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Series: Generation 1
Year: 1989
Allegiance: Autobot
Class: Pretender 
Function: Surveillance
Burn, baby, burn!
Double trouble for the Decepticons! All functions and personality traits are divided between his two heads - the right head sees, smells and analyzes; the left hears, talks and makes decisions. Cool under pressure. Jet boosters in feet provide lightning-fast maneuverability in the air. Coil springs in legs also provide incredible jumping ability. Armed with semi-automatic, acid pellet pistol. Inner robot armed with rust-ray gun that corrodes metal on contact.

Prelude: When it came to the Pretenders, there was a firm rule: Autobots are humans in armor, Decepticons are monsters. And while that rule was strictly enforced in the gimmick’s first year, the second year did see some (minor) deviations that allowed some Autobot Pretenders to get a bit of freak on, too. Case in point, Doubleheader, who IS a human in armor… with two heads. Intrigued? Let’s say go!

Many thanks to Jörg “the Carpenter” Zimmermann for loaning me Doubleheader for this review.

Robot Mode: Like many of the inner robots of the Pretender gimmick line, Doubleheader isn’t exactly a very distinguished-looking robot. As a matter of fact, he would make a great generic Autobot for filling out crowd scenes, I’d say. Mostly light and dark grey, his green face and red Autobot symbol are his only flecks of color. Like many of the second-year Pretender robots, he is rather small, about the size of a Scout-Class figure, and there is very little clue what he transforms into. Articulation is limited to bending his arms at the elbow and his legs at the knees. Technically he can also spread his arms at the shoulders, a transformation requirement, but that’s it. He comes with a small grey gun that clips onto his forearm.

Like with most Pretenders, the selling point of the figure isn’t the robot, though, but rather the outer shell. As mentioned above, Doubleheader is yet another human-looking shell in futuristic armor, but in his case he comes with two heads. Why? No idea, but it makes him stand out, at the very least. According to his tech spec he divides his cognitive functions between the two heads (how does that work when he is outside the shell, anyway?) and he even has a double helmet to put on. Weird, but in a nice way. Like all Pretender shells his articulation is restricted to the shoulders. He carries a white rifle and a red wing-rucksack, which is part of Doubleheader’s alternate mode.

Sadly the smaller robot cannot wear the wing rucksack, but at least you can store the smaller robot’s gun inside the shell as well, so there are no parts left over when Doubleheader is inside. So bottom line: a pretty standard Pretender figure for the most part, but his two heads do give him a distinctive look, which I’d wager is just about the only reason for people to remember him.

Alternate Mode: Most Pretender robots don’t exactly have a very intricate transformation and Doubleheader is no exception. He lies down on his stomach, flips in the legs, flips up his shoulders, and attaches the red wings that the Pretender shell wore as a rucksack. The result is a double-cockpit jet, a somewhat similar design to Slugslinger, and is recognizable for what it’s supposed to be (though take care not to lose the wing rucksack, otherwise it’s just a grey… thing). Fun detail: the robot arms become the front landing gear of the jet. Otherwise, though: a rather unremarkable alternate mode. Like most Pretenders.

Remarks: Doubleheader has no TV appearances to his name, not even in the Japanese Masterforce series that featured Pretenders quite heavily. His comic book appearances are not that much to write home about, either. He was introduced during the “Matrix Quest” storyline, where teams of Autobots searched the cosmos for the lost Creation Matrix, and had some cameo appearances in the Marvel UK comics, as well as the Regeneration One series, but that was pretty much it. One might consider Cyberverse Rack'n'Ruin his spiritual successor in some ways, but Doubleheader himself does not have much of a media presence.

At the end of the day, Doubleheader is nothing more and nothing less than an average G1 Pretender figure with the same strengths and flaws as pretty much every other figure from that time. His lack of significant media presence is slightly mitigated by his freaky shell design, but that’s really the only thing about him that stands out. So bottom line, recommended only to fans of the Pretender gimmick and obscure G1 characters.

Rating: C+

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