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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Clay's review of: Beast Wars Inferno

Name: Inferno
Alligence: Predacon
Function: Infantry Commander
"For the Royalty!"
"As you command, my Queen."

Although seemingly slow, this giant ant's abdomen splits into separate quadrants to reveal hyper-drive ion thrusters that propel him at speeds of up to 180 mph! If he can't catch a retreating Maximal, he detaches his rear leg missiles and fires them from the secret launcher hidden within his power-pinching mandibles! The claw-like pinchers also detach so Inferno can put the bite on enemies even in robot mode, when his destructive powers are at their best!

Inferno was one of the last Beast Wars figures I aquired (circa summer 2005). Of course, I only began in the spring, but this one was still towards the end of it. Part of the reason was that none of my normal 'suppliers' had any. When one finally did aquire one (boxed, too!), I jumped on it. What a finalé he turned out to be!

Alternate Mode:
As a Beast Wars-era Mega, Inferno's alternate mode is pretty decent in size. The legs are all ball-jointed, so the posturing capabilities of a real ant are pretty well replicated, but the autonomous motion of a living critter is not. The mandibles are also spring loaded, so one can still pretend to be mauled by a single, giant fire ant without pretending too much.

But enough of that! The real star characteristic of the fire ant is the colorization used. The core body parts (not including abdomen) are of an opaque, pale red and the legs are all translucent. The effect is quite neat: much like holding a flashlight under your own finger tip, Inferno's extremities will light up when back-lit. Of course, actual ants don't do this, but never you mind about that! Enjoy the sublteness of a good idea employed in a piece of posable art, such as Inferno, and to hell with the lack the realism!

Robot Mode:
Inferno's robot mode is faithful to the show. Or maybe the show is faithful to the robot mode...

Anyway, Inferno is pretty stout this way: definately not the kind of figure that you have to play "Jenga" with in order to leave it standing up. This is important, as that big abdomen is left hanging in the back. But is it another useless piece of kibble, as per plagues so many figures? No! The abdomen splits open into four pieces to expose Inferno's naughtiest bit, a jet thruster! Moreover, the jet engine itself has a little knob that you press, making the abdomen couplets spin around. Yes, you too can relive the show by... pressing a button on a robot fire ant's rear end! Is this a cool hobby or what? (Tip: when you open it for the first time, pull up on the quarter with the green paint first, then the two adjacent sides.)

Also, the spring loaded ant mandibles that were mentioned earlier are removable: the jaws can be used as a gauntlet, and the inner piece has a spring to fire the missles, which are exquisitely concealed as part of the aft ant legs. (The two pieces can be left together as one weapon, as well) On television, he could hold the gun by a handle: with the toy, the gun pegs actually fit into holes on what would be the top of the wrists, if ants had wrists. Actually, that's about the only difference between the capabilities of Inferno the figure and the capabilites of Inferno the cartoon character. Pretty nifty overall, if you ask me.

To sum him up, he's a highly articulated, show-accurate rendition of a character that stole my heart with his subservience to his Queen :-)

Transformation: 10. Perfectly done. The alternate mode as an ant is articulated and conceals very well the robot. The weapons and missles all store away in broad sight and blend in sublimely. The transformation itself is quick and yet not so simple as to be on the level of a happy meal toy.
Durability: 9. A few little parts that could be lost defer from the overall "lasting-quality" of the toy itself. Inferno has ball joints that will pop off before being broken, and the toy itself doesn't weigh enough to shatter upon impact from a fall.
Fun: 10. One of my favorties of the 'critter' transfomers, and the 'critter' transformers are some of my favorites of them all to begin with...
Price: X. Old show character, so it depends on when, where, and what condition you get it in. I got mine for $15 in a sealed box (yay!). Most of the auctions on ebay that I've seen that are still boxed are roughly twice that, so I really lucked out.
Overall: 9. Not everybody is a fan of the Beast Wars toys, but this is still a really well designed little toy with a couple of fun gimmicks, and without looking like a folded up robot in the alternate mode. Still, I recommended this to very well most collectors. He's been one of the more satisfying toys in terms of design, concealment, gimmicks, aesthetics, etc, that I've picked up.
 
 
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