Transformers Prime: A ballad of Robot Zombies & Chainsaw-Cats

r_terrorcon-cliffjumper-001

You know I whine about Transformers a lot. I mean, A LOT. Like that’s kind of my thing? A pitiable cathartic hobby in spite of a readily supply of plastic bliss always available at the click of a mouse? Yeah…

Maybe that’s a poor qualifying statement to open up a review…

Um.

So You may have heard me whine/babble about the Japanese TF Prime subline; Arms Micron, a targetmaster style homage to the toys of old using currently distributed molds with minor changes including a rather harsh stripping of paint, the inclusion of stickers to make up for the lack of detail, newly drilled holes and often mounts made for loading each figure up with the accessories that define the series: kits to assemble robot humanoids or animals that transform into weaponry.

As shown in Seibertron's fancy gallery, with Jida onboard Cliffjumper will never be slowed by another toll booth again!

It’s also worth noting that the box images on the back and other such tomfoolery illustrates that, like the Energon weapons of old, these partners can form new and interesting weapons when combined together. I pissed, moaned and made a lot of noise that Hasbro should get off their asses and get this stuff here stat and my friend Michael tried shaking me like a british nanny to make me see the light of day and just import the damn things if it was such a problem…

Ironically, I had just made a deal to acquire a specific piece meant to shut me up on two levels: Terrorcon Cliffjumper!

TC (Terrorcon Cliffjumper) is a weird idea that Hasbro kind of backed out on almost entirely when they dumped the notion of selling the TF Prime First Edition series in the USA. Cliffy was supposed to represent his very dead self with a zombie head sporting a broken horn and a heavily damaged paint job indicating much violence. Hasbro dropped it like a hot potato (until they picked it up for the RUST IN PEACE SDCC exclusive we discussed before). Meanwhile, Takara snapped up the idea and in their own uniquely Japanese way they made him awesome… then made him better… then made him amazing.

Let’s talk about Terrorcon Cliffjumper, the evil Zombification of a beloved Autobot hero into a vile Decepticon that wields a cat that is also a double chainsaw.

Wow.

I know right? Let’s talk about a zombie robot with a chainsaw cat AFTER THE CUT!

Terrcon Cliffjumper in robot mode with blasters deployed.

Hands that flip out into guns, why don't ALL Transformers have this by now? Anyway, note raised bits on his shoulders as weapon ports? Oh, and the Zombie head. That too.

Terrorcon Cliffjumper is based off the insanely sought after First Edition figure (often selling for between $60-$90 online) and he is one of the few from that lauded line that enjoy the privilege of being altered to accommodate monster weapon robots. They chucked the idea of making him look like… well, CLIFFJUMPER and instead made him look like a big walking monstrosity composed of energon itself. I’m not sure if I articulated that properly… TC is obviously the SAME mold from the First Edition series, but he is constructed of almost pure translucent plastic in a blueish color that vaguely resembles the TF Prime Dark Energon McGuffin used throughout the first season. It’s a difficult effect to effectively capture on film, but there’s a few videos out there which demonstrate it pretty well.

On his own, he’s a standout figure just to look at, but he’s all that and MORE. TC adds two trunk-based weapon mounts that move to his shoulders in robot mode and also sports a peg hole on his hood (because wouldn’t we all love driving with a robot cat that is also a chainsaw mounted to the hood), and during transformation the peg hole moves to his back.

His chainsaw cat is called “Jida”, but he makes for an acceptable TF2: Revenge of the Fallen Ravage given his pointy appearance, cat features and cycloptic eye. The cat folds into a bunch of weird ways, but the only one that matters is his basic transformation into a weapon: A dual-bladed chainsaw. That just sick and perverse genius right there. I get a sense someone over at Takara may have watched Evil Dead 2 at least once because that’s the first place my mind seems to go when imagining a tragic reanimation of a hero ALSO sporting some kind of chainsaw. If you’re wondering why he has a chainsaw (and not WHY NOT A CHAINSAW?!) as opposed to another projectile weapon like his RID counterpart within the same line, the reason is because TC is based off of the “First Edition” mold and has bad ass tri-barrelled blasters built into each wrist that simply flip out for action.

Jida make an okay ravage, but I can't be bothered with a cat mode when Cliffjumper could be running around chainsawing dudes!

So in this case a chainsaw cat is more practical than giving TC a gun. Seriously, I think just knowing this makes me love the figure more. He’s an exception to a rule no one would make with a straight face. A practical application of a chainsaw cat I… I’m getting lightheaded with giddiness just thinking about it.

The TC is loose as all hell and feels terrifyingly fragile in your hands. I am still in awe as to the amount of complicated detail in his transformation, but given the fragile nature of the plastic I’m terrified to make this a repeat performance, but regardless of how loose his floppyish joints are and how insanely breakable the translucent plastic is in his body, he holds together well and poses remarkably well.

I slapped his cat together awaiting a call at work and he’s not really worth the cost. I mean he’s probably the finest double chainsaw cat in the entire Transformers franchise, but that’s an easy reward since he’s the only one I can think of. I don’t have anything else from the line to slap it into, but I could see Jida being a remarkable hilt to some kind of sword-type abomination; although he makes such a fine chainsaw cat I can’t imagine sullying his elegant form with any cumbersome nonsense pegged into him.

I can’t be bothered to slap Stickers on TC despite the minor lack of detail, like windows, all over his body. He looks so impressive on his own I can’t find it in myself to mar the pleasure of owning such a bizarre and awesome looking Decepticon. TC is not for everyone simply because he’s FRAGILE AS HELL, add that to his trumped up price tag and I’m almost hesitant to recommend him at all except that he’s totally awesome and in slow, patient hands he is a brilliant addition to ANY collection.

Seriously, where WOULDN’T you want to put a Zombie Cliffjumper with a chainsaw cat?!? He breathes new, rotted life into any Decepticon army and adds the psychological effect of a dead hero reanimated to butcher his former friends. Even if he isn’t up there with your Prime toys, he’s a fucking evil zombie! It’s amazing!!!

A zombie mode SO convincing he guest starred on the Walking Dead and nobody noticed! He's that effective as a Zombie! Why the hell not zombify more TF figures so we can do a stop motion thriller...?

Although, I will say hold out on this $30 to $40 purchase and It hurts to say this because I love the fucking mold, the concept, the color and the stupid chainsaw cat all so very much. It’s just that after July there’s going to be a new Zombie Cliffy on the market in a custom box that better resembles Hasbro’s original image of a red zombie Cliffy with energon goop spilling out.

While he may not have a chainsaw cat, he’s also lacking the same horrific fragility of the the Arms Micron counterpart; there’s also the boxed set he comes in that’s meant to look like his chest and zombie head… so… yeah. Depends on how hardcore you are for your heroes to remain undead and loving it. I’m aiming for both, but then I’m mentally deranged and frantically obsessed.

But then I also like zombies and zombie robots so… Yeah. Here’s some video of Cliffy in all his glory so you can better appreciate his crystalline energon undeadness.

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2 Responses to Transformers Prime: A ballad of Robot Zombies & Chainsaw-Cats

  1. “…and my friend Michael tried shaking me like a british nanny…”

    This made me giggle. Clearly, I’m going to hell.

  2. Tekyu says:

    You made a good point. Hasbro spoiled me over the last couple of years. Back in the late nineties I imported like a madman getting all kinds of stuff we couldn’t get domestically from Beast Wars, G1 reissues, PVC figures, Car Robots, etc.

    By the time Armada came around I didn’t really have to scrounge online anymore and could just snag stuff in a store all the time. When the Classics line started there was almost nothing I’d miss out on by buying domestic except the occasional repaint.

    I had become so accustomed to Hasbro actually wanting my money that I practically short circuited when I got Hasbro’s email saying they’d left me for Canadians and Asians. I only wish we had more rain here so I could have run out into the sad weather crying out at the skies pouring down on me as I screamed in frustration.

    I live in Phoenix though… so mostly I’d just burst into flames if I ran outside and stood still for too long.

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