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Numbat's review: LOC Barricade

Name: Barricade
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Movie Legends (Legends of Cybertron [LOC] Series 7)

Barricade is a born liar. The greatest thrill in his life is knowing that people trust him because of the human decorations on his door panels. The look of betrayal they get when they realise 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 crushing, hydraulic hands.

Tech specs and bio taken from Deluxe Class version.

It is a very well established fact that I am very much into the smaller Transformers in particular. The original Legends of Cybertron (LOC) figures were a great event for my collecting, with the first six waves presenting miniature representations molds (and repaints, including Classics versions) from the Cybertron line. These figures were extremely detailed, and even attempted to mimic the transformations of the larger figures (including Voyager, Leader and even Supreme Class counterparts). They were a bit hit-and-miss, but were largely impressive – with the tiny Cybertron Starscream mould easily my favourite Transformer mould to date.

Although Cybertron and Classics lines are over (the latter for now, at least), the LOC series continues with Movie releases in Series 7 and 8. However, these figures mark a departure from the previous style. No longer are the toys tiny versions of larger molds – although they do still represent characters that exist in larger size Classes. No attempt has been made to reproduce transformations – although, with some characters possessing multiple size Class toys, with different transformations, it would be difficult to choose which to attempt in the first place! Instead, these Legends are unique, at least in respect of transformation (and articulation).

In some ways this is quite nifty – giving a new experience if you already have a larger version of the character (which is bound to happen for most people here and there). But, in others, these new LOC figures fall short of the previous releases. Articulation and detail have both been sacrificed, and unnecessary shortcuts taken with the transformations – in some cases beyond my personal tolerance (Ratchet and Jazz seem rather poor examples of Transformers).

However, some of these figures are still great fun – capturing a genuine G1 feel. With more in common with Spychangers and G1 Minibots, with a spattering of Legends class, collector’s of the wee fellows will find a number to enjoy.

And, Barricade is certainly one of the better examples!

Alternate Mode:

Barricade’s alternate mode is a Saleen S281 patrol car. I was very excited by the initial movie designs for the character – a Decepticon disguised as a police car just can’t fail to bring a smile to my face.

The LOC version measures just over 3” (7.5cm) bumper to bumper, and resembles the actual design in the film rather well at first glance.

To be fair, the overall shape is as perfect as you could get at this scale, and Barricade dose not suffer from strange proportions and protruding joints like LOC Movie Bumblebee. There are nice molded details here and there (such as the wing mirrors, and vents on the bonnet) – however, detail really is where this guy falls short. For some reason, there is not even definition for the individual roof lights. They protrude as a unit, but merely have a black line to divide them. Furthermore, the headlights are just painted silver circles – not in line with the real vehicle. The flat area these circles occupy is almost the right shape for real headlights, just by accident, and would look better fully painted silver. Taking that on-board, the huge rear lights are ridiculous, but do look better than those daft silver circles.

Still, Barricade has ‘POLICE’ emblazoned on either door and along the rear spoiler, and (oddly) a Decepticon insignia on the bonnet. Alas, on this scale, the nifty shield and ‘to punish and enslave’ are missing.

The car mode, despite the flaws in detail, is still fun to roll around, and holds together very well. I do particularly like the bull bar along the front!

Robot Mode:

The transformation is quite fun, although a little fiddly in reverse. I love the way the bull bar folds down to reveal the radiator grill, just like the movie design. A lovely touch, that needn’t have been included (especially considering some other examples in this series).

Barricade stands a very respectable 4” (10cm) tall – towering over LOC Movie Bumblebee (and LOC Movie Optimus Prime, come to think of it…).

Alas, the detail issues really come to the fore in robot mode. The arms are very plain, and rigid, lacking any detail whatsoever on the reverse. The hands look very odd, and shine metallic purple – a little off-putting. Still, the head redeems the sculptors – it is a fantastic representation of a very complex design, and the red eyes , silver and gold paint all bring the figure up a notch. (Although I had to search through a lot of figures to find one where none of these applications had run.)

Articulation is quite good, with shoulders having both a hinge and ball joint, ball joints at the hips, hinge at the knees, and ball at the ankles. Unfortunately, without any form of hinge for the elbows, the arms look like precisely what they are – the sides of a car – and lack real poseability. It would have been worth adding a hinge even at the expense of the alternate mode, in my opinion. The legs must be posed in a permanent squat, due to the shape of the rear of the car. Another unfortunate issue – that does lead to balance problems.

However, the figure is still fun – just like Bumblebee – despite the flaws. For such a small version of a complex design, Barricade does do well, and will actually look good on display alongside other small Transformers (unlike LOC Movie Bumblebee, who really does have to rely on the fun factor).

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 5 – Barricade’s transformation is more fun, and complex, than LOC Movie Bumblebee’s.
Durability: 8 – Barricade has a number of joints which could break, although they seem sturdy enough. The plastic just feels a little flimsy…
Fun: 6 – Barricade is fun in both modes, but that pose is rather poor (looks like he really needs a number 2), he likes to topple, and the arms need more detail and articulation – or a better shape at least!
Price: 9 – At under £3 (and under $3 in the States!) Barricade is excellent value, any way you look at it – but previous LOC figures have offered more for the same price.
Overall: 7 – If you’re into the small Transformers, LOC Movie Barricade is a fine addition to your collection. He is definitely one of the better Movie Legends offerings, and goes well alongside Bumblebee, if not Prime!

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