I’m just about done closing the gap of older Classics/Generations figures missing from the FFZ Archive. In fact, unless I discover a hold out among my storage totes, Inferno here may very well be the last one. That means that if I don’t find a Roadbuster this weekend, next week I may be dipping back into the Unicron Trilogy toys for Transformers Thursday fodder. Hey, nothing wrong with that! Anyway, the Generations line has been mostly about Deluxe figures, and I’ve been happy about that because the Deluxe Class has always been my personal ideal size for Transformers figures. Inferno, however, like a lot of Universe 2.0 figures, bucked that trend by presenting us with a Voyager Class figure. It was a logical enough choice, since the original Inferno was notably taller than the regular Autobot cars. As usual, the box is long gone, so we’re going to jump right in and check out his alt mode.
Yup, you guessed it… Inferno is a fire truck. I have actually looked at his cousin, Reveal the Shield Grappel, so this mold has appeared on the pages of FFZ before, despite the fact that Inferno came first. Inferno isn’t one of those traditional full-blown hook and ladder firetrucks, but rather a somewhat truncated one with a water cannon on top. I know next to nothing about firetrucks so I’m not sure if this is something real or not, but it certainly looks convincing enough and I have a feeling that by nixing a ladder on top, Inferno dodged the same kibble-arm bullet that poor Grappel suffered.
Indeed, Inferno is one of the most realistic looking vehicles to come out of the entire Classics-Universe-Generations line. The sculpt features some insanely intricate detailwork, particularly on the sides where all the little vents, plating and fire-stopping doo-dads are recreated. The white paint and lettering and numbering on the sides also goes a long way to make this a great looking toy. And finally, you get lots of clear plastic for the windows, headlamps and roof lights, all of which gives the vehicle some major class in my eyes. Sure, if you view the vehicle from the top down you can make out a set of robot arms and hands, but otherwise, this vehicle is practically without fault. I’d dare say that Inferno looks so good, it’s almost like he belongs in a different line altogether.
The water cannon on top can swivel, raise and lower and shoots a translucent blue missile made to look like a blast of water. So, is that really supposed to be water or an actual weapon that looks like water? Or can he switch between water and a real weapon? It would be embarrassing to try to take out a Decepticon with a blast of water, or conversely, to try to put out a fire by shooting energy weapons at it and blowing up the building. Am I overthinking this? Ok, let’s transform Inferno and check out his robot mode.
Hot damn! Not only is Inferno’s vehicle mode great, but his robot mode is a damn fine piece of work too. In fact, when viewed from the front, I’d say he’s very near perfect. His broad chest is comprised of the front of the firetruck and there’s some really neat stuff going on with the way the panels fold up behind his shoulders and on his forearms, the front wheels fold into his hips, and how his front bumper just drops to become his pelvis. All those clear plastic pieces are on display here and once again go a long way to give him that extra special realism and classes up the figure big time. By Primus, I love this guy!
Generations always impresses me with the head sculpts, and Inferno here is no exception. The portrait is very evocative of the original G1 character with a clean, silver painted face and some gorgeous light piping for his blue eyes.
Yeah, Inferno has a few blemishes. The biggest for me is the way he’s a bit two-dimensional in design. Like I said before, he looks nearly perfect from the front, but get a side view and he looks a bit like he’s missing his back half. View him from behind and he looks rather hollow. His arm cannon is also a little awkwardly placed. It’s slung down under his arm, which is fine for when you actually want him using his arm as an arm, but I’d much rather it land on the outside of his arm, as it would make it easier for him to aim convincingly.
Ah, but none of these quibbles can extinguish my love for this figure. Eh? See what I did there? Extinguish? YEAH! I’m drinking, baby!!! Inferno is a gorgeous figure and I definitely see him as one of the high points in what is already a pretty remarkable line of figures. I was certainly happy to see the mold get re-used in Reveal the Shield as Grappel (pronounced “Solar Storm Gra-pelle!”), although thanks to some annoying crane arm kibble, Inferno remains my favorite of the two. And I’m only now realizing how sad that huge Protectobot Hot Spot-shaped hole in my collection is making me, so I highly doubt this is the last time we’ll see this mold appear here on FFZ.