Aaaah, help me! TEH LAZINESS! Anyway, here I had one figure I forgot to fully photograph… and another one I haven’t gotten a full roster of. But hey’re from the same movie, so let’s combine ’em! Barricade is one of he most common figures from The Last Knight, and Nitro Zeus-er, Decepticon Nitro – is one of the rarest… unfortunately, because Nitro is one of the best in the whole movie line. So, let’s have a look at both of ’em, okay? Nitro is a Voyager Class figure at $30, while Barricade is a Deluxe Class figure at $20 – there is a distinct size difference between the two, which actually fits their appearance in the film.
Nitro Zeus is named for a cyberattack plan against Iran that was never implemented, but sounded cool! In the movie, he’s the only one of the “new” Decepticons to get any real screen time, since the rest of them were either kept in prison (Barricade), or blown up immediately (everybody else). Mind you, Nitro got his head unceremoniously blown off, but still! He had some screen time! He’s based on one of the Notcepticons from the previous movie (Age of Extinction), though done up a little to resemble Shockwave. The idea is that he intentionally reformatted his design because he and Shockwave were best buds. Now see, movie-Shockwave looked fantastic, even though the character got a wasted. The main actionfigure of SHockwave didn’t totally look right, which leves it to this guy to, ironically, fill in that gap. Nitro does not look like Shockwave aside from the basics of his head design – but he also bears a closer resemblance to Shockwave’s classic look in the cartoon, so it’s a weird Shockwave 2.0 thing he’s got going on. Either way, he’s a big cyclops robot, and he looks great. There is surprisingly little vehicle kibble on him, and in fact Niro looks more like a “complete” ation figure than nearly any other figure in the TLK line!
One of the challenges with CGI characters in movies is that their designs are constantly changing all the way up until the film’s final release. This has been an issue in everything from Star Wars to Transformers to even The Hobbit, and it shows a little here – Nitro Zeus is lacking a lot of the fine details of his movie design, like the barbed wire, graffiti, or gold chain he wore. His box art looks even more different, for some reason giving him four eyes and an entirely different head! However, he really does look enough like in the movie for those details not to matter – you’ll have to supply your own chain, but that’s not too hard to do. And randomly, his head is removable – it an be swapped with any of the Titans Return figures or Cogman’s head, but does not transform into a tiny Headmaster of its own.
Nitro Zeus is armed, and his weapons are not removable. He’s got a gatling gun on one arm – extendable, which also retracts for his transformation.
He’s got a shield on the other arm, which can fold out to look like a crossbow. This actually turns into the cockpit of his vehicle mode.
Nitro Zeus’s transformation is difficult and weird, but fantastic and ingenious – there are a few parts where you have to push at a joint until it makes a loud snapping noise, but it’s not breaking. And unfortunately, his included instructions do not help at all – you will need to look up a written description, or maybe a Youtube review, or something to figure it out. But when you do realize how to transform Nitro, he turns into a fantastic jet!
Now, this is a generic jet fighter, not the one he turns into in the movie, and it has kibble on its underside, but it really looks spectacular.
Barricade is awesome because they keep forgetting to kill him. His death was cut from the first movie, then ambiguous in the third, and so they have decided that he’s just a permanently-surviving Decepticon. It helps that he actually has lines and stuff, though his design changes a lot between movies and you kind of have to be told that it’s the same character. But still! Barricade is fairly prominent in TLK, and survives again.
Again, he’s based on a slightly older CGI model, but he is recognizable from the movie – at least his face mostly is. Unlike Nitro Zeus, Barricade has a fair amount of car kibble, more than he does in the film. His head has changed since his last movie appearance, though if you squint you can see the resemblance.
One of the things that changed at the last minute was the manner in which Barricade has “gone native” over the years – his alt form displayed “To punish and enslave” instead of “To protect and serve,” but in the movie he actually has PUNISH and ENSLAVE on his brass knuckles. The toy, however, reflects an earlier design that had PROTECT and SERVE.
He’s also started arming himself like a cop – it’s funny, because Barricade used to speak in Cybertronian, and his robot form wasn’t all Earthy. But here he is, with a baton and service pistol, all done up like a fanboy. But then, the Decepticons really do have this as a theme in TLK – they’re stranded on Earth, they lost their Cybertron home base, and they’ve started to incorporate things like Christmas lights, gold chains, and brass knuckles into their designs. They even speak English now!
Barricade has an ordinary nightstick, which holsters on his hip as well as fitting into his hand.
The gun can also be holstered, and man, he’s really committed to this bit, isn’t he? Other Trasformers are firing exploding laser blasts, while he’s got himself a pistol. Eat hot lead, space robots!
That gauntlet is removable, and can give his alt form a roof-mounted set of missile launchers. Or he can just wear it like a bracelet in robot mode.
Barricade also has an unplanned “Feature!” If you are careful – CAREFUL – you can pop the main car kibble off his back and turn it into a riot shield, using his baton for the handle! It’s nice, even if unintentional, and adds to his display options. If you manage to get him to hold the “shield” without using the baton, you can also incorporate it and make him into a robotic SWAT cop.
Barricade doesn’t just become a police car, he becomes a Saleen – which is hilarious, because there are VERY FEW of those ultra-expensive sports cop cars out there, and they mostly exist for display rather than actual patrol. Still, it’s nice to know that he’s ridin’ in style.
Although the car has some seam issues, it’s got good detailing – yes, including “Punish and enslave.” Ha!
Barircade may not be as impressive as Nitro Zeus, but he’s pretty servicable for this recurring, surviving character.
Well, there you go – both are good figures on their own, but Nitro Zeus is possibly the best thing to come out of the movie toyline! Barricade is good in his own way, though h doesn’t match the movie design quite as much as Nitro. Still, both have solid transformations and robot forms, and come with their fair share of little details.