"The Last Knight" Premier Edition Deluxe Barricade Toy Review
Release Date: April 28, 2017 (US Street Date)
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Blaster; Gatling gun; Baton
Barricade is one of the first Cybertronian characters fans were introduced to in the 2007 live action Transformers movie. His relentless pursuit of Sam, his barking voice and the irony of a Decepticon transforming into a police car all worked together to make him an unforgettable character in the films. It was largely assumed that Barricade had been destroyed along the way (though exactly when has been debated by many fans) so it was a bit of a surprise when Michael Bay announced the character's return in "The Last Knight"!
Barricade is one of the first Deluxe Class "Premier Edition" figures. The "Premier Edition" label separates this sub-line from the other parts of the series such as the Knight Armor Turbo Changers. This also meant the price point for the Deluxes went up for this line, averaging $19.99 at most retailers (though there was word Walmart dropped the price temporarily to around $16 when the figures were first released). The packaging was one of the methods Hasbro used to make the figure look like a premium item.
Instead of being carded, Barricade is in a plastic tray inside a box. The figure is packaged in robot mode. The box itself basically wraps around the tray. On the right hand side (if you are facing the box) is the vertical "Transformers" logo. Above that is the "Premier Edition" logo. On the left is Barricade's package art, which actually wraps around to the side of the package. The top features artwork of the Decepticons in a group shot. The back shows the figure in both modes touting an 11 step transformation. On the left are his cosells: Deluxe Bumblebee and Berserker who are also in this wave.
If there is one thing you can say about Barricade, he does not lack equipment to do battle. This figure comes with three accessories. Each of these can be seen in the Barricade artwork revealed last year. Here's a rundown:
- The most unique weapon is an eight barreled Gatling gun like weapon. While this version just clips on (and opens via a hinge in the middle) the 1 Step Changer Barricade actually had a version of this which spun like a gatling gun. This accessory wraps around one of his forearms but it does not spin like the one on the 1 Step Changer.
- Aligning with the Police motif of Barricade's vehicle form, he carries a baton (aka a Nightstick or Billy Club). This piece has a ridged handle section that Barricade can use to hold in his hands. The side has a tab that also fits into his hand. In another section there is a smaller tab that allows this weapon to attach to Barricade. This piece is cast in light grey plastic with no paint applications.
- Again going with the Police motif, Barricade has a blaster that looks like a futuristic pistol. This is cast in a dark silver color with no deco. On one side the blaster has a tab that allows you to attach it to Barricade's hip. Given where the handle winds up, it looks best on the right side.
First let's address the elephant in the metaphorical room: the size of this figure. Barricade roughly stands at about 5.5 inches (about 13.97 centimeters). This makes him smaller than his 2007 counterpart from the first live action movie. Keep in mind that the "Transformers" world and scales were different ten years ago when the first Barricade toy was released. Overall, figures were larger and contained more plastic and parts. Over the decade, rising costs and other factors changed the scale of the line (since roughly the "Fall of Cybertron" era). When weighing the two figures, the 2007 Barricade winds up being about 4.1 ounces while this figure hovered around 3 when I weighed it. That includes the accessories. It is a bit sad to see the results of this comparison but for the purposes of this review I will focus on what the figure is rather than what used to be.
In the first live action Transformers movie, Barricade had a very atypical form for the time. His upper body had the familiar "front of car as chest" feature, but his long arms with claw-like hands and relatively small, backswept legs gave him a twisted appearance that fit the character and tone of the movie universe. This time out, Barricade has a much more traditional Transformers body design. Once again the front of the vehicle forms the chest while the arms are more "standard" with regular hands. Even his legs are much more "normal", having more humanoid proportions to the rest of the body. Overall what really strikes me about this design is how stocky he looks. The 2007 Barricade had a lot of parts that were relatively small and/or thin compared to his torso area. Here everything from the arms to the legs look thick and powerful. In a word, Barricade looks brutal.
As of this writing "The Last Knight" has not yet been released so I cannot speak to how well this figure matches up with its on-screen counterpart. What I can go by is the artwork revealed last August. Comparing the two, I am very happy with how many features of this concept art are reflected in the figure itself. These details include:
- In general, Barricade's limbs are curved with what looks like machinery and armor wrapped around them.
- The head design follows the live action movie design philosophy of giving Decepticons insect-like heads. He has four distinct eyes and panels on his mouth area that look like mandibles. This gives him a creepy and unsettling appearance that I really like.
- The chest features the front of the vehicle mode including a cage overlapping the grille and four emergency lights.
- The arms have panels from the sides of the vehicle mode on them, though in the concept art they have folded and curved to press up against the shoulders and biceps.
- Each fist has "brass knuckles" on them (I'm guessing they're actually Transformium). The right side "knuckles" have the word "Protect" on them while the left has "Serve", which is full of irony.
- The knees have armor on them that seems to be partly based on riot control gear.
- The feet are sculpted to look like boots, complete with vertical ridges in the front that look like parts of a boot's "toe box" area.
While Barricade is fairly accurate to the concept art, there are some differences. First, a big chunk of his vehicle mode winds up on his back, so none of the back detail shown in the artwork is there. Also, the artwork shows that he has holsters on his hips for two blasters. The figure only comes with one, and there are no holsters. Instead the gun clips to the side using a plastic tab. Some fans are kind of annoyed by the big vehicle mode panel on his back. I personally don't mind it, but I have seen fans find a way to remove it and have him use it as a shield. Since it is pinned in and I don't like disassembling my figures I have not done this for this review.
Barricade is cast in black, dark blue, grey and silver plastic. The black and dark blue make up most of the figure, with the grey and silver used for smaller parts like his thighs and fists. Dark blue paint is used to fill out parts of the torso, legs and the head. White paint is used on the panels on his arms and the knee armor. The chest has some light blue on the headlights. In the middle are red and blue details on the lights that sit over the grille. The robot eyes are painted red and in a really nice touch, there is a purple Decepticon symbol painted right between the eyes, which looks great. This deco comes pretty close to the general look of the character in the artwork linked above. However that artwork features tons more intricate detail such as alternating colors on his legs that go between dark and light. The deco is not outstanding, but it does the job.
There are nineteen points of articulation in this mode. This includes five on each arm and four on each leg. I was very pleased to see the figure has wrist articulation, a rare feature nowadays. All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. As mentioned above, his club and blaster can be attached to slots on his hips. The "Gatling gun" weapon can wrap around one of his forearms or be folded out and attached to the panel that forms his back.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the Gatling gun accessory and set it aside for now.
- Attach the blaster and club to the hips.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the chest panel up.
- Swing the front wheel well panels on the arms back.
- Push each arm on the hinge connected to the shoulders back a notch.
- Push each arm down using the parts that connect the arms to the torso.
- Swing the robot arms up, tucking them under the front of the vehicle.
- On the inside of each forearm, there is a gap. This lines up with small tabs on the section under the robot head.
- Rotate each front wheel well section up, and press it against the front half of the vehicle.
- Swing each foot up.
- Rotate the lower legs so the bottom of each foot is against the other.
- Swing the halves of the vehicle mode's rear section together.
- Raise the panel on the back.
- Swing the side panels of the vehicle down.
- Push the top/side panels section down.
When I reviewed the 1 Step Changer Barricade I covered the differences that figure had from the real life modified Ford Mustang in vehicle mode. Likely due to licensing issues, that figure did not have a licensed Mustang mode. At the time, I had hoped the Deluxe version would, but alas, it does not. You can see photos of the real life vehicle from my set visit here. Now, this vehicle mode clearly takes more inspiration from the Mustang than the 1 Step Changer, but it is still not accurate to the real life vehicle and that is already a shame in my book. I am a fan of the Mustang's aesthetics and I love it when Transformers use those aesthetics in their alt modes. Here is a rundown of how this vehicle differs from its onscreen counterpart:
- The front grille is a series of horizontal panels rather than the Mustang's honeycomb pattern.
- The hood features two vents, which is similar to the Mustang, but those vents don't go all the way back. Instead they angle downward towards the middle of the hood and then flatten out.
- On the sides of the Mustang,there are panels that flare out at the bottom of the doors. This vehicle mode does not have these details.
- The rear window does not have any panels on top of it the way the real life prop car does.
- The spoiler in the back is very small, but the real life vehicle has a large spoiler with several sections that sweep back to points.
- The Mustang's signature horizontal "three rear lights" have been replaced with a single vertical light.
- On the prop Mustang vehicle the back has several horizontal panels forming a vent like pattern on the back, on this figure there is a rectangle for a license plate instead.
- The Mustang has exhaust pipes on both sides of the vehicle. On this figure the two pipes are bunched together towards the middle.
Clearly the designers had to take the Mustang and then rework the design to avoid licensing issues, but it is a shame since the original Deluxe Barricade was a licensed Mustang in his vehicle form. Interestingly, the designers did try to incorporate some smaller details I had not expected. For instance, the shape of the headlights is similar to the Mustang. Also, under the headlights are rectangular details set at angles near the front wheel wells. The vehicle also has a cage in the front over the front grille complete with a "cowcatcher" type scoop. Also, the four lights on top of the grille are found on the Mustang from the film.
The black and dark blue plastic colors taking center stage here while the windows are all a smokey translucent grey. White paint is used on the doors. Red and blue are found in the front for the lights on the grille. Red paint is used on the rear lights. Some if the nicer details include the word "Police" on top of the white on the doors. Next to that is a Decepticon symbol. Over each rear wheel well are the words "To Punish and Enslave" in cursive text. On the top of the vehicle the lightbar is translucent grey plastic with red on the left side and blue on the right. And...that's it. Now, I do not want to imply that this deco looks bad. In fact, it looks pretty good. You have details going from the front to the back, even the oft ignored rear lights. His "To Punish and Enslave" motto is iconic so that needed to be included.
That said, there are some details missing including the number "867" on the front and sides of the vehicle. He is also missing the "911" tampograph near the front of the car on the sides. I know it seems nitpicky to point these out, but remember, this is supposed to be a premier edition figure, implying a premium deco. I would have hoped that tiny details such as these would have made it into the figure. This was done with the original Barricade when his "Premium Edition" figure was released and I had hoped this would have that level of detail.
The Gatling gun weapon can be folded out and then attached to the rear window section of the vehicle. I have seen fans find a way to jam it underneath the legs at the bottom. There is a pretty big gap there so it is not too hard to do.
Barricade is a fun figure with a cool sculpt and good deco. The figure incorporates a lot of the details from the character's on screen model despite not having the officially licensed Mustang mode. Recommended, but do not expect perfection.
- Good robot mode sculpt that incorporates many elements of the on-screen character's concept art.
- Stocky, tough looking design in robot mode.
- Cool accessories.
- Not a licensed Mustang in vehicle mode.
- Deco is good, but not "Premium/Premier" level.