Transformers Kingdom: Warpath by Hasbro

It’s been more than ten years since the last Hasbro Warpath figure was welcomed into my collection (I skipped the Combiner Wars release). That Generations figure had a lot going for it, but it was more of a Cybertronian take on the character, with a decidedly unearthly tank mode. Dang, Hasbro, you sure do love your H-Tanks! But, fast forward to the Kingdom series, where Hasbro finally given us a more Earthy attempt at my favorite excitedly expositional tank! Yeah, Warpath was released a little while ago, but I’m trying to chip away at my enormous backlog.

I’m not sure why Warpath gets such scant love, but I was happy to see him listed as an up and coming figure, as well as a Deluxe Class. I think the old G1 Minibots present a ton of opportunity for being modernized, and in some-cases upscaled. Scale was never a constant in the old Sunbow cartoon, but I prefer to see these little guys reborn as Deluxe Class figures, so they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the Autobot cars without fear of getting stepped on. Let’s start with the alt mode!

Oh yeah… now that’s a proper tank mode! Sure it’s a burgundy tank with white treads, but it’s a fairly realistic design and pays a striking homage to the original figure’s deco. The treads are only sculpted, but there are four tiny wheels hidden under them to help Warpath roll out. The cupola can rotate 360-degrees and the cannon can raise and lower. Warpath doesn’t come with an additional weapons Hey, whaddya want? he’s a tank!, but he does have a number of ports so you can plug some extra weapons onto him if you have them lying around.

There’s a ton of great detail in Warpath’s hull! You get panel lines, tiny vents and hatches. I dig how the back plate looks like it could drop down to offload the crew, even though that’s just part of the transformation. My figure has a problem holding the seam together just under his cannon, but otherwise the tank mode holds together quite well. I’ll confess that I’ve had fun having him stalk imaginary targets around the obstacles (junk) of a crowded battlefield (my desk). So how’s the robot mode?

Eh, it’s OK. I like it, but I don’t love it. I like the proportions well enough. His big, tread-bottomed feet look appropriately powerful enough to withstand the force of firing his cannon in robot mode. The cannon collapses all the way into his chest to become one giant robo-nipple. I wish the cupola collapsed down a bit too, but that’s probably asking a lot from Deluxe Class engineering. On the plus side, it gives him a bit of a bitchin’ Mechwarrior profile. But those large chunks of tank tread forearm kibble is kind of hard to take. There’s a lot of give and take here.

All the great detail from the tank’s hull shows up in the robot mode, making the robot mode look just as realistic as the alt mode. Heck, if you look really closely at the back of his knee joints there are sculpted gears in there! The colors also remain pretty consistent from one mode to the next, with just a little more white showing up on Warpath’s midriff. His big clodhoppers feature some pretty generous tilts to keep him surefooted in action poses.

Warpath’s head sculpt leans heavily on his G1 roots, and I’m happy for that. His round face is almost entirely obscured by his mouth plate, leaving just a little band visible to show his blue eyes and the bridge of his nose. I know what you’re thinking: How does he smell with that plate covering his nose? Probably like diesel fumes! HA! Still, the head looks kind of small, which I think is more a trick of the elongated chest than a result of being actually undersized.

And yes, you can extend Warpath’s cannon while he’s in robot mode. I like to think that Warpath was fan of Melville: “If his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it!” To which he would follow up with “WHAM! BANG! KAZOOOWIE!!!”

I do enjoy this figure, but as I said earlier, I just can’t bring myself to love it. While an improvement in many ways over the ten year old Generations figure, Kingdom Warpath feels like maybe a five year old figure. And I think that says more about the company he keeps. To me, his robot mode lacks the pitch perfect polish that we’ve been getting out of figures in Earthrise and Kingdom. I’ve come to regard many of these figures as budget Masterpiece versions, and Warpath certainly ain’t that.

Transformers Kingdom (Golden Disk Collection): Jackpot and Sights by Hasbro

I had planned on skipping these Amazon Exclusive Golden Disk Collection repaints, but one night when some of them were presented to my drunken self by Amazon, I guess I must have slammed that BUY IT button, because they later showed up at my door. That’s fine. I am, however, a little embarrassed by the fact that I still haven’t reviewed some of the original figures that these are repaints of. Indeed, I actually did an entire photo shoot with Jackpot here, while under the impression that I had reviewed Studio Series Jazz. But nope. Had I known that, I probably would have gone with more of a joint review, but let’s just press on anyway.

Well, this is a pleasant surprise! I was expecting the crappy brown box that the past Amazon Exclusives came in, but this is colorful and pretty nice, even if the artwork is kind of bland. The figures inside come tied to a corrugate tray, so it’s nothing fancy, but at least the box is collector friendly should you decide to keep it. I was already out of playing with Transformers by the time Jackpot and the Action Masters arrived, so I didn’t have the original figure, but I love that we’re getting modern transforming toys out of them. Let’s start with Jackpot’s alt mode.

The car is a straight repaint of Studio Series Jazz, and this is an excellent little recreation of the Porsche 935 Turbo. All the familiar beats are here from the semi-squared off front bumper, the down sloping hood, to the beautiful rounded swells over the wheel wells, and the prominent spoiler. This mold made for an excellent Jazz and it certainly cuts a different look with this wild new black and yellow deco. It very nearly makes it look like the mold has had some tweaks, even though that’s not the case. The added silver to the front bumper looks great, as does the orange on the headlamps and rear bumpers. Jackpot sports some snappy translucent orange on his windows, and an Autobot emblem on the front middle of the hood. Considering the G1 Jackpot had no alt mode, I think this turned out pretty cool.

I don’t have a lot to complain about here, except maybe the clips holding on the front wheels look a tad cheap. There’s a slight difference in yellow where the painted plastic meets the colored plastic, but neither nitpick is a big deal. I don’t know how collectors unfamiliar with the original character will take to this paint scheme, but I dig it.

Jackpot comes with a repaint of Jazz’s gun, which can be plugged into the socket on the roof to weaponize him. He also comes with a blast effect part for the gun. Cool!

As with Jazz, transforming Jackpot holds no surprises. It’s not all that dissimilar from the recent Datsuns. He’s pretty quick going to and from either mode, and the panels lock together fairly well in the auto mode. Like the Datsuns, he’s a bit broad shouldered, but otherwise the proportions are just fine and he makes for a great and very classic looking robot. Yeah, his lower legs are hollow, but I’ve come to expect that. His roof and doors fold up neatly on his back, although I would have preferred he kept the G1-style door-wings, but that’s something I miss more on the Jazz version than this one. As for the deco, it doesn’t really change much from his auto mode, other than adding some orange to his feet and lower legs. It’s not a perfect match for the original figure, but certainly close enough for me.

The only new sculpting here is found in Jackpot’s head, and it’s a great update to the Action Master portrait. I’m not a big fan of the super obvious seam running down the top center of his “helmet,” but otherwise I like the head just fine. The orange visor matches his deco nicely, and the styling of the sides of his head look really cool.

In addition to the repaint of Jazz’s gun, Jackpot comes with his buddy Sights. Yeah, the homage here is a tad off. Sights is still a robotic bird (and a great one at that!), but he transforms into a battle axe instead of a photon cannon, which makes his name rather curious, but it’s fine. You can still work him into a gun of sorts, but I think I prefer him as an axe.

In the end, I’m glad i picked up this figure! I love updates to some of the more obscure G1 toys, and it’s cool to get a transforming version of Jackpot into this collection. Going with the Jazz mold was a no-brainer, and it’s nice to see such an excellent figure get repainted into another character. Sure, Jazz is still my favorite of the two, so don’t take the fact that he got passed over for a review as meaning otherwise, but Jackpot turned out to be a fantastic re-release of an already fantastic mold!

Transformers Kingdom: Blackarachnia by Hasbro

I swore I wasn’t going to be buying any of the Beasts in the Kingdom line, because I’m running out of display and storage space. Plus, while I love the Beast Wars TV series, I was never all that into the toys. But it’s also no secret that I’ve rarely ever been able to keep my word when it comes to not buying toys. And for me, the deciding factor was when I fired up the Netflix series and started giving it a watch. The very next day, I was browsing the toy aisles at Target and Blackarachnia followed me home.

I have not been able to get into the other two Netflix series: Siege and Earthrise. I think they look great and I love how the animation models follow the toys so perfectly. But to be honest, they are so depressing to watch. I think they try way too hard to be grim-dark, and it just doesn’t work for me. I made it through most of Siege, but only about half of Earthrise. I wasn’t going to watch Kingdom at all, but I was really curious how they were going to work both Beasts and conventional Transformers into the same series. The result was interesting, and so has been the series so far. I don’t love it, but it does have me coming back for more. So, let’s check out my first Beast… The Predacon Blackarachnia! And as usual, we’ll start with the alt mode!

I’m going to be extremely generous when looking at this alt mode, because it just can’t be that easy to make a very humanoid robot transform into a realistic spider. And with that having been said, I think this figure does a pretty good job at it. The body has some robot kibble showing on the sides, but come on… it’s a spider and it looks fine! The engineering here isn’t mindblowing, as the bot basically folds up into a ball with the shoulders crunching under the spider head, and the arms and legs partially gathering under a body shell. It holds together fairly well, although one of my figure’s legs doesn’t lock up like it should. It’s not a critical problem, but it does make it harder to tighten up the seams in her body.

The body and legs are black with some nice texturing, and she has red spots on her back and a bunch of red eyes peppering her little spider face. The spider butt has something that I guess sort of resembles spinnerettes, protruding underneith. There are also a bunch of yellow bumps that sort of look like eyes. I’m no doctor of spiderology, but I don’t think spiders have peepers on their hineys, so I’m not sure what those are supposed to be. The black and red of the body is nicely offset by the yellow bits, which kind of look like the color of the goo that would come out if she were squished.

Blackarachnia’s legs have some pretty useful articulation. Each cluster of legs attaches to the body with one hinge, but then each leg is ball jointed further on down so it can be posed independently. The legs also do a pretty good job of holding the weight of the figure. All in all, I think this mode delivers pretty well for a Deluxe. So how about that robot mode?

Clearly, the robot mode was the design focus for this figure, because it’s outstanding! And seeing it really makes me appreciate the spider mode even more. Blackarachnia is clearly both all spider and all woman, with organic curves to her legs, wide hips, a narrow waist, and some rather impressive venom sacs. The spider’s butt lumps wind up on her pelvis, and what passed for spinnerettes become her claw-like hands. I also love the striking black and yellow coloring. She even looks great from the back, with the exception of those holes in her lower legs. Her spider body folds up neatly to form a backplate. What’s more her sizeable feet make her easy to balance, despite that leg kibble.

Yes, she’s got leg kibble for days, and I absolutely love how this design just owns it. The legs look really cool and aggressive in the way they angle away from her body, almost like skeletal wings. Granted, they have to be tweaked almost every time I pose her, but it’s worth the effort. I seem to remember in the TV show that Tarantulus’ leg kibble actually functioning as guns, but I can’t remember of Blackarachnia’s shared that function or not.

The head sculpt is excellent, and should satisfy fans of the Beast Wars series. At first, I though the sculpt was a little soft, but it’s really not. There’s plenty of detail in there. I like that they used a lighter shade of yellow for her mouth area, and she even got a little lick of red paint on her “crown.” I also dig the Predacon emblem painted on her collar.

Blackarachnia’s articulation is absolutely fabulous. She’s got rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Some of these points are in service to her transformation, others are just there to make her loads of fun to play with.

Of course, Blackarachnia comes with her trademark crossbow-type weapon, which pegs surprisingly well into either of her claw hands.

I have to say, I’m glad I weakened, overcame my self-imposed Beast Bot Ban, and picked up this figure! She’s been on my desk ever since I first opened her up, and I’ve been messing around with her a lot in my downtime. The transformation isn’t too fiddly, although I do wish that one leg locked up properly in her spider mode. Even still, she looks fine in her alt mode, and exceptionally good in her femme-bot mode. But, the real question is… do I like her enough to buy more Beast Bots? Time will tell!

Transformers Kingdom: Tracks by Hasbro

My backlog of Transformers reviews is growing, and while I’d like to get to some of the older stuff, I’m always tempted to check out a new figure that arrives. Maybe I’ll do a Backlog Week and hit some of the really old figures I missed. As for Tracks, well he was getting a pretty lukewarm reception among collector circles by the time my pre-order arrived, so I was a little apprehensive about checking him out.

Here he is in the Kingdom packaging, and I still don’t know what the intention of this line is. Cars? Beasts? It’s just a free for all! But I’m going to start watching the Netflix series this week, so we’ll see what it’s all about. We last saw tracks about ten years ago in the Reveal The Shield line, so I think this figure is more than overdue, and I’ll do a comparison between the two figures at the end. For now, let’s get started with his alt mode.

I don’t usually start by commenting on the transformation, but I think it’s justified here. Transforming Tracks can be a little annoying when you’re going into car mode. There’s a lot of precise positioning, which we haven’t seen a lot of in the Deluxe Class toys of recent years, and even when you get it all correct, the results are problematic. I can get just about everything to lock in perfectly, but the two front quarter-panels always refuse to peg in flush with the hood. Squeeze them into place, they keep popping back out, and apparently this isn’t just an issue with my particular figure, but pretty much all of them. It makes me wonder whether this was an issue on the prototype, and they just said screw it, or whether it was an issue that cropped up during production. Solcitation pictures don’t show the problem, so I’m guessing it’s the later.

And that’s a real shame, because looking past that, the rest of the car looks great. There’s no license markings, but it’s clearly a close approximation of Tracks’ G1 Corvette mode. It’s got some sexy curves, and sure there are a lot of seams from the interlocking plates, but that’s often par for the course. The vibrant electric blue plastic, along with the crimson flame on the hood and the Autobot insignia make for a knockout deco. The windows are smoked, there are some gray bumpers, and black grills under the headlamps. and the wheels are painted silver. There are some exposed pins that can be a little distracting, but it’s hard to nitpick them when the car doesn’t even lock together properly.

You get some weapon ports on the sides front quarter panels, another back near the trunk, and one in the back, where you can plug in a blast effect to mimic flaming thrust. Pretty cool! Tracks doesn’t come with a blast effect, but you do get a black gun and a rack of white missiles.

Tracks can still convert into his flying car mode, which looks fine. It would have been nice if the arm pieces tabbed into the car, but I guess that’s not a big deal, as they stay in place pretty well. I’ll throw out here my apologies for shooting Tracks against a white backdrop. I wanted to really bring out the gorgeous blue plastic in the pictures, but it makes his white parts, like the wings, really hard to see. And while we’re on the subject, I would have really liked a couple of red stripes on those wings.

The robot mode is not too shabby, but I think it lacks the cleaner and more refined modes that we’ve been seeing in other recent Deluxe Class bots. I think this bot is a better homage to his G1 toy than his animated counterpart, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Plus, he looks fine right alongside his fellow Kingdom and Earthrise Autobots. The chest is faked out, as the actual roof of the car is folded up into his backpack. Some people cry foul at this practice, but it doesn’t bother me. It allows for better proportions, and in this case, it also allows for the Autobot symbol to appear on the chest, but not on the car. The backpack locks into place, and gives his missile rack a place to plug into. From behind, he’s mostly a slab of car plates, which is fine. His legs do close up all around, but I’m not terribly keen on the gaps for his feet. I know, he’s a robot, but it’s at odds with the G1 aesthetic.

The head is perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing. Tracks’ mix of red face and white “helmet” is so bizarre and unique that it’s become iconic. The shoulders are a little broad, but that’s always been the case for Tracks. It’s hard to help it with the wheels positioned the way they are. I do wish the wings were attached to his body and not the shoulders, because they move when you articulate his arms, and I’d much prefer they stay put.

I’ve seen some complaints about Tracks’ legs being super loose. It’s true that they are pretty loose on my figure, but I haven’t had any problems getting them to hold his weight in a variety of poses. He hasn’t done the splits or collapsed on me once. Sometimes I miss the good old days of ball joints, as loose joints could be easily fixed, and that’s not so easy when you’re dealing with pins, but it can still be done. Mine just isn’t an issue, so I’m not going to mess with it.

As we saw in the alt mode, Tracks comes with a pistol, which looks like a shortened version of his Black Beam Rifle.

Bringing in Reveal The Shield Tracks, it’s always shocking to see how much bigger the Deluxe figures were back then. The old Tracks sure had a bitchin’ auto mode, and all his panels held together just fine. The deeper blue looks nice, and while the added color to the hood decals make for a dynamic deco, I think I prefer the simpler look on the newer figure. Obviously, these car models are from very different eras, and while I can appreciate a modern Tracks, the Classic, early 80’s design works better for me. With all that having been said, the older Tracks in car mode is just an all around better toy.

I think things get a lot more up for debate in robot mode. I think RTS Tracks is still a great looking figure, but he’s going for a very different aesthetic. He looks more Alternators inspired than anything else, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s also some really clever stuff going on with his transformation, which really delighted me when I transformed him for the first time in years. Not to mention, that RTS Tracks shares his body with RTS Wheeljack! Still, he’s got little baby arms, and stubby little wings that hang of fhis doors. Kingdom Tracks is just so much cleaner and really a fine compromise between toy and cartoon aesthetic. In the end, I’m going to give the nod to new Tracks, but it’s worth mentioning that I expected to sell off RTS Tracks when I got the new one, but now I think I’ll end up keeping him.

It’s impossible to give Kingdom Tracks’ alt mode a pass. It never should have gone to production like that. It’s especially tragic when you look at how great the rest of the car looks. The robot mode, however, is pretty damn sweet, and to be fair that’s the way I display these figures most of the time anyway. I’m sure that I come across as a Hasbro shill most of the time, and this next comment won’t help any, but if this Tracks’ gaps are the biggest Transformers screw up Hasbro has done, I think they’re doing OK. I mean, at least they aren’t making any of these Transformers figures impossible to get store exclusives, right?

Transformers Kingdom: Galvatron by Hasbro

The 86 Transformers movie sure was a lot for a kid to unpack. Sure, I had to watch my hero Optimus Prime die, but at least he eventually came back. Megatron getting reformatted into Galvatron? Well, that shit stuck. And while Galvatron was indeed the new sexy, I really missed seeing Ol’ Megsy in the post-movie cartoon episodes. Nonetheless, as a big fan of his design, I am always down for a new Galvatron toy, especially since most of them have been pretty wanting up to this point. Fast forward to Present Day… 2021, the year where Hasbro pulls a mulligan and offers re-dos on a lot of the heavy hitters of the Titans Return and Power of the Primes lines. It’s hard to believe that was five years ago already!

Once again, I’m confused by Hasbro’s decision to spread the 86 Movie Transformers out over two different lines. Some are Kingdom figures, others are Studio Series figures. Why? Who knows? I toss the packaging, so I can call them whatever I want. The only downside is that Galvatron doesn’t come with one of those cool cardboard backdrop stands included with the Studio Series releases. Obviously, the big question here is: Is it worth replacing my Titans Return Galvatron with this new one? Well, I’ll get to a lot of comparison stuff in this review and it’s not as simple as… oh hell… Yes. The answer is Yes. Let’s start with his alt mode.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Galvatron’s alt mode. It’s a big space cannon, and while it certainly has more play appeal with other Transformers than Megatron’s 1:1 scale gun mode, it just seemed oddly abstract compared to all the other toys of the time. That having been said, this is a pretty good take on the animated version. The giant space gun sits on two stubby legs with tank treads for feet so it can roll around and gain new firing positions, something I don’t recall ever being shown on the cartoon. In fact, he would usually transform and fire off a few rounds, begging the question, why bother transforming when the cannon is right on your arm there, buddy? Oh yeah, Galvatron was crazy. Fair enough.

Unlike the Titans Return version, this mode locks together beautifully and remains a solid and stable toy. It balances pretty well too, and you can angle the gun upward to fire into the air. It’s worth noting that the two side guns that flank the main cannon are removed during transformation and as we’ll see, they can be attached to Galvatron’s robot mode, but it isn’t necessary. I do, however, really dig the way they look on the alt mode. All in all, this space cannon gets the job done. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it, and I can’t deny that it’s an improvement. And with that, let’s have a few comparison shots.

It’s worth remembering that Titans Return Galvatron was a Triple-Changer, so it’s kind of expected to have the weaker alt modes. Mostly, it just has the nose and cockpit of a jet fighter under its belly. I do find the Kingdom version to be all in all better proportioned and beefier, but in the end they’re still both ugly space cannons. Admittedly, the cylindrical body is more accurate on the newer release. The real tipping factor is how solid Kingdom toy is in this mode. I could never get Titans Return Galvatron to lock together properly in this mode, which made it a pretty frustrating toy. So yup, this is a solid update. Let’s move on to the robot mode!

Not bad at all! Some of the early leaked photos of Galvy made him look questionable, but in hand I have to say he looks really good. I do think he’s a little stockier than he’s portrayed in the film and cartoon, but I’m not hating it. It makes him look burly and powerful. I dig his big angled chest and his familiar pylons that jut upward from his shoulders. His lower legs could have used a bit more styling, but they’re still fine. The coloring feels spot on with a combination of vivid purple, black, and gray plastics. He’s got the four red square panels embedded in his belly, and I even like the hip plates, which are fully articulated so as not to mess with his leg articulation. Hasbro brought back some weathering, but it isn’t as overt and unsightly as it could be in the Siege figures. I actually quite like it here.

From behind, Galvatron isn’t exactly pretty, but at least there are no big, gaping hollow compartments. Everything fills in quite well. I think the most unsightly thing about him here is the treads that wind up behind his upper arms. Sure, kibble’s gotta kibble! They had to go somewhere, but it’s very contrary to the clean animated look. One thing I do like is that the treads will peg into the holes on the backs of the shoulders, locking them into place. This does negate the bicep swivel, but if you want to use that you can just unpeg the tread. Still, it does help to keep these under control when posing the figure.

The cannon side pieces that I mentioned before are designed to attach to his back, and while they look OK from behind, I don’t like having them visible from the front, so I’m choosing to leave these off his robot mode. You can combine them and make a gun for Galvatron, but it’s not very in character for him, and it’s not like he needs to carry a gun when he has a giant cannon mounted on his arm.

Speaking of arm cannons, this one looks great! There are actually two sockets on his arm to attach it to, so if you want it on his upper arm or his lower arm, you can go either way. I prefer to have it mounted higher. And unlike the Titans Return version, the bicep swivel here allows him to position it to the side when prone and on top of the arm when firing, provided you remember to unpeg that tank tread!

And it’s hard to not make a big deal of the fact that Kingdom Galvatron’s head is an actual head, and not just a tiny head with a weird flip up frame-helmet on it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the way Titans Return played off the Headmaster gimmick with the Deluxe figures, but the way they integrated it into the larger figures was weird, and nowhere was that more apparent than with Galvatron. Here we get nothing but a beautiful classic looking noggin. The silver paint looks great, the narrow eyes are immaculately painted with a bright shade of red, and he’s got an appropriately displeased look on his face. So much better than what we got last time!

Galvatron comes with one more accessory, and that’s this Matrix on a chain that he can wear around his neck. I have no intention of ever displaying this on the figure, but I was happy to see that the Matrix comes off of the chain and it is a beautiful little piece. I think it’s the same one that comes with Studio Series Hot Rod, but I’ll have to confirm that when I get around to reviewing that figure. Either way, the sculpt and paint on this little Matrix are both excellent.

And here’s a quick comparison shot of the two Galvatrons. It’s easy to see why this figure drove me to drink when I reviewed it five years ago. As I recollect, there were some things I liked about it, but it’s hard to see what with these two standing together. Granted, that figure was possibly crippled by a Triple-Changing gimmick and a poor implementation of the Head Master, but there’s still plenty else wrong with it. I imagine that a lot of these are going to be hitting Ebay right about now. Mine will just get pitched into a tote and forgotten about.

In the end, I’m very pleased with how this figure came out. He’s not perfect, and he may not even be quite the slam dunk that some of the other newly released 86 Movie figures are, but he’s close enough for me. I was happy to see them dump the Triple-Changing aspect and just deliver a great figure with one solid alt mode. Sure, it’s very possible we’ll be looking at an even better Galvatron in 2026, but for now, I’m quite content to stand this beauty on my shelf beside Cyclonus and Scourge. They look amazing together!

Transformers Kingdom: Inferno by Hasbro

It’s Friday and that means something to me this week, because I actually have this weekend off! And what better way to celebrate than tearing into another Transformers figure! It’s hard to believe it was way back in September of last year that I reviewed Earthrise Grapple, and we all knew that Hasbro would be giving us an Inferno based on the same mold, because that’s just unwritten Transformers law. Well, it took a lot longer than I expected, but here we are!

It’s kind of strange to see these two Bots released over two different lines, with Grapple hitting Earthrise and Inferno as part of Kingdom. Although, I suppose these are all under one branded War For Cybertron umbrella. To be fair, I don’t really get where Hasbro is going with Kingdom, as it’s a slurry of G1 Earth modes and Beast Wars Beast modes. But who cares if the figures are good, and they have most certainly been very good! The character art on Inferno’s packaging is absolutely killer, showing the Autobot extinguishing what look to be the very fires of Hell. I grabbed Hasbro’s official package shot for the image above, and I can’t help but note the change from clear windshield to the black one we got, and which I happen to prefer. Let’s kick off with his alt mode!

Yup, other than having a ladder instead of a crane, Inferno’s vehicle mode is identical to Grapple’s, and that was to be expected. Inferno does have a few added parts, like the coiled hoses on the sides and the wings under the ladder base. But, that’s not to downplay how great this firetruck looks, as the mold serves both types of vehicles very well. The snappy red plastic mixed with black trim looks fantastic, along with some silver paint and the gray add ons. Inferno proves something that I’ve known since I was a little kid: That there’s nothing quite like a firetruck toy.

The ladder features the same movement as Grapple’s crane, allowing it to raise and lower, as well as extend outward. There’s also a nozzle on one side, which can pivot up and down. Finally, there are peg ports, allowing you to weaponize Inferno’s firetruck mode with his rifle, because sometimes you just need to shoot the hell out of a fire to show it who’s boss.

Inferno’s engineering is pretty close to his G1 roots, making this toy both easy and intuitive to transform. And that simplicity is mighty impressive when you consider how great both the vehicle and robot modes look. When I think of some of the tortured plate-shifting and double or triple hinge manipulations it took to turn those Bayformer toys into what looked like vaguely humanoid piles of scissors, a toy like Inferno here is simply poetry in plastic. The robot mode is so beautifully proportioned and what kibble is present looks like it’s there by design. Even his bulky ladder hangs close to his back, making a decent counter-balance without being an eyesore.

In addition to those perfect proportions, Inferno is just loads of fun to play with, thanks all those points of articulation. Hell, he’s wonderfully poseable even if he was a non-transforming figure, and that’s something worthy appreciating. Something else I really appreciate is the way he can store his gun by pegging it into his back.

Inferno’s portrait is absolute perfection. He has a kind and heroic visage about him with some beautiful silver paint on his face and bright blue eyes. Hasbro even broke out the yellow paint for the sole purpose of hitting those vents on his “helmet.” The nozzle that was on the side of the firetruck rests on the side of his head compartment, making for a conveniently placed weapon. Although, I’ll confess, It’s hard to talk to someone who can blast you in the face with water any time he wants.

Either of Inferno’s hands can be retracted in favor of a nozzle attachment, which he was often depicted using in the original Sunbow cartoon. I don’t know what it is I love so much about this concept, but I was a big fan of it whenever Inferno, Ironhide, or Ratchet would retract their hand and replace it with some kind of tool or weapon. It just seemed like a really handy skill. No pun intended.

And finally, Inferno has his big rifle, which is the exact same gun that came with Grapple. I honestly can’t remember whether the original G1 toys shared the same weapon, but I’ll allow it here since it really is a cool rifle design.

In case you can’t tell, I absolutely adore this figure! Inferno is everything I want in a modern G1-style update. He looks great in both modes, he’s easy to transform and borrows most of the original toy’s engineering, and above all he’s so much fun to play with. Like Grapple before him, Inferno is an example of how right now Hasbro is firing on all cylinders and turning out some of the best Transformers toys of all time. Great Primus, it’s such an amazing time to be a Transformers collector!

Transformers Kingdom: Cyclonus by Hasbro

These days, I’m not one to double-up on a single franchise in a week, but it feels like I’ve been rather negligent when it comes to my convertorobots lately. Also, since I reviewed Scourge yesterday, it seemed only fitting to check out another one of the Decepticon’s reformatted top brass. So let’s have a look at Cyclonus!

OK, this is weird. We got Scourge as part of the Studio Series 86 line, but Cyclonus comes from the Kingdom series. I really wish they would keep all the 86 Movie figures in one damn line, especially since we aren’t getting those cool cardboard display bases and backdrops with these Kingdom figures. Also, I’m not following the narrative with Kingdom, but I find it’s weird mix of regular G1 figures, Beast Wars figures, and now 86 Movie figures to be off-putting. I’m skipping the Beast Wars characters, not because I have anything against them, but because I’m compelling myself to be more selective these days because of limited space. As for the packaging? I’m not as keen as the character art here, but it’s not terrible. Let’s start with Cyclonus’ alt mode!

We sure haven’t seen this sleek star cruiser too often. By my reckoning it was eleven years ago with the Universe 2.0 Cyclonus. Holy crap! Eleven years!!! I remember being pretty happy with that figure at the time, but as with a lot of Transformers from that era it did not age well. And while it’s alt mode was definitely a nod to his movie design, it doesn’t come close to this sexy purple spaceship. The design here is a little busier than the smooth simplicity of Scourge’s alt mode, but I think it still fits in with the animated movie aesthetic pretty well. Maybe it’s a touch more angular than the cartoon model, but overall I’m pleased with what they did. The coloring gets by mostly with colored plastic. I dig the purple, blue and silver deco, and the translucent orange cockpit looks great.

Truth be told, I really only have one complaint and that’s the side panels under the cockpit area will not lock in flush with the rest of the body. Indeed, the one on the right side won’t even lock in as well as the one on the left. After fiddling with it for ages and giving up, I’ve found that I’m not alone with this issue and decided to just accept it as it is. Cyclonus does have three retractable landing gear, which is a nice little touch! Also, while it’s really part of the transformation, he has hinged flaps on the backs of his wings.

Cyclonus has a port on the top where you can attach his rifle to give him some extra armament. I’m not usually a fan of sticking guns onto my vehicle modes, but this one actually looks pretty decent.

Transforming Cyclonus is a pleasure, and while there’s nothing terribly mind-blowing in the process, I do think the way his nose cone packs away is pretty clever. I think the best compliment that I can pay this figure is that when viewed from the front, I could easily be convinced that this is one of those non-transforming figures. The robot mode really does look that clean and tight, and wonderfully proportioned. Flip him around and you can see some panels folded and whatnot, but it’s still a pretty damn clean backside. I think the engineers did a fabulous job balancing the robot and alt modes with this guy.

Cyclonus’ coloring remains mostly the same as his alt mode with a whole lot of that snappy purple. Indeed, I’d say the purple came out a bit more pale in some of my pictures, where it’s actually a smidge deeper in hand. His gray bits have an almost pearlescent gold hue to them, which is rather cool and unusual. The articulation is also excellent, making him a solid figure that’s fun to play with.

I have nothing but praise for this fantastic head sculpt. They did a beautiful job capturing that movie aesthetic with his face, which is quite angular, but has a slightly organic bent to the mouth. The red eyes are transparent and feature some very nice light piping thanks to the window in the back of the head. As for his bunny ears? Well, I guess you either love them or hate them. I love them! I do wish his Decepticon insignia had been given the silver outline to make it stand out more against his purple chest.

As we saw with his vehicle mode, Cyclonus comes with a pretty beefy rifle, which he can hold in either hand. I don’t really have a mental image of what his gun looked like in the cartoon. At least it wasn’t something that was ever iconic to me. But judging it just on the design here I like this one a lot.

I don’t know why Hasbro has shunned Cyclonus for so long, because he sure is a formidable looking Decepticon! Maybe that sexy spaceship alt mode was too hard to work with. Either way, they sure did him justice with this figure. He looks great besides Scourge in either mode, and I’m rather excited to get the new Galvatron to put all three of them together.