Sunday, 26 September 2010

Alternity A-03 Cliffjumper (Supreme Red Pearl)

A common thread in TransFormers toys in recent years is that any model used as Bumblebee would soon be repainted as Cliffjumper. While the two were G1 Mini Autobots with identical methods of transformation, their vehicle modes couldn't have been more different. Bumblebee was a VW Beetle, Cliffjumper was a Porsche. The use of common molds, therefore, is due more to changes in the perception of Bumblebee than in Cliffjumper.


Vehicle Mode:
All things considered, Cliffjumper is perhaps a more natural choice for the Swift than Bumblebee was. Sure, it's no Porsche, but it looks almost like a Penny Racer/Choro-Q car without the need for any deformation. The paint job on this one is phenominal - while Bumblebee is stuck with a flat yellow, Cliffjumper is painted with a beautiful metallic cherry red that seems far more consistent throughout. The tail lights are mostly lost in that sea of red, but everthing else looks amazing and, being darker, even the structural pieces that block the rear windscreen are less apparent at a glance.
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Robot Mode:
Aside from the flashier paint job, Cliffjumper finally has a completely different head to Bumblebee, despite being otherwise the same mold. While it's a good head, and a reasonable homage to his G1 Mini Autobot self, it seems to me to be too much helmet with too little face... almost as if it's frozen in mid-transformation to a 'battle mode' visor.

All of the deficiencies of the mold apply equally to Cliffjumper, so it's really just the superior colouring that makes him seem far better than his Champion Yellow counterpart.
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One of the most fun aspects of this model is the pair of handguns that are stowed on his lower legs. Small pistols suit Bumblebee better than they do Cliffjumper, who really needs his trademark bazooka but, if Alternity is taking its cues from Generation 1, how big would Cliffjumper's 'Glass Gas' guns need to be?

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