Cliffbee.com: Barrage Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Barrage
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Gunner
Alternate Mode: Stag Beetle



BEETLE MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 11.5cm

   A rather robotic green stag beetle, who resembles Bombshell but without the vehicular elements of the regular Insecticon. Barrage's Beetras origins free him from the vehicle emphasis of Bombshell's heritage, making this a much better beetle (from a realism point of view). He has red dome-shaped eyes and white stripes along the sides (which look like pinstripes). There are some hints of yellow around the abdomen, but this beetle is essentially green, a perfectly acceptable colour for a beetle, and one that looks nice on Barrage. There are two Decepticon logos, one on his back and another on the front of the horn. There's also a rubsign on the back of the abdomen.

   Barrage has a horn emanating from the top of his head and a compound horn with two antler-like prongs which protrudes from the front. The rear section is mainly wing covers, which actually lift up (but reveal robot bits rather than wings). All six legs attach to the underside and are robotic, spreading out in different directions. Barrage has a fairly detailed sculpt in places, although much of the toy is smooth, like the shell of a beetle.

   The legs are quite poseable, with hinged knees and hinges where the attach to his body. The rear four legs also swivel at the base, giving Barrage leg poseability that shames some Beast Wars insects. What's more, it's easy to stand Barrage on his feet, despite the weight of the toy (which has some die cast metal inside). Again this puts some of the Beast Wars insects to shame - in fact he stands better than most of them, despite over a decade of advancements in toy technology.

   A good beetle mode no matter how you look at it. Barrage's colours make sense and look good, his beetle shape is good and the details are nice. The legs are really well designed, both poseable and able to support his weight. Certainly this is a more natural beetle mode than that of Bombshell, and while I still like Bombshell, I'm glad that the two toys are significantly different.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fairly fiddly and complex without being difficult. The underside of the abdomen folds out to the back, becoming the robot legs. The feet flip up while the panels holding the rear pairs of beetle legs flip over, forming the back of his boots while the insect legs fold into those boots quite cleverly. The wing covers lift out, giving room for the arms which fold out from within the body. The arms rotate on a few axes, expanding in a clever manner. The front pair of legs fold away into the cavities left by the arms. The head of the beetle folds down to become his chest, the compound horn should fold in to form a chestplate. The robot head simply slides forward into place.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 8.5cm

   A green and yellow robot, Barrage's green really takes a back seat here. His torso and feet are green along with the simple horn on the back of his bead, but the head itself and his limbs are solid yellow. The red beetle eyes on his waist are jointed by red robot eyes and a red crest. There's a purple Decepticon logo on his chest, on what was the compound horn. The colours offer a marked contrast, so while the yellow is bright the green keeps things sensible. I like this colour scheme, but then Barrage looks like he could be playing football for Australia which makes me somewhat biased (c8

   The limbs are quite well formed, and as I alluded to the transformation is quite clever - the limbs are well concealed in insect mode yet not at all compromised now. There's not really any kibble here - the horn on the back of his head makes for a nice feature, the wing covers form a cape and the compound horn makes for a nice crest. It's very impressive how well the beetle legs are hidden - again Barrage outshines many Beast Wars toys in this respect.

   Barrage comes with two weapons, a green pistol and a yellow knife. While blade weapons aren't common amongst G1 toys, the Deluxe Insecticons inherited them from their Beetras predecessors. The knife is held fairly loosely in one hand while the gun is held firmly in the other, and while the knife doesn't really bring much, an extra weapon is a bonus. As you may expect there's some poseability here. Barrage's shoulders rotate through 360 while his hips swing and his knees bend. Walking poses are possible and he can sit down. Considering that he has two insect legs hidden in each boot, I'm very happy with the leg poseability.

   A good robot mode with surprisingly little kibble and well places insect aspects. The weaponry and poseability are both good, making Barrage quite playable for a G1 toy. The colours are quite brash without being awful, and aren't quite as nice as the insect mode, which has far less yellow. There aren't any real flaws here, although the colour scheme is a regression from the brown and silver of his Beetras predecessor. I wouldn't normally mention something like that but I actually have Beet-Gadol (my only pre-Transformer!), so I can directly compare. Having said that I don't hold the colours against Barrage.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   Considering how old this mould is, the cleverness of the transformation is reason enough for me to recommend Barrage. The beetle mode is solid with really well designed legs that can pose _and_ support his weight, the robot mode is poseable with well incorporated beast aspects and little kibble. He's not my favourite Deluxe Insecticon (that honour goes to Ransack, purely personal preference), but is still a damn good toy. Barrage's only downside is fragility - the compound horn and insect legs are somewhat delicate and can break off if you're careless - 8/10

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