As a collector, I have been just about all in for the transformers trilogy lines. I’ve been a little more hesitant though, in picking up straight repaints and re-releases. The Amazon exclusive Criminal Pursuit 2 pack while being one of each, was still a must have for me mainly because of the characters in it.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Decepticons who turn into cars. Maybe it’s because the Autobots are supposed to be the cars and I like the dichotomy of them, but whatever the reason I just dig them. So scoring Barricade was a must. Punch/Counterpunch, while also filling that want, was always interesting to me as a character because of his backstory and what he actually is.
The Packaging differs from the standard trilogy releases like most of the exclusive (selects) do. It’s a brown sealed box that opens to reveal the figures inside. It comes with a little file card describing the Dominus planet that the two pack is named for. There is also a map detailing some of the planets in the Transformer universe.
Barricade is a straight repaint of the recent Earthrise Prowl release with a Smokescreen head. I had passed on the earlier Seige Barricade because I didn’t really love that mold, and I didn’t want another character on that same mold. The new “fairlady” mold that Prowl, Smokescreen, and Bluestreak are on is really great and I couldn’t pass up a Barricade on a set up that nice.
The new Prowl mold is really well crafted so that makes it a solid starting point for Barricade. His color scheme is nice with the black, and purples in the right places. He has a nice sheen to his black paints that make it stand out more than just a flat black paint would. His bot mode is well articulated and has plenty enough range of movement to allow for some fun posing and action shots.
While I would have liked a more sinister looking face, at least it’s not Prowl so he will look a little different when they battle. The dark shade under the red eyes to go with the gold face does give it a bit of a more evil look to him.
If you’re familiar with any of the new “Fairlady” cars you know that the transformation is one of the more simple ones to complete. He folds up nice and clean to form his police cruiser mode which has been his normal alt mode since his appearance in the first live action Transformers film.
Punch / Counterpunch is a straight re-release from the Power of the Primes version release a few years ago. I wasn’t collecting Transformers at that time so he’s new to me. I love his blue and yellow color scheme as those colors contrast nicely. The differences in the two bots are enough to make you feel like he is two different characters.
Punch has an ability to form a completely separate bot mode which he uses to spy on the Decepticons as one of them. As cool of a feature as that is, the effect it has on the character is also intriguing to me. Punch is stoic, and calm. He can take charge when needed and the other Autobots can look to him for leadership during battles. This is all an act though, as his changing back and forth between different personalities has left him paranoid, and a bit schizophrenic.
As a a Decepticon, he’s so ruthless and brutal that most of them try to avoid interaction with him. This is basically a guy who has gone so deep undercover, and for so long that he really can’t tell between who he started as and who he pretends to be anymore.
His articulation is ok but not great. You can tell this is an older figure before the quality of the current trilogy lines started. He could really use a thigh swivel or ball to allow some outward movement and really could use some type of feet that simulate rocker ankles. Each form does have equal articulation though and the lack of the previously mentioned needed poa doesn’t make him a statue.
His swapping between Autobot and Decepticon is basically just flipping him around from front to back, and rotating his shoulders. His head has a helmet that pushes down or up revealing the opposite face while hiding the other. It’s a cool, unique little feature that makes him a valued part of the collection rather than just being a random, seldom used character.
His alt car mode is more complicated than Barricade and can be a little fidgety to get perfectly locked into place. It’s not over complicated as much as it’s just not as intuitive as some of the newer stuff is. Once together it comes together tightly though, just takes a little work.
All in all, I have to say I’m happy with the set. I would rather Punch have been on a newer, more well made mold, but I get the whole reason he’s in this set is because he’s a re-do. Barricade is solid, but I would just rather a different head. Besides those minor nits this is a cool addition to the collection. Adding more Decepticons to that side of the shelf is always good. Adding Decepticons that turn into cars is even better.