Transformers Movie (2007) Barricade Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action<br />
Movie

Barricade Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Frenzy mini-figure

Images:

Tech Specs:
BARRICADE is a born liar. The greatest thrill in his life is knowing people trust him because of the human decorations on his door panels. The look of betrayal they get when they realize what they're dealing with is as sweet as candy. The only thing he likes better is chasing down AUTOBOTS and breaking them into pieces with his powerful arms and crushing, hydraulic hands.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 6
Rank: 5  Courage: 5  Firepower: 5  Skill: 4


Packaging:
Barricade is packaged on the standard type of Transformers movie carded packaging with the edges of the plastic bubble wrapping around to the back of the card. He is packaged in vehicle mode. The curved tech detail section at the top of the bubble does not list any feature such as "Automorph Technology" since he doesn't utilize that feature. On the back his robot mode picture is flipped, making it look like his right arm extends when it's actually his left. His vehicle mode is listed as a Saleen S281 (a variant of the Ford Mustang) and the Saleen logo is on the bottom. His cosells are Bumblebee, Autobot Jazz, Wreckage, Scorponok and Decepticon Brawl. Frenzy is shown in robot mode as well and the text says he ejects from the chest (kind of cute, alluding to the G1 character's association with Soundwave).

Since the days of G1 there have been Transformers who have transformed into police cars. The first was Prowl, and using that template the police car Transformers have traditionally been Autobots. For the new Transformers movie however the roles have been reversed. This police car Transformer is an evil Decepticon who takes sadistic pleasure in shattering the faith and hope that his vehicle mode represents.

Vehicle Mode:
Unlike most of the other Transformers in the movie, Barricade's vehicle mode is one that Transformers have used before: the Ford Mustang. This vehicle was used for the vehicle forms of Binaltech Grimlock and Wheeljack. However, since Ford Mustangs aren't generally used as police vehicles, the movie producers added a bit extra cool factor by making this a Saleen custom Mustang. These versions generally feature higher power and parts not found on the regular mainline vehicles. To that end, Barricade has a protective cage on the front of the vehicle mode (no doubt to prevent damage from inevitable ramming), police sirens mounted on top of the cabin and a spoiler with a lower, more angled profile than those on the Binaltech Mustangs.

Hasbro and Takara proved their ability to recreate real life cars into Transformers with Binaltech so it comes as no surprise that this vehicle mode is very faithful to the movie model. It has all the lines of the Mustang including the high and wide front end with its trademark headlights layout. The sides of the vehicle sweep back with an indented area on top and a section coming out slightly towards the bottom. The siren lights have details sculpted into them that look like a row of bulbs. The front hood has the Mustang's trademark rectangular vents on either side. Even the wheels are sculpted to match the real life ones with seven spokes. He even has the SALEEN logo sculpted into the back along the rear bumper. I love seeing this attention to real-life detail in a deluxe sized Transformers package.

Deco is one of the most important factors with the movie vehicles since they are so distinctive. Barricade's is easily one of the most unique among all the Transformers in the movie. His is sculpted mostly in black plastic, with translucent plastic used for his siren, windshield and windows. White paint is used on his door and for lettering all over the vehicle mode including the numbers "643" which appear on the front of the car as well as the top of the cabin. Also in white is the word "Police" on the spoiler and written in script over each rear wheel is the phrase "To punish and enslave...", a sentence actually painted onto the real life car used in the movie. The siren piece has red and blue sections, painted lightly so as not to ruin the translucent effect. The word "Police" is written on the doors in silver with black outlines. Right behind each front wheel section is the most iconic of all of Barricade's details: his Decepticon police shield. This shield looks like a police shield with a curved, three sided shape. Inside is the word "Police" with a Decepticon symbol in the center. Underneath that are the numbers 1865. What significance that number holds is lost to me. In US history it is most remembered for the year the Civil War ended and President Lincoln was assassinated. Perhaps there is a link there, but the numbers could have just been random as well. The shield itself is purple while the letters, outline and Decepticon symbol are metallic silver. On the back the rear lights are painted red, contrasting sharply with the black plastic.

Barricade's vehicle mode deco looks so good that I did not even realize some details were missing until I looked at photographs of the real life car. On the section in front of each rear wheel the real life vehicle has the "643" numbers in small print. Also, towards the back on each side are the words "Emergency 911 Response". I'm guessing part of this was to save costs on deco, but I'm also not one hundred percent sure toy manufacturers are even supposed to put "911" on their toys. Either way, while these details are missing, they hardly subtract from how good this figure looks in vehicle form.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing down the front cage section and pull out the front grille piece.
  2. Unfold the front grille piece to form the Frenzy mini-figure.
  3. Detach the panel on the back including the rear wheels, then swing each side of the car forward.
  4. Swing the front section of the car back on the central hinge and then down so the tabs on the waist piece slide into the slots on the underside of the car's front end.
  5. Split the robot legs and swing each lower leg down and swing the robot feet up.
  6. Push the tabs on each robot feet to swing up the spike-like pieces.
  7. Swing the sides of the vehicle forward and rotate the front ends around to form the robot arms.
  8. Swing the windshield piece back, but swing the side windows up.
  9. Slide each side of the hood to the sides to reveal the robot head.
  10. Swing the robot head up.
  11. Swing up the front grille piece.

Robot Mode:
Barricade includes an accessory of sorts - Frenzy, the small Transformer who actually transforms into a CD Player in the movie. Here it seems like he transforms into Barricade's engine, but it is possible this is just a convenient slot to put the figure. Of all the movie designs, Frenzy's is perhaps the one that most fans agree looks very odd. Even in high resolution CGI renders he looks strange. At some angles with his four arms splayed out he even looks somewhat like a mechanical chicken. however, if you look at the toy design, somehow it's a lot less weird. In fact, he looks much more like a generic robot with an insectoid influence. The head is largely V shaped. In fact, if you look at it carefully, it was clearly designed to evoke both an insect alien and the Decepticon symbol all at the same time (this is a recurring theme for many of the Decepticon head designs). The body design is thin and lanky, with only small hints that he becomes a CD player, mostly based on the circles on his hips. He has four arms, each with claws on the end that also evoke an insectoid look.

Frenzy is cast in silver plastic with four points of articulation. His eyes are painted red, although in some CGI renders from the movie they are blue. I actually like this little "partner" figure for Barricade. It gives an ides of the little guy's size and it offers extra play value to the package. It's also nice to see that the design has some fairly solid robotic parts and is not just a mess of pointy robotic bits sticking out everywhere.

At first Barricade seems to be little more than a shellformer type Transformer whose robot bits are covered by the side and cabin of the car mode. However, there is a really interesting design aesthetic at work here. While most of the form is a new take on the traditional "car front as chest" design many Transformers have, this form actually has some slightly organic based elements installed. This is mostly found in the head design and the arm designs. If you look at the head, he has a shape reminscent of the Decepticon symbol (down to a tiny little crest in the middle with pointed parts on the sides), but it also evokes the look of a with large, angled ears and a small mouth underneath the nose. His arms have a pointed claw like design on the very top and each finger on his hands are extremely long and there are details on the other side of the door with lines that look like membranes on a bat's wings. This is a very creepy look that adds a dimension to Barricade unsee in vehicle form and makes him all the more appealing.

Barricade's basic shape matches up well with his CGI counterpart. His side doors swing up as wing-like pieces on his back, his arms are extra long and out of proportion with the rest of his body. His legs are curved in an odd angle, going forward on the upper legs and then angling back on the lower legs. A lot of the more fluid sculpted parts are present as well including layered armor on the upper legs and the curved lower legs (with a good bit of detail inside). The feet even have a minor, but cool detail in the triangular pieces that flip up. They dont serve much of a purpose on the figure but they're on the CGI model and look pretty cool on the figure.

Barricade's primary plastic color is black still. Metallic purple, gold and silver paint is used for details on his legs, waist, lower arms and head. His eyes are cast in translucent red for light piping (while the rest of the head is soft plastic due to the sharp edges). This may sound like a dull color scheme, but it works for the character and is actually quite accurate to the CGI model. The purple and silver colors break up the monotony of the black in just the right spots.

Barricade has fourteen points of articulation in robot mode. He loses waist articulation due to his transformation scheme. His thumb is actually articulated on both hands, which is really cool if you want him to grasp things. There is a small trigger on his left arm. Press it and the forearm springs forward. You can use it as a punching action or even an extended grip of sorts. It's a small, yet pleasant surprise that makes me wonder if we will see a scene in the movie where this feature is shown. I am disappointed however that he does not include the wheel/blade weapons some of his promotional images have shown of the movie CGI model.

Final Thoughts:
Barricade is an excellent deluxe sized Transformer. He matches up very well with his CGI model and he has a fun action feature. His sculpting is fantastic and he has an awesome vehicle mode. Highly recommended!