Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transformers Prime - Dreadwing

Well... it certainly has been pretty slow around here for Transformers. And that's my own fault. I got stuck playing Transformers:FoC rather than reviewing the toys. Plenty of reviews are out there for FoC Optimus, Jazz, and Shockwave, so I'm gonna go beyond those into a few newer items. So, it's time for some catch up... and fortunately for me, I have Jason to help. Jason scored this baddie for me... TF:Prime Dreadwing! How dreadful is he? Take a look after the jump!

Dreadwing comes packed in the standard TF:Prime packaging... window-boxed with an odd cut off corner. The window has a hole cut out so you can try his 'Meh' Tech weapon. Since the figure is packed in Bot-mode there is some nice Alt-mode art adorning the front of the packaging. The back shows off the figure in both modes and points out his accessories.

One side of the box gives us Dreadwing's Tech-Spec and Bio... Dreadwing is a secondary commander, but now that Starscream is out of the picture, he stands to move up the ranks. OH! And in the show, Dreadwing is voiced by Tony Todd... The Fallen in TF:RotF... of Candyman fame... the Mortician in the 'Final destination' series of movies... or just any movie where a creepy, deep throaty voiced black guy is needed.

Open the box, and we have Dreadwing and his gear in the typical plastic tray held in place by Hasbro's newer paper ties. Underneath are Dreadwing's instructions. Pretty normal fare.

Unfortunately, Dreadwing does NOT come with his huge 2-handed cannon. Well... he kind of does. Hasbro seems to be stuck in 'Mech-Tech' gimmick mode. I've said it before, who cares? Give me a show accurate weapon. Oh! Wait... they did, a sword... yay. 1 out of 2 is still an 'F'. In order for the cannon to look like a cannon, you have to keep your fingers on it, otherwise, you just get this weird cube deal.

Dreadwing himself is a pretty nice looking piece. With the exception of a few minor details, the figure is very accurate to the show model. The only thing that immediately jumps out at me are the horizontal fins on his legs, they hang out farther than they should. Otherwise, he looks good.

During the show, we see Dreadwing wield some weaponry befitting his size. Not many Decepticons can go toe to to with Optimus, but Dreadwing and his arsenal did fairly well. As shown above, we get a sword, which is fairly show accurate, and a cannon, which is about half accurate. Dreadwing's cannon was of the  2-handed, under-slung, variety. The 'Meh'-Tech cannon we get with our figure is in the more standardly held vein.

Again the sword is fairly show accurate. Even with Dreadwing's bulk, thanks of numerous ball and ball/swivel combo joints, he can hold a variety of poses.

Now... for the other accessory... the 'Meh'-Tech weapon. I really wish Hasbro would step away from this accessory. Takara is currently putting out the 'Micron' version of the Prime line. Each figure comes with a transforming Mini-con, a much better accessory than a 'Meh'-Tech weapon.

The first and always apparent issue with the 'Meh'-Tech weapons is that without some pressure, the weapons always folds back up, thanks to the internal spring mechanism, making for a lackluster gun and more of a techno-brick with a barrel.

By pinching the back end of the cannon into his armpit, it can remain unfolded. This really limits playability in my opinion.

The cannon also has a post hole molded into it that the sword can be stored in. During Dreadwing's transformation, the rear section with the vertical stabilizers and engine get flipped up. If you keep it flipped down, it exposes a post hole that the sword can also be plugged into.

In the cartoon, Dreadwing carries his cannon around like Jesse Ventura carried 'Ol Painless, the 2-handed underslung grip. Unfortunately for us, the hand-grip for the cannon is too small to completely fit into Dreadwing's hand for a more show accurate grip. And once again, the 'Meh'-Tech feature makes it even more difficult.

Transforming Dreadwing from Bot to Alt mode is not too tough to figure out. His chest unfolds akin to the classic seekers, flip out the nose, fold down the head... and his shoulders fold down to finish the fuselage off.

The wings and the panels that make up the top of the Alt-mode fold nice and neatly together...

Dreadwing's arms rotate down and fold together down the center. Sadly, this leaves Dreadwing's Alt-mode with VHS... Visible Hand Syndrome. Robo kibble on an Alt-mode is never nice to see. His forearms are big enough they could have probably had them fold in like TF:Prime Megatron.

Dreadwing's legs are on a few hinges. His pelvis splits open and then swings to the front of the jet. It looks kind of like an intake... but not really. His legs fold in towards the body and peg into a few separate slots. The horizontal stabilizers snap into place along the piece that houses the engine and vertical stabilizers.

Once you have all the panels snapped into place... Viola! Dreadwing Alt-mode! The top of the jet is pretty nice looking, there's no real kibble... except the hands. The bottom of the jet is of course, just a jumble of stuff, Dreadwing's pelvis just sticks out and makes for a really non-aerodynamic fuselage. Nonetheless, from what's been done before, the engineers for these figures just keep getting better.

VHS - Visible Hand Syndrome

In Alt-mode, Dreadwing has a post that you can attache his weaponry to.If you think he's non-aerodynamic now, just wait...

Now... something I saw online regarding the 'Meh'-Tech weaponry... removing the spring. I figured I'd give it a try. Dreadwing's cannon has 3 small screws in the grey plate

I didn't take the spring completely out, I just popped it off the post. The weapon now stays open under it's own weight. The down side is that if you turn it over, it folds back up. So, no underslung cannon for Dreadwing without a little customizing first.

All in all, Dreadwing is a solid figure. He snaps together very well and all his parts have a place. With the exception of his pelvis and hands, his Alt-mode is a solid mold as well. One thing that I did notice, and I know was brought up in other reviews, in an effort to minimize poking and stabbing accidents, there is an inordinant amount of soft rubber built into Dreadwing. More than in any other figure I've seen yet. His head, vertical stabilizers, and knee guards are all molded from soft rubber. It isn't something you'll notice and in NO way hinders the figure. It's just precautionary on Hasbros part to minimize any accidents that could happen from having a toy with pointy bits... like other wings... or a sword... 

So, if you like hulking, plane shaped Decepticons, TF:Prime, are a completionist, or characters voiced by awesome actors, go find a Dreadwing.

Review, pics, and geek knowledge on Tony Todd by Scion of Primus.