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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) -
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 228, July 29th 1989
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance - 1988
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Generations
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the nosecone, covering the tampographed one
- Covered the Autobot symbol on the front of the tank
I admit that pretty much all I know about this mould is from the Japanese 'Super God Masterforce' animated series where he operated under the guise of Doubleclouder. Not ideal I know, but the basic premise of the character is the same. Like Punch/Counterpunch, Doubledealer has 2 distinct modes and personalities. However, where Punch is the 'true' personality and thus an Autobot at heart, Doubledealer is a mercenary and your guess is as good as mine regarding his true allegiance. The truth is that Doubledealer is neither Autobot nor Decepticon, he will happily fight for good if the price is right or if it is to his advantage. So I struggled with where to place him. Unlike Punch and Counterpunch Doubledealer has only one tech spec, denoting only one personality, so where to place him? Well he isn't an Autobot as his duplicitous nature precludes that. He is also not a Decepticon because while he may be a bad guy, he has no particular affinity towards that faction of bad guys. Hence, he is another 'misc' character as far as I am concerned. Anyway, with that established, let's take a look at the figure Hasbro decided to homage him with. As a re-use of the Blitzwing mould, the choice is hardly ideal. So the question is, does it work?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
Firstly I wasn't happy with how Hasbro made a bit of a hash with this character. They chose to make the robot mode 'neutral' with the tank and jet modes Autobot and Decepticon respectively. I rectified this by firstly slapping an Autobot symbol onto the robot. Then the idea was to have the tank neutral and the 'plane Decepticon. This is largely what I have done, however I played around a bit and came up with what is (for me) a passable bird-like mode for the Decepticon character. While not ideal, it at least makes sense in the context of the G1 character. I won't say too much about my Decepticon fan mode other than I think it works reasonably well. Onto the Robot mode which shares all of the merits and flaws of Blitzwing, with the exception of a smaller and hard plastic head out of the box, which causes far less issues with the nosecone. The headsculpt is decent, with great red light-piping. The proportions and size of the robot are imposing, evoking a very military feel. The legs are too much calf and not enough thigh, but this isn't too noticeable. Doubledealer comes equipped with the sword and gun - I actually only use the sword in the alt modes and my bird fan mode as the tail. The main difference between this and Blitzwing is the garish late '80s colour scheme, which I happen to love. The blues are particularly vibrant, and the gold paint apps are a nice touch. Due to the colours and better headsculpt, I prefer this use of the mould over Blitzwing.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
I would say of the two modes that the jet mode is more successful, so I will start with that. I actually think that the jet looks fantastic. It is large and imposing and has space to store both weapons in a way which actually enhances the look. The neon colour scheme really pops in this mode, with the bright orange cockpit glass contrasting excellently with the off-white surround. The shark tampograph on the nosecone is beautifully done, and allowed me to get creative with my fan mode and give it a 'face'. This plane looks brutal and functional, which suits the character perfectly. The tank mode is quite good, the barrel can be moved up and down and rotated, and also fires a missile when the barrel is 'pumped' (for want of a better word). The main problem with the tank modes is that articulation though, because rotating the barrel reveals a big gap of nothing towards the rear of the vehicle. While this is annoying, it is certainly no disaster, and Hasbro have really excelled in producing 2 alternate modes which have very little incongruous kibble on them.
Again, this mould is improved over Blitzwing because you do not have the rigmorole of trying to insert an overly-large soft plastic head into a soft plastic nosecone. Thanks to the hard plastic head, there are no issues with this mould in that respect. The nosecone fits snugly but does not deform or feel under undue pressure at all. The shoulders still have the habit of moving out of position which means that when transforming the arms, you have to readjust the shoulders continuously. This is somewhat worse in this use of the mould. I have made a couple of inserts which fix this problem altogether and do not affect transformation or the silhouette of the figure. This criticism aside, things are much better elsewhere. The hands are covered by panels secreted in the inside of the forearms. The arms form the top of the fuselage in aeroplane mode, and the turret in tank mode. The legs form the bottom, with the leg transformations reversed to fulfill both modes. This is also an extremely versatile mould which allowed me to come up with my fan mode easily.
Doubledealer has decent articulation, having head swivel, lateral and side-to side movement in the shoulder and the same in the hips. However, his shoulders have a mind of their own, and frustratingly pop out of position. I have fixed this though. He also has bicep and thigh swivel, elbow and knee joints as well as wrist swivel and poseable feet, being that they are comprised of the lower tailplanes. The only meaningful articulation this mould lacks is a waist joint, as well as more movement in his head. There are no balance issues thanks to the articulated feet, so hats off to Hasbro again, it seems. His thighs are a little odd, though, being proportionally too stumpy when compared to his super-long lower legs.
The head and nosecone issue is thankfully absent, but still, the weak tabs holding the shoulders in position are cause for concern and can be incredibly frustrating. The truth is, that Hasbro should never have let this happen. Elsewhere, the quality of plastic feels decent, not necessarily up to the standard of 5 year old figures but good nonetheless.
Overall - 39/50
I prefer this use of the mould over Blitzwing, partially because the head-to-nosecone clearance issues are not present thanks to the redesigned and smaller headsculpt. Also the colour schem is just excellent. I guess that some people may find it a bit too much, but for me, this figure leaves me in neon nirvana!