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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Denyer's review of: Cliffjumper

Name: Cliffjumper
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-group: Minibot
Function: Warrior

"Strike first, strike fast, strike hard."

"Let me at 'em," is Cliffjumper's motto. His eagerness and daring have no equal. He's driven by a desire to win the battle against the Decepticons. Finds Earth terrain a hindrance. One of the fastest Autobots. Often uses his speed to draw fire away from others. Shoots "glass gas" which makes metal as brittle as glass. His recklessness often leads to actual blow-outs and situations too dangerous for him to handle.

Cliffjumpers are a lot easier to find than they used to be, since the mould was reissued in a first wave of key chains by Fun4All a few years ago. Comparing this one to original minibots and to photos, it's slightly darker and there's more stress apparent on areas where the plastic was removed from the mould. However, they're still very acceptable alternatives to the original release, and quite common, although Cliffjumper and Bumblebee key chains seem to have been produced in greater quantity than Brawn and Windcharger ones.

Vehicle Mode:

If you're familiar with Bumblebee, there won't be too much new here. Cliffjumper has a similarly 'super deformed' car alt-mode... which is generally considered to be a Porsche 944 or a 942 Turbo but, unlike the cousin VW bug mould, it's hard to tell with any certainty. One of the pocket-money toys of the 80s, the minibots fit comfortably into the palm of an (adult) hand or a shirt pocket. Not having any protrusions to snap off whilst in vehicle mode, the cars also tend to survive the years with only sticker wear from play.

The wheels spin well, although the two lines of them aren't quite parallel so veering over longer rolling distances is likely.

Robot Mode:

Unlike the original Bumblebee, Cliffjumper gets a face that's quite human and thus close to his cartoon and comic portrayal. Getting him into robot mode is quite straightforward: slide the arms out, pull out the legs and flip the head up... it's really rather an elegant design, everything folding away neatly enough that the robot mode is about twice the size of the car. There's also quite a lot of character; despite not having a gun, or openable hands to hold one with, Cliffjumper does give the impression of being ready for action.

The black section at the top of his chest is formed by another piece of plastic, rather than being painted black like the rest of the car windows. Not sure why I'm bothering to point that out, other than the fact there isn't really a huge amount to say about minibots -- you either like them or don't.

Transformation: 2 - Anyone should be able to. It's a nifty design, though.
Durability: 9 - Should withstand a great deal of play.
Fun: 8 - These make great desk toys. Not insultingly simple, not too complex.
Price: 5 - Easy enough to get your hands on these days, thanks to reissuing.
Overall: 8 - This is more a measure of how much I like the character than the toy; if there were a few more stories featuring Cliffy as something other than a distrustful, trigger-happy nutcase, it'd rate a 9 or 10.

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