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by yo go re

After exhausting every Transformer who appeared in the movie, Hasbro started in on the tie-in videogame. And when that ran out, it was time for random vehicles that appeared in the movie but never showed any evidence of being alive.


Drawn to Earth by a Decepticon homing signal after the final battle for the AllSpark, Stockade quickly hooked up with Starscream. He's content to follow orders from anyone, as long as those orders involve kicking Autobot tailpipe. Back on Cybertron, he used to threaten neutrals into staying neutral, and punished those who seemed to have a problem with their audio receptors. There's more than enough Autobots on Earth to keep him busy.

Stockade sort of skirts the edge of "being in the movie." His vehicle mode is (STBLDF) a Cadillac Escalade, the SUV of choice for rap stars and other people who love conspicuous displays of affluence - you know, dickholes. An Escalade did show up in the movie when Sam dropped the AllSpark cube, coming to life to strangle its driver with the steering wheel. However, that was just a random car on the street; this one's got Sector 7 insignia. And while the Sector 7 guys did drive black SUVs, they weren't Escalades. Thus, like we said: sort of in the movie, sort of not.

The car itself is nice. The hubcaps have a unique design, and the front grill is neat. There are sculpted door handles, a roof rack, individual tail lights, twin exhaust pipes and even a spot for a license plate. The body is black, while all the glass is translucent blue - that includes the headlights and sunroof. The only ones that don't get the treatment are the side windows in the very back, but that's no great loss. The Sector 7 symbols are silver, and printed on the front doors. The car is 5" long and nearly 2½" wide.

Transformation begins by tipping down the front end of the car. Fold the door panels out to the side and back, rotate the hood around and open up his feet. Flip up the windshield and tailgate, then split the entire top half of the car in two. Fold back the license plate area, and his head raises up. Stockade stands 5¼" tall, and moves at the head, shoulders, elbows, fingers (two joints in each hand), waist, hips, knees and ankles.

This is a much more "classic" design Wild Ride, meet Wide Ride than most of the movie figures have. He's got no parts that look especially insectoid, and would seem right at home among some of the Unicron Trilogy figures. The proportions are a bit skewed, as Stockade has a huge upper body: big chest, wide lats, and monstrous forearms that would make Popeye proud. The look is exaggerated by the spindly thin thighs - he's sort of the opposite of RiD's X-Brawn.

Stockade gets an action feature in robot mode: slide the roof rack remnants back, and his hands shoot forward. It's just a plain gear mechanism, not spring-loaded or anything, and is darn fun, in all honesty: imagine it packs an extra punch (no pun intended) when he's beating on some unlucky Autobot. It's like brass knuckles, except his knuckles might actually be made of brass.

For a movie character that was never in the movie, Stockade is very cool. The vehicle's stylin', the transformation is smooth and the robot - while not problem-free - is distinct and fun. That's what you want from a Transformer, whether it's an original design or not. Stockade may not have appeared in the movie, per se, but that doesn't mean this is a TF you can ignore - he's a violent thug, and if you do leave him behind, he might make you sorry.


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