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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review: Incinerator

Name: Incinerator
Function: none given
Scale: 1/83

Since the movie managed to push merchandise beyond Hasbro's wildest dreams, the company decided to create some new toys based on other vehicles prominently featured in the film. Incinerator is one such figure, helping to pad out the end of the Movie line.

I picked up Incinerator after figure out that it was basically a large version of the Armada Minicon. Incinerator has more-or-less the same quirks as his little cousin Makeshift, but features some new tricks as well.

Osprey V22 mode:

Incinerator's alternate mode is that of the Osprey, the distinctive dual propeller helicopter/plane hybrid featured in the beginning of the movie. While looking up the measurements to work out the scale, I did stumble on the estimated R&D cost of the Osprey: some 75+ billion dollars over a development period of more than twenty years. Unfortunately for Incinerator, I can't really look at the poor thing without recalling that figure.

On the bright side, the toy itself has some neat features. In addition to the keen attention to realistic detail as most movie toys have, the props actually work. Pulling on the radar dish on the tail of the aircraft causes the props to spin; a feature which strangely beckons me while the helicopter sits on my desk. The props can rotate from vertical to horizontal even while spinning, just as the real Osprey can. It also has retractable landing gear, adding to the authenticity of the mode.

The colors are a bit of a problem for the disguise, though. Incinerator's arms are blue and purple, and are visible underneath the wings. It affects the realism of the helicopter in a way, but it's nothing too garish.

Robot mode:

Incinerator's robot mode is quite intimidating, what with wielding the two large propellers. I can't help but wonder how the poor fellow ties his shoes, though. Incinerator has decent articulation in his legs, and has no problems balancing since the tail of the aircraft drags on the ground. Unlike his smaller Minicon counterpart, Incinerator has a gearing system that runs through the tail, preventing it from folding up against the robot's back.

The robot mode reveals more sculpted details as well. Much of the interior plane mechanisms have been molded into areas that aren't visible in the helicopter mode, so Incinerator appears even more mechanoid than, say, Blackout.

The last thing to mention, and the real selling point of the toy, is THE ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL GEARING SYSTEM that allows the propellers to spin even with seven points of articulation in each arm. To me, this completely rectifies the lack of hands. Incinerator has more joints in his arms than other figures his size anyway, let alone the fact that he has a gearing system running through each one and down to a trigger on his tail. Incinerator's gear design and poseability are also quite impressive when considering how weak most of the other robot/helicopters I've bought are.

Incinerator may not have any character draw to him, but he's a real gem of engineering.

Transformation: 6. It's incredibly simple, but at the same time, getting the plates on the bottom of the aircraft to unlock can be maddening.
Durability: 9. Even with all his joints, Incinerator should survive quite a bit of rough-and-tumble falling-off-desks.
Fun: 10. Spinning the propellers is strangely soothing...
Price: 7. Incinerator is big enough to be in the $20 class, but he is a bit of a one-trick pony for the price.
Overall: 7. Incinerator is great fun, but he's not for everybody, I'm afraid. He has no character background aside from a paragraph on the box, and he doesn't have hands. Both are qualities that probably limit his appeal. He's a wonderfully designed toy though, and a great upscaling of a Minicon to boot. I will say that he's the best helicopter Transformer that I've bought, for what it's worth.
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