Cliffbee.com: Backstop Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Backstop
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Rhinoceros



RHINO MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A grey rhino with twin red horns and a gold tail, Backstop's legs are a mid grey while his body and head are a slightly darker grey with a red tinge. There's a stamped Autobot symbol on his left side, while the eyes are yellow. There are red circles on his knees and gold ones on the rear hips. Rounding out a simple colour scheme is some black around the neck and silver on the top of his head. The colours work well, with the red, gold and black adding some definition to the greys.

   While there's some robotic sculpting on this rhino, Backstop looks quite organic, thanks to the greys and an abundance of curves. The yellow tail isn't exactly realistic, but there's a reasonable life-like feel here. There are a few patches of animal hide sculpting, while Backstop has moulded ears, nostrils and nails.

   We don't get too much in the way of play value, but enough for this mode to be rewarding. All four legs have ball jointed hips and bend-able knees, allowing for walking poses. The green Planet Key (code: stw7) plugs in behind the neck, releasing the spring loaded horns, which fire forward around an inch. With a little effort you can put Backstop into a running pose, although his stockiness makes some running poses a little comical.

   The colours, sculpted detail and key gimmick are all quite well done, as is the leg articulation. There aren't any major shortcomings for this rhino, even if he is wider than he should be. The robot hand which is partially visible underneath the neck is a little annoying - but you only see it from a few angles.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Simple yet unusual. Pull the legs down underneath his body, clip them together (front with front, back with back) to form the robot legs. Extend the legs to reveal his groin. Fold away the tail, fold out the rump plate to form the left arm, swing down the left forearm from underneath the rhino head. Flip up a panel to reveal the robot head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 13cm

   Backstop is again mainly grey, with the legs solid grey and the upper body reddish-grey. His face, groin, right forearm and left shoulder are red while the thighs are gold. The small eyes are yellow while his forehead is black, along with the fingers on his open right hand. Again this is a good colour scheme, with the Autobot logo central on his chest.

   Backstop's shape here is unusual, gimpish and intentional. He's short and squat with a hunchbank (reminiscent of some Rock Lords) and highly asymmetrical. The right arm is the rhino head with a forearm hanging off while the left arm is an arm that ends in a curved (rump) plate. The legs are also uneven, since one was the hindlegs and the other the front legs. In one sense this robot mode is quite messy, yet at the same time there's a design aesthetic that the designers seemed to have aimed for.

   The play value here isn't so great. The hips and shoulders swing while the left shoulder and elbow bend. The extra poseability in the left arm doesn't count for much since it ends in the edge of the plate. The key gimmick, now on his right shoulder, still works, although now it pops out to the side rather than the front.

   His robot mode is nowhere near as strong as the beast mode, thanks to some wacky aspects. The asymmetry and design aesthetic are deliberate and work in their own way, but bizarre is still bizarre, I'm afraid. The lack of a true left arm hurts more than anything else for me, although the sideways feet on his boots are offputting also.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. His Japanese name is Saidos.

OVERALL

   A very unusual little Transformer, and whether or not you like Backstop will depend on what you think of his asymmetry, unorthodox transformation and distinct look. I quite like the transformation - the creativity is nice, and don't like the look, but the asymmetry doesn't always work for me. He's better than I expected him to be, and is worthwhile simply for the novelty of design - 6/10

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