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Series: War for Cybertron: Earthrise
Allegiance: Mercenary
Categories: Leader
Year: 2020

Prelude: Shady characters with unclear allegiances can be lots of fun, yet they hardly ever appear in Transformers fiction. Double Dealer has been around since 1988, but except for a single story in the Marvel Comics and an equally short role in IDW, we barely ever saw him in action. Now he is back for Earthrise and slated to appear in the second season of Netflix’ War for Cybertron series, so let’s see how he has weathered the 32 years since his initial appearance. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let’s start with the fact that the robot mode is pretty much a spitting image of the original G1 Double Dealer. It’s a bit shorter, a bit broader, and doesn’t have quite so huge a head as the original, but it’s clearly the same guy. The resemblance is very close, so full points for recreating the original robot’s look. Also, more bonus points for being a Leader-class figure in War for Cybertron that isn’t actually a (small) Voyager-class figure with huge extra parts.

As one expects from a modern figure, the range of motion is far better than the original had. Double Dealer can pose without any real restrictions, right down to double elbow joints and twisting wrists, so no complaints here. The sculpting on the figure looks very good, too. While the modern Double Dealer is not a Powermaster like the old figure was, he replicates the look of the engine plugging into his stomach with a sculpting. Unlike the original figure, the blue panel on the chest opens up instead of being a detachable (and easy to lose) extra part and offers room for a War for Cybertron style cassette (which his original Powermaster partners Skar and Knok have been recreated as).

Finally, Double Dealer comes with quite the arsenal, too. Apart from his giant missile, which can split into a long rifle and a smaller missile, he has a small black rifle, two plug-in tube missile launchers and a box missile launcher (non-firing). He has numerous ports on his body where these weapons can be mounted, though traditionally the rifle goes in hand and the smaller missile on the shoulder. Nicely done. The faction symbols on his shoulders can be flipped around. Traditionally the robot is the Autobot, but you can easily turn him into a Decepticon here, too, if you want.

The only slight downside to this mode is the (detachable) rucksack he carries, which really serves no function here, but can get in the way of the shoulder-mounted weapons. Also, he can kind of spread his bird mode wings in robot mode, too, but it doesn’t really look that good. Apart from that, though, no complaints. An excellent robot mode.

Alternate Modes: Double Dealer is a triple changer. Traditionally his robot mode was an Autobot, while his second mode, a robotic eagle, was designated a Decepticon. Much like in robot mode the resemblance to the original is very, very good. In fact the two robot eagles are more or less identical, big boxy birds. Earthrise DD has more poseable wings, but unlike the original he cannot carry part of his missile under his belly. The head is a bit more articulate, too. One big downside here, though: the tail feathers. They are the rucksack from robot mode, a detachable piece that doesn’t really stick in place all that well. Also, the big missile is mounted on that part, too, making it a bit unstable as well. So bottom line: a good robotic eagle, a great likeness to the original, but the tail feathers / rucksack thing does drag him down a bit.

Double Dealer’s third mode, traditionally his neutral mode, is a big missile truck. Here, too, the resemblance to the original is very strong and the vehicle looks pretty good. You can scatter DD’s various weapons all over the vehicle, the big missile can be raised, everything looks great. For some reason the rear part of the driver’s cabin can flip up (see picture 27), but I have yet to figure out what that’s supposed to be for. Anyway, the vehicle looks pretty cool and for once the detachable rucksack thing doesn’t get in the way, either. In fact, it’s sole reason for being here in the first place is to turn the vehicle mode into a kind of base mode. Flip out the panel from the rucksack, raise the missile straight up, and you have a sort-of rocket base that can connect to other Earthrise bases via those connecting ramps. Not that DD really needed a base mode, but it doesn’t take anything away from the vehicle mode, so no complaints. Easily the better of DD’s two alternate modes in my mind.

Remarks: Double Dealer appeared in a single comic story from Marvel UK, where he showcased his ability to switch from Autobot to Decepticon in order to play both sides against the middle. In the more recent IDW comics he was an Autobot turncoat, but without having a Decepticon eagle mode. His Takara version Double Clouder played a bigger role in the Masterforce TV series, but given that he was a lifeless transector there, piloted by a human, it can hardly be considered the same character. Double Dealer did appear in the trailer for the second season of Netflix’ War for Cybertron series, though, so maybe the definitive Double Dealer story is just around the corner, we’ll see.

As for the toy itself, it’s pretty great. Not perfect, no. The whole thing with the rucksack and the tail in bird mode could have been done better, I think, and the base mode, while not bad, is pretty much superfluous, but overall I like this figure very much. A lot of people will definitely want to get his two Powermaster / Cassette companions Skar and Knok, too, who came out as a Generations Selects exclusive. Either way, though, nicely done. Fully recommended to all fans of the old G1 Powermasters and the current Generations style.

Rating: B+

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