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The Reverend
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QUINT-03 Prosecutor -- [uploaded]

Post by The Reverend » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:54 am

Name: Quintesson Prosecutor (QUINT-03)
Function: Prosecutor
Manufacturer: Impossible Toys


(text from packaging, not corrected for grammar or punctuation)
"The Quint Prosectuor is supported by a propulsion column of pure energy. The Prosecutor is distinguished by a curving, elongated cranial housing and a fairly vicious-looking countenance. The Prosecutor is equipped with side-mounted, squid-like tentacles. Having created many robots as servitor races, the Quints were defeated by their creations, expelled from there home world, and forced to colonize the much less grandiose planet of Quintessia. Twisted by exile and betrayal, they now are forced to entertain themselves with mock trials, petty cruelties, bizarre experimentations and attempted subterfuges."


While I enjoyed Impossible Toys' rendition of the Quintesson Judge (QUINT-01), I didn't plan on picking up any of the others. However, as of this writing, BBTS has the Prosecutor on clearance for $22.99, so I went ahead and plunked down for one more Quintesson just to keep the Judge company.

This figure comes boxed in faux-G1 packaging - purple box with grid pattern, yellow sunburst gradient and a nice drawing of the character on the front. The description on the back, quoted above, also has Tech Spec style ratings for the usual G1 categories. I'm not sure why the Prosecutor gets an "8" in Firepower, as I can't recall them doing anything under fire except screaming, getting knocked down and running away. Although one managed to keep his composure when a (racist?) Galvatron informed him that all Quintessons "look alike". No wonder Casey Kasem quit the show. Anyhow...

The Prosecutor, unboxed, doesn't require as much assembly as the Judge. All you have to do is plug him into his energy-beam/stand, take the shrinkwrap off the watch battery in his back and gently twist the battery cover into place. The Prosecutor is tall, about the same height as a Classics/Generations figure, and almost the same size as the Judge. Most of the details from the animation are reproduced faithfully - his "warty" base, gear-shaped waistline, orange and green torso, elongated head. He also has his distinctive six tentacles jutting out of his shoulders. Where the Judge was basically a smooth egg with faces attached, the Prosecutor features a LOT of detailing, with ribbing all over his torso and head, lumps covering his tentacles, and his purple face with its open mouth. The face is appropriately ugly and sinister, although the inside of the mouth is silver instead of the darker color one would expect. This isn't too big a deal, but it looks a little funny if you stare at him straight on.

The Prosecutor has the same type of clear energy-beam/stand that came with the Judge, although the post that connects him to it is thicker and a little more stable. No instructions came with the toy for the light-up action. Once you've put the battery in place in his back, the cover twists into place over it. Twisting it all the way in turns the LED light in his base on and keeps it on. Loosening this cover just a little keeps the battery from making contact and having the light on all the time, but also enables you to use the cover as a push-button to turn the light on as long as you hold it in place.

The Prosecutor doesn't transform, of course. His type was never shown to do so in the movie or post-movie eps and, given the G1 cartoon's back story for the Quintessons, there's no reason to expect him to. Articulation-wise, he can turn his head somewhat to the left or right, and while the tentacles aren't posable, the shoulders can swivel if you want them at a different angle. The only thing you have to be careful of when displaying him is making sure he's securely attached to his base. Admittedly, he doesn't really do much, but he makes a nice complement to the other Quints and to Gnaw and won't break the bank.


Transformation Design: N/A. There isn't one.
Durability: 6/10. He's not as delicate as the Judge, and doesn't have any obviously fragile parts.
Fun: 3/10. It's a niche novelty piece and doesn't really have a lot of immediate play value, but if you liked the Quintessons in general, this is a familiar character.
Aesthetics: 8/10. Actually, Impossible Toys did a good job on his appearance. The photo of the toy I saw on BBTS doesn't really represent it that well. Nice replica of the character, nice detailing, good strong colors. I'm still a little dubious about the shape of the base, but its not so bad as to derail the figure.
Articulation: Look, he doesn't actually have legs or arms. The head movement and the tentacle rotating are nice touches, but I could live without them.
Value/Price: 10 - at the clearance price I mentioned. I wouldn't want it for the original $50 price they originally went for.
Overall: 5. The problem with the Prosecutor is that he's a representation of a non-transforming G1 character of questionable popularity, although I myself think he's more desirable than some of the one-shot Quints that Impossible Toys also replicated. Now, he's a nicely made figure, and attractive in his ugliness, and definitely could have been represented in a much worse fashion - but I won't say he's a total must-have.

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Cal
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Post by Cal » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:23 am

Way, WAY too short, poyguimogul. When the intro and scores are longer than the review itself, you should realize there's a problem. You didn't explore the figure nearly in depth enough, such as pointing out the similarities and differences between the cartoon model, exploring any gimmicks, comparing it to the model of vehicle it's based upon, discussing colour layout and paint apps, etc.

This review needs to be vastly expanded before archiving. There are plenty of reviews available to read on this site to give you an idea of what to aim for.

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Cal
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Post by Cal » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:26 am

Like your Rager review, this is FAR too short to be archived. There's nothing else that I haven't said already, so work on expanding your review and exploring every aspect of this figure.

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Post by Cal » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:30 am

I started proofing this Roadbuster review for you when I realized how familiar it all seemed. Then it hit me: it's was copy and pasted into your Leadfoot review! I know that they're both Legion Wreckers, numbat, but this is a really lazy way of reviewing. You even made the exact same typo here that I pointed out in the Leadfoot review! If you can't write a review from scratch for both characters, it may be better to let someone else review one so that we can get an original perspective.

On another point, when are you going to complete your reviews for Soundwave, Topsin and HA Leadfoot? Too often I see reviews that start with a few photos, then nothing. :nonono: I never upload my reviews until they're ready.

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Post by Cal » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:55 am

Proofed. A very engrossing read, and I'm pleased with how objective you were in reviewing a third-party update to an old favourite. The history on the VW Beetle was surprisingly interesting. I only noticed one typo in the intro where you wrote, "using an alternate mode that might now sell". I think that's supposed to be, "might not sell".

Seems we have a few reviews ready for archiving. When's the next update?

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Post by numbat » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:12 pm

Cal wrote:I started proofing this Roadbuster review for you when I realized how familiar it all seemed. Then it hit me: it's was copy and pasted into your Leadfoot review! I know that they're both Legion Wreckers, numbat, but this is a really lazy way of reviewing. You even made the exact same typo here that I pointed out in the Leadfoot review! If you can't write a review from scratch for both characters, it may be better to let someone else review one so that we can get an original perspective.

On another point, when are you going to complete your reviews for Soundwave, Topsin and HA Leadfoot? Too often I see reviews that start with a few photos, then nothing. :nonono: I never upload my reviews until they're ready.
Sorry to disappoint. While the intro is not entirely the same, as most of the history and background surrounding the DOTM Wreckers is the same it seemed important to include. In similar cases, other reviewers often omit the info and direct to the first review, but that frustrates me as I may only be interested in reading that one review and don't want to have to hop to another page for the background. Some people may only be interested in reading Roadbuster's review, or one of the other Wreckers. I could have gone to great effort to reword the sections that are the same for all three, but that would be time consuming and pointless in my view. If it's helpful I could add a bit at the top saying much of the generic Wrecker background is the same as in the other reviews so skip if you have read these already? Or I can cut it from two and leave it in just one and redirect if that's preferable (others please give me your opinions!).

I must admit, I'm a little offended - the review of the toy is from scratch, as all the Wrecker toys are different. I do compare them to one-another, but that's it. It's only the background that shares some of the same generic text (although there is text unique to each as well) - and the point of the review is to review the toys, not the background - the background is as it is.


However, if many people share your view that my review is lazy and not objective or specific to the toy, please let me know and I'll delete the thread and leave it to someone else to review the other two Legion Wreckers (any volunteers Cal?).

With regards to the threads with photos - people wanted to see what these figures looked like while I wanted to upload comparison photos of the Legion Wreckers. As I will be reviewing them, it makes sense to upload them here once rather than in multiple places.

As I am often very busy with work and ecological research, I can take a while to do reviews as my work has to take priority. My wife has also been very ill for the last 1.5 years. I do the TF reviews as and when I can, as I make very clear when I claim them. I am always happy for someone else to jump in and steal them from me if they have a burning urge to review the figure, and I've been doing it this way for years without any complaint.

When I get the chance to do a photoshoot I tend to do it in bulk.

I also stepped up my emphasis on proofing reviews when I did have time I would normally have done more of my own in during December and January to help clear the backlog here by popular demand. This inevitably has meant I had less time to keep up with my own reviews and so delayed things a little.

However, I have always completed reviews which I have uploaded photos of. So you needn't worry about that. You just might have to wait a bit.

Hope that addresses your concerns. If not, and others agree with you, I'll remove two Wrecker threads and those with photos and pass up on reviewing. I can't do it any other way.

New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

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Check out my new sale thread now!

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Post by numbat » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:26 pm

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for pointing out the typo - I've fixed it now.

:up:

I'm afraid I have nothing to do with site updates so can't help you with that one. I have to wait on others for this, just like you. However, everyone here's a volunteer contributor, and I think it's great how many people do contribute and help when they have the time. Recently, I think blackjack has been responsible for most if not all of the review area site updates, which is a big job and he does it well. I guess he'll upload more when he has the time.

I don't know if others are able to help him out - best to ask him.

:)

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Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


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First Edition Prime Starscream -- [uploaded]

Post by Warcry » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:55 am

With permission from Blackjack, who'd had him claimed.

I'll post pics and do a bit of editing and cleanup in the next day or two.
____________________________________

Name: Starscream

This military fighter jet is Megatron's right-hand man. Starscream would rather sneak up on his victims than face them head-on, which makes him extra-dangerous. He's an expert planner, and that's one reason Megatron keeps him around. Starscream always shows respect to his general, but he's really just waiting for a chance to take command of the Decepticons himself.

One of the most popular and recognizable characters in the franchise, Starscream has become one of a handful of characters that you know you'll see in any new incarnation of the franchise, and to be honest his usual shtick is wearing a little thin. The cowardice, the betrayal, the inevitable failure and the grovelling for forgiveness from Megatron...the whole thing has gotten boring by now, so I really wasn't expecting much from the latest incarnation of the character. That's why I was so surprised to absolutely fall in love with Transformers: Prime's version of the character. Prime Starscream is just as craven and power-hungry as any Starscream, but unlike most of them that's not the extent of his character. He's a strong leader in his own right, one with a vision that goes far beyond merely becoming leader. In fact, he got a chance to lead early on in the series and proved to be quite good at it...except that no one bothered to listen to him and his entire crew conspired behind his back to revive Megatron. And since the Prime version of Megatron is a frighteningly self-absorbed madman Starscream actually comes off as a sympathetic character whose motivations are easily understood -- if I worked for Megatron I'd be trying to kill him too!

The character's appearance was reinvented every bit as much as his persona. Where previous Starscreams have been big, powerful-looking and usually boxy, Prime Starscream is elegant, if not actually delicate. His slender limbs and flowing lines make him look lean and hungry, while his perpetual slouch and constant smug grin make him look shifty and self-satisfied. Even if you'd never heard the name Starscream, one look at this guy would make it perfectly clear that he wasn't someone you'd want to turn your back on. The new design had an incredible amount of personality, but I didn't think there was any way they could make a toy that could even come close to pulling it off.

Alternate Mode: Starscream's alternate mode is a lightweight fighter jet that looks a bit like an F-16 Fighting Falcon. He sports a reasonable approximation of a military colour scheme, with different shades of grey and silver covering most of his body. Just enough red and blue are used to add a bit of visual interest to the aircraft without making it look like it's painted up for an air show. A small purple Decepticon symbol right behind the cockpit finishes the deco, although that part of the fuselage is already so busy with paint apps that it's easy to miss. There's a surprising amount of paint on the figure, actually, considering how Hasbro has scrimped in that department in recent years and how simple and grey he looks at first glance.

The complex paint apps are a step forward, but unfortunately there are a few steps back here as well. The jet's sleek appearance is marred a bit by the obvious robot legs hanging from its underside, and even more so by numerous join lines and transformation joints that stand out like a sore thumb. The complexity of the figure and the sheer number of moving parts means that there's not much that the designers could have done to mitigate that, but it's a problem nonetheless.

The figure is also very compact in jet mode, taking up a bit more than half the volume of the Classics F-15 Starscream. And compared to that figure he's decidedly undergunned. He doesn't really have any 'play feature' weapons at all. His only accessories are a set of missiles that hang off of each wing. Molded together in a three-missile bunch from a soft, rubbery plastic, the weapons are purely cosmetic. I'm of two minds on the missiles, honestly. On the one hand, it contributes to Starscream's quasi-realistic look. On the other, it means that there really isn't much to do with Starscream in jet mode. He doesn't even have flip-down landing gear to fiddle with.

In the end, Starscream's jet mode is a decent enough disguise but it's not really all that much fun.

Robot Mode: I assumed right from the get-go that any attempts to render Prime Starscream in toy form would end in disaster. I didn't think it was possible for a recognizable fighter jet to even come close to transforming into his tall, slender robot mode. I figured that the toy would be a fiddly, kibble-covered mess that wouldn't be worth a second look.

Boy, was I wrong.

As far as looks go, Starscream is essentially perfect. His proportions are spot-on, and his tiny jet mode somehow manages to fold out into a satisfyingly tall robot. The toy captures Starscream's hunched-over posture perfectly, gets his wings just right and even manages to somehow turn his ridiculous high heels into useful, poseable feet. There's no kibble to speak of, and honestly I can't think of anything about the mold that doesn't look the way it's supposed to.

Starscream's colour scheme is essentially unchanged from jet mode, with the red and blue a tiny bit more prominent but otherwise featuring the same utilitarian mix of silver and grey. His torso, in particular, has so many paint apps on it that it's almost ridiculous compared to most contemporary Hasbro toys. The dark greys are a bit darker and the light greys a bit lighter than they appear on the show, but to good effect. Since this Starscream isn't moving, the slight increase in contrast makes him much more visually interesting.

Starscream's head sculpt is really nice, too. Not only is it show-accurate, but it features a smug little grin that's really all you need to see to know that he's a backstabbing little schemer. One minor quibble is that the crest in the centre of his head is made of a light grey soft plastic instead of being painted red like it is in the show, but I for one only noticed because it was pointed out to me.

Moving on to play value, I've found that Starscream is a very poseable robot. He's got five points of articulation in each limb, as well as a ball-jointed neck. His high heels look like they're going to make him maddeningly difficult to stand, but since the 'toes' and 'heels' each move on a joint independent of the other it's easy to position his feet to support his weight even though only a tiny area of each foot is actually touching the ground. Furthermore, his slender body and lack of kibble give him a tremendous range of motion that most Transformer toys can only dream of. You can put Starscream into practically any pose you can think of. Sadly, my Starscream's hips are so loose that he's more likely to topple over under his own weight than stay standing up in any pose I might put him in. It's a problem that's easily fixed with a layer or two of clear-coat, but there's no excuse for a brand-new Transformer to be this loose right out of the package.

Like jet mode, in robot mode Starscream has no accessories to speak of other than his two bunches of missiles. They clip into place on his forearms, at the spot where a somewhat larger, single red missile is attached on the character's show model. It's a shame that they're grey, really, because a splash of red on the arms would have been a welcome addition to the character's look. They don't really do anything and don't look very impressive, but unlike the boring alt-mode Starscream's robot mode is interesting enough on its own merits that having poor accessories is a minor quibble instead of a major problem.

Overall, I like Starscream's robot mode quite a bit. It embellishes on the animation model a little bit, but it's a reasonably faithful and extremely dynamic representation of the character.

Transformation Design: Starscream's weak jet mode loses some points, but it's still impressive that they managed to do as good a job as they did. 7/10

Durability: Between some very soft plastic, loose ball joints and a lot of thin parts held together by pins, sadly Starscream seems like the sort of toy that the years aren't going to be kind to. 6.5/10

Fun: The lacklustre jet mode drags him down a bit here too, but the expressive robot mode is so much fun to fiddle with that he still gets a good score. 8.5/10

Aesthetics: The jet mode doesn't look bad, and the robot mode is just great. 9/10

Articulation: Starscream's a champion on the articulation department. I can count the Deluxes I own with this much poseability on one hand and still have fingers left over. 10/10

Price: If you can find him at retail, he's a steal. Sadly, the First Edition toys were a poorly-distributed side-line and most people won't be able to get their hands on him as easily as I did. For $16.99, he's a great toy. But if I'd paid $30 plus shipping I'm not sure I'd be quite so happy with him. 6/10

Overall: Starscream isn't without his flaws, but he's a unique toy with a lot to offer. He's a bit unconventional, but if you're interested in the Prime toys at all you could do a lot worse than Screamer. 8/10

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Post by Blackjack » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:37 am

Cal wrote:I started proofing this Roadbuster review for you when I realized how familiar it all seemed. Then it hit me: it's was copy and pasted into your Leadfoot review! I know that they're both Legion Wreckers, numbat, but this is a really lazy way of reviewing. You even made the exact same typo here that I pointed out in the Leadfoot review! If you can't write a review from scratch for both characters, it may be better to let someone else review one so that we can get an original perspective.
You know, that was rude.

Both Wreckers had the same character background and everything, plus both introductions were written from scratch by Numbat. And, like he said, some people might just want to read single reviews, and not all of them. An introduction is a great way to make the readers more familiar to the characters.

I don't mind Numbat using nearly the same introduction in his reviews of the Legion class Wreckers.

The main body of the reviews are completely different, and really, just having a similar introduction for characters that had more or less the same role... how is that lazy?
Cal wrote:On another point, when are you going to complete your reviews for Soundwave, Topsin and HA Leadfoot? Too often I see reviews that start with a few photos, then nothing. I never upload my reviews until they're ready.
So Numbat can't take photos everytime, and takes photos for all the toys he would like to review in bulk before writing the reviews proper. And he always finishes the reviews, no matter how long it takes. What's it to you?

If you want to review Soundwave or Topspin or HA Leadfoot, just pipe up, and you can probably do so. Having a few additional threads that are reserved for reviews aren't harmful at all.

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Post by Blackjack » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:27 am

Good show, Warcry. All of which I'd have said, albeit in a more verbose, Starscream-fangasming way. :glance:

Odd, my Starscream doesn't have any hip joint problems.

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Post by Warcry » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:50 am

Not really a surprise. Those things are usually (but not always) a tolerances issue -- the ball joint is slightly too small, or the socket is slightly too big. Hasbro doesn't have the same insanely high standards for things like that as Lego does, which is a shame because in this day and age it's just as important for all the bits and pieces that go into a Transformer to fit together precisely.

The same sort of thing happened with my Black Shadow...his left shoulder was very loose right out of the box. It's probably the most common QC issue I find with modern Transformers, sadly, and makes me wonder if the designers don't realize that the cheap Chinese manufacturers simply can't match the precise specs of the toys they're designing.

I'll take some pics for this tomorrow.

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Post by Warcry » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Here's the pics.
Attachments
starscream_bot.jpg
starscream_bot2.jpg
starscream_alt.jpg

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Post by Blackjack » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:29 pm

That picture in the middle...

Rubbing his hands in that hammy villain way wasn't the first thing that popped into my mind when I tried to figure what pose he was in.

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Post by Warcry » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:50 pm

When I took that picture, the first thing I thought of was that he was shielding himself from being kicked in the groin by Arcee. But it was too funny not to use.

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Post by numbat » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:40 pm

Cheers Blackjack.
Blackjack wrote: If you want to review Soundwave or Topspin or HA Leadfoot, just pipe up, and you can probably do so. Having a few additional threads that are reserved for reviews aren't harmful at all.
There'd be no problem there - as always, if someone else wants to jump in there while I take a while, go for it.

:)

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Post by Paul053 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:52 pm

Calm down, Cal (and it's not the first time I told you so). There is no standard and order in order to complete a review. In your case, then I'm probably not even allowed to write a review since my native language is not English.

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Prime Cliffjumper

Post by Blackjack » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:39 pm

Name: Cliffjumper
Allegiance: Autobot
Class Size: Deluxe Class

Cliffjumper was one of the original G1 Autobots from way back in 1984. He's probably remembered most famously among the early fandom for the episode 'Traitor' where Cliffjumper for no reason accuses Mirage of being a traitor, or for his glass gas (screw physics), or for pulling out a gigantic bazooka out of nowhere to try shooting Megatron in the very first episode of the cartoon (and promptly shot off a cliff by Laserbeak afterwards. Oh, the irony!). But that's not much of a resume, is it? Sure, he was deemed popular enough to have a speaking role in the 1986 movie, and he would probably have appeared in the third season had his voice actor Casey Kasem not left the show after feeling offended by the stereotypical portrayal of Abdul Fakkadi. Oh well.

But anyway, Cliffjumper wasn't really the first character that comes to mind when you think of the Transformers. Even the Marvel comics did not give Cliffjumper much of a role other than the first few comics. Thus, he didn't have new reincarnations over the years, because he's not Optimus Prime or Megatron or Starscream or Unicron. But Hasbro had dibs on the trademark for Cliffjumper's name, so they were quick to slap it on toys if they needed some random good Autobot. In the Armada toyline, the name Cliffjumper was used for an obscure toy-only Minicon that came with the Cheetor repaint. In the Energon series, Cliffjumper was an Autobot baja buggy that was part of the cartoon cast... which wasn't saying much, really, because the moronic dub calls him 'Downshift' half the time. Like the rest of the Energon characters, this Cliffjumper probably had less personality than a sack of potatoes.

However, Cliffjumper's antics in the original cartoon (all, uh, three, four of them) was apparently memorable enough for the fandom that when Dreamwave and later IDW rebooted G1 as a comic series, Cliffjumper was given some spotlight. We haven't seen a Transformers: Cliffjumper miniseries yet, but in the recent comics Cliffjumper has gotten quite a bit more exposure than he had before. Especially in recent IDW comics where Shane McCarthy and Mike Costa had shaped him up into one of the more memorable secondary characters. I don't ageree with their writing skills all the time, but Cliffjumper is an angry hot-headed tiny little ball of rage and no one could go wrong with him.

But lo, Cliffjumper had one more additional distinguishing feature, which would prove to be his most important one: he looked like a red Bumblebee. Yes, the original toy had an entirely different head and vehicle mode, and were not made from the same mold, but other than that Cliffjumper and Bumblebee are similar enough. Now, when Bumblebee gained an upsurge of popularity with the 2007 movie, a whole lot of Bumblebee toys got made, and we need repaints or else the molds will be wasted. The perfect solution? Cliffjumper.

Just like it's a rule that Optimus Prime must be redecoed into Ultra Magnus or Nemesis Prime, or Starscream must be redecoed into any or all of the six (or more) Seekers, Bumblebee's default repaint choice is Cliffjumper. Be it several toys from the Movie lines, or the Classics-series toys, whenever they needed a Bumblebee repaint, Cliffjumper seemed to be the first obligatory one. Because he's more awesome than Bug Bite. Thus we saw two more incarnations of Cliffjumper. The first was a repaint toy in the Movie lines which had sort of a larger role in the IDW tie-in comics because he's named after a G1 character, and the second was a cameo in Transformers: Animated as a generic Autobot soldier stationed on Cybertron. He was a relatively higher-ranking soldier, and made subsequent reappearances during the show's regrettably short run. Sadly we don't see him charging into battle or jumping off cliffs.

But soon Cliffjumper as a Bumblebee repaint didn't prove at all satisfying to the fandom and hordes of Cliffjumper fans out there, so when the new Prime series (which would apparently be, like, Ultimate Transformers or something) announced that Cliffjumper was going to be among the six main Autobots, the fandom gave out a collective 'squeeee'. The fact that he's not going to look like Bumblebee (who looks like his movie self), and, better yet, is going to be voiced by The Rock, made the fandom 'squeeeee' even harder. Of course, the fandom neglected to realize that the Rock was hardly someone who's going to show up regularly as a voice actor for a cartoon series, or the fact that practically none of the kids knew who Cliffjumper was (while they were familiar with Ratchet or Bulkhead via recent shows like Animated or the live-action movies).

And thus despite the fact that Cliffjumper was in most promotional trailers and any preview comics (which probably only the fandom would read), he was killed within the first ten minutes of the show, in which he proved to be as awesome as Cliffjumper should be... and it set the tone of the series. They were going to have all the character of Beast Wars, all the charm of Animated, and, best of all, the stunning robot-on-robot fights like the movies. Cliffjumper's fight against a dozen Vehicons were awesome to behold, and when Starscream kills him without a second thought, well, it tells us just what the series' tone would be like.

But hey, he's voiced by the Rock and the fandom loves him, so Hasbro decided straight off to make two new Deluxe class molds for him. For a character that had ten minutes of screen time.

I'm going to be a bit more verbose here, and talk on a bit on the Prime toyline. Now, instead of the continual reboots that has been of the norm for the past, oh... twenty years after G1 ended, Hasbro is planning for Transformers: Prime to last much longer. With the momentum of the movies pushing the franchise on, they're going to have Prime be the first of a continual series. Seeing that Prime has already surpassed all my expectations in all aspects of storytelling and visual effects for a cartoon, I'm looking forward to it.

Obviously, the marketing and packaging department of Hasbro got this memo as well, so they did their stuff like they usually do... by making a big deal out of it. Thus, stamping 'FIRST EDITION' on the first wave of toys that came out.

The first edition included, among others, a two-pack of Optimus Prime and Megatron with human PVCs, Bulkhead, Starscream, Bumblebee, Arcee and, yes, Cliffjumper.

Now I came along these first edition Prime toys. I immensely enjoyed the TV series — far superior than everything that we had before, even the excellent Animated or Beast Machines series. The only strong contender for Prime is Beast Wars, and because Prime didn't fool around with the characters too much in the first season it's fast becoming my all-time favourite Transformers series. Plot, characterisation, awesome voices, great action scenes... and most of all, great designs.

I was leery at how they're going to transport the designs into toy form. After all, something like Starscream, a tall, reedy, slender robot who turns into a sleek fighter jet? They'll surely mess that up. But I got Starscream anyway, and while he's far from perfect it's about the best I could have expected from the designers trying to translate the design into a toy. Thus, I cashed in and bought Cliffjumper, who seemed to be a better toy than Arcee (and I really didn't want sports car Bumblebee number twenty).

But damn, are they gorgeous toys. And they came with a free display stand, which is Hasbro's sneaky way of repurposing bits of the packaging to act as a hollow cardboard box with 'Transformers Prime' that your toy can proudly stand on. It's more liable to fall apart on the seams, really, unless you keep it in, like, a display case or something. And even then your toy's weight would invariably cause the weak cardboard display stand to collapse.

So screw those display stands.

To those that might be confused, this is the first Cliffjumper mold in the Deluxe Class size. Because soon, like I mentioned before, they'll be releasing a second Deluxe Class Cliffjumper because he's so awesome.

Alternate Mode:
I'm not much of a car geek, but I recognized Cliffjumper as a Dodge Challenger straight off and was proud for it. Hey, it's not every day I could look at a car and say that I recognise it... Of course, someone had to ruin it for me and point out that the rear of Cliffjumper's alternate mode is really a Plymouth Barracuda, so it's again Hasbro's attempt to have a non-licensed vehicle that is similar enough a real-life vehicle, but different enough not to warrant lawsuits. Kind of like the cobbled-from-three-different-Lamborghinis Sunstreaker mold we had in the Classics-Universe line.

Still, while the subtle nuances of the type of sports cars may yet again elude me, it does diminish the fact that Cliffjumper is indeed an awesome-looking muscle car. It's got the long hood, and powerful-looking body that you associate with loud, VRRRR-ROOOOOM engines. Both power and speed... which, basically, is what our favourite cliff-jumping Autobot is all about. A powerful, fast warrior. And while G1 purists might whine about why Cliffjumper is not an ugly super-deformed toy Porsche, I'd say this is one of the times when a new alternate mode is likely to supplant the original one. Cliffjumper's alternate mode is just so gorgeous and so true of the character. It's a great choice.

Also, that little horn ornament in front of the hood, a little piece resembling a bull's horns, is actually quite a nice little touch. I think it's supposed to represent the distinctive horns that Cliffjumper had in his robot mode, and while it might be a wee bit tacky, for me it actually kind of gives Cliffjumper a bit of personalization, showing that this is not just another generic sports car, but it's an Autobot. An Autobot with a personality... it's subtle, more in line with, say, Movie Barricade's 'to protect and enslave', or Mixmaster's Decepticon-headed dog ornament, than having shit like 'WE R 1984' or '534-5PR4Y' tampographed all over the wazoo.

How does the toy stand up to it's show counterpart, though?

Well, for starters, obviously the Cliffjumper toy has join lines, as is the problem with every Autobot car out there. In some, it's a hideous problem, while in some the join lines are barely noticeable. Cliffjumper falls between the two categories. The join lines are visible, especially in the windshield and near the doors, but other than that the rest of the vehicle mode is extremely flawless unless you take a closer look. It's probably as good as we're going to get with current technology, so it's a passing grade on that part.

The toy duplicates the alternate mode seen on the screen quite flawlessly, with loads of moulded details. Sadly, as usual, some of the smaller moulded details are not painted. Still, most of the more distinctive features — the general silhouette of the car, the pipe intakes near the rear wheel, the four exhaust vents, and, of course, the horn ornament.

Obviously Cliffjumper is cast in a shade of darker red (almost maroon, but not quite). It's not exactly the metallic shine we saw in the show, but it's passable enough on the toy to be distinctive. The windows are, pretty fetchingly, moulded in a transluscent blue plastic which doesn't exactly reveal the kibble within but helps to keep the realism of the alternate mode. The wheels are obviously black, and the rest of the details are painted silver. The front grille, the inner parts of the wheels, the exhaust pipes and the rear part of the vehicle. The headlights are cast in the same clear blue plastic as the windows, and the horn is in a soft grey rubbery plastic. An tiny Autobot insignia on the left side of the vehicle, near the rear wheel, is painted in silver... catchy enough without being distinctive.

Sadly the rear lights or exhausts are not painted in, but on the upside we don't get an icky vanity plate (although the space is left in) so at least it's not a big loss.

Kibble wise, there's not much that you could see unless you flip him around. Bits of the arm show up under the exhaust vent, but are passable for parts of the vehicle. Cliffjumper rolls on the ground quite nicely and, well, frankly I like powerful-looking, classic cars like this, so the alternate mode is full of win.

Robot Mode:
Cliffjumper's transformation is smooth and well-designed, and I'm frankly quite surprised by the amount of work the designers did to put in additional details and joints, like bits of the side of the front bumper folding away, the knees being tucked in with an additional joint so the vehicle mode would look better... heck, buts of the side windows are folded away in the leg so the chest won't have an entire slab of window on either side! there was a lot of thought put into the design of the transformation, and I for one am impressed.

Cliffjumper's chest is formed by the roof of the vehicle, and they move around ever so slightly in their places to show a mid-line of black in the middle. His stocky, muscular shoulders and arms are formed from the rear of the vehicle, his equally atheletic-looking legs are formed from the sides of the vehicle. The hood folds up to form his back, and the headlights swivel to their place on either side of Cliffjumper's waist.

All in all, I cannot stress how alike Cliffjumper is to his character model in the show. The artists designed Cliffjumper to look athletic and muscular, without looking as bulky as Bulkhead, or as sleek as Bumblebee. He's somewhere in the midline of the two, and kind of brings in mind a more squat brawler. That's probably the best word to describe him, his wide shoulders and thick lower arms are indeed quite threatening. Again, as with all Prime characters you could see the inspirations taken from the complexity of the Movieverse — sharp edges, parts that have bits in it, that look like they are parts of the car transformed instead of just blocky chunks as with earlier franchises, but. But you can also see the popular stylised style that the Animated franchise utilised, like the thin manga-esque upper arm, the chin, and generally looking very awesome.

He's got the exact same silhouette seen in the cartoon design, and compared to the other Cliffjumper toys that are yet to hit the shelves at the time of writing, he's the closest to resembling the stout brawler from the TV. The other upcoming Deluxe seems to have fiven his arms a fair bit of thinning.

A lot more black appear in robot mode. Basically, anything that's not part of the vehicle mode — the neck, the inner torso, the upper arm, the hands, the crotch, knees, feet, shoulder joints... It's all black. Again, a great foil to the red and odd bits of silver.

His head is red, but the horns are cast in the same soft grey plastic as the vehicle horns, and the face is painted silver with a serious 'don't mess with me' scowl on it. His eyes has blue light-piping, which actually don't work as well as it should. Also, his hands are sculpted in open fists, moments from being balled into full fists to break your face with. Like the tradition began in the 2010 Transformers (subtitleless/Reveal the Shield/Generations) line, HasTak are phasing out the 'fist with a circle' and instead moulding actual hands that could grip the standard 5mm weapon. Cliffjumper's hands are moulded like this, with individual fingers lovingly sculpted, but the 5mm hole might not be that obvious unless you realise it's supposed to be there.

Cliffjumper stands a bit shorter than some Deluxe classes, but not that short. He's about a head shorter than Generations Jazz (Goldbox, RTS, whatever), which actually fits with his stout brawler image.

He's also quite well articulated, living up to the lofty standards set up by modern Classics and Movie series. Cliffjumper's head can swivel, his shoulder is double jointed (ball and hinge), his elbows are triple jointed (two hinges and a swivel), his wrists are on swivel joints, his thighs are on ball joints, his knees are on hinges and his ankles are on ball joints. To those who didn't want to process the lengthy description I just typed, basically Cliffjumper isn't a brick, and he's got as much articulation as the normal Deluxe class vehicle, though obviously not as much as Starscream. He could assume most poses, although the ankle joints are a bit restricted, so the footing isn't that flexible. He can, however, assume poses related to beating up Vehicons, which is really all we're going to need of him. Now, I just need to grab a couple of Vehicons (they look SO DAMN PRETTY) so I can pose them around with Cliffjumper...

Now, with a great alternate mode, a great robot mode and damn-near-perfect resemblance to the cartoon model, you'd think Cliffjumper is an excellent Deluxe Class figure. Well, Hasbro made sure to raise the notches up a little... now, you see, Transformers have been using weapons from their wrists ever since the first cartoon, but these are far and few between. It's not until the more modern series like the Movieverse and Animated that numerous characters can retract their hands into their wrists and replace them with a weapon. Smart thing, really... why carry weapons you could drop if you can transform parts of you into the weapons? The Prime series takes it to the extreme, that every single character had some sort of built-in arm weapon. The only exceptions are Megatron and Bumblebee, whose weapons are mounted on their wrists anyway. But designing these on toys usually had mixed results, due to the difficulty of having to include both hands and weapons.

Cliffjumper has the advantage of having chunky lower arms, and his on-screen flip-out arm weapons are these kickass triple-barrelled blaster things. I did not even realise that they included this awesome feature until I fiddled around with the wrists, and rotated out the guns. It's an extremely smooth transformation, there are no signs of the guns when the hands are out and vice versa, and most importantly the guns look quite awesome as they did in the show. And, lo behold, there are no pointless levers or strings or mental Cyber Keys or whatever kind of stupid gimmicks to activate these weapons. Ho yeah.

Bottom line? Cliffjumper is an excellent toy that falls short of being perfect, but that doesn't mean that he's not a damn good one. He ticks every single criteria of being a good toy in my book, and the fact that I love the onscreen character is a great bonus. Between Starscream and Cliffy, I'm having high hopes for the Prime toyline.

Points out of ten for the following:

Durability: 8/10 The silver paint on the tiny Autobot insignia will no doubt flake off with time, and I'm worried about the decorative horns, but otherwise Cliffjumper has survived many attempts at shelf-jumping.

Transformation Design: 10/10 Splendidly thought out. And when they go the extra mile and design joints on tiny parts of the windows and the like so they can fold away neatly in robot mode, well, it just goes to show how much effort they put into this toy. My only quibble is that the headlights my droop from time to time in robot mode, but it's a small quibble.

Aesthetics: 9/10 He looks exactly like his show counterpart in both modes, and I for one love the hybrid stylized-complicated style that the Prime show uses, so it's exactly my cup of tea.

Articulation: 6/10 The aforementioned leg problem does lead to a few difficulties trying to put Cliffjumper in Dreamwave poses, but other than that he's got a wee bit more than your average Deluxe size toy.

Price/Value: 7/10 Depends, really. Getting him at retail price like I did would be fantastic; he's exactly what a Deluxe Class toy should be, but if you had to import him it's going to be a little iffy.

Fun: 8/10 The lack of actual features makes him quite boring... until you realize that you're probably not going to care much about a non-show-accurate gun with an ugly transluscent projectile or something similar, which means the only way Cliffjumper could even be more awesome is if I had half a dozen Vehicon toys for him to pound.

Overall: 9/10 A very solid toy. Like Starscream, Cliffjumper does not disappoint in nearly all aspects of what I see in a toy. He's durable, looks good, has a decent transformation, looks like the show model, has little trinkets in his design that endears me even more... it all boils down whether you like him, really. If you do, this is a must-buy.

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Paul053
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Post by Paul053 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:56 pm

Excellent writing and review. I thoroughly enjoy reading it after I finished painting (adding details) mine last night. He is a fun toy.

By the way, you forgot to mention his hollow chest which is the only letdown in my case.;)

Also, blame on Hasbro, maybe you should add (First Edition) on the title so people won't confuse and wonder if it is the RiD version.

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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:23 pm

Mmm, I've never actually minded the hollow chest, the design makes it so that it's not that much of a hindrance. Certainly I've seen worse... But I'll add in a sentence or two just for the sake of completion.

I'll deal with titles when I upload reviews :p

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Savannahtron
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Transformers Prime Cliffjumper Legion class

Post by Savannahtron » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:23 am

Name: Cliffjumper
Function: Autobot Commando
Subgroup: Legion/$5.99

"The best place to find Cliffjumper is wherever there's likely to be a fight! The tough, aggressive robot loves nothing more than pounding Decepticons into scrap."

Cliffjumper has always been one scrappy little guy. In the Transformers Prime series is no different. As one of the early deaths of the series, at the hands of the nefarious Starscream, Megatron later uses dark Energon to bring Cliffjumper back as a zombot. That's right BRAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNSSSSSSSSS... Poor Cliffy, if only he knew, maybe he would have killed Megs when he had the chance in G1.

Alternate Mode:

Cliffjumper's alternative mode resembles a Dodge Charger or a fastback Mustang. This chibi version of Cliffy reminds me a bit of Windcharger's G1 car mode. The cattle horns on the front remind me of something you would see in the 70s of big oil guzzling cars that got about 4 miles to the gallon, but just as bold of a character Cliffjumper is, this car is bold too. The car mode is pretty tight and there is not much kibble. There is a classic Autobot symbol on the top of the car. The windows are tinted black and there are flare mufflers running from the side. Both the top and sides have peg holes for the car weapon mode for high speed attacks.

Robot Mode:

Cliffjumper's robot mode is decent for a legion class Transformer. The arms flip out from the hood of the car, then the trunk of the car flips out for the legs, and the torso flips up and over to complete the transformation. The bot has articulation at the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and feet. Unfortunately, the head does not move at all, so Cliffy is a bit stiff looking as he turns from one side to the other.

The legion version of Cliffjumper comes with a battle blade made of translucent red plastic. As with the deluxe version, the weapon doubles up as a melee and ranged weapon. As for a legion class, it is an interesting feature for Cliffjumper to have a weapon as most scout class or legion class bots do not have separate weapons.


Transformation Design: 6. Solid car mode with connecting peg joints. Robot mode is not as sturdy with ball joints, and no locking joint for the shoulders.
Fun: 7 This is a solid legion/scout class toy. Reminds me of G1 Windcharger in muscle car mode.
Aesthetics: 5 The legion class Cliffjumper looks best in vehicle mode.
Articulation: 5 The articulation is decent for the size, but do not expect lots of different poses.
Value/Price: 6 The price of $5.99 was from Toys R Us. I picked up the legion class the same time I found the Cliffjumper deluxe. The packaging shows Cyberverse Command your world as a carry over from the Dark of the Moon Cyberverse. These smaller versions of the same characters are interesting for a couple of reasons. The first reason is price is more affordable than the other toys in the line. The second reason is the Cyberverse line has introduced a lot of detail and articulation such as the Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Optimus Prime or Megatron versions.

One interesting note is that the deluxe was manufactured in China, and the legion class was manufactured in Vietnam.

**Looks like the first two pictures are deluxe car mode, sorry :)
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