Cliffbee.com: Outback Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Outback
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Gunner
Alternate Mode: 4x4



4X4 MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A khaki four wheel drive with a chromed silver grille and headlight assembly and black front windshield, Outback has ridged black plastic tyres and a black spare tyre on the roof along with black spotlights. The front bumper is brown with a winch assembly. This winch represents the most obvious change in Outback's vehicle mode compared to Brawn, although I'm not counting Outback's large black cannon on the roof since that's removable. The age of this mould is indicated by the fact that he's an actual four wheel drive, and not an SUV - this vehicle is clearly designed to go off road.

   Outback's Microman heritage is quite apparent here. He's cute rather than realistic - although there's more realism here than in many later, more detailed, Armada or Energon toys. The winch adds some realism and none of the original Microman Minicars had, and while none of the originals had any weaponry, the sculpting is broadly in keeping with Outback's theme, so not only does it add to the toy but it also compliments him.

   Brawn is actually the most detailed of the Microman inspired Minicars, and this translates very well on the lighter Outback. There are engine moulded indicators, engine ventilation, roof racks, side and rear windows, doorhandles and a gas can on the back. Outback adds the previously mentioned winch to this mix as well. The end result is probably the most detailed of the Microman based Minicars, and better detailing than on a lot of larger G1 toys.

   Play value here is limited, which is to be expected. The wheels roll, although not that well. While I don't expect much more, fans of later series will find this disappointing. The gun is a nice touch for a Minicar, and is unique amongst this set of Autobots. This is a pretty good 4x4 mode is good for what it is, the light colour brings out his mould detail while the gun really helps differentiate him from Brawn.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the fenders down and back to form his legs, pull out the side panels and rotate to form the arms, swing the arms over and into place. Stand him up. You can remove the gun if you like although there's no need to.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9cm Width: 3.5 cm

   The khaki is now largely on Outback's back and legs, while the brown becomes the dominant colour, on his torsoplate. His face is silver affair while his fists and the insides of his arms are chromed silver. There are some foil stickers on his waist and chest. The facial sculpt is quite complex for a Minicar - Outback has eyes, a nose and a mouth, complete with lips.

   Since his legs are the fenders of the vehicle mode, Outback's legs attach to the outsides of his torso, giving him reptile hips (think about the squat position of a crocodilian). I've never been totally comfortable about this configuration, and in the cartoon they corrected his bodyshape. The cabin of the four wheel drive forms a very compact backpack, and the cartoon kept this feature, as well as a very show accurate face (something cartoon Brawn didn't get). His hands are quite well moulded, but unlike those of Brawn they're not designed to flip out from the sidepanels. While Brawn's sidepanels allow the arms to slide out, Outback's are modified to keep them in place - the irony is that Outback has the more detailed arms.

   There's some play value here, although not much poseability. While his small feet don't allow for any leg posing, the arms can swing up and down. The elbows are permanently bent since the arms are the sides of the cabin, making for a naturally relaxed arm shape. There is no way for Outback to wield his cannon in robot mode, which I'm okay with since it would look really out of place.

   Outback's odd hips have always bothered me, although the more complex sculpt on his head and torso do a pretty good job of distracting the attention, and the bulkier arms make the proportions better than those on the more pear-shaped Brawn. While Outback was a pretty minor character in the cartoon, the toy accuracy in the show was good, making this a desirable figure for show fans, even if the play value is limited.

VARIATIONS

   The 2008 Encore reissue has painted blue eyes as well as a stamped Autobot logo on the right side door.

   As mentioned, Outback is a retooling of Brawn - only the legs and roof have been left untouched. The rubsign indent that was on Brawn's right side door is on the right side rear window on Outback.

OVERALL

   A very good vehicle mode for a Minicar, and Outback is the only Minicar with any sort of accessory. The robot mode is his weaker mode, but there are quite a few improvements over that of Brawn - to the point that I'd recommend Outback over his better known predecessor. The psuedo-Australian accent in the cartoon gives Outback a special significance to us Australians, but otherwise he's a fairly obscure character. Recommended for Minicar fans and G1 fans in general - even if you have Brawn - 6/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.