Transformers Legacy: Kickback by Hasbro

Well, it looks like a Hasbro trifecta this week, as I’ve gone from Marvel Legends to GI JOE Classified, and now to Transformers Legacy. But hey, I do collect an awful lot of Hasbro properties, so that’s bound to happen from time to time. Today I’m dipping back into Hasbro’s new(ish) line called Legacy, which has been keeping a lot of the G1 love rolling, and this time it’s with a brand new version of an old favorite Insecticon of mine!

Here he is in the rather colorful Legacy packaging…. We last saw Kickback released in the Titan Returns line as a Legends Class in about five years ago. HOLY CRAP, THAT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO!?! He was the final release in that Insecticon trio, and while I liked that figure a lot, Hasbro took too long to release all three and by the time we got to Kickback, they all had annoying differences in their colors and aesthetics. When I finally got to put them on the shelf together and they just didn’t feel like a cohesive team. Later that same year, I picked up Bad Cube’s unofficial Insecticon Trinity, known as the Evil Bug Corps. Soon thereafter Hasbro’s little bugs went into a tote and I haven’t seen them since. But I absolutely adore the Insecticons ever since they made their first appearance in the old cartoon, and I’m ready to see Hasbro take another crack at these bug bots, so let’s start with Kickback and his cyber-locust mode.

Just from handling this guy, you don’t have to see the robot mode, to tell that Hasbro remained VERY faithful to the design and engineering of the original toy. That could be good or bad, depending on your opinion of overly simple transformations. For me, one of the reasons I Loved the G1 Kickback figure so much was that he looked exactly like his Sunbow animated counterpart, he actually had decent articulation and felt like a real action figure, and he was quick to get from robot to bug and back, which made playing with him a lot of fun. And all that certainly applies here! Sure, the way his legs work has been tweaked, but in spirit everything here is the same as the original. The deco is simple and gorgeous, and black and purple one-two punch to the eyeballs is to die for, and the added yellow brings it to new heights. And while his yellow chest plate is perfectly visible on his back here, I’ll wait to talk about it until we get him transformed.

The only thing I am torn on here are those wings. Oh, they look really nice with their intricate sculpted patterns set upon clear plastic canvases. But, I really miss the silver, because it’s just such an iconic part of the original toy. The chrome present on the original toy is very noticeably absent here. I’ve decided that it’s not a deal breaker for me, and that’s probably just because these do look so nice. The gun storage, on the other hand, is such a wonderful bonus on this update. It plugs right up into his undercarriage and adds some nice firepower to locust mode. If you’re a fan of asymmetry, you can also mount it on either leg.

Kickback also comes with two energy sword-gun-things, which are designed to tab into his wings in the locust mode. These are cast in translucent purple plastic and they’re OK. I’ll never complain about some nice bonus accessories, but I’m never going to display him with them, so they’re pretty much lost on me. Actually, I’ll probably loan them out to other figures. Maybe two of the Legacy Stunticons. But, yeah I wish Hasbro had saved the plastic to give us two sets of wings and the ability to swap them out for two different display options. That would have been really cool. Let’s move on to his robot mode…

Awww, yeah! It takes only a few seconds to get him into robot mode, and what a killer mode it is! Kickback is a tad on the stout side, but apart from that this is just a beautiful homage to his original G1 toy. He has actual fists now, instead of claws cobbled from his insect legs, and while I didn’t realize it in time for most of these pictures, he actually has ankle tilts hidden up in them feets. But what I absolutely have to uncontrollably gush over is that yellow chest plate. It’s yellow-tinted clear plastic over what I assume is a silver painted plate under it, and it creates a gorgeous radiant glow, like he’s practically pulsating with energon. Holy shit, it’s just gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see Bombshell and Shrapnel get the same treatment. I imagine the only people who could gripe about the execution here is that it doesn’t open up as an homage to the diaclone pilot compartment from the original toy. The Decepticon insignia on his upper chest looks great, and I dig the addition of some red panels and yellow striping on his lower legs. Kickback even looks all closed up and polished from the back! What an amazing robot mode!

And the head sculpt is pure money! Hasbro went with the Sunbow style face, as opposed to that of the G1 toy, and I’m always happier when they go this route! He’s got some beautiful silver paint on his face and forehead, and his black “helmet” is flanked by his glorious yellow bug antenna. Yes, there’s a little silver overspray at the top of his bright red visor, but thanks to his pronounced brow, you have to get down low to really notice it. Thankfully, the rest of the paint is fine, but sometimes I worry about these silver faces exposed to the elements with no window to protect them in the packaging. I’ve been lucky so far, but I do buy most of these online and sight unseen, so it’s always a gamble now.

Kickback comes with a wonderful update to his original Electrothermic Blast Tube weapon, which is mostly silver, but also has some metallic purple on the muzzle and on the drum-style magazine. It’s a great looking gun and a very distinctive design!

And the sword-gun-thingies that we saw attached to his locust mode, can also be wielded as weapons in his robot mode. You can attach these to his arms as guns, or he can wield them like energon swords. Again, these are cool bonus accessories, but I don’t plan on using them. I would have much preferred Hasbro include some Energon Cubes instead of these.

Here are some comparison shots of Legacy Kickback with the Commemorative Collection G1 Reissue figure, and boy do I think he represents well! He’s a little bit bigger in locust mode and A LOT bigger in robot mode. Sure, the legacy version is missing a little of the pop from the stickers on the G1 toy, but still an absolutely great representation of one of my favorite G1 figures.

A few petty nitpicks aside, I am absolutely thrilled with how great Legacy Kickback came out. This is just another example of me retiring an older Transformers figure in favor of a newer update. He’s so much fun to zip in and out of locust mode, and to just play around with on my downtime. He’ll likely be on my desk for a while, before finding a home on the display shelves. Yeah, I may buy a second Kickback and have a go at coloring those wings, but we’ll see if the clear set grows on me. My only hope now is that Hasbro doesn’t wait a a couple years to finish the trio off, and that Bombshell and Shrapnel both show up with the same style chests, and an overall cohesive look for the team!

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