Transformers Prime "Robots in Disguise" Cliffjumper Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Deluxe, Generation One, Prime, Robots in Disguise

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: February 2012
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hammer/Blaster weapon

Images:

  • On Card (Official Photo)*
  • Vehicle Mode (Official Photo)*
  • Robot Mode (Official Photo)*
  • Scan of card (front)
  • Scan of card (back)
  • Scan of Insert
  • Vehicle Mode
  • Vehicle Mode (Side)
  • Vehicle Mode (Back)
  • Vehicle Mode (Front view)
  • Vehicle Mode (Angle view)
  • Vehicle Mode (Rear Angle View)
  • Vehicle Mode (Weapon attached)
  • Vehicle Mode (Weapons attached, side)
  • Vehicle Mode (Extra weapons attached)
  • With First Edition Cliffjumper (Vehicle Modes)
  • Robot Mode
  • Robot Mode (Side)
  • Robot Mode (Back)
  • Robot Mode (Close up)
  • Robot Mode (Focus on head)
  • Robot Mode (Angle view)
  • Robot Mode (Posed)
  • Robot Mode (Weapon Attached)
  • Robot Mode (Holding weapon as hammer)
  • Robot Mode (Extra weapons attached)
  • With First Edition Cliffjumper (Robot Modes)

    *Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
    Few AUTOBOTS are as fierce as CLIFFJUMPER. The DECEPTICONS long ago learned to fear the loudmouthed warrior for the incredible skill with which he wields his battle hammer. Your fierce CLIFFJUMPER figure is ready to stand against the DECEPTICON menace! In robot mode, your CLIFFJUMPER figure's battle hammer gives him major assault power. Convert him to muscle car mode when it's speed he needs, and snap the hammer on to the roof! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at him! Includes figure. Deluxe Class Series 1 002 CLIFFJUMPER

    CliffjumperAfter his rather limited "First Edition" release, Cliffjumper returns to the "Transformers Prime" toy line as a part of the "Robots in Disguise" sub-line of figures. It is important to note that this is not a redeco of the previous Cliffjumper but rather is an entirely new sculpt. Between this version, the "First Edition" release and the Legion Class figure, it can truly be said this is the first time Cliffjumper has been given this much attention in years!

    Vehicle Mode:
    Cliffjumper's vehicle mode is a combination of the Plymouth Barracuda and a 1970's Dodge Challenger. This classic looking mode is one of my favorites among recent Transformers and this sculpt does a fantastic job of recreating the animation model. The front end is the sleek, thin part of the vehicle, with a wide, aggressive front end featuring a classic looking grille with a grid pattern inside flanked by headlights with two round lights side by side. The sides lead to mean looking exhaust pipes that angle up the sides in front of the rear wheel wells. The back has classic American Muscle Car aesthetic complete with angled rear lights and an angled rear bumper (nowdays they tend to be more curved). Each wheel has wide spokes that are slightly angled. The finishing touch on the vehicle are the "horns" set on the vehicle's front end. This adds both a distinctive touch to the vehicle and serves as a reference to Cliffjumper's robot head design. Indeed, the character even made reference to "the horns" in his (brief) appearance on the television show.

    Cliffjumper is mostly made up of deep, red plastic. Black plastic is used for the wheels and his windows are cast in clear plastic. His weapon and "the horns" are cast in silver plastic. What I was pleasantly surprised by was Cliffjumper's deco. Silver, black and light blue plastic are used with great effect on the vehicle form. Silver is found on the front end of the vehicle, coloring the grille and the outline around it. Silver is also used for the sides of the wheels, the exhaust pipes on the sides and the rear bumper. Black is found on the back of the vehicle as well as inside the grille. Finally, the light blue paint is used on the headlights, giving them a glass-like appearance. What surprised me was how complete the decos on this figure were in vehicle form. Most times nowadays something in vehicle mode is left unpainted, with the sides of the wheels and the rear lights usually the parts left alone. Having a complete deco like this from front to back is a really welcome sight.

    Unlike his "First Edition" counterpart, this version of Cliffjumper has two holes, one on top of the vehicle and one next to the right side, rear wheel well that allows you to attach his weapon (or any weapon with a 5mm peg). Cliffjumper's rather odd "hammer" styled weapon doubles as a blaster here, with the bottom of the handle pointing forward like a blaster barrel. It's a funky looking weapon and I'm not super fond of it, but from a play value perspective it adds an element to the figure it wouldn't have otherwise.

    Transformation to Robot Mode:

    1. Detach the weapon if attached.
    2. Swing the doors and front wheel well sections out.
    3. Lift the trunk cover and swing it over the rear part of the vehicle.
    4. Flip the vehicle over and extend each leg out.
    5. On each leg, rotate the section with the wheels and flatten out the feet.
    6. Lift the trunk cover panel up and partly over the top of the vehicle (the piece with the hole for the weapons).
    7. Rotate the waist/lower body around.
    8. Rotate the feet around.
    9. Split the front half of the vehicle in the middle to begin forming the robot arms.
    10. Push the arms down, as you do so the robot head will raise up.
    11. Swing the car hood panel back.
    12. On each arm, swing the panels from the front of the car (with the headlights) up.
    13. Swing the lower part of the arms up.
    14. On each arm, swing the robot fist out.
    15. Fold in the door of the car and then clip it against the panel with the wheel well.
    16. Fold in the car windows.
    17. Rotate each arm around.
    18. The weapon can be attached to either hand as a melee weapon or blaster.

    Robot Mode:
    Cliffjumper's robot mode borrows some design aesthetic from the live action movie Transformers, where panels and bits of the vehicle mode fold on top of the robot mode becoming armor panels. This is most evident in the design of his torso, which incorporates design elements from the top of the car and the front end of the vehicle all smashing up into a cohesive body section. In the "First Edition" version of the figure, some clever transformation scheming allowed this to become a reality, but for the prposes of this figure a different approach was used. The tros section is sculpted to mimick the look of the CGI model's torso, but it winds up being a bit more accurate since all the car parts can get morphed into the needed shape via the sculpt, rather than manipulation of panels. Some see this as a bit of a cheat and don't like it. Personally I think it looks great and works very well, allowing for both robot and vehicle modes to be show accurate. It also gives the designers freedom to exaggerate parts according to the CGI model, something not always possible if you want the actual transformation from the television show to be replicated in full.

    In another slight improvement over the sculpt of the "First Edition" figure, Cliffjumper's legs wind up being bulky and rounded off here as they are on the CGI model. Although this was attempted with the "First Edition", it was limited by having to use angular sections of the vehicle mode to form the legs. Here everything from the thighs to his feet are more oval in shape. In a bit of an odd sculpting choice, the back of his thighs have false wheels sculpted onto them. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but since his "real" wheels all show quite prominantly in this form, Cliffjumper winds up looking like he has six wheels in vehicle mode! The other oddity that may or may not bother you is the fact that his lower legs are essentially hollow in the back. The designers did put in some nicely sculpted detail inside that hollow area, but it still took me a little while to get used to it.

    Cliffjumper is still mostly red plastic in this form, but quite a bit of silver shows up in the form of his upper arms, several joints, waist area, hip joints and hands. Black plastic takes a back seat here. Some soft, rubbery silver plastic is used for the horns on his head. To solidify the illusion of the torso sculpt, a lot of paint deco is found in that section. Black, silver and light blue are all used to paint the windows, grille and headlight details respectively. This mimicks the look of the vehicle mode parts really well and I am most impressed with how this combination of sculpt and deco looks on the figure. Additional silver paint details are used on the face and legs. This includes silver at the edge of his feet and knee armor, another set of details that was neglected on the "First Edition" figure. Red paint is found on the shoulders, helping to maintain the continuity of his red armor on the arms. Overall, this is a pretty spectacular deco and I say again, I'm very impressed.

    Cliffjumper has twenty points of articulation in robot form. The articulation on his arms is a bit weird since his forearms are oversized so the elbow hinge is a bit offset. It works fine, it just looks a little odd. The best articulation points are focused on the lower body, where a combination of ball and swivel joints in concert with his wide feet allows for very stable poses in this form, even if armed with extra weapons. Each of Cliffjumper's hands can accomodate a 5mm peg weapon. His "hammer" weapon can be held as a melee weapon or as a blaster. However, what has been excised is the wrist mounted, multi-barreled weapons that the "First Edition" version had (and that were shown on the TV show). Given a choice, I would have preferred his "hammer" weapon be sculpted in such a way that when held as a blaster it would have simulated that appearance in some way. Since the top of his vehicle cabin section winds up on his back, you can store his weapon on his back, freeing up his hands to hold alternate weapons.

    Final Thoughts:
    I think I went into this review sort of expecting to find this figure inferior to the "First Edition" figure. Sure the "First Edition" version is more complex and has the appropriate weapon for CJ. However, this particular sculpt is pretty fun to transform and both modes look fantastic. In particular, I find this figures' robot mode much more show accurate than the "First Edition" version in many ways and I give the designers a lot of props for that. I'm just not a big fan of his weapon and I wish his arms were a bit less odd. Truthfully I'm nitpicking here because I do recommend this figure!