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Series: Studio Series Gamer Edition
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2023


Prelude: Way back in 2010, a Transformers video game called War for Cybertron took the world by storm  and many of its redesigns of iconic characters like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee found their way into the then-current Generations line. Fast forward more than a decade and the Studio Series creates a new subline called Gamer Edition to bring back these beloved designs, including some we have never seen in toy form before. Case in point, Barricade, my first foray into the Gamer Edition line. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Barricade is a Deluxe-sized figure and on the larger end of the scale, too, making for a rather big and imposing looking robot. Visually he is pretty impressive, with his dark colors, bulky silhouette, and nice details. Even when looking at him from the back (which is actually a side of him we saw pretty frequently in the video game), he looks great, the exhaust ports from his car mode engine giving him a nicely detailed backpack. The only thing I don’t like about him look-wise is the feet, which are a bit too flat in my opinion, looking more like flippers than feet.

Looks aside, though, Barricade is plagued with multiple problems, sadly. Starting at the bottom, his flipper feet are angled, forcing him into a permanent shoulder-wide stance. Running poses are basically impossible without a stand and the feet joints are rather loose, making him prone to toppling forward. Moving up, he’s got two of his car mode wheels as kibble on his hip, which looks good, but constantly interferes with his arms. The arm articulation is further limited by his bulky forearms, which prevent his elbows from bending more than about 60 degrees or so. His rucksack does not tab in solidly, always coming loose. Finally, his (nicely sculpted) head can turn, but the joint is so tight that it takes a lot of force.

Also, there is his gun. The Gamer Edition figures try to emulate the video game characters’ ability to transform their forearms into guns. Barricade’s right forearm can be unplugged and replaced with a black gun. A gun that has maybe a third of the mass of the forearm, looking far too small. For some weird reason the gun does not have a standard 5mm handle, either, despite Barricade’s hands being sculpted to hold such a handle. Really weird, but it means you can just give him another gun and get rid of that tiny black thing he came with. Also, the plug on the forearm is not terribly solid, so posing the figure’s arms always runs the risk of it coming off.

So bottom line for the robot mode: it looks good, but there are just too many design problems to make it truly enjoyable.

Alternate Mode: Barricade transforms into a black and grey car with a rather futuristic / alien design and in this mode he truly shines. The car looks sleek, fabulous, and dangerous, just like it should. The car has a very aerodynamic profile, the grill at the front adds a nice, menacing flair, and the big engine / afterburner in the back completes the look. Minor complaint: would have loved to see a bit more color on those engine exhausts instead of it being uniformly black. Second minor complaint: the tires are clipped on and the clips in the front are of a different color than in the back. That could have been done better.

No further complaints, though. The gun, which looks pretty bad in robot mode, can be mounted on top here and looks a lot better. So bottom line: if you should happen to get Barricade, you might want to consider leaving him in car mode. I certainly am.

Remarks: Despite the name once belonging to a G1 Micromaster, Barricade didn’t really become a prominent Transformers character until the 2007 Live-Action Movie. Ever since then, though, Barricade has popped up in all kinds of media, including the massively popular games War for Cybertron / Fall of Cybertron. The Studio Series Gamer Edition brings us the first Barricade figure based on that game. Personally I was a big fan of that game, though I was mainly playing the Wii version. There, too, though, you had Barricade as a playable character. Fun times.

Sadly the first toy iteration of War for Cybertron Barricade is not quite as much fun. The car mode is cool, but the robot mode, while looking cool, has too many problems to really be considered a good toy. I am still going to keep him, simply due to fond memories of the game character, but I cannot in good conscience recommend him to anyone except die-hard Barricade fans.

Rating: C-

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