Welcome, my friends to what might be the last Transformers Thursday of 2016! Then again, it might not. Stick around at the end for some administrative notes on what I’ll have going on for the rest of the year. In the meantime, I’m particularly excited about today’s convertorobot, Twinferno because he’s a modern update to the Monsterbot, Doublecross. I never had Doublecross as a kid, but when I got back into collecting G1 Transformers sometime around 1999, I picked up a nice example of him off of Ebay and he turned out to be one of my favorite figures. The fact that Hasbro worked him into this newest wave of Titans Return line both surprises and pleases me to no end.
There he is in his package. And yes, he’s another example of a Non-Headmaster G1 character that has been made into a Titan Master. This seems to bother a lot of people, but not me. And can I just say that Twinferno is both one of the cheesiest and most glorious re-names I’ve seen in Transformers in a while. As for his little buddy… Well, as I understand it, Daburu, is an homage to the Takara Beastformer figure White Leo (that’s Battle Beasts to us ‘Muricans). But that’s enough chit-chat about names… Let’s rip this bad boy open and start with his beast mode!
Oh, hell and yes! True to form, Twinferno’s alt mode is a two-headed dragon and it’s almost everything that I look for in my cyber-beast-formers. In fact, my one design gripe with this guy is one that I shared with the original G1 toy is the decision to make the arms and lower legs look organic while the rest of the alt mode is more cyber-creature. To me it always made the toy look like a hodge-podge of ideas. But hey, that’s just my personal hang-up and in the end it wasn’t a bad decision to be faithful to the G1 toy. If anything it gave this guy a strange charm. The largely black and gray deco looks good, especially with the white heads and little bits of red here and there. Another favorite detail of mine is that they made his stubby wings partially transparent. Oh yeah, it’s also worth mentioning that Hasbro sculpted the tiny thumb wheel as a nod to the original toy’s sparking gimmick. So cool!
The heads are excellent and I really dig how the horns are now more obviously part of the head, whereas the old toy molded them into the neck to the point where they were not even all that noticeable. There’s some good articulation in there too, as they can swivel at the body, they’re hinged a little above that, and the jaws on both heads are articulated. All around, I find this guy’s beast mode a lot more fun that Titan Returns Mindwipe, which looked good, but just stood there.
Daburu’s white, black, and gray plastic helps make up for the absence of paint apps. He’s a heck of a lot more colorful than a lot of the other little Titan Masters. On the other hand, with no paint on his head, it’s hard to make out the sculpted eye patch they gave him to pay respect to White Leo. In fact, his face really just looks like a lump of plastic. Nevertheless, how cool is it that Hasbro is spending time making these obscure references? I really enjoy this sort of thing.
Daburu has a few options on where to ride Twinferno. First, there’s a cockpit compartment in the chest. This is similar to what we saw in Mindwipe and I like it a lot. He’s fully enclosed in there and it looks like he’s controlling the beast mode like a mech.
Secondly, the two guns can be combined and placed on Twinferno’s back, offering a gunning station. Both options work really well, but I think this one is my favorite. Now be honest, let’s say your Daburu and you’re going to ride this dragon. Would you lock yourself up in his chest or would you ride into battle on his back with the wind blowing through your… er, eyepatch, guns belching out hot death on the enemy below. This is the only way to go! The guns look fantastic on the back of the dragon, especially when he’s flying. Nothing says bad ass like a robotic two-headed dragon with guns strapped to his back and a little robot lion-man riding him. Add a guitar and some hellfire and the above picture is practically made to be the cover of a Meat Loaf album. Daburu pegs in there pretty good too, so you don’t have to worry about him falling off when you’re swooshing the dragon around the room. Trust me… I’ve tested it!
You also have the option of mounting the guns on Twinferno’s wings. It’s the same amount of firepower, just spread out a little more. I like this, but overall I still prefer the double guns on the back. I suppose it’s a good way to go for when Daburu is riding inside him.
As much as I dig Twinferno’s dragon mode, it’s the robot mode that really shines for me, because it’s such an amazing update to the G1 toy. I mean, this guy looks perfect. The details on the body are so sharp and the colors are gorgeous, with the red and white complimenting the gray and black plastic just beautifully. Toss in some silver and yellow applications and this guy feels like he’s got more paint on him than most of his brothers from the earlier waves.
There are some surprisingly clever bits of engineering to the transformation. The way the dragon arms fold into compartments in the sides of the torso is very cool, as is the way the upper legs of the dragon become the robot modes feet with the lower dragon legs folded into them and functioning as heel spurs.
You can also keep his twin guns mounted on his back for storage in his robot mode. I think he looks pretty good with the barrels rising behind his shoulders. Onslaught, eat your heart out!
Daburu makes for a pretty good head. It’s definitely a decent update to Doublecross, but because it’s mostly molded in that white plastic the details aren’t all that sharp and other than the blue visor it is a bit bland.
Twinferno technically has dragon heads for hands, so I’m not sure he really needs weapons when his hands can both punch and bite foes at the same time. Nonetheless, the guns are designed to peg into the sockets that make up the hinge for the dragons jaws. Herein lies my only real issue with this robot mode. When he’s holding his guns like this, the elbow joints have to be positioned on the sides of the arm, so he can only aim his guns with his arms straight out. It’s not the end of the world, especially since it’s one of the few things things I can find to bitch about. I just love this guy too much.
So yeah… Monsterbots! Who the hell ever could have guessed we’d see updated versions of these guys from Hasbro? Not me, that’s for sure. Doublecross was just one of those quirky late G1 figures that did it for me and I’m absolutely delighted to have Twinferno as his modern version. Is it possible that Grotesque and Repugnus could be on the horizon? Oh, Primus… I hope so! I never found either to be as good a figure as Doublecross, but I’d still love a complete set of the Monsterbots trio.
And now for some administrative stuff! I’m all caught up on my new arrivals DC pile and I’ll be working some crazy hours tomorrow, so there will be no new Feature Friday. I will, however, be back on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a special two-parter. I’ve also decided that I’m not going to be doing my traditional Favorites/Disappointments Lists this year. I know, I’ve done those like five years in a row, but I honestly don’t have enough stuff this year to bitch about, and that’s a good thing. I may just do a one-off retrospective on some of my favorite things this year. I may do a more laid back Ups & Downs of 2016 Feature. Then again, I may just stick to regular content as usual next week, as I’ve got a lot of stuff stacking up to be looked at.
That’s it for now… If you’re doing last minute shopping, be safe and I’ll see y’all on Christmas Eve!