I’m not ACTUALLY in the Bayformer movie; in other words, I don’t look as mangled-faced ugly as the rest.
If there’s one thing I like, it’s a long name. I was this close to calling this post Hasbro’s Transformers Movie All-Spark Powered Deluxe Stockade. But figured, nah. More updates to the blog to come soon-ish, but for now, let’s get the lo-down on Stockade.
If there’s one thing that virtually every Transformers Movie toy review’ll say, it’s “If you like the movie aesthetic”, which is code for “These are the equivalent of Transformers Troll-Dolls, they’re butt ugly and you should buy them for the same reason you’d get Troll-Dolls”. Fortunately, Stockade escapes the need to actually say “If you like the movie aesthetic”. Since he wasn’t in the movie, not REALLY, it means Stockade, while somewhat resembling the movie style, does not have the Michael Bay Thumbs-Up of Approval. In other words, Stockade is not hideous by default.
As with many Transformers toy reviews, let’s start with the mode it was packaged in, the SUV mode. It’s a good mode. Solid. A black SUV as you can see, with a minimal of robot bits (kibble) sticking out. It even has an openable trunk. It’s loosely based on the SUVs that the Sector 7 guys in the movie drove. Overall, it’s good. I really like the car mode, it’s one that I’d be willing to display as is. But as with most Transformers, the car mode is just that, a car. You can roll it along, but you’ll need a kid’s imagination to make it super cool.
***1/2 out of 5.
Next up is transformation. For me, I rate transformation for fun factor as opposed to complicatedness. While Stockade’s transformation is quite simple for a modern Transformer, I do find it to be cool. That said, it’s not a transformation I can do over and over again, like Cybertron Denfense Hot Shot’s, who was simple yet a great stress buster as you transform him to and fro whilst paying no real heed. So overall, Transformation is good but there’s no kick to it.
**1/2 out of 5.
Now for the robot mode, and if y’ask me, this is where Stockade shines. Don’t get me wrong, car mode’s really good and transformation’s good as well. But the robot mode is only a shade or two short of awesome.
As noted above, this isn’t a Bayformer, meaning they didn’t have to give him a face that looked like so much mashed up Play Doh. In fact, somewhat rare for a Movie toy, Stockade has an actual face. While we’re on his looks, I recall seeing a review on YouTube that said Stockade has no detailing. That is very much utterly wrong. In fact, Stockade has the best kind of detail, the pointless kind. In his car mode, he’s all smooth and sleek. In his robot mode though, he has a huge amount of detailing, even in spots you normally wouldn’t see, like around his ankles/calves, which are obstructed by the hood of his car. Sure, the roof of his car prevents detailing on his arms, but within his arms, every square centimeter of his body, and heck, even the inner sides of his car doors? There’s just loads and loads of alien mechanical detailing on him.
The result is a robot mode that’s very different from the car mode. Both in the sense that the car is “plain” while the robot is detailed, and that the car mode’s very “normal”, while the robot just has this super keen alien vibe to him.
Darn, almost forgot. The colors. Colors work well. Car is all black, while robot has good contrasting black and white. The All-Spark Blue works particularly well here, and it contrasts well with the black/dark upper body. The neon nature of the blue further enhances the alien vibe of the robot mode.
That’s it for looks, but now comes one of the main criteria I judge toys by: articulation.
Hmm… kinda a hard thing here. Oh, the articulation’s good, no doubt about that. But definitely, his car bits get in the way. In particular, the roof of the car really limits his elbow movement. Despite a double jointed set of elbows, Stockade can only bend his arms 90 degrees. Other than that though, he’s peachy, even then, it ain’t so bad.
The movie toys generally have good articulation. Even if the movement will be restricted, they’ll generally throw in a ball jointed neck and even a swivel waist. Somethings that the Transformers from previous lines tended to lack. In Stockade’s case, his waist is unobstructed, but his head has a limited range of motion, which is a shame but not a big bummer unless you were trying to put him in a gorilla stance (like I was).
He has a wide range of motion in the shoulders and hips. I particularly like the shoulders. On the surface, their articulation is limited, but by moving the entire shoulder/shoulder-blade/back assembly, you can not only increase Stockade’s range of motion, but give him a visually more fluid sense of movement. For instance, normally you can’t cross his arms, but move his shoulder blade assembly forward a notch or two, and not only can he cross his arms, but well, it has a more dynamic/organic sense of motion to it.
Oh, and he has articulated fingers, that’s awesome, considering his size/price class.
Finally, Stockade has a pretty good extendo fist gimmick. Pull the white roof bits on his forearms back, and his fists’ll extend. It’s not spring loaded, therein lies their neatness. It’s a simple gimmick that doesn’t hurt the figure, sure, it gives Stockade gorilla arms, but that look is what makes him unique/endearing.
**** out of 5.
Verdict? Stockade’s good. He’s solid in both modes, and he’s deceptively better than he may seem at first. One of the best Movie Deluxe toys. He’s on par with the likes of Bonecrusher, Landmine and so forth.
**** out of 5.
Edit: There is one MAJOR weakness to Stockade I forgot to mention. His ankles have articulation, which is great. The bad news is, they’re kinda loose. So that’s going to really affect his ability to support his own weight. A little transparent nail polish applied to his ankles will fix it right up though. I thoroughly recommend getting said transparent nail polish, they work wonders in fixing many a Transformers. If you don’t have it though, knock a * off Stockade’s score.