Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer Barricade Toy Review

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Individual Review




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

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Barricade for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A black Mustang police cruiser with white doors, a red and blue painted stroberack on the rood and purple stamped Decepticon logos on either front fender. There are silver "POLICE" markings on the doors and spoiler, "643" on the roof, silver headlights and red taillights. Overall this is a pretty detailed colour map for such a kiddie looking car. My only complaint is that the "to punish & enslave" motto isn't here. Otherwise, Barricade is quite similar to the regular version. The windows are painted a gunmetal colour, rather than being colourless as on the regular toy, but the back window is painted, while the regular toy has a solid black one. While this Mustang is very cutesy, it's still quite clearly a Mustang, which I appreciate.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well and there are rubber belts on the rear tyres to assist the gimmick. Barricade has a rear axle so he rolls quite straight, which is nice. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it.

   While the realism is lost thanks to the almost comical proportions, the paint job here is actually very good. The level of detail is good enough to ensure than Barricade is clearly a Mustang, and the paint job isn't cheap. While this car mode might work for a 3 year old, it's a bit too much of a caricature for many adult fans to really appreciate. Still, this is his better mode, and it's good for what it is.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the cabin pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7cm

   A very black robot that sort of resembles Barricade. The front of the car is his toes and there's a false front on his chest, which is barely more than painted silver headlights and a rudimentary grille. His face has some gold paint around the mouth and smatterings of silver on the eyes, but there's just too much black here. Even the metallic blue on the groin can't save this lump from being a black lump. As much as all CyberSlammers are indistinct lumps with no legs and poorly defined torsos, in all black things are worse.

   I'm not at all impressed with this robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet. There are no gaps between the torso and arms and just not enough paint to defined any features. I know that Barricade is meant to be very black, but that's all the more reason why this was a poor choice for a CyberSlammer. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. The shape here is not humanoid at all, really - the colours make sure of that. The arms are simply the doors, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all, so they make poor limbs and while they lift up, springs ensure they spring back down, so we can't even use the arms to help with a humanoid shape.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the poor robot shape (or the chibi vehicle). The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. Okay, so pushing him down does reform the vehicle mode as they planned - which is nice - but from a standing start he rolls around two feet. A little more if you push him along as you do it, but this isn't enough to really impress. He's far less impressive than the Throttlebots in this regard and about as impressive as the Battlechargers (but sturdier). The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and allowed a better robot mode.

   A bad robot mode even for a CyberSlammer, thanks to the colour scheme. The gimmick just isn't impressive - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly. I was about eight years old when the Throttlebots came out, and had hours of fun with them - I can't see today's kids really appreciating this concept. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful. This is one of the weakest robot modes amongst this line.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Hasbro couldn't resist doing a "Patrol" repaint. Which works better thanks to some colour.

OVERALL

   A poor choice for this line, since the standard Slammer robot mode is very dependant on colour. The all black ruins any chance of a real robot mode, and while the vehicle mode has some merit, you're much better off buying a Legends Barricade, which has a real robot mode, at least. The vehicle mode is well painted, but nothing else here is worthwhile. The gimmick is poor anyway, so the Legends would be a better - and cheaper - option for a kid - 1/10

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