Stonecold Skywarp's review: Barricade
Function: "To Punish and Enslave..."
"BARRICADE is a born liar. The greatest thrill in his life is knowing people trust him because of the human decorations on his door panels. The look of betrayal they get when they realize what they’re dealing with is as sweet as candy. The only thing he likes better is chasing down AUTOBOTS and breaking them into pieces with his powerful arms and crushing, hydraulic hands."
Okay I'll admit it, I promised myself (& my girlfriend) that I would only be buying 2 toys from the movie line. One was Barricade & the other was Optimus Prime. Having seen pictures of Barricade's toy around the internet I was steadily put off buying him in favour of the Voyager Blackout figure which was slightly easier to get a hold of.
When I went to pick up some comics I noticed my local comic guy had stocked the deluxe range and Barricade's shiny cop-car (a Saleen S281 apparently) mode was screaming out for me to buy him. Which I did.
ONLY 2 TWIST-TIES!
It's the little things on Barricade that make his Cop car alt mode quite appealing. The burly white door with "Police" written across it, "Police" written across the rear wing, "643" boldly printed on the roof and underneath the left headlight. Then there's the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Police badge emblazoned with the Decepticon insignia and 1865 written beneath it which, thanks to google, is the year that the Detroit police dept. was founded. Then there's my personal favourite touch of 'to Punish and Enslave' on either side above the rear wheels.
Of course, it wouldn't be much of a review without mentioning Frenzy who sits quietly behind Barricade's bull-bars. Simply pull down on them and you can slide Frenzy out and un-fold him into his robot form. It's a nice touch really being that if you weren't looking for him, you'd never know he was there.
The overall colour is a matte black effect, not very shiny, which suits the mould well all over even when it comes to Barricade's
...which isn't too bad, but not really in-line with the high(ish) standard we've come to expect from our more recent TF toylines.
Barricade's robot mode is still predominately black in this for with some flashes of grey and purple on the waist/legs.
There's a lot of kibble floating around the robot mode and some stuff they did, probably, just because they could. The glass from the police car doors flips up vertical and give the appearance of wings which really do nothing for the robot mode.
What concerns me most with the figure is the hands/arms combination. The hands are moulded into the back of the car panels with flip-up thumbs to finish the look. Because of this, there's little scope for adding and sort of weaponry and to the average by-stander makes him appear to have no hands at all. Whilst the hands to separate from the body of the car it negates the look of the thumb and makes the hands look closed. Then there's the catastrophe waiting to happen that is the 'spring launching' left hand that is probably supposed to appear to extend and grab. With the hands as they are it's more like an over-enthusiastic Japanese cartoon 'thumbs-up' than a grabbing motion. At the top of the arms (the front wheels) there's a ball-joint that isn't mentioned, at any point, in the instructions for transforming Barricade. These allow the wheels to fold down like macho 80's style shoulder pads and make Barricade look reasonably better, or fold behind and take away some of the horrible kibble effect.
My other major gripe with Barricade is the small fact that the ankles are ball joints & already (only open 2 days at time of writing) they are starting to loosen quite badly, to the point where I have to pose Barricade off-balance for him to stand properly. They're supposed to lock into the rear windows for stability but this somewhat limits the feet's available positions.
Despite this Barricade's got a reasonable amount of poseability; balls joints at the ankles, waist and shoulders allow for some reasonably threatening poses, the elbows and knees are jointed too which gives Barricade some degree of moving towards a decent toy but they can't make up for the negative points that this reviewer finds with the figure.
3. Not immediately straight-forward, but doable without instructions on 2nd attempt.
8. Can't see much going wrong with him, besides the ankles.
5. Fun alternate mode + the hidden element with Frenzy
4. I paid £11.50 for Barricade (roughly $20US) and whilst I'm happy for the car mode, I think it's a little over-priced.
6. Would have scored less were it not for the sweet police car mode & Frenzy surprise.