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numbat's review: Bumblejumper VS Bluicade

Cliffjumper Vs Recon Barricade

Sub-Group: Allspark Power Movie Legends Class

During all the long war over the power of the AllSpark, Cliffjumper has always been the one guy among the Autobots who can be counted on to provoke someone as calculating as Barricade into making a bad move. This is a robot who is so dedicated to beating the Decepticons that he never hesitates to get right up in an enemy’s grill. Barricade especially is frustrated by the behaviour of the smaller Autobot, because while he’s pretty sure he can take Cliffjumper in a fight, he can never think of a good comeback to any of the insults the Autobot hurls at him.

With the Movie line petering out now that we’re well into 2008, Hasbro have released their usual repaint-heavy series that hit latter in a line’s life. This has extended to the Legends of Cybertron Movie figures, although, unusually, there have been a number of new moulds thrown in there. To sell a little more, Hasbro decided to pack this final series in Vs sets – and there are some odd combinations of original live action film characters and repaints out there. Of these sets, to date, three have been exclusively repaints, while the remaining four include one new mould each.

A number of the repaints are based upon repaints of the larger class figures – and this is the case for both Cliffjumper and Recon Barricade – a set of repaints based upon repaints.

Given the direct repaint nature of Cliffjumper, he has nothing to really differentiate him from Bumblebee, bar colour. As such, he really comes across as a blend of the two – Bumblejumper. Of course, Bumblejumper is the fan name given to a G1 Minibot that came packaged in Cliffjumper boxes, was yellow, but was a unique mould (neither Cliffjumper, nor Bumblebee) (see here). Perhaps it would make more sense to reverse the name, given this new amalgamation is red, but ‘Cliffbee’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Oddly, only Bumblebee repaints have ever been given a new character in the Movie line. Other mainstream characters that appeared in the film have just been released as themselves with a prefix to their name, and a backstory explaining the colour change if you’re lucky. It seems a shame that Hasbro haven’t taken the opportunity to create new characters with all, or at least most, of the repaints, but, never mind – we can sort that for them.

In a similar vein, Recon Barricade shall henceforth be known as Bluicade.

I’ve reviewed both of these moulds at least once, and so shan’t get bogged down in details. I’ll only be discussing the merits of the new paint applications. See my reviews of LOC Movie Bumblebee and LOC Movie Barricade for a full discussion of the moulds.

Name: Cliffjumper
Allegiance: Autobot

Tech Spec: - Strength: 6
- Intelligence: 6
- Speed: 7
- Endurance: 9
- Rank: 5
- Courage: 9
- Fireblast: 7
- Skill: 3

Alternate Mode:

Unlike his Deluxe counterpart, LOC Cliffjumper transforms into a ’74 Camaro – not the ’08 concept car. The care measures 3 ¼” (8.5cm), putting it in at around 1/60 scale.

The red does verge on the overpowering, although I find it evokes memories of G1 Cliffjumper. Bumblejumper (a name that we’ve established suits this toy far better) has received a superior paintjob to the original release of this mould. Unlike Bumblebee, Bumblejumper has painted rear windows! Definite bonus, as this was a terrible flaw in the LOC Movie Bumblebee release that smacked of cheap and tacky. The windows are all a pale metallic blue, while silver provides relief from the red in the from of stripes running down the bonnet, and front grill and two of the lights (not the headlights, unfortunately).

All-in-all, I’m rather pleased with this mode – if it weren’t for the red bordering on being too loud, I would prefer him to Bumblebee. As it stands, the two are equal in alternate mode.

Robot Mode:

The robot mode stands 3” (7.5cm) tall, and is still rather red. However, the metallic blue from the windows finds its way onto Bumblejumper’s knees, while the black of his upper legs breaks the figure up a bit. As with the original and clear (Japanese exclusive) versions of LOC Bumblebee, Bumblejumper has an Autobot insignia emblazoned on his chest in silver. Unfortunately, silver is the only colour used to pick out the details on the face in this outing – which results in ghostly eyes and a handlebar mustache. Quite entertaining – although I really would have preferred just about any other colour for those eyes, as the contrast is just too much.

The mould seems to be becoming progressively looser – which is good at this stage, as it allows for considerably more natural poses than the rigid initial release. However, it’s also concerning how many times this figure must have been pressed out in such a short period of time!

Although the LOC Movie figures are generally disappointing in relation to the original Legends of Cybertron series, I find the Bumblebee mould to be good fun, as it seems to recall the fun of a G1 Minibot – which is rather appropriate for both Bumblebee and Cliffjumper.

This version of the mould is rather red, and best compared to the red variant of G1 Bumblebee, although it deserves the name ‘Bumblejumper’. It’s a nifty release of an adequate mould, and I’m rather pleased with it.

Name: Recon Barricade
Allegiance: Decepticon

Tech Spec: - Strength: 8
- Intelligence: 5
- Speed: 8
- Endurance: 6
- Rank: 5
- Courage: 5
- Fireblast: 5
- Skill: 4

Alternate Mode:

Recon Barricade is a Deluxe and LOC repaint that doesn’t make much sense to me – the colour scheme is bizarre and terribly garish.

As before, Barricade’s alternate mode is a Saleen S281 police car. The car measures 3” (7.5cm), placing it at around 1/63 scale – not far off LOC Movie Bumblebee.

Unlike the cool black paint scheme afforded him in the film, he now finds himself navy blue, with a silver top – a child’s ideal police car, I’d guess! The one upshot of this scheme is that Barricade now has clearly differentiated windows. The black wheels and bull-bar do clash rather badly with the blue, and, for no good reason, Barricade’s feet have been moulded in black also, and stick out like an ostrich in a guinea-fowl flock amongst the otherwise silver roof! Red paint picks out one of the roof lights, and in my figure this has spilt over the windscreen. The navy blue plastic does make for some obvious cracks between panels – notably in the centre of the bonnet.

On either door there is a silver shield with a purple Decepticon insignia printed in the centre, and a white insignia has pride of place in the middle of the bonnet. I wish Barricade all the best with his undercover subtle recon missions, dressed up in a patchwork of bright colours with even more obvious Decepticon trappings than his previous incarnation!

He lacks any detailing on front or real lights and grills.

Although initially discouraged by this awful paintjob, I have to say the alternate mode has grown on me ever-so-slightly. It is a radical reinterpretation, without changing the function from police car to another emergency service vehicle, as is so often done. Still, it is a poor show compared to the original without considering the daft oversights, such as those black feet in the centre of the silver roof!

Robot Mode:

For some reason, the pegs holding my figure’s arms to his legs in Saleen mode are extremely stiff (they don’t actually fit in the sockets properly, preventing the vehicle mode from being as seamless as intended), and take undue effort to separate for such a small figure.

That aside, the robot mode stands around 4” (10cm) tall – massive for a Movie LOC figure! It’s just such a shame the designers didn’t add more realistic details or articulation at the elbows to break up those ridiculous beams which stand in for Barricade’s arms!

The blue and black take their battle to another level in robot mode – with the feet, upper legs, shoulders and head all being black (with carefully painted red eyes). I don’t know why, but this whole scheme makes me think of Barricade wearing pajamas. Frankly, he looks a lot less menacing than in any other version of the character! Comical.

The only detail in which this version of Barricade is superior to his original is in the silver ‘hands’ – at least they’re not purple anymore!

Roll all of this together with his cripplingly constipated stance, and the result is not great. Bluicade – which, he undoubtedly deserves to be called – is a rather hideous figure. Although not quite so horrendous as I had first thought, he has not provided any robust reason to reassess my original opinions of the figure from the original photographs.

Still, I am glad to have Bumblejumper standing alongside the other LOC Movie Bumblebees, and as an apt companion-piece to G1 red Bumblebee.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 4 – Bumblejumper’s transformation is very simple, but satisfying. Bluicade is slightly more complex
Durability: 8 – Bumblejumper is solid, but Bluicade has more joints which could break, and seems to be made of slightly poorer plastic. However, compared with many of the LOC Movie versions (particularly of the larger characters), they are built to last.
Fun: 6 – These moulds are both good fun, but there are far better small Transformers out there. Barricade’s poor arms, worrying stance, and propensity towards toppling take the set down a notch – as does his colour scheme. However, they are among the best of the LOC Movie line, and the Bumblejumper improves on Bumblebee’s paint applications, even if he’s not the same colour.
Price: 8 – You can pick up two of the best LOC Movie moulds for less than $8 (£4) – I’d say that’d a good deal.
Overall: 7 – These are two of the better LOC Movie moulds, but, of course, they are repaints, and as fun as Bumblejumper may be, Bluicade is not quite as nice as his original. I’d expect this set will only sell to those who missed the original releases, or more dedicated collectors of wee Transformers.
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