"Generations" Studio Series Barricade Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generations, Movie (2007), Studio Series

Studio Series

General Information:
Release Date: January 2019
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (AmazonBigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Rotor Blade Weapon

Barricade

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Reach past the big screen and build the ultimate Transformers collection with Studio Series figures, inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe.

In the Police Chase scene from Transformers Movie 1, a determined Barricade launches into a high-speed pursuit after Bumblebee, optics set on username: LadiesMan217, known by most as Sam Witwicky.

This Studio Series 28 Deluxe Class Transformers Movie 1 Barricade figure converts from robot to Saleen S-281 Extreme police car mode in 20 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Barricade in the Police Chase scene. Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco and includes a detailed weapon accessory, the spinning blade weapon accessory modeled after the weapon Barricade uses in the film.

Studio Series Deluxe Class – Transformers Studio Series Deluxe Class figures are 4.5-inch collectible action figures inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe. Fans can collect figures inspired by favorite movie scenes to build the cast and pose their figures on their shelf.

4.5-inch Scale Barricade – The 28 Deluxe Class Transformers Movie 1 Barricade action figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco and includes the spinning blade weapon accessory modeled after the weapon Barricade uses in the film. The figure is highly articulated for posability.

Big Screen Inspired - Figure scale reflects the character’s size in the world of Transformers Movie 1. Premium figure and packaging are inspired by the iconic Police Chase scene where a determined Barricade launches into a high-speed pursuit after Bumblebee, optics set on username: LadiesMan21, known by most as Sam Witwicky.

2 Iconic Modes – This toy features classic conversion between robot and Saleen S-281 Extreme police car modes in 20 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up.

Removable Backdrop> - Removable backdrop displays Barricade figure in Police Chase scene. Fans can use the backdrop and pose their figures in the scene with their own style.

2017 was a milestone in Transformers history. The live action movie series was now ten years old meaning an entire generation of fans had grown up in an era where they had a live action Transformers theatrical film every other year to watch. In 2018 Hasbro launched the "Studio Series", a "Generations"-esque line of figured focused on the live action movies. The series boasted toys that were made in rough scale with each other using the CAD files from Paramount Pictures as the basis for the design. Part of the idea was also to fill in gaps in previous lines by making characters who had not appeared in the line previously.

Barricade is one of the first Transformers we were introduced to in the live action continuity. He was a brute who pursued Sam Witwicky and fought Bumblebee one on one. While he was seemingly trashed at least once, he kept coming back, even appearing in The Last Knight in a new form. Unlike some Studio Series figures, there is no shortage of Barricade figures. These include:

This figure is an all new sculpt based on the character's appearance in the first film.

Packaging:
The Deluxe Studio Series figures are packaged in boxes similar in size to the boxes used for "The Last Knight". The boxes are vertical rectangles with a large window in the front. Instead of the lighter colors of "The Last Knight" boxes, this box takes a more "Generations" style approach, using a black background and a vertical "Transformers" logo to the right. Above that is the "Generations" logo. Reflecting the new, unified approach to the Transformers toy line both Hasbro and Takara Tomy's logos appear on the front of the packaging. Towards the lower part of the box is the logo for the specific film the character comes from. To the left is new package art with blue borders. The packaging also has package art on the side and a large collector number designated to each figure. In Barricade's case the number is 28. The idea is that you can line up all these figures on a shelf to show off the collection numbers. It's a neat idea and has kept me from tossing out the box so far.

The back of the packaging shows Dropkick in both modes along with the logo for the "Bumblebee" movie. It also describes his transformation as having 20 steps. Towards the bottom it shows you how you can take the cardboard insert from the inside of the packaging and use it as a display base and background for the figure. In Barricade's case his background features the work site featured in the first live action Transformers film. There are no cosells but instead there are two logos for Ford and Saleen, indicating that Barricade's vehicle mode is an officially licensed one and not an "approximate" like some Studio Series figures. Interestingly, there is also a QR Code for the contest to win a Ford car. In a weird error, the word "LadiesMan21" is spelled as "LadysMan21" in English, but not the other languages on the box.

Accessories:
Barricade includes the bladed rotor wheel weapon. Barricade uses this weapon when he battles Bumblebee at the work site depicted in the background included with this figure. The rotor itself is made of soft plastic so the blades could be sculpted to look sharp. The wheel is attached to a handle with a 5mm peg. You can manually spin the wheel to "attack" an enemy. Both the handle and wheel are made up of black plastic with no paint applications.

Sadly, Barricade does not include his partner, Frenzy. This is a glaring omission in my book. The Deluxe and Human Alliance versions of the character in the past included some version of Frenzy since he was so strongly associated with the character in the first film. A non-transforming PVC figure would have been just fine but its absence makes this less of a value than it could have been in my book.

Robot Mode:
One of the conceits of the Studio Series line is the use of Paramount's own CGI models when designing the action figures. Assuming this is true, sometimes the proportions of CG models do not quite work as an actual functional toy that has to transform and that becomes apparent very quickly with this robot mode. What struck me as odd with this figure are the proportions. If there is one thing Barricade had on screen, it was some significant bulk in robot mode. His chest was wide and he had huge arms which added to his threatening appearance. This figure however has a surprisingly small chest/torso section compared to past Barricade figures and his on-screen counterpart. Then add to that his squat appearance (partly due to his "chicken walker" style legs) and the result is a figure that looks more like an old Scout Class figure than a Deluxe.

All that said, this figure is certainly nicely detailed. Barricade's distinct head design (which strongly resembles the Decepticon symbol) is beautifully sculpted down to his teeth. His arms have nice bits of mechanical detailing, even in the fingers. His chest features warped parts of the vehicle mode's front end as details and the legs also feature curved and warped panel details, as if parts of the vehicle mode wrapped around his legs during transformation.

Barricade is made up mostly of black, silver and clear plastic. Black makes up most of this form with silver used on smaller parts like his hands and shoulder joints. Most of the paint applications in this mode wind up on the head and feet, using a combination of silver, metallic blue and gold paint. His eyes are painted red. You can see the word "Police" on the door panels on his arms. For the most part, these colors match up well with the on-screen model, but I would have liked to see some subtle metallic shading on the chest and legs to help bring out the sculpted details more.

This figure has twenty three points of articulation. These include seven on each arm and four on each leg. He can hold his weapon in his hand, which has a groove for the 5mm peg. However, be sure you push the fingers together so they click in place before trying to attach the weapon.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories if attached.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Straighten out the car bumper pieces on the robot chest.
  4. On each forearm, swing down the panel the hands are attached to, then swing the hands back til they "click" into place.
  5. On each arm panel with the word "Police" on it, swing up the clear window piece.
  6. Pull the forearms down, then push them in to form the sides of the car.
  7. Rotate the panels on the back piece to form the top and hood of the car mode.
  8. Swing the feet up against the lower legs.
  9. Swing the chest up.
  10. Push the lower legs up, bending the legs at the knee joint.
  11. Swing the arms/sides of the vehicle in and push them in. This is the most fiddly part. You need to line up the tabs on the silver parts of the robot arms to the corresponding slots on the sides of the legs. This can be done, but it may take you a couple tries. Be very careful with the clear plastic parts, which tend to swing in as you are pushing in these parts.
  12. Push the hood piece down and push the cage in the front down and in to form the center of the car's front end.

Vehicle Mode:
One of the things I love about Transformers toys that transform into licensed vehicles is the need for screen accuracy. Since Ford had to approve this design (and the toy designers heavily relied on Paramount's own records) this vehicle form winds up looking a lot like the on-screen custom Mustang police car seen in the film. Some key details include:

  • The front end has the distinct mid-2000s Mustang's round headlights.
  • The "cage" in front is also from the on-screen vehicle.
  • The sides of the wheels have seven "spokes".
  • The lightbar on top is thin with curved ends.
  • The rear of the vehicle features two vertical lights on each side with a license plate panel in between.
  • The word "Saleen" is sculpted into the back.
  • The rear section has distinct, rectangular exhaust pipes under the word "Saleen".

Of course, fans know that Barricade also had an awesome deco to go with this sporty vehicle form. This form manages to replicate a lot of those details (but misses some). Here's what this figure does have:

  • The smaller lights on the front end are silver.
  • There is a Police "Shield" on the sides behind the front wheel wells.
  • The doors are paitned white with the word "Police" in silver with a black outline.
  • Barricade's famous "To Punish and Enslave..." quote is printed over both rear wheel wells.
  • In front of each rear wheel well are the numbers "643" in white.
  • Behind each rear wheel well are the words "Emergency 9-1-1 Response" in white.
  • The rear lights are painted red.
  • The ends of the lightbar are painted blue on the right and red on the left.
  • The number "643" is printed in large white letters on the top of the car.
  • The spoiler has the word "Police" printed on it in white.

Now, that is a lot of deco and I can imagine it is quite the challenge to deliver a figure on budget (especially a licensed one). However, just a couple more deco points would have elevated this figure from having an above average deco to an amazing one. First, the headlights are unpainted, which always looks like a budget cutting move to me on any Transformers figure. Next, the lights under the "Emergency 9-1-1 Response" deco are sculpted, but not painted (they should be red). Then on the back the exhaust pipes should be painted silver and there should be one more "643" deco on the left side. Hasbro has done this before with the "Premium" version of Barricade from the 2007 movie toy line, but that was a very different era for both toys and the economy. To be fair, the original release of 2007 Barricade was missing some deco points as well.

You can use the blade weapon in this form. Attach the 5mm peg horizontally to the slot under the front end of the car and you can have it slashing away at enemies as Barricade drives forward!

Final Thoughts:
I confess I am very likely being overly harsh on this figure. However, I dug out the 2008 "Premium" version and just comparing it side by side with this one really drove home some of the cutbacks that needed to be made to produce this figure. From its size (about 1/3 smaller than its 2008 counterpart), some of the missing deco and lack of Frenzy (in any form) I really felt let down by this figure. If you are a Studio Series completist, by all means go for it but see if you can get him on sale. It is not a terrible toy, but it could have been so much better.

Pros:

  • Fantastic sculpting in both modes.
  • A really good vehicle mode deco.
  • Good articulation.
  • Fun play value.

Cons:

  • Very fiddly transformation (mostly in the formation of the vehicle mode's sides).
  • Needs more deco in both modes (but I admit I'm holding the figure to a high standard here).
  • Proportions in robot mode appear off to me.