Cliffbee.com: Doubledealer Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Doubledealer
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot/Decepticon
Function: Mercenary
Alternate Mode: Missile Tank



MISSILE TANK MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 17cm Width: 7cm

   A dark turquoise missile tank with eight plastic charcoal wheels and a large grey missile on top, Doubledealer has a cabin on the front right side featuring red painted windows. There are hints of grey, red and purple here and there along with some sky blue - notably the chestplate tacked onto the back of the missile. The bracket holding the missile is composed of charcoal plastic, which makes it nice and neutral. There are some stickers here and there, but none pointing out his faction. The bio suggests that Doubledealer is a Decepticon, but the designer has made this mode neutral, which fits into the idea of Doubledealer lacking any true loyalty. The colour scheme here works quite well, since the dark turquoise and grey are both fairly neutral - ensuring that the colourful outbursts don't clash.

   It's a fairly generic missile tank, which is to expected for something that has to unfold into two distinct modes. There's not a lot of _kibble_ either, although a few Autobot mode elements can be discerned. The bracket is the robot head but the face underneath isn't immediately obvious, the blocks at the black underneath the missiles are the arms, the fists are visible at the back. The baby blue chestplate which plugs into the back of the missile is pure kibble, but you can detach it and set it aside if you prefer.

   There's not much play value here, which is to be expected of a toy from this era. The Powermaster bay sits underneath the bracket, and either the red (Knok) or lilac (Skar) engines can be plugged in. The blue chestplate serves as a storage location for the other engine, so if you set that one aside you can't stow both sidekicks. I'd recommend setting aside the chestplate and leaving one or both Powermaster alongside in human/bat form, anyway. The eight wheels roll fairly well and the missile can lift up to around 25. You can remove the missile, although it wont fire.

   On the whole I'm pretty impressed with this vehicle mode. It's more than just the block it needs to be to service two robot modes, thanks to the well placed missile and the cabin on one side. There's not much kibble, all things considered, and the colours work. My only real complaint is the lack of a better location to store his chestplate.

TRANSFORMATION TO DECEPTICON FALCON MODE

   Detach and set aside the missile, chestplate and red engine. Plug the lilac engine in. Fold up the rear wheel panels, swing up the wheelbays to form legs, flip out the lilac talons, flip him over and stand him up. Fold out and extend the wings, open the lilac panel on his back to reveal the eagle head, flip out and rotate the head, close the panel. Plug the missile in using the post towards the rear, into the socket towards the tail. Plug the blue chestplate piece in as a sort of tail.

EAGLE MODE
Height: 16cm Depth: 19cm Width: 25cm

   Again based on dark turquoise, Doubledealer has lilac wings and talons while his tail and head are baby blue. His eyes are black and the lower jaw is red. The missile and parts of his back are grey. Again there are various stickers, including a large Decepticon logo on his back and a smaller one on top of his head. The addition of more lilac and baby blue does make this mode a little garish, and the choice of red for the lower jaw wasn't a great idea. It's not awful but this the colour scheme's weakest aspect.

   Considering it transforms into a fairly blocky missile truck, this is a pretty good bird of prey mode. Sure, it's essentially an upside down truck with bird elements unfolded to cover the block, but it works quite well. The talons, wings and head are all very well sculpted for the period - the wings even have feathered detailing, which really does a lot for Doubledealer's bird mode. The beak is hooked and has teeth - not that falcons have those - which helps cement this is his "evil" mode (not that a mercenary Autobot is especially heroic, mind you). The tail is fairly awkward, since it's a kibble blue block, and underneath it lies the front of the truck - complete with four visible wheels.

   There's not a lot of play value here, which is again to be expected, but the designer has given Doubledealer what was possible. The lower jaw opens and shuts while the hips and ankles are hinged, allowing for some change in pose - and this bird is actually pretty easy to stand. The missile can be split, and with two holes on top and the bracket underneath, you have a variety of place where you can place the halves - each of which carries a post - or the combined missile. Again this might mean you dispense with the chestplate piece (and therefore the tail), but that's not a huge loss. You don't have to leave the lilac engine in place once the bird is transformed, so if you prefer you can place Skar alongside this Decepticon mode and place the red engine in the bracket, or you can place it inside the chestplate.

   A pretty good bird mode for something that becomes a missile tank. The play value is admirable and the missile provides some options. The sculpt is very focussed for a Powermaster even if falcons don't have teeth. The colours are a little garish but that's my only real complaint - otherwise I'm very happy with the Decepticon mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO AUTOBOT ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the missile, chestplate and lilac engine. Plug the red engine in. Flip the front out to form his boots, rotate them so the front wheels face down. Stand him up. Pivot the blocks back to form arms, swing down his forearms. Fold the bracket up to form his head, plug the chestplate into place. Split the missile and plug the front half onto the post on either shoulder as a shouldercannon, give him the rear half as a handgun. Plug the lilac engine into the socket on his... skidplate.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 21cm Width: 11cm

   Again mainly turquoise, this time support is offered by the baby blue on his chest and thighs and charcoal on his head and forearms. His face is blue with red eyes. There are some grey and red elements on his torso and the weapons are grey. There's no lilac here, which is a good thing - it would have clashed with the blue as was the case in Decepticon mode. The colours are just as bright as that mode without being garish. There are various stickers here and there, again there are two faction symbol stickers - one on each shoulder.

   This is a blocky and static looking robot. The head looks like it's part of the torso even though this isn't the case, and the knees look fixed while the boots spread out to the sides a little, which ids a little awkward. This isn't to say it's an unattractive robot mode, it just looks like Doubledealer will have trouble moving. The chestplate looks decent and the red engine looks good as a groinplate. There's some asymmetry here - the cabin sits on the outside of his right boot, making it wider than the left boot.

   The play value is of a similar standard to his other modes. The elbows swing, his hips swing out to the side and the knees rotate. While the first two are required for the transformation, the hip movement is not - it's purely for robot mode. I'm not sure why they only swing out, but I'm glad the joints were added. The missile halves can be combined as a giant shoulder-mounted missile or they can both be placed in either hand - or you can go for the "standard" configuration as described above. Again you can detach the red engine, although he looks better _with_ it attached. The lilac engine does not look good on the front of this robot, since it creates an awkward colour clash. You do have the option of placing his sidekicks alongside again.

   A solid robot mode with nice weapon options and a decent colour scheme. It's fairly static looking but the poseability is on par with most G1 toys. It's not really any better or worse than the falcon mode, but it's far less ambitious, since it's the truck block unfolded (with a bird folded up on his back, quite compactly). While not as impressive as the bird mode in that respect, it's just as convincing.

Knok

   A red and grey robot with a dark blue face, Knok is the Autobot component, unlocking the robot mode. His engineblock mode is red and baby blue with a grey six-cylinder block on top.

Skar

   A grey bat in a standing-with-wings-open pose, Skar has a rich yellow painted chest and an unpainted head. He's the only non humanoid sidekick Hasbro produced in the "master" lines (although Takara produced a few and sold them separately). His engine mode is purple with a grey engineblock.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Doubleclouder is a Japanese repaint with grey swapped for white and various elements painted silver.

OVERALL

   An inventive idea, Doubledealer has three solid modes, two decent partners and a surprisingly consistent focus on providing some play value. The colour scheme works well in truck and Autobot modes, although there are some elements which don't work in Decepticon mode. As triple changers go, he's quite convincing and the ambition of the idea is well matched by good execution. If you're a fan of the "master" toys, I'd definitely recommend Doubledealer - 8/10

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