Cliffjumper was an Autobot Mini Vehicle released in 1984 with the first wave of Generation 1. Cliffjumper transforms into a super-deformed Porsche 924 Carrera GT. The Carrera GT was a special racing-homologation model, revealed even in Cliffjumper’s unfortunate proportions by the four small rectangular inlets on the front edge of his hood.
His mold was originally part of Takara’s 1983 Microman: Microchange line as MC04 Mini CAR Robo 01: Porsche Turbo 924 in three colors: red, yellow, and blue. (Despite the packaging clearly stating the “924” marque, his rear fenders still indicate otherwise.) Unlike Diaclone, the Mini CAR robo were actually meant to resemble toy vehicles rather than real vehicles. Takara elected to style Cliffjumper after their popular non-transforming Penny Racers toy cars, including Cliffjumper’s head plate being intended to represent the slot that would hold a “penny” or other coin as a counterweight.
Cliffjumper has chrome wheels shod in Dunlop-branded rubber tires, which he shares with wave-mates and fellow Mini CAR Robos Bumblebee and“Bumper”, as well as the actual Takara Penny Racers (sold in the US as Tonka Turbo Tricksters). He shares his simple transformation scheme with them as well. His arms pull out to the sides, allowing his hood and front fenders to be pulled down to form his feet, and lastly folding open his head from the rear of the vehicle. Due to the similarity, he is often thought of as a retool of Bumblebee, but in reality, they only share a few internal pieces. He is molded in only two colors, with red for the body, and black forming the windows, underbody, and arms. A die-cast metal plate on the bottom of the figure adds weight and holds all the other pieces in place.
Date stamp location: under hood of vehicle (bottom of robot feet)
Rubsign location: None (1984), or center of roof (1985)
Unfortunately, he also shares several design weaknesses with his brethren. His feet are attached by thin plastic hooks on either side of an ankle pin. If his feet are pulled in the wrong direction, or too hard, these hooks can break. His head hinge can wear easily, causing his head to droop back or fall forward back into the car. The internal pins connecting his arms can break or become disjointed, leaving him both armless and without wheels. Additionally, pushing Cliffjumper’s arms in when they are misaligned can stress or bend the produding corners of his rear fenders. Many specimens may have minor stressmarks in this area.
Cliffjumper was released in two primary variations, perhaps the most noticeable in Transformers history: with an entirely red body, or entirely yellow. Both colors were available earlier as Microchange releases, but an interview with Hasbro executive George Dunsay states the variation was released deliberately to plump up the early appearance of Transformers variety in stores.
Cliffjumper has two clear mold lineages. The first mold (from the Microchange era) shot the Type 1, and was revised as the Type 2a and 3a, with the 2a revision probably coming after the second mold started its production as Type 2b. The 2a and 3a do have a telltale ring beneath the ©Takara Co. Ltd. stamps. The first mold was retired before the shift to ©Hasbro stamping in late 1985. The second mold was revised from 2b to 3b, 4, and later Hubcap, though it never gained the textured ankles of the 2a and 3a. Since the mold was converted to produce Hubcap, there is no direct parallel Type 5 Bumblebee from 1986. Japan likely got Types 3a and 3b. All types are available in red or yellow.
Type 1 Pre-rubsign, "Takara Japan" stamp (in circle), tapered head hinges, smooth ankles, posts in front bumper
Type 2a Pre-rubsign, "創作・著作物 ©Takara Co. Ltd. 1980-1984 Japan" stamp, tapered head hinges, textured ankles, bumps in front bumper
Type 2b Pre-rubsign, "創作・著作物 ©Takara Co. Ltd. 1974-1983 Japan" stamp, tapered head hinges, smooth ankles, straight front bumper
Type 3a With rubsign, "創作・著作物 ©Takara Co. Ltd. 1980-1984 Japan" stamp, tapered head hinges, textured ankles, bumps in front bumper
Type 3b With rubsign, "創作・著作物 ©Takara Co. Ltd. 1974-1983 Japan" stamp, tapered head hinges, smooth ankles, straight front bumper
Type 4 With rubsign, "創作・著作物 ©Takara Co. Ltd. 1974-1983 Japan ©Hasbro 1980-1984" stamp, tapered head hinges, smooth ankles, straight front bumper
An international variation of Cliffjumper also exists for Mexico:
Type 3MX Pre-rubsign, 創作・著作物 ©Takara Co. Ltd. 1980-1984 [BLOCK] ©Hasbro 1980-1984, tapered head hinges, textured ankles, bumps in front bumper, less saturated red. (Also available in yellow, blue, silver, and white)
Cliffjumper was available in US and UK the first wave of 1984. Like most 1984 releases, Cliffjumper was available again in 1985, having traded the Autobot logo on his roof for a rubsign in the same location. This version was also released as Cliff in Japan’s G1 - Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers. Also, like the other 1984 Minibots, some 1985 releases included a Mini-Spy. The yellow version (and in rare instances the red) was released with a book and cassette-tape adventure as part of Hasbro’s multi-franchise Listen ’N’ Fun series. Cliffjumper has not been reissued in his original form due the mold being permanently modified to create Hubcap. Cliffjumper was solicited as a mail-away in 1986, but the toy provided was actually Hubcap.
Case Assortments (Item#/Asst#): 1984: (E5702/5700), 4 per 24; 1985: Mini Vehicles with Mini-Spy (E5702/5709), 4 per 24; Mini Vehicles Assortment 2 (E5702/5710), 1 per 24
Packaging: Blister card with instructions and Tech Spec on back, displayed in vehicle mode (1984), or robot mode (1985)
Robot Points: 1/2 Autobot
Redecos & Retools
Cliffjumper was recolored by Estrela in Brazil and Antex in Argentina to produce Carrera in several variations, and retooled in 1986 to make Hubcap. New tooling was created in in 2001 by Fun 4 All as a keychain. The keychain was available in Japan in 2003, blind-packed in either his traditional red, or a black “chase” version. The keychain was in turn recolored for BotCon Europe2002 Tap-Out. The Cliffjumper keychain was reissued by Basic Fun as part of the Heroes of Cybertron line in 2006.