Cliffbee.com: Energon Cliffjumper Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cliffjumper
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Racing Buggy

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Cliffjumper for this review



BUGGY MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 25cm Width: 14cm

   Cliffjumper is a dark brown racing buggy with a yellow nose and yellow enclosed cabin with red windows. The engine block at the rear is an army green while there are silver details on the engine itself. The struts supporting his rear tyres and the spoiler on his roof are grey while the tyres are black plastic with gold painted hubcaps. I don't think a lot of this colour scheme since the brown, yellow and green don't blend all that well with the very prominent red windows. Cliffjumper suffers from too many colours in other ways, too - why are the hubcaps gold and the sports lights on his bumper blue when the rest of the detailing is silver? The three basic plastic colours do work well together and the grey is neutral enough to keep out of the way, but the red and gold really don't work. Personally, I'm not too impressed with the hopelessly random name reuse - there's nothing to link this car to the G1 toy of the same name. It's not even red. This is no worse than many Energon toys - the line was full of random name reuses.

   Cliffjumper is quite big for a mega, but the level of detail here is sadly lacking in many areas. The engine block is quite complex and the false rack-and-pinion on the front wheel struts is nice - although it's completely unpainted so it's wasted on dark brown. Much of the front is otherwise bare surfaces, although there are the blue sports lights. Cliffjumper also has brown, this time unpainted, sports lights on his roof in front of a spark crystal and dead hardpoint. His twin yellow missile launchers clip into the front of the cabin which restricts the view from the windshield, but you can't really leave them off because there's just a _gap_ underneath.

   The play value here is underwhelming, and that's being nice. There's a grey button on the engineblock which activates a revving sound. The section dedicated to this sound is pretty big, and I don't know that the sound worth having to build the toy around this block. The black missiles fire maybe a metre. So the play value is simple overall. It is overshadowed by just how unstable this buggy mode is. The cabin doesn't actually sit flush against the brown block below it while the rear wheel struts tend to flop around. The spoiler floats above the engineblock, and while the joint at its base clicks into position, it doesn't look right and the fins are on hinges with too much give in the "default" position. The fenders on either side don't clip onto anything - as with everything else, they rely on the rigidity of transformation joints. The Cliffjumper I have here has fairly tight joints, but he still has a sloppy feel about him thanks to these various loose pieces. I'd hate to see one with bad QC.

   Well, it's big, but that's probably the best thing I can say about Cliffjumper's buggy mode. The detailing is fairly low and the best part is left unpainted while there's too many colours that don't need to be here that only make the colour scheme messy. He would have looked a _lot_ better if the windows were silver or black and the front struts had some silver on them. The number of pieces that rely on tight joints to stay in place is ridiculous - I can imagine how hard it will be in a few years to find a decent Cliffjumper on the secondary market. While it's not a _bad_ buggy mode, it's just lazy in too many ways.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the cabin and fold out to the sides, remove the missile launchers and set aside. Fold the electronics block back to reveal the robot head, swing the rear wheels up and around to form features behind the head. Collapse the spoiler onto his chest, swing up the yellow cabin halves to form shoulderpads and swing the brown arms down from within. Flip out his fists ands give Cliffjumper his missile launchers. Split the front, rotate the sides. Fold down the fenders to form killer kneepads, fold up the feet and and fold out the heelspurs.

   This is essentially a basic transformation - or maybe a simpler deluxe - since most of the front half goes into the "powerlinx" combining feature. The legs look like an afterthought since there's so much kibble, and the electronics block, while out of the way, obviously limits the transformation of the back half of this vehicle. It's not a bad transformation, but it belongs on a much smaller toy.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 21cm Width: 27cm

   Cliffjumper is again green, dark brown and yellow with an ensemble of supporting colours. The shoulderpads, toes and missile launchers are yellow while the torso is green. His boots, forearms and head are brown while his face is yellow with a blue eyevisor. The chestplate is the brown and grey spoiler while his arms are black with grey fists. The thighs are grey with black kneejoints. There are white squares on both shoulderpads, the left side has a raised Autobot logo, painted red. Again there's just too much happening for this colour scheme to really blend - if anything it's worse now since the arms are black and grey while the chestplate is also grey. That's before we come to the big black and gold tyres behind his shoulders - they're a nice feature but but Cliffjumper could do without the addition of the gold colour.

   The upper body is generally well formed, although the chestplate is a little forced. Cliffjumper's boots are a mess, however. The fenders become awkward spines on his knees while the feet are the front of the buggy with the front wheels shoved between. Basically there's a whole lot of kibble on the front of the boots. The spines on his knees protrude maybe 5cm from the kneejoints themselves - longer than the thighs - which is hard to ignore.

   Cliffjumper has decent poseability, although the awful boots get in the way of what should have been good poseability. His head turns while the shoulders ratchet and lift out to the sides. His elbows are ball jointed while his hips swing and lift out to the sides. His knees bend but the joint is a little higher than it should be. He has _huge_ heelspurs and the feet are big as well - the clown boots are actually big enough to get in the way of his poseability. The missile launchers fit one in either hand, and there's no way to make a compound weapon which is surprising considering how common that sort of thing is in Energon - and the fact that they sit side by side in vehicle mode anyway.

   A mediocre robot mode with bad legs, a muddled colour scheme and decent poseability. While much of this mode isn't _bad_, the colours don't really work and the boots really do drag it down. I wouldn't say it's any better or worse than his vehicle mode - they both have their problems.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Beachcomber is a repaint of Cliffjumper.

OVERALL

   Two flawed modes and a colour scheme that has too many minor colours getting in the way of a consistent theme conspire to make Cliffjumper another forgettable mega in a line that generally didn't do good Autobot megas. The vehicle mode just doesn't hold together well and the electronic gimmick takes up a lot of space for something so simple. The robot mode is fairly poseable but the chest doesn't quite work and the boots are awful. The transformation is fairly simple and while he does the whole powerlinx thing, I just don't see much in this figure to inspire me - 4/10

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