"Buzzworthy Bumblebee" Cliffjumper Toy Review

03/29/22

General Information:
Release Date: March 2022
Price Point: $22.99
Retailer: Target Exclusive (with limited numbers sold on Hasbro Pulse
Accessories: Cannon barrel halves x 2, Cannon base, Cannon legs/Skis x 2

Official images and text below in italics are from Target.com and Hasbro Pulse:
You've probably heard the buzz, but Bumblebee is kind of a big deal. And now the bodacious bot is making his mark with a line of some of the most buzzworthy Bumblebee products for fans of all ages. See what all the buzz is about, only at Target.

This Studio Series 86-13BB Deluxe Class Cliffjumper figure converts from robot to car mode in 19 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Cliffjumper in the Moonbase One Destruction scene. As Moonbase One is reduced to scrap metal, Cliffjumper boards a ship in the attempt to escape the jaws of Unicron. Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco and includes bazooka and shield accessories.

Buzzworthy Bumblebee figures feature special Buzzworthy Bumblebee collectible packaging. Collect more Buzzworthy Bumblebee figures, only at Target (each sold separately, subject to availability).

Includes: figure, 5 accessories, and instructions.

  • BUZZWORTHY BUMBLEBEE: You've probably heard the buzz, but Bumblebee is kind of a big deal. Now the bodacious bot is making his mark with a line of the most buzzworthy Bumblebee products for fans of all ages
  • 4.5-INCH SCALE CLIFFJUMPER: 86-13BB Deluxe Class The Transformers: The Movie Cliffjumper toy features movie-inspired deco and includes bazooka and shield accessories. Highly articulated for posability
  • BIG SCREEN INSPIRED: Figure scale reflects the character's size in the world of The Transformers: The Movie. Pose figure in front of the removable backdrop depicting the Moonbase One Destruction scene
  • 2 ICONIC MODES: This toy features classic conversion between robot and car modes in 19 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure
  • BUMBLEBEE-THEMED PACKAGING: Special Buzzworthy Bumblebee collectible packaging
  • Ages 8 and up
  • Warning: Choking Hazard -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

In 2022 the Buzzworthy Bumblebee line continued with redecos of several figures from past Generations lines. One of these is Cliffjumper. Taking the Earthrise Cliffjumper sculpt, the designers gave the figure a new deco that leans into the character's animated appearance featuring brighter colors than the original release. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
The Buzzworthy Bumblebee packaging takes much of its design cues from Deluxe Class Studio Series boxes. Instead of the rectangular shape with one angled side such as the boxes in the War for Cybertron trilogy, these boxes are entirely rectangular with no angles on the sides. The artwork on the box is universal, featuring Bumblebee in the corner and oddly, Arcee, Optimus Prime and Mirage. I say "odd" because none of those three characters appear in this assortment of the line. In a departure from previous releases in Buzzworthy, this box specifically calls out Studio Series 86 as a sub (sub?) line, indicating that this is meant to represent Cliffjumper from the 1986 animated film. To reinforce this connection, the insert included with the figure represents Moon Base One from the film. The graphic is the same one used for Studio Series Jazz, but the borders are yellow, black and blue instead of the red and black of Studio Series.

Accessories:
Cliffjumper includes a pile of accessories, partly to make up for the relatively small size of the figure. His main accessory is a giant cannon based on the one he used in "More than Meets the Eye". Like that cannon, this weapon has a long barrel and small fins at the back. It also features small legs to rest the front on. The cannon is cast in black plastic and the length of the barrel is painted metallic blue. The back piece has metallic blue on one side. The weapon looks fantastic and really does evoke Cliffjumper's G1 weapon. I have to admit, I really prefer this blue color over the silver of the original. It is not a color we see often in Transformers toys and it (kind of) represents the bluish tinge the weapon had in the cartoon.

But wait, there's more! The cannon can be broken down into several components. Here's a rundown:

  • The barrel of the cannon splits into two blasters, each with its own 5mm peg so Cliffjumper can hold them separately. Even better? These also form the boosters that appear on the sides of his vehicle mode in its "ski mode". You can attach Blast Effects to these weapons to make them look like they are firing.
  • The back of the cannon forms...some type of device that can connect to Cliffjumper via a tab fitting into a slot on his arms. I say let our imagination roam on this one. This could be a weapon or maybe a "shield generator".
  • The legs that the end of the cannon rest on form the skis on his front wheels in vehicle mode.

On top of all that, the back of of the vehicle mode detaches and can be used as a shield in robot mode. This piece is red plastic with black and silver paint. Some fans have not been happy about this since this makes an already small figure a "partsformer". I think that is an exaggeration. One part detaching does not make an entire figure a "partsformer" (that distinction belongs more to figures like Weaponizers and Modulators). Also, this piece serves a function in robot mode and should the figure be given a retool (which I am guessing it totally is) this makes it much easier to create a different vehicle mode out of the basic design of the figure.

Robot Mode:
There have been no changes to the sculpt of this figure for this release but the designers did make one significant change: eliminating translucent plastic. For many fans, translucent plastic has been a bit of a pickle. It looks great, especially when representing parts like windows. However it is also notoriously fragile and if put through too much flexing it can break. No such worries for this figure however. The translucent plastic that was used for the torso panel has now been replaced with opaque plastic since the windows are painted.

At first glance I would not blame you if you did not immediately register the color changes made to this figure. Black and red are still key colors on this figure. However, to make the deco line up more with his animated appearance, the designers significantly brightened up the red color (both in paint and plastic form). They also added in a new color: grey. This is used on his arms and legs, following the same distinct pattern as the G1 animation model. This includes using black on the shoulders and fists while the elbows and forearms are grey. On top of all that, his windows are now painted light blue, a callback to the light blue windows seen in the animated series. Overall the deco looks really great and I am happy fans now have an option of the darker Earthrise Cliffjumper and a more "animation" based version.

All of Cliffjumper's accessories still attach nice and tight without a problem. All his joints are also still relatively tight and do not feel loose at all.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Detach the "back pack" piece and set it aside for now.
  4. Swing the torso plate forward, swing out the panel with the Autobot symbol on it then swing the torso plate back into place.
  5. Rotate the lower body around.
  6. Rotate the arms around at the elbows.
  7. Swing the arms up at the elbows, then swing them up at the shoulders so it looks like the arms are punching into the air.
  8. Swing the upper body forward.
  9. Swing the arms together, using the tabs on the shoulders to help clip them into place.
  10. Swing the back panel on each foot out.
  11. Rotate the red panels on the feet up.
  12. Swing the front wheels out to the sides.
  13. Push in the panels from the robot feet to complete the front and sides of the vehicle. You will have to do a bit of careful adjustment to make sure all the tabs are in place and the panels line up.
  14. Take the "back pack" piece and swing in the black peg, then slide the red pegs into the robot fists to form the back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
While this mode also features no tooling changes from the original figure, the colors alone make a dramatic difference in the appearance of the vehicle mode. The red panels all wind up consolidating in this form so we really get an eyeful of the red color. We also get to see the light blue come together for the windows. Silver paint is used on the front and back of the vehicle in slightly different patterns than the Earthrise version. Silver is also used on the sides of the wheels. In a fun callback to his G1 animation model, Cliffjumper features two Autobot symbols in this mode. One is on the top of the vehicle (for the robot chest) and the other is on the left side of the hood. Also worth noting: both symbols are the traditional G1 Autobot symbol with the "softer" looking eyes instead of the more "severe" eyes of the movie Autobot symbol used on Earthrise Cliffjumper.

You can still connect the cannon to the port on the back of the vehicle and attach the skis to his wheels to recreate the scene from "Dinobot Island: Part 2". Attach the skis to the slots next to each front wheel. Take the black piece from the cannon and swing out each half. Attach that piece to the underside of the vehicle with the peg in front pointing forward. There are small tabs on the back piece that slot into the tabs inserted into the robot fists. Now connect the halves of the cannon barrel to the tabs near the rear wheels. You use the slots on the pegs to attach them. All the parts still attach nice and snug.

Final Thoughts: This is one of the few redecos that I wanted on sight because I felt the deco was superior to the original figure. I actually believe replacing the translucent plastic with opaque plastic and the bright, animation style colors work brilliantly on this figure. The figure was fun to begin with, so this just elevates it. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt that calls back to G1 Cliffjumper very well while doing something new with the design.
  • Fantastic vehicle mode that has a fun and retro design.
  • Lots of play value.
  • Replacing the translucent plastic with opaque plastic was a great idea to address concerns with translucent plastic possibly breaking.
  • The accessories help call back to two key moments for the character in the G1 cartoon.
  • Beautiful new deco.

Cons:

  • Some fans are not going to be happy with paying another $25 or so for the same sculpt again.
  • The proportions in robot mode are a bit goofy, with large feet and relatively small arms.