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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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The Reverend's review of: Doubledealer

Name: Doubledealer
Faction: Decepticon
Function: Mercenary
First Media Appearance: Marvel UK #228
"The price of victory is never too high."

A ruthless, battle-ready robot for rent. A traitorious backstabber. Only loyal to the highest bidder. Valued by all, trusted by none. When binary-bonded to Knok, Doubledealer disguises himself as an Autobot robt. When binary-bonded to the bat creature, Skar, Doubledealer transforms into a Decepticon falcon. Armed with intercontinental ballistic missile that can travel 3,000 miles in 30 minutes. Equipped with enough explosives to flatten a mountain range. Uses solid-light blaster in robot mode.

Alternate Mode:
Regardless of whether he's posing as Autobot or Decepticon, Doubledealer's alternate mode is a missile transport truck. He's mostly dark green in this mode, rolling on eight plastic wheels and bearing a huge gray missile almost as long as he is. There are a few highlights of black on him - the piece that holds the missile in place, mainly - and his cab windows are red plastic instead of clear. There's also some gray at the rear of the truck, and his Powermaster engine cavity is right below the missile's holder.

Doubledealer is nice-looking, sturdy and brickish in this mode, and the missile's holder can be tilted upwards to simulate launching. However, the missile holder is also the Autobot mode's head, and doing this exposes the face. His fists can be seen projecting out of the back of the truck as well. Still, just how many Transformers carry an intercontinental ballistic missile? Come now. Give him some credit. He also has an array of stickers visible in this mode, most notably his headlights at the front of the truck. And Doubledealer comes with two Powermaster engines, Knok and Skar. Knok is a cute little bipedal robot, mainly grey with red limbs and a blue face. Skar is a rabid-looking bat, largely a light purple with a yellow chest. Either can be inserted into the engine cavity in vehicle mode... oh yeah, let's get to that, shall we?

Robot (Autobot) Mode:
Inserting Knok into the engine cavity of the missile truck pushes down a prominent red button. Now, detach the missile from the top of the truck and set it aside. Raise the missile's holder a little, then rotate the front of the truck forwards to expose Doubledealer's legs. There is a protusion on either side of the front section of the truck, these are his feet - so once the legs are extended, rotate the lower legs sideways so that the front wheels touch and the feet face the same direction. Now his arms should be obvious as the raised section at the back of the truck, fold them out to the sides and flip down the black portions, which are his forearms and hands. Doing so reveals an Autobot symbol on each shoulder. Now simply swing the head back into position. Doubledealer comes with a light blue "chest piece" that is annoyingly extraneous in vehicle mode, dig this out and attach it to his chest. Lastly, you'll find his missile splits in half, the rear piece being his hand blaster.

Doubledealer's one heck of an Autobot in this mode, its easy to see why he's so "valued" as per the tech spec. He's taller than many other Autobots and features some fascinating details - aside from the surprising amount of etching and detailing on his body, his forearms look like reinforced girders and his wide torso conveys an impression of strength. Despite his poor articulation (he can do the splits and bend his elbows, thats all), he looks like a heavy gunner. Having Knok in his midsection with his small engine pipes and red highlights just adds to the detail. Doubledealer has a light blue face that is very humanoid in appearance (much like Kup, Hot Rod, Blurr et al) with red eyes. In fact, the only glaring "oddity" I see in him is that his head, having to double as the missile holder in vehicle mode, has a curious concave cavity at the rear which makes him look a little like he's wearing Mickey Mouse ears. By the way, he has pegs on his shoulders, which you can attach the front half of his missile to in order to make him look even more like a heavily-armed buttkicker. Must be compensation for the ears. There's a small socket on his back to which you can attach Skar if you desire - and while this makes Doubledealer look like he's wearing a "fanny pack" backwards, it does obscure the purple wings for his Decepticon mode folded against his back.

Robot (Decepticon) Mode:
Okay, so you want to see Doubledealer's "true" form. Fair enough. Stick Skar in the truck's engine compartment. This engages two recessed red buttons in the cavity. In a manner reminiscient of Astrotrain, swing out the thin sections at the rear of the truck containing Doubledealer's rear wheels. Unfold their lower wheel segments to reveal a pair of big purple claws. Turn the truck over and you'll realize there's a huge pair of compacted wings back there, swing these out and arrange them properly. Ah ha! A big purple Decepticon symbol is glaring at you from a feathered purple panel! Open this panel to discover the falcon's head. Swing it out into position and close the panel. Finally, put the rear missile piece (which was Autobot Doubledealer's blaster) into the hole on the bird's back, then attach the front piece to the holder now on his belly.

Well, if Autobot Doubledealer at least tried to look the part, Decepticon Doubledealer seems out to be the most loathsome, evil-looking bird in the brigade. With his taloned purple feet, feathered purple wings, toothy blue head and onboard armaments, this birdy is going to eat Laserbeak, Buzzsaw and Squawktalk for breakfast. It might be a sort of acting out on account of his being too big to perch on Galvatron's arm or something. All jokes aside, though, it looks like the designers spent some time on this. Sculpted feathers adorn his wings, back and upper legs, the mouth opens and closes, and there are even wrinkles on the bird's face. Carrying what now appears to be a bomb underneath and a big gun on his back, this bird is gonna do more than peck. Now, unlike truck and Autobot mode, there IS some serious betrayal of his double-agent status here. The Autobot mode's fists stick out underneath the bird head very obviously here, and the bird's tail is nothing but the truck cab turned upside down. Its a real surprise because the bird side was so well hidden in the previous modes. Still, this bird carries his own bag of buttkick, with the obvious weaponry on his back and belly. His wings can flap (and each is jointed at the middle for better posing), he has bird's (reverse) knees, and his feet can move up and down somewhat. His head can also rotate 360 degrees - so he can bite Wheelie's visor off if you so desire. Again, you can sort of store his other Powermaster (Knok) in this mode by stuffing him into the loose chest piece from Autobot mode and attaching this to the rifle on his back. This looks just as silly as Skar's storage place, but if you fear losing the engines, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

Transformation: 5 - The Autobot mode is easy to figure out without the directions. Be more careful when transforming to Decepticon, though, the parts are more fragile.
Durability: 7 - In vehicle and Autobot modes, Doubledealer is as sturdy as they come. The Decepticon mode, again, features thin plastic pieces (especially the wings) that can loosen and be damaged more easily.
Fun: 9 - I love it! With two vastly different faction modes (unlike Punch-Counterpunch), a unique vehicle mode, and ALL of those packing obvious firepower and great details, Doubledealer is a sadly underrated entry for G1.
Price: Making his appearance after the line was waning, Doubledealer is not the easiest to find out there. You'll hunt for awhile. Still, I got mine for $27 from Ebay with all parts.
Summary: Take a chance. Seriously. Doubledealer delivers.
 
 
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