As Generation 1 continued into 1985, Hasbro continued to issue the popular Autobot Cars as main characters. As they expanded their horizons beyond the selection of supercars and racing cars, the used designs such as that of Inferno, who transforms into a Mitsubishi Fuso F-Series FT fire ladder truck.

US Patent for G1 Inferno


Like all the other Autobot cars in 1984 and 1985, Inferno started his existence in Takara’s Diaclone as Car Robot No. 10 Fire Truck Long Ladder Type. This version of the toy came with a small plastic and die-cast driver that could sit in the cab of the truck by tilting it forward. Other than minor sticker differences, the Diaclone version also included the word “FUSO” molded on the front of the truck – this was removed from Inferno for trademark reasons. Like many of the work vehicles in Car Robot, Long Ladder Type was only issued in one color scheme. Inferno was invented by Kouzin Ohno and the US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy assembly (aka Transformers G1 Inferno) was filed on October 12, 1982 (U.S. Patent No. US4680018 A).


Inferno is the largest Autobot Car design, due to the size of his alternate vehicle. Despite the accuracy of the cab, his truck mode is largely fictional. His head section forms the ladder turret, complete with a three-section telescoping white ladder, as well as chrome decorations and molded-in hose nozzles. The middle section of the truck is dominated by Inferno’s robot mode arms, which simply like stretched out along the sides of the truck bed. The chassis, formed by his legs, features molded fire hoses coiled to the sides of the truck. He features molded red wheels shod in glossy, treaded rubber tires, which he shares with mold-mate Grapple as well as Hound. His robot mode towers over the other Cars , giving the appearance of a bulky and strong warrior. He is decorated by numerous chrome pieces, stickers, and “hose nozzle” accessories that attach like wings. He displays a traditional Diaclone design, using the windowed truck cab as the robot chest, and having wrists that can mount or fire his fists or chrome missiles. Unlike the other fist-shooting Cars, however, he can carry a small black handgun as well. An odd twist to his otherwise simple transformation is the ladder turret forming the head, by means of folding a long black arm that tucks into the truck chassis in alternate mode, and hangs down his back in robot mode. Inferno employs very little die-cast metal, except for the soles of his feet, which prevent him from becoming too top-heavy.

Collector Notes

Despite his considerable bulk, Inferno is somewhat prone to breakage due to his unusual design. The long hinged strut that holds the ladder turret / head section can break if twisted or forced in the wrong direction. In addition, the short screw that holds the hinge together can work loose and fall out.


As with most former Diaclone toys, Inferno has a number of production variations, though not as many as some of the 1984 releases. The most notable variation is the presence or absence of four rectangular indentations between the grill and the bumper. This corresponds to a minor variation of the handle peg of Inferno’s rifle. Other minor and date-stamp variations also exist.


Inferno was available in 1985, exclusively sold with the rubsign on top of his cab. He was reissued as part of Collector’s Edition in Japan in 2001 as an exclusive to Wonder Festival 2001, sold together with Grapple. He was reissued again in Japan as part of the 2003 Transformers Collection, and in the US the same year as part of Commemorative Edition as a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive.

Redecos & Retools

The mold was first used in 1983 as Car Robot No. 10 Fire Truck Long Ladder Type. It was retooled the same year as Car Robot No. 20 Truck Crane. The crane version was sold as Grapple in 1985. The fire truck version was retooled and redecorated in 1987 as the Japanese exclusive Targetmaster Artfire. Inferno was slightly retooled and given a water squirter accessory as Generation 2 Inferno in 1993. The crane version of the mold was redecorated and sold in 2003 as RoadHauler, an e-HOBBY exclusive from Collector’s Edition.