Arms Micron Cliffjumper (with C.L.) Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Arms Micron, Autobot, Deluxe, Prime

Arms Micron

General Information:
Release Date: March 2012
Price Point: $40 (Import Stores, prices may vary)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: "C.L." Micron figure/weapon

General Images:

One of the challenges in having a toy line that exists in multiple countries is making those toys unique somehow between countries. This is especially true between the United States and Japan, which traditionally take different tracks on marketing their figures. In the case of "Transformers Prime", Takara has engineered an entire campaign that centers around Microns (a.k.a. Mini-Cons) being included with each figure. Unlike traditional Mini-Con figures, these Microns are being included as small model kits that the buyer assembles. Another interesting feature is the use of stickers for details instead of paint, which is almost the antithesis of the current Generation One "Encore" series where old details that used to be stickers are tampographed onto G1 figures.

Instead of using the First Edition version of Cliffjumper, the first release of this character in Japan is based on the Robots in Disguise version. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release (and there are more than just colors involved!). Check out my original review to get a good overview of the figure before reading this one.

Tech Spec/Packaging Translation (courtesy of Doug Dlin):

AM03 Warrior Cliffjumper Profile:
Cliffjumper is the most hot-blooded of the Autobots. His ion cannon weapons are said to be a match even for Megatron's firepower. He also has the skills to overwhelm Decepticons not only with weapons, but with bare-handed martial arts as well. Knowing no fear, he frequently plunges onto the battlefield with no consideration for danger. However, his nature proves his downfall when he takes on fighting with the Decepticons alone, without waiting for his teammates' support, and is defeated in a fierce battle...

Arms-Up Cliffjumper (Full Burst Mode)
Cliffjumper displays his power in close-quarters combat, but his one weakness was his meager firepower in gun battles. The weapons equipped in various places on him to compensate for this are a veritable set of gun armor. Cliffjumper annihilates enemies with his "Full Burst Mode".

C.L. Micron Review

C.L. Images:

C.L.The Micron included with Cliffjumper is C.L.. While he's not going to win any awards for name originality, the figure is a cool example of a Micron. The assembly is easy since he's mostly made of larger, chunky parts and he has a solid humanoid form. Now, it bears noting that the Microns are very much like traditional small model kits. The quality of plastic is not quite as high as those used on traditional Mini-Con figures, but it's hardly low quality at all.

A note on the assembly of the figure. The Micron comes with a tiny faction symbol that you are meant to put into a slot on his back. Then you are to take his translucent red "Spark Crystal" and push it on top. Unfortunately, this doesn't really work very well. The symbol winds up getting smashed a bit and pushed out of alignment. In retrospect, I would just leave the faction sticker out and push in the Spark Crystal, which looks great.

Robot Mode:
C.L. has a very traditional Generation One "Targetmaster" stile design where he has a humanoid form with two arms, two legs and a head with a torso section that includes a peg right in the center for the larger robot to hold. His design looks like a smaller robot frame with armor on top. This is especially noticable on his arms, which have layered armor panels on his forearms. His head has a very basic design with a helmet section leading to a mouthplate, but in true Micron fashion, his eyes are large and round, giving him a decidedly cute appearance that befits a Micron. The barrels of his weapon mode wind up on his back, and the result is the appearance of a rocket pack on his back. It's a cool sculpt overall.

C.L. is cast in dark, metallic red plastic. This is much darker than Cliffjumper himself, but C.L. still matches Cliffjumper in tone. C.L. only has five stickers, two for each leg and one on the weapon barrel section. I found myself wishing he had at least two more, one for each arm but the metallic red stickers do add a nice flash of color. My biggest recommendation would be to have a pair of tweezers handy as some of these stickers are very tiny.

Transformation to Weapon Mode:

  1. Swing the weapon barrels on C.L.'s back up.
  2. Push the robot arms down to the sides.
  3. Swing the lower legs back.
  4. Move the thighs up a bit and collapse the lower legs against the back of the thighs.

Weapon Mode:
This inspiration for C.L.'s weapon mode are the triple barreled blasters that Cliffjumper used on the television show in his (brief) appearance on the program. While the First Edition Cliffjumper figure did have arms that "transformed" into these weapons, the Robots in Disguise version does not. This makes C.L.'s weapon mode ideal for Cliffjumper's use (I only wish he had two!).

C.L. may be a bit cute in robot mode, but his weapon mode is bulky and powerful looking. As I mentioned he has three weapon barrels, two on top and one in the center underneath. The Spark Crystal winds up in the center of the weapon, which looks cool, as if there were a power source glowing in the center. The back is wher ethe robot legs wind up and that forms a lot of the weapon's bulk. Again his appearance is very traditional "Targetmaster" making him example of the type of Micron that I'd like to see more of.

C.L. has a 5mm peg on the underside of the weapon mode that Cliffjumper can use to hold him. He also has a hole behind that peg to allow him to attach to Mini-Con or Energon weapon pegs. If C.L.'s three barrels aren't enough power for you, you can attach two additional weapons to C.L. via holes on the top of the weapon mode. These are located on the sides towards the back. What's nice is they're spaced apart enough that most weapons won't wind up taking up all the space on the top section, preventing another weapon from being attached.

Final Thoughts on C.L.:
C.L. is a cool example of the type of Micron that can be assembled quickly and form two great looking modes. I love the traditional "Targetmaster" design used in this figure's design and his colors definitely engage the eyes. Kudos to Takara for producing a cool "extra" to include with this Cliffjumper.

Cliffjumper Review

Cliffjumper Images:

Vehicle Mode:
If you put "Robots in Disguise" Cliffjumper side by side with Arms Micron Cliffjumper, you'll immediately notice a huge color contrast. AM Cliffjumper is a much brighter red than the "Robots in Disguise" version. This gives him a bright "animated" look, which is I'm sure part of the point. The other colors on this figure are the same as the "Robots in Disguise" version including black wheels, silver horns and clear windows. Also, the sides of his wheels, the front grille and the exhaust pipes near the rear wheel wells are all painted silver. Deco-wise that's where the similarities with the US release end. Unlike the US version, the headlights are not painted blue and are left silver instead. Also, he has a large Autobot symbol sticker on his hood, which differs from the more plain "in disguise" US version. In many respects, Cliffjumper reminds me more of how many Transformers were in Generation One, with stickers all over them and a large symbol sticking out somewhere and that's not a bad thing.

What's interesting about the Arms Micron editions of the Transformers are their extensive retooling of parts. On "Robots in Disguise" Cliffjumper, there were only two holes to attach weapons, one on top and the other on the right side near the rear wheel well. On AM Cliffjumper, there are three more holes. One is located near the left side rear wheel well and the other two are set on the doors towards the front (under the side view mirrors). I like the design of the connection points on the door, which are raised rectangles with vent designs in the front. It looks like Cliffjumper modified his form to allow for more air intake. I feared these details would look intrusive and ugly at first, but in reality they blend in perfectly. Each of these holes can accomodate a standard 5mm peg weapon. Note however that AM Cliffjumper does not include the hammer/blaster weapon that comes with the "Robots in Disguise" figure. He only comes with C.L. as his weapon.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach C.L. 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.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Cliffjumper's most noticable plastic change is the primary one: the swap of a darker red for a brighter one. His other parts such as his upper arms, fists and waist area are still silver. Silver paint is used on the faux headlight details on his torso and on his face. His eyes are cast in clear plastic. Even with light piping there, his eyes wind up looking rather dark unless you shine a light right into the top of his head. By itself, the figure looks quite plain. It's the stickers included with the figure that give it detail.

A majority of the stickers in this form replace details that were painted onto the "Robots in Disguise" version of this figure. This includes details on his knees, feet, torso and shoulders. In some cases these stickers work great such as his left shoulder where the red sticker has an Autobot symbol on it. However, in other cases the stickers aren't a great idea. A good example of this are the aforementioned headlights, which are too bumpy and raised to allow a sticker to properly sit on them without obscuring the sculpted detail. That's a large part of the reason I left those particular stickers off. Again I recommend the use of tweezers to put the stickers on, and be patient and careful. The stickers are metal foil style stickers, so they can easily get stuck on other objects or fold in on themselves if you're not careful.

Like the vehicle mode, Cliffjumper's robot mode has undergone some retooling to accomodate the "Arms Micron" theme. First, the connection points from the vehicle mode carry over into this form. This winds up with two holes on his lower legs, two on his forearms and one on his back for weapon storage. But wait, there's more! On each shoulder there are two additional holes for 5mm peg weapons, and these are cast in the same shade of metallic red plastic as C.L. himself. This gives Cliffjumper the potential to carry nine weapons at one time. Sure it's super silly, but it makes for some fun play and that's what's important! All of the joints on this figure are nice and tight so you'll have no problems posing him as he holds his personal arsenal.

Final Thoughts on Cliffjumper:
Cliffjumper is an oddity of sorts because I love everything that's been done to the sculpt, but I'm not a big fan of the stickers on him. His form simply has too many nooks and crannies to properly accomodate stickers except on flat sections like his shoulders or feet. My major "knock" against the figure is that you can't actually use all the stickers properly. That said, C.L. is a freaking awesome Micron and I love Cliffjumper's extra weapon ports. Recommended if you're into Microns or hardcore into "Transformers Prime", otherwise I'd stick with the "Robots in Disguise" version.