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.