Transformers Authentics Bravo
Item No.: Asst. E0618 No. F0524 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:n/a Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Police Car Retail:$5-$6.75 Availability: April 2021 Other: Snuck out in South America, and then the world!
This one showed up online out of nowhere when a fan posted a partially customized one earlier this year. Barricade is based on art for a generally underused "evergreen" design, which seems to borrow a bit from The Last Knight incarnation rather than the "black Prowl" version we've got as toys previously. It's a nifty "what if" combining elements of the movie design with the best 1984 had t offer, with modern engineering and a surprisingly low price point. This thing is bigger than the Core-class guys, and about half the price.
Given there's nothing else quite like it in the G1 style, you'll probably want to get it. If Hasbro makes an "Alpha" sized one, you'd probably rather have that - but this is all that exists right now, and it's five bucks, and it's not like you're spending any money on fine dining, dates, or going out right now. Go get a Barricade if you stumble on one - I found mine at a Dollar General while waiting for a pizza.
An all-new mold, you can see where some of the inspiration came from - but it's different, I don't have any other robots quite like this. I mean sure, the car hood is the chest like Prowl and Jazz and so many cars, but the transformation goes out of its way to be different with flipping panels around the legs, rotating car kibble on the shins, and some unusual shoulders which all help contribute to a surprisingly robustly-articulated robot. They figured out how to do ball-jointed ankles for five bucks. This little fellow has about 11 points of meaningful articulation, 2 more if you count the somewhat loose shoulders that don't lock into place.
His fists are too small for any current accessories, although it's possible you might be able to fit some 3mm weapons (Dark of the Moon/Prime Cyberverse or LEGO, for example) into those fists. It will be tight. The figure is not as sturdy as some - certainly not as solid I would like for a kid line given the shoulders easily float and the legs sort of transform a bit if you move them wrong - but this is a good robot. It has all the articulation you expect, and then some, at a size and price comparable to Beast Wars Basic-class figures from 35 years ago. That's mighty impressive.
There's a good amount of sculpted detail here, probably closer to simpler older toys. You don't get a lot of circuits, panels, or other weirdness here - it's just a pretty basic 4-inch robot design, with a nifty head complete with yellow eyes and face mask. It's also colored a lot like Selects Deep Cover, but reversed.
Transformation is like anything else I've seen so far, with a lot of weird flips. In many respects it's almost a shellformer so I could see Hasbro reskinning the car in the future. The chest becomes the hood, there's some of the windshield and roof on the back, and the legs flip and twist in a very satisfying way that locks in place nicely. It's kind of a hassle to unlock it to get it back in robot mode, but it's unquestionably a clever design and a neat way to introduce the "puzzle play" that Hasbro thinks is demanded of these toys. (Honestly, I just want a cool vehicle and a cool robot. One step, ten steps, I'm not picky.)
The car is a little wobbly, but pretty good - the windshield has "eyes" thanks to the struts to grip a pole to connect to the body being there. It makes it look like a reject from a Pixar movie, but it is a bit cute and I assume someone is working on a sticker or some sort of filler piece for it right now. Everything fits together well, but it's hard to align perfectly without a gap here or there. The paint is pretty good with a Decepticon logo, a red light bar, a lot of white, and of course "POLICE" on the doors. It looks surprisingly good for what you paid for, although painting (or not painting) all the windows to be the same color would have been good.
If you like the movies, and the classic stuff, and have five bucks, this is a potentially worthwhile purchase. It doesn't feel as robust as the other more expensive toys, but it's five bucks. If Hasbro sold this kind of toy in Targets and Walmarts we might have a whole army of new kid fans spending all their allowance on this stuff, rather than leaving them as sort of a premium product. If I were you, I wouldn't pass this one up.
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