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ganon578's review: Inferno

Name: Inferno
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Search & Rescue, Fire-putter-outer
Group: Universe Voyager (Generation 2 Series)

“Where there's smoke, there's me.”

Though search and rescue is his primary function–and one he happens to be very good at–Inferno loves nothing more than a good fight. In fact, he will often abandon his duties or even ignore direct orders, just to go antagonize Decepticons. He especially loves to get up close to his enemies, where the energy-damping field he generates to help suppress fires can eliminate the effectiveness of their weapons. He uses the chemical foam sprayed from his arm cannon to blind opponents as often as he uses it to put out fires.

Inferno was one of those figures I had to have once I saw the photos. Being a fan of Grapple (his mould-mate) anyways, Inferno happened to be a toy that eluded me in my youth. Now he’s back with more articulation, two great modes, and a lot of fun. He’s sticks closely to the Generation 2 figure he’s based on, and he doesn’t disappoint in any respect.

Alternate Mode:

In Generation 1 and 2, Inferno was a fire engine based on a Mitsubishi crane. In the Universe line, he transforms into (according to the box) a “fire rescue truck”, which is basically a shortened version of a fire engine sans a ladder, but comes equipped with a water cannon on top of the truck. He can be better classified as a "pumper truck" which pumps water from a fire hydrant to the hoses. (Thanks Tramp!) It’s sad to see the ladder absent on him, but at least he gets a decent water/chemical foam gun. I don’t know if it’s a worthy trade-off, but it’s definitely not a terrible substitution.

The main colors that make up both of Inferno’s modes are a dark red, black, and a dark grey. The truck itself is highlighted with some white paint applications such as emergency stripes, an Autobot symbol on the front of the truck, and the number “401” on the sides and front of the truck. There are also some silver applications on the front grill and on the sides. The windshield, windows, headlights, and emergency lights are all done in clear plastic, which is a nice detour from the norm of colored, transparent plastics. The plastic itself has a lot of detail (gears, panels, etc.), but it would have been nice to see some fire rescue equipment moulded in like a fire axe, extinguisher, or oxygen masks. The “water” cannon on the top is nicely articulate in that you can swivel it around and tilt it up and down. One flaw with the entire design is the top of the back end of the truck. There’s nothing hiding Inferno’s arms, so they’re available for all to see. Robots in Disguise? Not so much if you’re in a helicopter.

Some might say that Inferno is basically a “brick-former” in that his alternate mode is essentially a glorified brick with do-dads, then transforms into a robot. That may be true, but the alternate mode (such as it is) is well done, and realistically resembles a fire rescue truck while maintaining that “Classics” feel. This mode altogether is quite solid.

Robot Mode:

Inferno’s robot mode is definitely the better of the two modes. His robot mode is blocky, and similar in design to the G2 version of Inferno. The colors and paint apps are the same in this mode, so there’s no real reason to go into detail. Through the transformation to get to robot mode, nothing is incredibly genius, but it’s well done. There is one aspect of the transformation that is interesting, but definitely not needed. To pop up Inferno’s head, all you need to do is pull on one of the emergency lights atop the truck cab, and his head flips up due to its spring-loaded nature. Like I said, definitely not needed, but cool nonetheless.

There are a couple sore spots I need to point out about the robot mode in general: first, there are too many spots where panels from the alternate mode are folded up and stuck all over his arms. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely noticeable, especially on the backs of his shoulders. The second is his torso. While I think it’s nice that the front of the truck makes up the entirety of his chest and abdomen, if you look at him from the side, he’s incredible slim. There’s essentially no back to him. It might have been better to have the folded panels somehow attached to his back instead of all over his arms, therefore eliminating his quirks. What isn’t quirky is his head, and I really dig the mould. It’s incredibly similar to the G1/G2 Inferno head, and the light piping in the eyes in fantastic. It’s interesting too, since instead of just using transparent colored plastic, they used clear plastic, and gave a very fine coating of blue paint on the eyes. The end results are eyes that glow easily without much light behind him.

Inferno is also decently articulated; he doesn’t have joints coming out of every spot, but he has them where he needs them. Couple that with his large feet, and you can balance him in some cool positions. I am somewhat disappointed that his arm cannon does not detach from his forearm, but with such a great overall mode, I’ll take what I can get. Overall, Inferno is well balanced in robot mode, has a blocky (that’s a good thing) shape, and is a near perfect homage to his Generation 2 self.

Marks Out of 10:

Transformation: 6. It’s a fun transformation, not difficult, but it won’t “wow” you.
Durability: 8. He’s incredibly solid, but there are pieces that could break off if dropped.
Fun: 9. He’s blocky like he should be, great balance, a decent weapon, and articulate.
Price: 9. He’s an awesome display and play piece for $20 US.
Overall: 9. There’s a couple of flaws, but this is one of the best Voyager sized Classics/Universe figures out there. If you get the chance to get him, I highly recommend it.
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