Cliffbee.com: Doubleclouder Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Doubleclouder
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron/Destron
Function: Mercenary
Alternate Mode: Missile Tank

Thanks to heroic decepticon for loaning me Doubleclouder for this review



MISSILE TANK MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 17cm Width: 7cm

   A dark turquoise missile tank with eight black plastic wheels and a large white missile on top featuring a silver tip, Doubleclouder has a cabin on the front right side featuring red painted windows. There are hints of red and purple here and there along with some white under the missile. The chestplate tacked onto the back of the missile is chromed gold. He's a repaint of Doubledealer, based on the same turquoise but with much of the supporting colours changed. The bracket holding the missile is composed of black plastic, which makes it nice and neutral. There are some stickers here and there, but none pointing out his faction, as befitting a mercenary. The designer has made this mode neutral, which fits into the idea of Doubleclouder lacking any true loyalty. The colour scheme here works quite well, since the dark turquoise and white are both fairly neutral - ensuring that the colourful outbursts don't clash.

   It's a fairly generic missile tank, which is to expected for something that has to unfold into two distinct modes. There's not a lot of _kibble_ either, although a few Autobot mode elements can be discerned. The bracket is the robot head but the face underneath isn't immediately obvious, the blocks at the black underneath the missiles are the arms, the fists are visible at the back. The baby blue chestplate which plugs into the back of the missile is pure kibble, but you can detach it and set it aside if you prefer.

   There's not much play value here, which is to be expected of a toy from this era. The Godmaster bay sits underneath the bracket, and either the red or lilac engines can be plugged in. The gold chestplate serves as a storage location for the other engine, so if you set that one aside you can't stow both Godmaster figures. Given the likelihood of the chrome getting scratched, I'd recommend leaving the chestplate and second Godmaster aside here. The eight wheels roll fairly well and the missile can lift up to around 25. You can remove the missile, although it wont fire.

   On the whole I'm pretty impressed with this vehicle mode. It's more than just the block it needs to be to service two robot modes, thanks to the well placed missile and the cabin on one side. There's not much kibble, all things considered, and the colours work. My only real complaint is the heavy use of chrome on the chestplate - especially that its connecting peg is chromed - I'm not game to plug it in with a borrowed toy!

TRANSFORMATION TO DECEPTICON FALCON MODE

   Detach and set aside the missile, chestplate and red engine. Plug the lilac engine in. Fold up the rear wheel panels, swing up the wheelbays to form legs, flip out the lilac talons, flip him over and stand him up. Fold out and extend the wings, open the lilac panel on his back to reveal the eagle head, flip out and rotate the head, close the panel. Plug the missile in using the post towards the rear, into the socket towards the tail. Plug the gold chestplate piece in as a sort of tail.

EAGLE MODE
Height: 16cm Depth: 19cm Width: 25cm

   Again based on dark turquoise, Doubleclouder has lilac wings and talons while his tail is gold and his and head silver with some baby blue. His eyes are black and the lower jaw is red. The missile and parts of his back are white. Again there are various stickers, including a large Decepticon logo on his back and a smaller one on top of his head. The addition of more lilac and white makes this mode quite bright, but not garish as is the case in Doubledealer. The head is well painted, the effect is much nicer than the unpainted head of his anglophone counterpart.

   Considering it transforms into a fairly blocky missile truck, this is a pretty good bird of prey mode. Sure, it's essentially an upside down truck with bird elements unfolded to cover the block, but it works quite well. The talons, wings and head are all very well sculpted for the period - the wings even have feathered detailing, which really does a lot for Doubleclouder's bird mode. The beak is hooked and has teeth - not that falcons have those - which helps cement this is his "evil" mode (not that a mercenary Autobot is especially heroic, mind you). The tail is fairly awkward, since it's a kibble block, and underneath it lies the front of the truck - complete with four visible wheels. Again I'd recommend leaving it off anyway, to save chrome wear.

   There's not a lot of play value here, which is again to be expected, but the designer has given Doubleclouder what was possible. The lower jaw opens and shuts while the hips and ankles are hinged, allowing for some change in pose - and this bird is actually pretty easy to stand. The missile can be split, and with two holes on top and the bracket underneath, you have a variety of place where you can place the halves - each of which carries a post - or the combined missile. Again this might mean you dispense with the chestplate piece (and therefore the tail), but that's a good thing. You don't have to leave the lilac engine in place once the bird is transformed, so if you prefer you can place the bat Godmaster alongside this Decepticon mode and place the red engine in the bracket.

   A pretty good bird mode for something that becomes a missile tank. The play value is admirable and the missile provides some options. The sculpt is very focussed for a Godmaster even if falcons don't have teeth. The tail's uselessness is my only real complaint, and that's partly because of chrome.

TRANSFORMATION TO AUTOBOT ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the missile, chestplate and lilac engine. Plug the red engine in. Flip the front out to form his boots, rotate them so the front wheels face down. Stand him up. Pivot the blocks back to form arms, swing down his forearms. Fold the bracket up to form his head, plug the chestplate into place. Split the missile and plug the front half onto the post on either shoulder as a shouldercannon, give him the rear half as a handgun. Plug the lilac engine into the socket on his... skidplate.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 21cm Width: 11cm

   Again mainly turquoise, this time support is offered by the gold chestplate along with white & red on the rest of his torso. His thighs are baby blue while his head and forearms are black. His face is blue with red eyes and a silver mouth area. There's no lilac here, which is a good thing - it would have clashed with the blue. The colours are a tad garish now, and while there's less blue than on Doubledealer, there's more happening. There are various stickers here and there, again there are two faction symbol stickers - one on each shoulder.

   This is a blocky and static looking robot. The head looks like it's part of the torso even though this isn't the case, and the knees look fixed while the boots spread out to the sides a little, which ids a little awkward. This isn't to say it's an unattractive robot mode, it just looks like Doubleclouder will have trouble moving. The chestplate looks decent and the red engine looks good as a groinplate. There's some asymmetry here - the cabin sits on the outside of his right boot, making it wider than the left boot.

   The play value is of a similar standard to his other modes. The elbows swing, his hips swing out to the side and the knees rotate. While the first two are required for the transformation, the hip movement is not - it's purely for robot mode. I'm not sure why they only swing out, but I'm glad the joints were added. The missile halves can be combined as a giant shoulder-mounted missile or they can both be placed in either hand - or you can go for the "standard" configuration of one weapon in each hand. Again you can detach the red engine, although he looks better _with_ it attached. The lilac engine does not look good on the front of this robot, since it creates an awkward colour clash. You do have the option of placing his sidekicks alongside again.

   A solid robot mode with nice weapon options and a decent colour scheme. It's fairly static looking but the poseability is on par with most G1 toys. It's not really any better or worse than the falcon mode, but it's far less ambitious, since it's the truck block unfolded (with a bird folded up on his back, quite compactly). While not as impressive as the bird mode in that respect, it's just as convincing. The overall impact is about the same as Doubledealer.

Godmaster Minifigure

   A red and white robot with a dark blue face, this is Clouder, the sentient human Godmaster as he appeared in the cartoon (more or less). It's also the "Autobot component", unlocking the robot mode. The engineblock mode is red and mid blue with white six-cylinder block on top.

Godmaster Bat

   A lilac bat in a standing-with-wings-open pose, this one wasn't really seen in the cartoon, since unlike Doubledealer, Doubleclouder was presented with a single Godmaster. Anyway, it has a rich yellow painted chest and an unpainted lilac head. It's the only non humanoid sidekick Hasbro produced in the "master" lines (although Takara produced a few and sold them separately). The engine mode is purple with a white engineblock.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, this toy is a repaint of Doubledealer. For whatever reason, Doubleclouder was presented in the cartoon in Doubledealer's colours.

OVERALL

   Firstly, I'd only recommend this toy to absolute completists, since Doubledealer is effectively what featured in Masterforce and is easier to come by. Having said that, this is a nice enough repaint with many subtle colour swaps. The chrome is a bit of a liability but everything else works nicely. Doubleclouder has three solid modes, two decent partners and a surprisingly consistent focus on providing some play value. As triple changers go, he's quite convincing and the ambition of the idea is well matched by good execution. As mentioned I'd grab the easier-to-obtain anglophone version instead, but if you happen across this one for a good price instead, I'd happily recommend it 7.5/10

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