Cliffbee.com: Beast Wars Inferno Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Inferno
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Infantry Commander
Alternate Mode: Ant



ANT MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 22cm Width: 11cm

   A transparent red ant with black legs and antennae, silver mouthparts and violet eyes. Much of the thorax is composed of a solid red plastic - but the two plastics are close enough to one another that the transparent look is continuous. There are some green painted patterns on the thorax and abdomen, rounding out a simple very effective colour scheme. The transparent red plastic works really well, giving Inferno a pearl red look, since the colour is quite dense. The abdomen actually has silver paint inside, helping with the pearl effect.

   The size of this ant mode is impressive, and at this scale there's room for quite a bit of detail. While ants are fairly simple beasts (and never as large as this toy), the legs are well sculpted, Inferno has compound eyes and the general bodyshape is good. Inferno's ant shape is actually better than those of most other BW insects - with all three bodyparts clearly defined and virtually nothing in the way of robot pieces hanging off.

   Inferno is quite poseable, with ball joints at the base of all six legs and two hinge joints on the front and rear sets of legs. The mouthparts can open and close while the antennae can lift up as one. There is a huge drawback, mind you. Inferno's poseability doesn't translate into stability. While he can stand up, there are only so many poses that work - many will result in the thing falling in a heap if one or more of the ball joints gives way.

   Despite the less than perfect articulation, this is a good ant mode. He's tricky to stand, but it's still quite doable. The red works really well - and makes the name reuse quite appropriate, while the bodyshape and sculpting are great. If only all insect alt modes were as good as this.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's quite a few minor aspects that are hard to describe, but the rear legs become the robot legs, the front pair the arms, the ant head becomes the chestplate while the robot head is hidden inside the robot thorax. The mouthparts become a handheld weapon while the abdomen optionally opens out to become a set of thrusters on his rump.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 15cm

   Again mainly transparent red, Inferno has a silver head with white teeth, red eyes and black antennae. The insect eyes are on his chest while his shinplates are black. The colours again work very well, with the fan and thrusters on his butt are silver when viewed from behind. Yes, I know that sounds awful - but it's hard to get away from the fact that Inferno has a giant blender on his skidplate.

   The face looks downright demonic - in fitting to his cartoon characterisation. There are claws instead of true hands, but his weapon plugs in underneath the claws, which works very well. The black shinplates are actually detachable black missiles, which fit into the weapon, which has a launcher built in. The overall sculpt is fairly similar to that of the ant mode - simple yet effective. With the weaponry, head and that fan on his back, Inferno doesn't need a complex sculpt to look good.

   The weapon actually splits into two distinct pieces - the outer piece, which incorporates the mouthparts, becomes a sort of claw weapon while the inner, silver piece, is purely a missile launcher. This launcher is accessible in ant mode, although you'll have to detach the tip of one of the back legs to use it - which is self defeating since he won't be able to stand. Anyway... both the weapons look good, just as the compound weapon does. There's a button on the thruster section, when you press it the four blades of the fan spin. It works reasonably well, and the idea is very cool. This fan was used as part of his flight mechanism in the show to great effect, part of a very memorable character.

   Poseability is great, without the same caveat as the ant mode. Sure, this robot mode is a little back heavy with the entire abdomen on the back - but the blender butt is worth it. The shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and neck are all ball jointed, and there are a wide array of stable poses available. The fan blades do get in the way of some poses - but you can fold the abdomen away if you need to.

   A great robot mode thanks to good colours, useful weapons and a kickass gimmick on his rump. Inferno's proof that a simple gimmick can work well without getting in the way of the toy itself. The blender in the abdomen feels like it was designed simply to give this large piece of plastic something to do in the robot mode, but this _works_ - the gimmick doesn't overwhelm the robot mode and ruin it - instead it compliments a solid robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Antagony, a Botcon exclusive, is a repaint of Inferno. The rather crappy Transmetal toy Scavenger represents the same character.

OVERALL

   While this toy bears to semblance to G1 Inferno, it is certainly worthy of a G1 name reuse - and the name has been used well. Both modes are strong with good colours and detailing. The ant shape is great, and while it's not quite as stable as I'd like, it still works well. The robot mode is excellent thanks to a nifty gimmick added on the back - which was used to great effect in the BW cartoon. Inferno was such a memorable character in the cartoon that I can't see too many Beast Wars fans _not_ wanting this toy. Even if you ignore the cartoon, Inferno is worth picking up - 8.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.