Tomorrow is the day that Michael Bay drops another Transformers movie on the world and I will likely be in attendance, albeit not in any state even approaching sobriety. And with Age of Extinction hitting tomorrow that means that today is indeed the final week of Transformers Thursday held hostage by the Bayformer Menace. I was going to go back to a random grab this week, but then I thought about the trouncing that I gave Bumblebee last week and decided to go with something that had more potential for positivity. Barricade was one of my favorite Transformers in the first movie. Why? Because I love Decepticon cars and I love Mustangs. My first three cars were all Mustangs. Needless to say a Decepticon Mustang was practically an instant win in my eyes. It’s been a couple of years since I had this figure out, so let’s see if he still rocks as much as I thought he did.
Well, the vehicle mode sure does! You get all the sexy contours of the car right down to the spoiler and “SALEEN” sculpted into the back. You also get a translucent lightbar, translucent headlamps, and a ramming bar on the front. The toy is molded in black plastic and while it doesn’t quite have that new car sheen that I would have liked, it still looks great. Barricade features clear windows and a clear windshield, although the rear windows are all molded in plastic. Did you know that one of the original Barricade Mustangs was sold for only $36k at auction. Shit, I would have paid that!
Besides being a very nice mold of a custom 2005 Saleen Mustang, the deco on this baby has some lovely callbacks to the car used in the movie. In addition to the snappy painted doors, you get that wonderful Decepticon police logo just behind the front wheel wells and the tiny “to punish and enslave…” motto above the rear wheel wells. I absolutely loved that little touch in the movie and was really glad that it made it to the toy. Additional points to the deco include his car number on the roof and again on the front bumper and “POLICE” emblazoned across the rear spoiler.
Barricade features also features a minor gimmick. You can flip down the ramming bar and pull out a Frenzy figure that’s stored within. The figure isn’t much to crow about and it’s a little too large to be in proper scale, but it doesn’t hurt the vehicle mode at all, so I’m cool with it being there as a nice little bonus.
Transforming Barricade to robot mode is pretty simple and unfortunately his bot mode isn’t quite the slam dunk that the car mode is. Like most of the 2007 movie figures, he’s a much simpler representation of the “bag of knives” robot design seen in the movie, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I also like the traditional way in which the front of the car becomes his chest and while he does sport chicken legs, they aren’t as obvious as other figures in this line. On the downside Barricade’s proportions could be a little better. He really doesn’t have much of a torso, instead his hips kind of just connect to his chest.
And then there are those arms. Most official pics of him I’ve seen have the shoulders pointed straight up, although they are ball jointed, so you can position them in different ways. I tend to point them down and outward so the wheels are showing. The forearms feature a terrible spring-loaded gimmick that extends Barricade’s arms and the springs don’t hold well and they almost always activate while I’m posing him. It’s one of those examples of a gimmick that sadly harms the toy and would have been better left out.
I thought Barricade had one of the better portraits in the movie and I think this toy captures it quite well. There’s a lot of sculpted detail on his noggin and the addition of some gold paint and red light piping in the eyes really helps it along. Indeed, all the deco on Barricade’s robot mode looks good as it features a little bit of metallic silver and purple to make the black and white pop.
In the end, Barricade gets a thumbs up. I totally dig his car mode and even though there are things that could have been done better with his robot mode, he’s not a total loss. In fact playing around with him makes me wish that I had picked up the Human Alliance version when he was out on the shelves and not going for a bundle on the second-hand market. Either way, I think this was a good choice to end the Transformers Thursday Bayformer Hostage Crisis. I don’t think a lot of these toys have aged well, but there were definitely some worthwhile figures in this line and Hasbro did their best engineering toys based on some ridiculously complex and ugly character designs. So far I’m holding my own on my promise to myself to not pick up any Age of Extinction figures and that will be the first Transformers line that I take a complete pass on in… well, ever.