Robots in Disguise Cliffjumper
By Hervé St-Louis
January 4, 2013 - 13:53
Robots in Disguise Cliffjumper is one of many Cliffjumper action figures released in 2012 that was styled in the style of the character in Transformers Prime. The Robot in Disguise version (RID) is the cheaper version to the First Edition version and features different transformation scheme although his body appears similar. Cliffjumper is one of the first Transformers character introduced way back in 1984 by Hasbro. He was the second smallest Autobot back then and although very courageous, was much more weaker than some of the larger Autobots he hung out with. In the Transformers Prime series, Cliffjumper died quickly although his body was revived as a zombie later to torment his friends.
Cliffjumper looks quite similar as he does in the cartoon series. Just like the Transformers’ movie seems to have crystallized Bumblebee’s look for a while, it would seem that the new animated series is doing the same. What I like about Cliffjumper’s design, is how he kept his famous horns on his head while being differentiated from Bumblebee once and for all. As he has often been a red repaint of Bumblebee toys, it would have been easy for Hasbro to simply repaint the Bumblebee action figure in red and release this toy. They didn’t and I’m grateful for that. The First Edition looks a bit more accurate to the cartoon version. Here, Hasbro sculpters added a set of fake wheels on the back of his thighs to mimic the cartoon version. But his forearms are quite different. The chest that becomes the hood of the car is reproduced although the toy’s actual chest is not really part of the car’s detailing.
Cliffjumper’s arms are long giving him an apelike figure. The trend with the Transformers Prime has been to move away from building completely functional robots hidden by massive plates and shells that encapsulate the robots when they are transformed in their alt/vehicular mode. I welcome this design decision as it’s more ingenious and uses the various parts of the car to a better effect than before. For example, if one compares Cliffjumper to a Transformer Alternator or even to recent toys such as Transformers Universe Classic Prowl, Cliffjumper’s arms make better usage of his car’s fuselage than other toys from the last ten years. Yet, many parts, such as his torso and thighs are mostly android-like in form. What has changed here is the way these robotic parts have been designed to create more armour-like forms that seem continuous with the Cliffjumper’s car mode rather than simple mechanical body parts. A great aspect of this new design flavour is that Cliffjumper appears to have gear and internal engines exposed.
Cliffjumper is about the same scale as Wheeljack in both car and robot form. This is important to keep some form of consistency with all the toys. He also looks in the scale with other Generation One-like toys such as Transformers Universe Classic Prowl, Hound and Sunstreaker. This is good. From pictures observed the Transformers Prime Arcee seems to be much larger as a toy than she appears in the cartoon. In some images, she appears to be taller than Optimus Prime!
Hasbro has worked hard at making the action figure very stable with flat feet that are well detailed but allow the toy to be paused in multiple ways while relying on a flat base. This is very helpful or dynamic posing.
Cliffjumper has several articulations, with a fully poseable body with knees, wrists, waist, head, ankles thighs that move. His shoulder articulation is complex but the one in his elbows, while intricate lacks the grace to make it easy to pose the action figure. I didn’t use any instructions to transform Cliffjumper into a robot. It was relatively harder to put him back without instructions the first time.
Hasbro used a hollow-like plastic for much of Cliffjumper’s armour. While it can break if pressed too hard during a transformation, it’s sturdy enough to resist rough play by kids. Some parts in his forearms are transparent windows and can easily get scratched. The way some of the back panel hang on his back also make his hood prone to be scratched.
The packaging of this action figure was a clear plastic bubble glued on a cardboard. I like the paper twist Hasbro uses to hang the toy solidly in its package as opposed to the metal wires which are less environmentally friendly. The clear plastic bubble could be improved it it used recyclable plastics or some of the corn-based plastic that decomposes into the environment without any harm to the ecology. Such plastic is already used to make fast food cutlery.
This toy was is about 14.99 US but I paid 17.99 in Canada for it at the store. It was easy to find though as it is less rare and sought after than the First Edition version.
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15