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Movie Barricade Reviewed by Thunderscream
One Bad Cop

Although the name "Barricade" has been used a couple times in the Transformers franchise, the character that appears in the 2007 movie is a completely new character. Described as a born liar who enjoys the look of betrayal on the faces of humans, this is certainly not someone you'd like to encounter on a dark street. Making things worse, this double-crossing Decepticons has taken a form of a vehicle usually reserved for heroic Autobots.


Altmode: Police Cruiser

Barricade's vehicle mode is that of a Ford Mustang Saleen-modified police cruiser. This is an interesting choice for an "evil Decepticon" character, especially since the majority of Transformers who have been police vehicles have been in the ranks of the "heroic Autobots". However, when one thinks about it, this form makes some sense. Barricade is the Decepticons' scout; it's his job to gather information and report it back to his comrades. What better way to obtain that info from unsuspecting humans, or even capture the human allies of Autobots, than to take the form of a vehicle of the local authorities, which are supposedly trusted by the people they protect?

Barricade's main color is black with a white door and clear plastic windows. The headlights are covered in a clear plastic with silver dots on the outer edges. Orange signal lights have been painted on to the front fender and red taillights painted on the back. A clear plastic light bar has been attached to the car roof painted clear blue on the right, silver in the middle, and red on the left. White characters have been painted on several portions of the vehicle, including the number "643" on the roof and right fender and the word "Police" on the rear spoiler. Over the rear wheel wells is the phrase "To punish and enslave," a corruption of the familiar and common police motto "To protect and serve." The words "Police" have been stamped on the doors in silver with black outlines. Purple shield-like emblems have been stamped behind the front wheel wells and have the word "Police," the Decepticon insignia and the year 1865 printed in silver from top to bottom, in that order.

The painted characters would have been enough to make Barricade extremely detailed, but he has other small details on him that add to his appeal. Vents have been sculpted into the hood, one on each side. There's a license plate and a few lines on the back of the trunk and the word "Saleen" etched into the back bumper. He has four plastic wheels that roll easily when he's been transformed properly and one a smooth surface. Unfortunately, not all of the panels on him fit him properly, causing parts to fall out of place and gaps to form. This spoils the illusions of being a seamless car.


Transformation

One should always read the instructions before attempting to convert a Transformers figure. Barricade's conversion is ranked "advanced," but most will get the process after one or two tries. The one step that extracts the Frenzy figure from Barricade's chest can be ignored as well; he'll transform with or without Frenzy in the compartment. There's no "automorph" feature on this figure, though I can't say that's a detriment. Be careful when you first transform him; during the initial conversion, a piece broke off my figure. There have other reports of this happening with other models of Barricade, though I haven't been able to find out where the piece came from and its loss doesn't seem to negatively affect him. Still, a part flying off a toy when first out of the box is not a good thing.


Robot Mode

Barricade stands about 5 inches from head to feet, seven if the windows on his back are added and positioned straight up. All the colors of his police cruiser form carry over to his robotic form; additional colors include silver above the knees, purple-blue on the inner thighs, below the elbows, and on the crotch, and gold on the mouth and cheeks. The back of his head and optics are made from a single piece of clear red plastic. Hold a light source, like a small flashlight, to the back of the head and the eyes look like they glow.

Barricade reminds me something of a mechanical gorilla in his robot mode. His legs have the same bend in them as an ape on two legs, his chest is large and wide, and the arms are considerably longer than his legs, though positioned much higher up. This isn't a bad thing, mind you; the bio printed on the back of his packaging mentions that he likes to tear his opponents apart with his bare hands and one would expect a brawler to have a powerful form. In fact, Barricade was initially going to be called "Brawl" until they gave that name to another character. Speaking of hands, he's got them, sculpted into the inside of the car's rear wheel wells. Like some of his fellow 'cons, he has long, claw like fingers instead of the more familiar closed fists. His thumbs are separate pieces and can be raised or lowered according to preference. The head is very alien looking and bears a crown-like structure on his head. My only issue with his head is that its so blandly colored; a little more paint might have brought out more features.

Barricade has fourteen points of articulation, all of which are found on his arms and legs. His arms and legs are set on ball joints at the shoulder and hips, respectively. The knees can bend forward and back and the ankles are ball joints. The elbows bend normally and sections under the hands can open slightly and as mentioned before, the thumbs can be raised or lowered. The head only moves up and down, and that's only due to the conversion process, so that doesn't count towards articulation. The main action feature on Barricade can be found on his left arm. There's a small tab just below the elbow, pull it back slightly and it releases a spring that throws his hand forward like his throwing a punch. Resetting it can be rather tricky however. Another problem I have with this mode is that his chest is not only wide; but reveals a lot of empty space underneath, especially if Frenzy's "on the loose." The designers might have been able to address this, but it doesn't seem they tried.


Accessories

Barricade comes with a small partner named "Frenzy" who is stored in the chest of the larger figure, behind the bars over the radiator. In the movie, Frenzy transforms into a portable radio; here, its not really clear what he transforms into; best description is an engine block, especially since his feet form the radiator grill for Barricade's car mode. Transformation is simple; he simply unfolds; the directions aren't really needed.

Frenzy stands about three inches tall in his robotic mode. He sculpted in light gray plastic with black on the bottom of his feet and red for his four optics. His arms divide at the elbows so it looks like he's got four arms. He doesn't have much in the way of articulation; his arms go up and down, but that's about it. The fact that Frenzy is stored where Barricade's car engine would go could be considered a nod to the old Powermasters figures in the latter years of the Generation one series, which had a similar gimmick. Whether this is the intent or not, it's still a rather interesting feature to the toy, even if it's not accurate to the movie.


Final Thoughts

Barricade has a few flaws to both modes and the fact that parts have the potential to fall off right out of the box hurts his score. Even so, he's not a bad figure to add to one's collection. The possible unintentional homage to the old Powermasters figures adds to his appeal.

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