Cliffbee.com: Classics Cliffjumper Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Cliffjumper
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 17cm Width: 5.5cm

   A small model sports car similar to the VW Beetle, which makes sense since Cliffjumper is a straight repaint of Classics Bumblebee. This is a more or less realistic sports car - far more so than the super deformed original Porsche. Whilst I'm not sure if this version is based on any particular model of car, there are elements that remind me of both the new Mini Cooper and the new VW Beetle. So the model suits Bumblebee better than Cliffjumper, but still works for Cliffjumper. Anyway, Cliffjumper is red with extensive silver paint, forming a jagged pattern around the headlights, hood and along the bottom of the doors. I do like the fact that Cliffjumper's paint mask is significantly different to that of Bumblebee, even if this particular pattern has no precedent. The windows are colourless plastic, the side windows are absent (wound down, I guess). The headlights are metallic silver (over colourless plastic) while the taillights painted black - I like how the designer has switched the lights around compared to Bumblebee. There's a G1 style rubsign on top of his roof, which blends into the silver paint well. On the whole this is a pretty nice colour scheme, and while the car model isn't quite what we expect of Cliffjumper, the colours used make this toy a pretty good fit for the character.

   As with Bumblebee, there's a trailer included here. The silver base has been switched over to red, the coloured jetski is now silver with a light blue seat. As before, the jetski is permanently attached. The black plastic wheels are similar to the car's wheels but smaller. The trailer can be left aside if you prefer, it detaches from the tow bar without any drama, and the robot mode will still work without it.

   There are no gimmicks in car mode, which I don't mind since Cliffjumper is able to focus on being a car, without the need for slots or buttons. The play value is minimal - the six wheels all roll and the trailer can detach, but that's it. The level of detail is good, with stuff such as painted seats, detailed hubcaps and moulded doorhandles. While this car might not offer too much play value, the details remind of G1, which is a good thing.

   Yes it's a repaint - and there are aspects here which are specifically added to differentiate this car from Bumblebee, but the mould is a good one and the car model used does work well enough as Cliffjumper. The changes made are fairly clever - the use of silver alludes to the extensive grey added to Cliffjumper's cartoon appearance, the switching of colours on the trailer is appreciated and the spoiler - which was painted on Bumblebee - is now unpainted.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the trailer and set aside. Pull out the doors, flip underneath the car, which will cause the rear wheels to pivot away, revealing the shoulders. Fold back the roof and rear, flip out the tow bar, swing the back of the car down until it clicks into place. Fold the roof back down to form his chest and flip out the head. Fold down the seats to form thighguards, pivot up the front of the car to form his feet, split the legs. Position his arms, rotate the doors and clip into the outsides of his forearms. Lastly, fold out the base of the trailer to form wings, clip the backpack onto his back and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 14.5cm

   A red and black robot with extensive silver added to help differentiate from Bumblebee. The boots, head, forearms and chest are yellow while his upper arms and fists are silver. The forearms have been switched from silver to red while the remainder of his arms sport silver instead of black. His face is silver with blue eyes while the wings above his shoulders are red. This is actually a well thought out repaint. It's just a shame the designer didn't (or couldn't) resculpt the head which just screams Bumblebee.

   The rubsign, now central on his chest, is Cliffjumper's only allegiance symbol. Visually this robot mode works very well, with quite a few car elements present. Along with the traditional chest and boots, the doors form armguards on the outside of his forearms, while the wings above his head are quite obviously the trailer, with wheels still visible on the front. Additionally, the thighguards, whilst still visibly the seats, have mechanical moulding visible. The seats are painted red, contrasting to the unpainted equivalents on Bumblebee, and helping make this toy redder than Bumblebee is yellow.

   Unusually for a modern Transformer, Cliffjumper lacks a weapon. This is both unusual and faithful to the original toy. His fists do have standard holes, so he could borrow another Classics weapon. Despite the lack of weaponry, Cliffjumper is quite poseable. His ankles and knees are hinged, the latter also sport rotators. His hips, elbows and shoulders are ball jointed, along with the head (although the last one is very restricted). The only notable omission is the waist - it would have been possible to give Cliffjumper a movable waist, but the joint would be fragile and with a single torso plate (the roof) there wouldn't really be much point.

   An attractive robot mode with a colour scheme that really should work as Cliffjumper, but with a head that is so clearly meant to be Bumblebee, it just doesn't quite work. Mind you, it does make a pretty good tribute to the (Microman related) red Bumblebee variant. If you can get past the head, this is a pretty good Cliffjumper tribute. The head does bother me, so while we have a really nice robot mode, I can only call this a mediocre Cliffjumper figure. If you want to put him next to Bumblebee, I'd recommend leaving the latter's wings to the side.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   It's a shame that this toy didn't get any retooling, since this really counts as the first time we've seen this character revisited since 1984. Sure, there was a WST (another Bumblebee repaint) and a couple of unrelated name reuses, but this is the first time we've had a toy that's really focused on representing G1 Cliffjumper. Considerable thought has gone into the repaint, and this _is_ a nice figure, if not exactly the best reuse of a mould. The poseability, detailing and G1 styling all make this a good figure. The colour map is actually closer to G1 than Bumblebee's, but I'm not sure you'd want this figure over the original version - 8/10

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