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Vault Review: Transformers
Prime Cliffjumper (First Edition)

It’s taken me a few weeks, but I was finally able to track down a First Edition Transformers Prime Cliffjumper for a decent price!  It ended up being the Takara version (which was sadly cheaper than Hasbro’s), but at least I was able to snag one.

This is only my second Cliffjumper figure ever, but I think he’s slowly becoming my favorite Autobot.  I don’t know much about his characterization, but I really enjoyed his brief but spunky attitude in the Prime series.  Plus he was voiced by The Rock, which is awesome on its own.  It’s not just the character that appeals to me, but his vivid red and black color scheme.  Those two colors always look great together, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to be drawn to his character.

For those of you who haven’t been following Transformers toy news, there’s a bit of drama behind Cliffjumper and the second wave of First Edition Prime figures.  These First Edition figures were originally intended to fill the gap left on store shelves between the last waves of DotM and the first official Transformers Prime wave (now dubbed Robots in Disguise).  Unfortunately most stores had enough DotM figures still on the shelves when order time came around.  The only store who agreed to carry the FE figures was Toys R Us.

This was a great setup at first.  People around the country were happily picking up the greatest Arcee ever made, and one of the most expressive Starscream figures.  But as a lot of U.S. fans eagerly awaited wave two, something odd began to happen.  Our TRU’s shelves were going bare, while wave two began appearing in Canada and the Asian markets.  Toys R Us failed to mention that the second wave was never slated to ship to the U.S., and a lot of fans began to scramble as prices on Ebay shot through the roof.  Although I missed out on Bulkhead entirely, I was able to snag myself the Takara versions of a Vehicon and Cliffjumper here.

Like the majority of the FE Prime figures, Cliffjumper is an impressive merger between of a dynamic sculpt and amazing engineering.  This is especially evident when compared to the Robots in Disguise Cliffjumper.  The FE figure is taller, his body is more proportionate, and the sculpt gives the character a more powerful feel overall.

His car mode is a cool looking muscle car that reminds me a bit of Windcharger.  But CJ definitely brings his own look with the bull horns hood ornament and blue tinted wind shield.

This figure has a lot of great points, first of which is that he isn’t a repaint of Bumblebee.  No offense to Bee, but it’s nice to see CJ with his own sculpted look and personality.  Incorporating the hood ornament bull horns into his head design was genius, and I’m particularly happy with his black hoof-like feet.  Even the kibble on his forearms comes off looking like the unbuttoned sleeves of a jacket, which is pretty cool.  I also prefer his stern yet countenance over the permanent snarl of the RiD figure.  Continue to page 2…

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22 comments to Vault Review: Transformers
Prime Cliffjumper (First Edition)

  • Black Arbor

    I just can’t wait ’til they release the zombie-Cliffjumper repaint… unless it never gets to stores because they’re drowning in heavy packed bumblebees.

  • Heli

    I’m still baffled by the FE line as a whole. It seems like a weird choice to tool up really nice versions of the main characters and then immediately scrap them to release less nicely done versions. Seems like a poor use of resources to tool, for example, Bumblebee, and then immediately tool another version with the same look.

    • RageTreb

      Prime was never meant to have a toy line originally, but Hasbro decided to throw the fans a bone and make a few figures of the main characters in the Generations sub-line (similar to what they did with the War For Cybertron figures). These toys were designed with fans in mind, ie, the fans who were buying Generations, typically older fans. However, before these figures were released, Hasbro changed their mind and decided to give Prime a proper toy line, but the problem was they had received complaints from parents back in 2009 that the Revenge of the Fallen toys were too complicated for their children to transform. Hasbro already remedied this more or less with the Dark of the Moon toy line, but now the upcoming Prime toy line was meant to be the main line in the time between movie releases, and the Prime toys they already designed were more complex because they were meant for older fans.

      So Hasbro released the original Prime toys as “First Edition” figures, with only one, maybe two runs, and as Vault said, few people ever saw them at retail because of Dark of the Moon. Several months later the “real” Prime toy line released with the sub-line name of Robots In Disguise, with figures with simpler designs and easier transformations.

      I read this on 4chan of all places, so needless to say I don’t have an official source for it, but if you think about it it makes perfect sense, and it’s the most logical explanation for a series of actions that don’t seem to make any sense and are very unlike Hasbro to do (they usually like to get the most out of a mold).

      • Battle Catman

        This is one of the best and most rational explanations for the First Edition “incident” I’ve heard.

        Better than most, anyway, which boil down to “BECAUSE HASBRO HATES THE TRUE FANS AND I’M NOT BUYING ANY MORE OF THEIR SHIT BECAUSE THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE TRUE FANS AND I’M A TRUE FAN!!!”

      • Heli

        That’s the first time I’d heard that, and it makes a surprising amount of sense.

        If that’s the case, though, I’m once again baffled at the disconnect between Hasbro proper and The Hub. What’s the point of having a network showing cartoons of your top toy brands if you don’t intend to make/market toys for those shows? I mean, they already have a track record of releasing toys MONTHS after the shows have debuted (and typically after the season is done) for My Little Pony and GI Joe Renegades, but to develop a show with no intention at all of making toys from it? I can’t even fathom why a toy company would do that.

        On the other hand, perhaps the FE stuff was just designed with adult collectors in mind and not kids, but it again seems out of character for Hasbro to create a specialty sub-line for adult collectors that isn’t marketed as such. (For example, they do stuff like Masterpiece editions, but those are clearly marketed as collector pieces, and carry hefty price tags.)

        I doubt we’ll ever get an official explanation from Hasbro, but it’s interesting to speculate.

      • LV

        The “Prime was never meant to have a toyline” is a misconception based on Hasbro’s poor choice of words at BotCon two years ago, when they attempted to stave off questions about the Prime toys, which they weren’t ready to talk about yet, by saying “We’re not talking about a toyline right now”. The fans interpreted that to mean “there is no toyline”, which is patently absurd when it’s intended to be the primary incarnation of Transformers going forward.

        It’s true that FE was intended to fill in the (as it turns out) nonexistent gap between DOTM and the main Prime line, but why those toys weren’t reused in PRID instead of entirely new molds, I don’t know.

        The best bet, sadly, is simply that the FE toys are too large and complex to use extensively at the rapidly-shrinking Deluxe price point. But only Hasbro really knows right now.

      • Nik

        Ragetreb is mostly correct. Like LV says prime was meant to have a toyline, it’s just that the toyline couldn’t get out soon enough b/c of retailer interest/DOTM so the first few figures were planned for generations (Some major scheduling and production issues both on Hasbro’s end and retailers end MUST have happened in this time frame as well. Switching from Generations to FE must have taken a much longer time then they had anticipated, and by time everything was ready to go RiD was also ready. Logistics fail.)

        Also FE figures were done by a different team than RiD. RiD is meant to be mainline and also intended to have simpler transformations to be more accessible to children. Between that and the timing of release/production/retailers/cancellations it was too late to simply release FE figs in RiD. I’m sure they will eventually come out in one form or another, but this stuff takes loads of time to organize so it will be a while.

        /educated guessing

  • Bigbot

    Hasbro should have just released these figures for the Robots in Disguise line. If people were complaining about how complex the Transformers were, Hasbro could take care of that with later releases of different characters.

  • da man

    How different is this Takara version compared to the one I have been seeing in stores by Hasbro?

  • Mister Riddler

    Great review. Like everyone is saying it’s a shame about the prime figures. I missed out on the first editions, saw them once during the holiday shopping season. Couldn’t afford them and poof! Gone. I really want to buy some of the Takara ones… but soo rich!

  • Wow! a prime figure that doesnt disgust me…color me suprised
    Great Review!

  • […] Click here to visit the full article: It'sAllTrue.Net » Reviews […]

  • 3B

    I hope Hasbro finds a way to release these in the US eventually. I have the RID version and he’s underwhelming especially considering how the FE has flip out hand cannons. He’s not even as impressive as the rest of the RID figures (except maybe Bumblebee, don’t have him, yet)!

  • Josh

    The FE debacle certainly is a head scratcher. I was lucky enough to find ‘Bee, Arcee, and Starscream at retail. Never did see anything past that, though. I’d have killed for that FE Bulkhead, but now I know I’ll likely never have one for a decent price. If at all. Heck, even that Entertainment Pack had a Deluxe Megatron that far outshines the Voyager available now.

    Having some of the FE figures makes it really difficult for me to truly enjoy the Prime RID line. The figures just don’t match the quality of the FE figures, and thats a real shame. There are still some good figures to be had in the RID line, but imagine how much cooler a FE Wheeljack could have been.

    • 3B

      I don’t think Wheeljack suffers as much as the other figures. The worst part of Megatron is his vehicle mode and Optimus’ only reissue is the lack of red on his torso and forearms. Ratchet ends up faking a lot and not adding his “heartbeat” design on the truck was just plain stupid.

      • JamesLynch

        Ratchet’s the wrong size class, plain and simple. In the show, he’s almost the same size as Bulkhead, and much larger than Arcee and Bumblebee.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Even with RageTreb’s well-timed explanation recap, the decision to completely abandon one extremely limited-edition mould (our moulds, as it seems to apply to multiple characters) in favour of an altogether new version (by Hasbro, the people who practically wrote the book on repaints and kitbashes in modern toy lines, no less) completely baffles me. I am at an utter loss for words, and I am known for my predilection for sesquipedalian magniloquence. (Man, it’s a challenge typing that declaration when drunk.)

    Anywho, because Britain gets the dregs of what toy companies produce, and our area in particular (Torbay) gets Jack Shynola, the only TransFormers products I’ve seen so far beyond the Dark of the Moon items are the Robots in Disguise toys. The RiD Cliffjumper I found in a supermarket is pretty good, but it looks like your F.E. Prime Cliffjumper is even better. Screwed again, because I live outside the U.S. of A.

    But at least I bagged a Soundwave.

  • Fire King Xi

    Meh. I’ve got both the Takara First Edition and RID versions of Cliffjumper. I wish I could combine the two and make one bestest version of the character. Both versions have their strong points. The FE CJ has the better head sculpt, tinted windows, and I like the hand/guns swap feature. The RID version has a better chest, better leg design, and a smoother alt mode (I had to paint the windows because I could stand them being clear).

  • JamesLynch

    ” But if you get the opportunity to snag a First Edition for a decent price, then go for it.”

    And this is why I own the RiD Cliffjumper. While, in my eyes, FE Jumper is clearly the superior figure, the going price (last I checked) is about triple what TRU is charging for the RiD version, and that’s already 20% more than what Target and Walmart are charging. I’d really like to have the FE version, but I can’t justify dropping that kind of scratch on a deluxe class TF right now.

    Also, I can’t help but wonder if the real reason you never much liked Cliffjumper before is perhaps the same reason I never did; he wasn’t The Rock. Classic Cliffjumper is kind of a whiny punk, and CJ really hasn’t had much face time since G1 aside from occasionally being a repaint of Bumblebee. Prime is the first series where I liked CJ, and most of that comes from him being Dwayne Johnson. I really wish they hadn’t killed him off, since he quickly became one of my favorite characters. My toy shelf exists in an alternate reality where Cliffjumper survived and Bumblebee’s useless ass got offed instead.

  • Nik

    Don’t like I had to overpay for this guy, but hes fun enough I almost forgot how much he cost. Recommended.

  • Kat

    My kids are fans of the modern versions of Transformers. They don’t like much the old versions we saw in our days but i think they’re starting to become real transformers fans. they are a bit curious about the other characters from the old versions and has been looking through the net for them. I guess i was kind of happy seeing them appreciate the things we enjoyed in our days. Thanks for a great post!

  • I have all the FE Prime but BULKHEAD 🙁 Actually.. I have 2 or more of all of them…
    so really I need 2 BULKHEADS ! ! ! AHHAAAAAA ! AHA ! ! !

    I’m ready to pay $200.00 CDN for (1) MISB Hasbro BULKHEAD.

    I know…

    CRAZY ! ! !