Cliffbee.com: Jaruga Toy Review

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Name: None officially, however since this is a repaint of Jaruga, that name is usually applied
Series: "European" G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Vehicular Mode: Dune Buggy




BUGGY MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 9cm Width: 6.5cm

   A blue dune buggy with an enclosed cabin, Jaruga has mid blue windows and a missile rack over the top of the cabin - although this version lacks the missiles, instead coming with two guns that can plug into the same area. He has a yellow and black "danger" sticker on the hood with a red Autobot logo at the centre. The tyres are black and there's some white towards the back of the vehicle. The colour scheme is fairly similar to the Breastforce version, although the cheaper plastic used here means I prefer the original.

   I'm not sure how many dune buggies actually come this well armed, but since most of the Breastforce were military vehicles, I can live with this being a dune buggy with guns. Not that I've ever seen an armed rescue dune buggy. At any rate, the overhead weapons assembly works. It points up, and since it's the robot legs folded over, it can actually rotate upwards allowing him surface-to-air capabilities.

   His wheels spin allowing him to roll, although with no axles he'll only roll so far unassisted. The tyres are sand tyres, by the way - wide with big tread patterns. The rear tyres are quite a bit larger, and the rear axle is a fair bit wider.

   Jaruga's weakest point in this mode is probably a lack of mould detail. He has a front spoiler with what looks like a winch line behind it. There's no rear spoiler as such - the missile rack is the closest thing he's got. Most of the detailing on this part is robot leg stuff, although it's dark enough you don't really notice this.

   The mould is a good one, and I like this dune buggy, but it's difficult not to compare to the proper Jaruga (especially since I have that toy). The plastic is cheap, the blue a tad brighter than I'd like and the weaponry doesn't really bring much. While this is certainly not a bad buggy, it could easily have been better.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the guns from the rack if they're inserted - if they're on the sides they can stay. Fold the gn rack down and lift up the front of the car. Stand him up, place the guns in his hands.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 6cm

   The blue of his buggy made takes a back seat to the white now. His arms and lower legs are blue while his thighs, torso and head are white. The face is silver with a good level of detail. The cheap plastic is more apparent now, and Jaruga looks like his chest is missing something - which it is - the chest companion that the original version comes with. While the colours aren't awful, they are a regression.

   Jaruga has small cat ears on his head, and the big rear wheels sitting on his hips. His arms are quite short, but he manages to not suffer as a result, largely due to the hip pads and wheels, which save him from having gaps where most Transformers have hands. While this is a pretty good mould, A remoulding of the chest would have done wonders for Jaruga.

   Jaruga has lost most of his play value - his shoulders swing and he has two guns, but that's all we see here. The Breastforce were centred around their companions - which this guy lacks - and of course combining to form Liocaeser. We're not left with too much now, sadly.

   It's a decent mould but the cheap plastic and stripped weaponry mean Jaruga doesn't reach his potential. Since I have the original Japanese toy, I can't help but be disappointed with this robot mode, although it's still a reasonable robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   Jaruga came with either silver or red guns. Neither version was officially named.

OVERALL

   It's a shame this repaint was done so cheaply, since it's actually a very good mould. Jaruga comes awfully close to knock-off quality - and many of those are sold with names. While this isn't a total write off, the bad plastic and stripped play value mean this toy is quite mediocre - 4/10

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