I think I’m done with team reviews for this line. Inferno came alone. He was intended to be a Universe incarnation of the G1 character Red Alert but someone screwed up the name with his old pal Inferno, who was a fire truck while Red Alert was a fire chief’s car. (I thought the chief went with the other firefighters but I only know firefighters, I wasn’t one myself.) The good was caught too late and so the Red Alert homage got Inferno’s name. The Universe 2.0 line would bring about a proper update for Inferno.

However, the 1.0 line was all reissues and recolors and redecos, and this Inferno is no different. The original mold was the Prowl of Robots In Disguise (the one based on Mach Alert from the Car Robots toyline and TV show). Prowl’s brother, X-Brawn, received a Ratchet recolor and both figures were give a subline name, Machine Robot Rescue, which was a jerk move on Hasbro’s part. For the initiated Tonka, the company that produced the 80s rival transforming robot line GoBots, got most of their figures from a line in Japan called Machine Robo. Hasbro later bought Tonka but by then the company that created Machine Robo, BanDai, had started releasing toys in the US, and had brought some of their Machine Robo characters into a new line called Machine Robo Rescue, so we’re all pretty sure this was just another attempt by Hasbro to keep their old rivals from ever returning to the US toy shelves, although there was no evidence BanDai planned to anyway. DinoZaurs didn’t do very well for them after all. But enough history, let’s get into Inferno.

Must be from the Beverly Hills Fire Department.

I’m not sure why or how a fire chief gets a Lamborghini (specifically a Lamborghini Diablo according to the Transformers fan wiki). Sure it’s fast, but it’s darn expensive. I can understand a police cruiser chosen for speed against escaping criminals, street racers, and of course on Cybertron it would make sense since half the population turns into cars. I’m not sure what benefit it serves a police chief and I would think the city wouldn’t spend money on that. However, this was intended to be Red Alert, who also turned into a Lamborghini, so at least it’s accurate–or would have been if they put the intended name on him.

At least it looks pretty cool. The tampoed badge on the door and “fire rescue” on the spoilers look okay, but he has the blue and red police lights you’d expect on a police car, not a fire chief’s car. It rolls okay if you have everything in place.

I keep trying to leave the scene but the building catches on fire again for some reason.

Inferno comes with Mach Alert/Prowl’s jet boosters, using a push missile system since it also serves as the robot’s fireball blasters. Then again, given the shade of blue it looks more like ice than fire, which is an easy to understand weapon for a fire vehicle though it can’t make for nearly as good propulsion. You can also turn them around so they can be fire or ice ball cannons. They also mount on the lightbar but this isn’t the mode to use it in.

I keep having to enter a room sideways.

I have two issues with the “Three Autobot Brothers” as you’ll see when I get to those figures. One is the overly elaborate transformations and the other is the poor location of the vehicle parts. Mach Alert/Prowl/Inferno is the least offensive of the three, which is why I like him the best. However he’s not free of sins here. His doors hang off his legs like a skirt, the sides of the back end form really big shoulder pads, and the engine area (I think the engine is in the back on a Lamborghini) forms a shield on his left arm. The shield looks okay but it does block his hand. It’s not removable as far as I’ve ever seen on the figure. Otherwise it does look good. The chest could use a brighter color Autobot symbol but that’s it. The red and brown go okay and the big yellow things on his shoulders could be some kind of lights or laser cannons. About the only thing really wrong with this incarnation is that the ankles are a bit weak. The car seats form his robot feet in a better result than on some of the Alternators figures.

At least he’s ready for battle.

Articulation is not too bad given the ankle and skirt issue. They do limit things a bit but they’re easier to work around that it seems, which is nice. The head rotates, there’s full shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee movement, plus the ankles do work if you put a bit of effort into getting them into a position that holds long enough. What the Car Robots mode lacked in ease of transformation they made up for in articulation.

Additionally the jet boosters now become weapons. You can still mount them to the shield on either side of the spoiler but the intention is to put them on his other arm. He can block with one arm and shoot fire ice whatever blasts at the enemy.

It’s for reaching the high floor fires.

The launchers can also serve as a jetpack. This is what I meant about being able to put them on the lightbar but it only working for robot mode. It’s a nice added ability and Autobots tend to be mostly ground-based vehicles so any air advantage they can pick up is a good thing.

Decision: Goes

It’s a nice looking figure but I’m trying to downsize my collection. I already have this mold with RID Prowl and I have a connection to that character through the show. Inferno doesn’t have that luxury and while I liked the mold more back then it’s not enough to hold a spot in my oversized collection now. So I don’t mind parting with it.

Transformers Universe Inferno is currently available on the Clutter For Sale toy page. It comes with both missile launchers and the instructions and is in really good condition.