Transformers Review – Doubledealer (Masterforce Knockoff)


Intro:
            Just the other day, I’ve had this conversation with a friend of mine, regarding the quality of knockoff figures nowadays. Probably due copyright reasons or something else, the quality of knockoff figures have dwindled severely over the years.
            When I started collecting Transformers, I didn’t have the cash to purchase any of the original Transformers figures, which I wished I did, so I had to resort to knockoffs figure to fulfill my childhood desires. Why should I? Voyager-sized knockoffs would only cost me at probably RM 10, or maybe at most, RM30, compared to the standard Voyager price of RM90 at the time. That was a huge difference!!! Of course, the plastic quality wasn’t as good, some of the stickers were shoddy at best, but at the time, I don’t care! However, not all knockoffs were bad; there were some gems amidst them, for instance, the Knockoff Overlord that I’ve reviewed last year, now he was an absolutely fantastic Knockoff Overlord figure that even had the gimmicks that the original had come with. In fact, a lot of the knockoffs back then were fantastic. Some may even look exactly like the original, although they may lack the heft.
            The figure in review right now, is one of the knockoffs gems from the yesteryears (read 2005), that looked damn awesome, almost a spitting image of the original.
            Doubledealer, a Powermaster was a successor to the ever so popular Punch/Counterpunch. However, unlike Punch/Counterpunch who was an Autobot that infiltrated the Decepticons as one of them, Doubledealer was in essence a Decepticon doing the same thing for the Autobots. Although Doubledealer never really made in onto the original animated series, as the series was cancelled before he was released, Doubledealer appear in some of the Transformers commercials back then. Even then, he was popular among the fans. Mark Bellemo, the author of Transformers Identification and Price Guide, back in 2007 went as far as to call him as one of the most fascinating toys of the 20th century (quoted from Wikipedia).  
            Although as mentioned earlier that Doubledealer didn’t appear in the original G1 series, a redeco of the original figure, rechristened Doubleclouder, did appear in the Japanese series Masterforce, who is also essentially a Decepticon infiltrating the Autobot, although he would eventually switched allegiances to the Autobots.
            With the hype surrounding the character, it was only natural that Doubledealer became one of the most sought after figures. Since being unable to obtain the original figure, I had to resort to knockoffs, and so here I am with this review.

Powermaster Robots (Knok and Skar):
            What I like about this set is that despite the fact that it’s a knockoff, the gimmicks that the original figure had is still prevalent here. There are still two Powermaster robots available and the Powermaster activation gimmick is available.
Knok
            The first of the Powermaster figures is Knok, who is supposedly an Autobot, and the other is called Skar, a Decepticon. So here’s a little bit of history on Knok and Skar.
Knok's Engine Block Mode
            Based on the original characterization, Knok and Skar are used by Doubledealer depending on which sides he wanted to infiltrate. If he wants to blend in with the Autobots, he’ll combined with Knok, and with Skar, vice-versa.
            In Dreamwave comics, it was implied that both Knok and Skar didn’t know of each other’s existence, which in my opinion is kinda funny since both of them requires the same Transector body to transform into their respective bigger form. 
Skar
            In the Masterforce series, both Knok and Skar is the same person, called Clouder. The name Knok and Skar themselves were never used.  
Skar's Engine Block Mode
            Knok transforms into a normal humanoid robot, while Skar transforms into a bat-like creature. When in engine block mode, each activates a different unlocking mechanism that would initiate either the Autobot or Decepticon transformation.
             
Vehicle Mode (Missile Trailer):
            The missile trailer mode is basically the alternate mode of both the Decepticon and Autobot forms. This mode looks absolutely bad@$$ and I can only imagine how intimidating it could be in real life.
 
            Despite appearing a little bluish in the photos here, the colors are actually deep green in real life. Maybe it’s just my camera…
            Anyways, the truck is just so slick.
            Surprisingly, the kibbles are actually almost well hidden, except for the folded wings underneath it, but all things considered, it’s a really good design.

Robot Mode (Decepticon Falcon):
            When you plug in Skar’s engine block mode into the empty slot on the Missile Trailer truck, it will unlock the back wheels and release the bird legs.
 
            This mode is officially called the Decepticon Falcon mode and it’s kinda a unspoken theme for the Masterforce series; where the Decepticons tend to have robot modes that consisted of monsters, creatures, animals and dinosaurs; while the Autobots had humanoid robot modes. 
 
            Due to its age, the bird legs on my Doubledealer have since loosened that it can never stand on its two legs anymore. Parts of the trailer mode that still be seen, and overall, it’s a believable transformation.
            I absolutely love the head sculpt and the wings. The mouth opens and closes and the wings have feathered details on them. The feather details can also be seen and the back of the bird and part of the legs. The feet have scaled designs. 
            Articulation-wise: beak opens and closes; the head rotates 360°; wings flap up and down; the outer wings moves in and out; the “hips” swings in and out, with also ratcheting joints to move front and back; and finally the chicken knees bend up and down.
            I’m quite amazed to find such details from a G1 Masterforce figure, and even more so from a Knockoff figure!
            Overall, it’s a very convincing Decepticon mode.

Robot Mode (Autobot Robot):
            Say you want Doubledealer to infiltrate the Autobots, all you need to do is to transform Doubledealer back into his trailer mode, replace Skar with Knok, and through some lock releasing mechanism, you will get Doubledealer into his humanoid robot mode – officially called the Autobot Robot mode. 
 
            Standing at about 8 ¼-inches tall, Doubledealer is about the size of an Ultra-class figure. Although it is proportionately designed, you can’t help but noticed that the legs bend a bit inward.
            As far as the head sculpt goes, you may or may not like it. The details are there, but the huge circular pieces on the head may make it look like a variation of Mickey Mouse’s head. 
            Anyways, articulation-wise: the head does nothing; the shoulders can move awkwardly inward, although it’s mainly due to transformation; the elbows bend; hips move outward; knees rotate 360° and bend impossibly inward (due to transformation). 
From Left: ROTF Leader Optimus Prime & Doubledealer
            The one major thing that wins me for this particular figure is how well it hides the Decepticon mode, and vice-versa. There’s not a single Falcon parts exposed, and that’s just darn amazing.

Overall:
            I just love this darn figure, and to think that this is supposed to be a knockoff made it even sweeter. Doubledealer, Punch/ Counterpunch and Animated Shockwave/ Longarm Prime are arguably the best espionage expert in Transformers history, and I do rate these 3 on par with one another.
            As mentioned earlier, I do believe that the art of making good knockoffs are the things of the past. One thing about knockoffs is that it provides parents or anybody else for that matter, a viable cheaper option for kids to play them, and possibly breaking them – something that you wouldn’t dare with original Transformers figures. The trend nowadays, rather than making knockoffs, Third Party Entities prefer to compete with the Big Two and produce their very own Transformers figures, but at a much higher price.
            If only there are better knockoffs out there, probably kids would be able to enjoy their Transformers without parents having to worry about breaking their banks.
            Final verdict, 9/10.

2 comments:

  1. I had this one but lost it >_<
    I wonder how much they go for nowadays

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    Replies
    1. Well,for whatever it's worth, as far as my guestimation goes, probably between RM300 to RM400, depending on figure condition...

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