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Series: Fans Project
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2011

The quickest of his brothers, Backfiery was recovered and converted by the powerful Skycrow. Like his brothers, Thundershred and Stormbomb, he acquired the art of Ninjutsu and adopted the philosophy of Godai to harness the power of "Fire". With his speed, weaponry and ability to bring the heat to any battle, Backfiery poses a serious threat to all of his enemies. Driven also by revenge, Backfiery has a fiery temper that makes him unpredictable and highly volatile - an adversary that can really catch his opposition off-guard.

Prelude: For legal reasons let me just state that this product here is not an official Transformers figure from Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, but rather a third-party product. It clearly pays homage to the G1 Insecticon Kickback, but can’t be called that for legal reasons. Unlike his brothers, Kickback got to keep his original name for both the Robot Hero and the Universe re-issue, so it's only this non-Hasbro figure that needed a new monicker.

Robot Mode: Let’s start once again by comparing Backfiery to his G1 counterpart Kickback. The general resemblance is good, with the head, shoulders and legs being very close likenesses. The torso is a different story, but overall there is no denying that Backfiery is an updated version of Kickback. And while he can’t position his wings straight up like Kickback can, he can at least move his wings at all, something Kickback couldn’t.

Resemblances aside Backfiery is a very posable robot, possibly the most limber of the three Fansproject Insecticons, and the leanest in appearance, too. The only limitation he has are the rather blocky parts that connect his legs to his hips, which prevent him from raising his legs for a proper kung-fu kick. Apart from that, though, Backfiery can pose with the best of them. That includes the wings on his back, though as I mentioned above the way they are connected to the body makes it impossible to position them straight up. That, and the insect head hanging off his back hinders the wings’ movement a bit, too.

In terms of weapons Backfiery is the most boring of the Fansproject Insections, because all he’s got are knives. Six identical knives, of which he can’t hold more than two at the same time. He can store the four knives he can’t use on his legs (four slots) and hips (two slots), but I have to wonder why they didn’t at least give him different weapons he could switch around. Because all he can do here is exchange one pair of knives for another, completely identical-looking pair of knives and, for diversities’ sake, yet another pair of identical-looking knives. Thundershred and Stormbomb easily got him beat on the weapons’ front.

So bottom line, Backfiery has a pretty good robot mode with only very minor limitations. Much like his G1 counterpart he appears as the smallest of the Insection trio, but he’s also the most posable. Thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: No need to look up the exact definition here, Backfiery transforms into a simple robotic grasshopper (gomphocerinae for the Latin lovers). Much like it is with biological grasshoppers pretty much half his mass consists of two giant hind legs, which enable a grasshopper to perform his characteristic giant leaps. The four front legs and the actual torso itself look tiny by comparison. I’m no expert on insects, but to my amateur eye the proportions of this robotic grasshopper look pretty realistic.

Not much else positive I can say here, though. Backfiery can do little in this mode except move his hind legs and wings, and just about every possible pose he can do seems awkward. Might just be because of his insect shape in general, but you always get the feeling he’s half a second away from falling over or apart. The six knives from the robot mode remain in the same place as before, being on his legs, and serve no other function.

Overall I’m rather disappointed with this mode. That’s not to say that G1 Kickback’s grasshopper mode was all that exciting to begin with, but Backfiery doesn’t really improve on it much except add posability to the hind legs. So bottom line, the worst insect mode of the three Fansproject Insecticons in my opinion.

Remarks: To me Kickback was always the odd man out among the original Insecticons. I mean, Shrapnel could summon lightning and channel electricity. Bombshell could enslave other Transformers with his cerebro shells. Kickback... could kick real hard. Yeah, he really got short-changed in the powers department. Maybe this is why Fansproject made Backfiery the leader of their not-Insecticons in order to compensate for 26 years of being the tag-along.

Apart from being named leader, though, Backfiery still remains the also-ran among the group. The robot mode is good, though he does look a bit tiny next to the other two, but the grasshopper mode is not all that good (not that I’ve ever seen a good grasshopper mode, mind you) and his weapons are by far the most boring of the trio. I got Backfiery in order to complete the group, but that’s pretty much the only reason I’d recommend anyone to buy him. Fans may argue eternally about who is number one among the Insecticons, Bombshell / Stormbomb or Shrapnel / Thundershred, but the only thing that never changes is that Kickback / Backfiery has got a firm lock on the number three position.

Rating: B-
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