Cliffbee.com: Energon Inferno Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Inferno
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck



FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A red fire truck with a silver water cannon top and transparent blue windows. Inferno has a black front bumper with a dark bronze paint along the bottom, six black tyres with gunmetal painted hubcaps and a black platform on the back with gunmetal grip. The strobes on his roof are transparent blue while the rack between them is gunmetal. There's some metallic mid blue here and there - most notably on the nozzle of his water cannon. The colours used here are all good - the red is a given really but the blue, silver and gunmetal all look good without making Inferno gaudy. The dark bronze is a really unusual shade of plastic which is also present on the left side of the truck (the left side sports his stamped Autobot logo). Unlike many Energon toys, Inferno's name is a well placed tribute. While this truck doesn't look all that much like his G1 counterpart, the link is immediately obvious.

   While Inferno's tribute works better than many of his contemporaries, he also falls into the trap of some other Energon toys - his head is readily visible in truck mode. The silver helmet is very visible behind the stroberack, although the face has been covered by blue panels at least. The side panels have support legs moulded onto them (these legs do not drop down) while there is some generic hosing on the cannon and the sides. There's a lot of detail in the sculpt in general, actually.

   The cannon arm sits to the right side on top, and while the tip is quite obviously a missile, it works fairly well as a nozzle. Okay, it's still lazy, but at least the illusion isn't ruined. At the base of the crane arm, to the left and slightly to the rear, is a water tank which slopes backwards - and helps the water cannon look less like a missile launcher. The blue missile thanks to a button on top near its base. It also rotates, thanks to a gearing system - turning the tank will causing the arm to point in the same direction. The arm lifts to about 70 and can swing through about 180 before the tank gets in the way.

   The range of motion of the arm is a little disappointing, but the rotating gimmick is interesting and the missile launcher certainly a well integrated weapon. The colours work well and while they vary from those on his G1 namesake, the tribute is very much intact. The visible robot head is annoying, even if the face is covered, since it's so obviously a head. The head really hurts, although this is still a reasonable fire truck mode, if not a terribly realistic one.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Simple for a deluxe. Swing back the side panels, swing down the wheelbase to form his legs. Split and flip up his feet. Split the top of the top at the back, swing out to the sides and down to form his arms. Open the blue panels to reveal his face. Rotate the cannon arm now on his right arm to form forearm-mounted launcher.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 11.5cm (without weapon)

   Again red with silver, black and metallic mid blue, Inferno's thighs, helmet and gun are silver while the feet and forearms are black and his fists and face are blue. His eyes are blue while the area around his face is painted gold and the blue windscreen is his chest and the bumper his groin. Those blue face panels stick out to either side and evoke the white wings of the G1 Inferno, which is a really cool aspect here. The Autobot logo is on his right shoulder while there are gunmetal springs (well, plastic designed to look like springs) on his boots. Again the colours work together well despite not being a direct tribute to G1.

   Inferno's robot mode is blocky and solid, with big broad shoulders and rectangular legs. The left shoulder sports a spark crystal on top while both shoulders have hardpoints on the front. The chest is the front window, which sits vertical, meaning the bumper-groin actually faces down rather than forward. The front-of-truck torso and wings provide the homage, but the blocky shape and abundance of blues ensure this is a distinct robot mode. The face is well sculpted, looking good in metallic blue.

   The poseability here is pretty good for an Energon deluxe. The head can lift up although it looks a little unnatural. The shoulders and elbows rotate and hinge, giving him full arm movement, save for the static wrists. The hips are double jointed with swivels just below them to complement the hinged knees. There are heelspurs which you can fold out from behind his shins, but you don't really need to for most poses and if you do the shins will become partially hollow, so leave them up if you can.

   The rear pairs of wheels sit on the outsides of his shins, and outside those are the crane mode side panels which have three moulded barrels, while the palmguards over his hands are designed to resemble ranged weaponry also. The cannon arm sits on his right forearm, and while it swings around you can't detach it as a hand weapon (unlike the crane arm on the later retool, Roadblock.

   As cool as the face and wings are, I don't like the fact that the cannon arms is fixed - it's not a bad weapon but it does overwhelm him to an extent. The poseability is good, the colours are nice, and the tribute works quite well. The missile launcher makes a nice weapon, even if it does need to attach. It's not a great robot mode but he certainly has some positives.

POWERLINXING

   The simplicity of his transformation becomes obvious when you combine this guy - both upper and lower half modes are good. The upper half sees the legs swing up to become overhead cannons (with the heelspurs acting as barrels) while the lower half uses the heelspurs as feet and the hands reach down to become shins - making it one of the few lower halves without arms hanging off somewhere (although it does make the legs unposeable). Inferno's connector is inside his cabin, the front of which folds down.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, but as mentioned Roadblock is a repaint and significant retooling of Inferno.

OVERALL

   Both a nice G1 tribute and his own character, Inferno has some really nice aspects, but he's a little unrefined, which is common for Energon toys. The fixed weapon in robot mode and the poorly concealed head in truck mode are problems that drag down a toy with nice colours and good poseability. Roadblock is a distinct improvement, but I can still appreciate Inferno since he powerlinxes well and displays well. I wouldn't search high and low, and if you have the choice I'd grab Roadblock instead, but Inferno has some good features - 5.5/10

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