Cliffbee.com: FAB Barricade Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Barricade
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Mustang Saleen Police Car

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Barricade for this review.



POLICE CAR MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A black Mustang Police car with white doors, Barricade's colours resemble those of Los Angeles police cars, although he's more of a generic police car than one belonging to any specific force. The doors sport the word "POLICE" in silver while there are purple police badges on the front fronts, with Decepticon logos as centrepieces. There's a big "643" on the roof and the tag "POLICE" in silver on his spoiler. The paint job is actually very similar to that of the regular toy, although this one lacks the "to punish and enslave..." motto, which is a shame. The wheels are black plastic - as are his windows, which is a slight disappointment, although the FABs don't really feature transparent plastic. The front indicators are painted orange, the headlights silver and the taillights painted red. Rounding out the colours, Barricade has a stroberack on his roof, once side is painted red and the other blue. There's a subtle but pleasing metallic blue Decepticon logo on the front of the hood. While I would have liked to see transparent windows, Barricade's vehicle mode has a great paint job. The motto is a loss relative to the normal version of this character, but that's not to say this vehicle doesn't look nice.

   The proportions are a little out of sync with reality, which is normal for the FABs, but Barricade still makes a pretty nice Mustang since they've retained the shape for the most part (he's a little short, but not to the point of being "kiddie"). The signature Mustang front is well defined and the impact bar at the front is present. The taillights aren't quite right, but they're not overly simplified, just narrower than they should be. The sculpt is pretty good, with vents on his hood, side mirrors, grille lines and a grey-painted rear license plate. The robot feet - which are grey - are visible from the back (pretty standard for FABs) but they're fairly small so while you see them, they don't overwhelm the details at this end.

   There's no play value here other than the rolling wheels, which is to be expected. The wheels roll well but there's no Frenzy hiding inside the grille on this toy - not that the Frenzy figure supplied with the other Barricade is that impressive anyway. I would have liked to see a headlight pop out as we saw in the film, but this would have been a little hard to engineer well on this toy.

   Okay, so this car mode isn't quite up the level of the regular Barricade's vehicle mode, but it's better than most FAB alternate modes - and not trying to be overly cute. We do lose some detailing which holds it back slightly, but I'm fairly happy with this Mustang.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the side panels out, swing down the feet from underneath and split the boots. Swing the sides down to form arms, pulling out the blade from his left arm. Fold down the roof to form his back, which causes the head to pop out of the hood (top of his torso) and flip up the side windows to form wings.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 9cm

   A grey and black robot, which isn't really that true to the movie. His torso os the front of the car while the legs, groin and arms are grey underside areas with a fairly complex sculpt. The sides of the car sit on the outside of his arms, and are black while the wings behind the chest are also black. His head, for some reason, is painted silver with a champagne gold mouth (which is easy to miss) and red eyes. It... looks like Megatron in silver, and it's proportionally huge. It would be about right for toy twice this size. The colour scheme isn't essentially bad, but it does misrepresent the character.

   The proportions are generally pretty bad - at least he's consistent. The gigantism exhibited in his head is extended to the arms. Granted, Barricade's are are quite long anyway - but these almost reach the table. It wouldn't be so bad it he had elbows, but he doesn't. The chest is also fairly big and bulky, and while it's not awful - and is dwarfed by the Easter Island statue that is his head, it doesn't scale well with his groin and legs. The sculpt is generally pretty good, save for the left arm, but the well sculpted grey plastic on his legs - the highlight - is overshadowed by the big bodyparts.

   While he's ugly, Barricade is fun, and unlike most FABs, his play value is actually worthwhile. The poseability is pretty bad - his head and elbows are fixed while the shoulders swing and the hips are very restricted ball joints. His knees are hinged, but there are no ankle joints, so lifting up the heavy arms can be tricky since we can't rock the weight back. The gimmick is good - and the spring in is waist is useful with his gimmick, unlike most FABs. Basically there's a sawblade which folds up out of his left arm, with four like grey teeth that lift out of it. If you depress a light grey plunger at the back of his left shoulder, the blade spins - and you can continue pressing for a sustained spin, which makes this gimmick cool. If you twist his waist to the right it'll spring back left, making the sawblade a more imposing melee weapon.

   Ugly but fun. I'm not a huge fan of the look of this toy - but then the FABs are really suited to very young kids, who will likely be more concerned with play value than accuracy. The gimmick makes this mode work within the FAB concept, even if the poseability is bad. I'm not saying this is a great robot mode by means, but unlike many FABs, it actually has something to offer, in the shape of a fairly creative gimmick.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good car mode and a good gimmick make this one of the better FABs, even if the robot mode is very ugly. The car mode isn't fantastic, but it takes thing seriously rather than trying to be cute as many FAB modes do. The robot mode proportions are so bad that I worry about what the designer was drinking (smoking) when he put it all together, and the silver paint on his huge head doesn't help, but the gimmick is worthwhile so this is one FAB that does offer some play value rather than just being a dumbed down toy. Recommend if you're looking for play value more than anything else (ie, for a young kid), but not recommended otherwise - 5.5/10

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