel features him in robot mode. The back of the box features Kickback in both modes, calling out a 14 step transformation. Generally, Legacy boxes feature a QR code to scan to see the character's tech specs but in this case it is printed on the instruction booklet. I have screen captured and composited the tech spec in the gallery below.

During the Generation One era, a sub-team of Decepticons joined the toy line, animated series and comic book: the Insecticons. These Decepticons had voracious appetites, consuming anything from grain to metal. Each of the Insecticons transformed into a mechanical insect. One of these was Kickback, who was a smooth talker and able to make anyone feel like he was their friend, until he betrayed them! Kickback has appeared twice before in the Generations toy line. First it was in 2012 with a Cybertronian insect form and more recently in 2016 as part of Titans Return. This figure represents the first time the character's G1 form has been represented in a Deluxe Class toy, making it an exciting release for G1 fans.

Kickback includes three accessories:

  • Blaster: Kickback's weapon is based on the one included with the G1 toy (and featured in animation). It has an interesting design, with a flat section in the back, a raised section (a targeting scope maybe?) on top and an ammunition drum towards the front! This piece is made of black plastic and has a surprising deco on it. Most of the weapon is painted a beautiful silver. That would have been enough by itself, but the drum and barrel are both painted a metallic purple, making this one of the nicest decos on a weapon in the line so far. The weapon has 5mm peg on the bottom and the barrel is sized to fit Blast Effects.
  • Swords: Two new weapons are a pair of swords. At first, their design seems a bit odd for swords. They don't have handles with a thin blade. Instead, the handle portions are pretty tiny and the blade portions are huge with ridges sculpted into the sides. In reality, these two swords can be put together and attached to Kickback's mid-body in beast mode to act as the abdomen section of his beast mode. The swords can also be connected to his wings using the tabs on the sides. Each features a point in front to fit Blast Effects, making them energy weapons too! They also have 5mm pegs on the bottom, allowing you to attach them to other weapons as extra blades or perhaps to Kickback's forearms. Each of these swords is translucent purple plastic, adding to the fantasy that these are made out of Energon.

Robot Mode:
The two previous Generations Kickback figures represented the character in different ways, but neither strived to replicate the G1 animation model the way this figure does. Almost all the major details on this figure come right from that model including:

  • The head sculpt features a helmet section that has a curved area above the eyes. The eyes are large visor eyes and under that he has a nose and mouth. On either side of the head is a round section with an antenna sticking up with a slight curve.
  • The insect wings are set between the torso and the shoulders and they rise high above the robot head.
  • The shoulders are cone shaped sections and the hip area has round sections, a nod to both the original G1 action figure and animation model.
  • The front panel on the torso is a rather complex looking one, full of mechanical details and asymmetrical shapes (the largest being a big rectangle sticking out on the left side). This is based on the same panel from the G1 toy and animation model. Interestingly, this piece is on a hinge but there is a tab that prevents it from opening up like its G1 counterpart. You can remove that tab to open up the panel if you wish.
  • The legs have blocky sections to them with knee armor that extends out and then a slight curve on the lower part of the lower legs. There are vent details sculpted into the lower legs that call back to stickers in the same area on on G1 Kickback.

Kickback is a beautiful combination of black, purple, yellow, translucent grey and translucent yellow plastic. Aside from the translucent grey, these are classic Insecticon colors and they really pop. I love the way the translucent yellow panel on the torso contrasts with the black and purple plastic and it calls back to the G1 toy (always a plus). Paint colors on the figure include silver, red and yellow. The silver is used for the head and the eyes are painted red, true to his animated appearance. The legs have yellow and red paint on them, serving as call backs to stickers on the G1 action figure.  There is a bit of green paint on the left side of the chest that references a sticker from the G1 toy.  A Decepticon symbol is tampographed on his chest. There isn't a lot of paint in this mode, but frankly he doesn't need it given the source material. I think he looks fantastic.

There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure, but I am going to be honest and say four of them are kind of cheats on my part. I am counting the ability of his wings to swing forward and back and the same for the antennae on his head. All his joints are nice and tight as well. Kickback has nine 5mm ports. Four on the arms, two on the legs, one under each foot and one on the back. I am really glad the designers continue to provide these slots even though Weaponizers and Fossilizers are no longer a huge part of the toy line.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing each fist into the forearms.
  4. Turn the robot head around.
  5. On the back, swing up the middle panel to cover the robot face.
  6. Swing the wings forward.
  7. Swing the arms back, then separate the front insect legs from the middle ones.
  8. Swing each lower leg forward slightly at the knees.
  9. On the back of each lower leg swing out the rear insect legs and move the feet down.
  10. The blaster can attach to the underside of the main body.
  11. The swords can attach to the wings (via tabs and corresponding slots) or they can connect together and fit into a slot in between the legs to form an "abdomen" piece.

Beast Mode:
Kickback's beast mode is every bit as G1 based as the robot mode. This is no techno-organic critter here, he is a purely mechanical grasshopper. Like a real grasshopper he has antennae on his head in the front and large legs in the back bent in an upside down "V" shape. The rear legs have bits that stick out in the back to resemble a real life grasshopper's legs. In an interesting bit of sculpting trivia, the wings in this mode end on sharp-looking (but not actually sharp) ends. This is a call back to the way the Diaclone toy that would become Kickback would eventually look. When the figure was carried over to the Transformers toy line, the ends of the wings were rounded off (presumably for safety reasons). I appreciate this nod to history.

This mode shows off all the same color details as the robot mode with a bit more purple thanks to the insect leg. There are no new paint applications revealed in this form but the translucent yellow torso panel and paint apps from the legs are very prominent.

There are twenty seven points of articulation in this mode, mostly matching up with the robot mode articulation. Some of it isn't particularly useful for a grasshopper form (such as the waist turning) but it is neat that you can reposition each leg. All the 5mm attachment points are still available to use in this mode so you can load him up with accessories.

Final Thoughts:
This Kickback figure is fantastic. Full stop Hasbro doesn't have to make any other version for a long time in my opinion. He looks great in both modes and he's fun to play with. Highly recommended!


  • Excellent G1 based sculpt in both modes.
  • Good deco (especially the surprising weapon paint job).
  • Excellent articulation.
  • Cool Energon weapons.


  • I would have liked the torso panel to open (without cutting tabs) to fit in a Titan Master or something.

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