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Transformers – GDO Deluxe Cliffjumper

Of all the GDO releases, Cliffjumper was the one that held the least interest for me. It has nothing to do with the character because I like Cliffjumper quite a bit — it was the particular base body they chose to use for him. You see, Cliffjumper here is a repaint of… Cliffjumper. Yeah. What Hasbro did was take a figure from the Transformers Prime line, paint it a darker red, pop a new G1-esque head on it, and shoehorn it into a line that is largely geared toward updated G1 (or, to a much lesser extent, G2) figures. The original figure was the First Edition Cliffjumper from the Prime line, and what’s strange here is that the First Edition figure is still shipping to Toys R Us stores. This means there are currently two different versions of Cliffjumper in two different lines that use the same body that are available at Toys R Us right now. I can’t think of another time this particular phenomenon has occurred. The First Edition figure was originally released a year ago and is being stocked again at Toys R Us now, so I can’t imagine Hasbro planned to have these two out at the same time, but who knows?

Shoehorning molds from different lines into the Generations line isn’t new, as we’ve seen with Springer and G2 Megatron, so it isn’t that outlandish that this mold was chosen for this Cliffjumper. But I had a certain bias against it going in and had already made up my mind that there was no way this mold was going to work for a Classics Cliffjumper. And I was right. But you know what? Despite my misgivings, I like the figure anyway. I feel like he kinda works.

Even though Cliffjumper was a member of the original Ark crew and part of the original assortments that first hit stores when the brand debuted in 1984, he hasn’t had many figures released over the years. The original figure was very similar to Bumblebee in size and Transformation, so when Cliffjumper finally saw another release over 20 years later in the Classics line, he was a straight-up repaint of Bumblebee. They didn’t even see fit to give him a new, unique head — he literally was a red Bumblebee. So maybe that’s why I find I’m liking this figure; he doesn’t resemble Bumblebee at all. It’s a mold that was created just for Cliffjumper. I feel like this was a long time coming.

Prime First Edition on left, GDO on right

Aside from the head sculpt, there is nothing that relates this figure to the G1’s design in any way except for the color. They conceivably could have popped any head on here and called it any character they wanted to, so it relies heavily on the new head for it to be a convincing Cliffjumper. And that just might be enough for me, I’m still deciding. I like that I have a Cliffjumper with a unique mold among my Autobots. I loved the Classics Bumblebee mold, but I loved it for Bumblebee, not really for Cliffjumper, so I’m starting to feel an irrational fondness for this new version. It’s a stylized mold that’s meant to fit with the Prime aesthetic, but it’s not so stylized that it can’t work in a Classics display.

Classics (with 3rd party head and weapons) on left, GDO on right

Cliffjumper’s articulation is decent enough. He can pull off some good poses and he doesn’t feel as though he’s going to topple over every two seconds. His shoulders, however, can be a bit annoying. The ball joint is pretty tight on both shoulders, so the entire shoulder can move out of place easily as you try to pose him. It’s not a huge deal, but I do wish they could lock in place better. He would benefit from more range of motion in his ankles, too, since all they can do is tilt forward and back, but it’s not a deal breaker.

His alt mode is a pretty sweet muscle car with a set of horns just above the grill. I think it suits Cliffjumper, even outside of the Prime cartoon. It looks fast and tough, just like Cliffjumper should. The downside here is that all the panels don’t fit together as well as they should, so he ends up having that “jigsaw puzzle” effect that can compromise the effectiveness of the alt mode.

His size is just about right as well since Cliffjumper has always been depicted as one of the smaller Autobots. This figure is by no means puny, but he is among the smaller of the Classics Autobots.

United Jazz and Cliffjumper

He’s not an “ideal” Cliffjumper by any stretch, but I think he does the job well enough, especially if you need a Cliffjumper and don’t feel like shelling out aftermarket prices for the Classics figure (which needs a new 3rd party head to really work anyway). This guy can be had for $15 at Toys R Us, so the price is definitely right. And even though he’s a store exclusive, it’s safe to say he’s the least sought after of the GDO group. I had no problem finding him in my area where there is definitely some healthy competition for Transformers toys.

We haven’t seen a definitive Cliffjumper yet, but the Classics figure does probably come closest. This GDO, however, certainly works as a more cost-effective placeholder until we — hopefully — do get a definitive Cliffjumper.

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