"Generations" Power of the Primes Dreadwind Toy Review
Release Date: November 2017
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster, Prime Armor, Prime Armor cover
Official images and text below in italics are from BigBadToyStore:
The Autobots and Decepticons use Prime Masters to wield the incredible powers of the legendary bots who shaped the universe: the Primes. Prime Masters carry the spark of a Prime, allowing them to share a Prime's godlike ability with other bots. How will the Decepticon air defense specialist Dreadwind wield this epic power? Anything is possible and everything is at stake when the Power of the Primes is unleashed!
Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe Class figures are 5.5-inch-scale figures that come with a Prime Armor accessory. Insert a Prime Master figure (each sold separately) into the accessory and attach it to the figure's chest, and imagine Dreadwind wields the power of a Prime.
- 5.50 inch (14cm) scale
- Made of plastic
- Converts in 13 Steps
- Includes a Prime Armor accessory
- Combines with Prime Master figure (Sold separately)
In 1988 the Generation One toy line introduced a new type of Transformer: Powermasters. Unlike the Head and Targetmasters of the previous year, these Transformers had small partners who transformed into their engines to both provide power and unlock their transformations. One of the Decepticon Powermasters was Dreadwind, who along with his partner Darkwing terrorized the planet Nebulos. Dreadwind has popped up here and there since Generation One. During Botcon 2007 he appeared as an exclusive figure in that year's boxed set. Years later he would become a Kre-O figure. Now in "Power of the Primes" he has returned as a redeco and significant retool of the "Combiner Wars" Skydive figure. It would be a good idea to check out my review of Skydive before diving into this review. This write up will focus on the changes made to the Skydive figure to turn him into Dreadwind.
The Deluxe Class figures for "Power of the Primes" are packaged in a blister bubble glued to a card. The card continues the current trend of having a red Transformers logo set vertically on the right side (if you are facing the card) with the "Generations" logo above it. Most of the card is covered in character artwork. In Dreadwind's case his artwork shows him in robot mode in a battle situation, blaster in one hand and the other balled into a fist. The figure is in robot mode inside the bubble with the accessories to the side. The insert inside the bubble has the "Power of the Primes" logo on it with the character's name. The back of the packaging shows Dreadwind in his various modes including having the Prime Armor attached. On the right side it shows the Prime Armor attached with Micronus inside the Armor. There is a bit of a cosell showing Liege Maximo and Vector Prime.
The "Power of the Primes" figures from Legends Class up come with collectors cards. However, unlike the "Titans Return" cards which featured tech spec stats, these focus on what ability the character gets if they connect to a specific Prime Master Spark. This means there are thirteen potential card variations per character (one for each Prime)! In my copy of the Dreadwind figure I received the "Megatronus Dreadwind" card indicating he calculates deadly attacks against his enemies.
Dreadwind includes two accessories. The first is a blaster based on the G1 Dreadwind's weapons. While some details are different, the basic shape of the weapon is the same as the G1 version including a boxy, rectangular section in the back leading to a barrel that narrows in the front. It also features a small fin piece on top and some vertical grooves on the sides. This piece is cast in a turquoise color with no paint applications. The weapon features a 5mm peg on the bottom.
The other accessory is the Prime Armor. If you flip down the center of Dreadwind's chest panel, it reveals a 5mm port. This armor can attach to that. Remove the turquoise panel in the middle of the armor and you can attach a Titan or Prime Master. The sculpt for this accessory has a fun Easter Egg. If you look at it from the top, it has some design elements from Hi-Test, G1 Dreadwind's Powermaster partner! The most obvious are two distinct circles on one side, which are analagous to the hinges found on many of the G1 Powermaster Nebulan figures, including Hi-Test. Also, the sides have distinct vent sections which seem to call back to similar sections on G1 Hi-Test. Even better? If you look close to the parts of the Prime Armor where the Combiner thumbs are you'll see thin panels that seem to stick up. These are basically equivalent to the feet of the Powermasters which formed one side of the engine modes. I really love the way the designers worked some of the history of the character into this accessory. It also fits because this is the mechanism which allows one of the Prime Master Sparks to "power up" Dreadwind himself!
This accessory also forms a fist for the Combiner limb mode. Unfortunately it has two thumb pieces and neither can tuck away, so as a hand it looks a bit odd. If this design is similar to the Dinobot "hands", it should also be able to connect to a foot piece to form a heel for extra stability (presumably, Dreadwind is meant to combine with Starscream who has not yet hit mass release at the time of this writing). this piece is cast in purple, light grey and turquoise, all the key colors found on Dreadwind himself.
Dreadwind is a heavy retool of Skydive. We're not just talking about swapping out a part or two. A lot of parts have been swapped out and re-engineered. Here's a rundown:
- The head sculpt is new, based on G1 Dreadwind's distinct design. The helmet portion fits over the eyes, making it look like he is wearing a cowl. He has two small eyes and a mouthplate. On the sides of the head are discs with vertical rectangles sticking up.
- The shoulders are new pieces, featuring cylinders on top inspired by one of the more distinctive design elements of G1 Dreadwind. The shoulders are also boxy and not angled and wide like Skydive's, so Dreadwind's arms are much closer to the torso than Skydive's.
- The entire torso section is a brand new piece. It features a rectangulr Combiner limb connector in the center and some designs that are roughly in a "T" shape on the sides of the chest. While this Dreadwind does not have a cockpit on his torso like the G1 version, the center of the chest has a curved section that resembles part of a jet cockpit.
- The wings are the same design as Skydive's but they are in a completely different position. On Skydive they were on hinges behind the arms. On Dreadwind they are connected to the lower legs by hinges! This is, I believe, in part to facilitate Dreadwind's combination with Blackwing (aka Darkwing) in vehicle mode.
Overall I think the designers did an amazing job of retooling Skydive to turn him into Dreadwind. While not every element of the design is spot on (most notably, the cockpit is on his back instead of forming the torso) enough has been changed that he is instantly recognizable as Dreadwind.
For those curious, several of Skydive's parts have been retained with this figure. These parts include his forearms, thighs, legs, wings and cockpit section. More on this in the vehicle mode review.
Dreadwind is cast in light grey, purple and turquoise plastic. Light grey makes up most of the figure, with the other two colors making up smaller parts like parts of the shoulders and the forearms. It is pretty impressive how well the colors on these parts match up with G1 Dreadwind. Like G1 Dreadwind, the shoulders are turquois, the lower legs are purple and the forearms are purple. To further connect the colors between the original and this version there are several paint details that match up with G1 Dreadwind. These include:
- Turquois paint is used on the armor on the shoulders and the cylinders sticking up.
- The chest feature red details on the "T" shapes, calling back to the red stickers on G1 Dreadwind's chest.
- Turquois paint on his waist area matches up with a turquois section in the same area on the G1 figure.
- The knees have silver paint on them, calling back to the silver stickers on G1 Dreadwind's knees.
- The feet and fists are painted grey.
- A decepticon symbol is tampographed on top of silver on the raised section in the middle of the chest. This is inspired by a silver sticker with a Decepticon symbol on it on G1 Dreadwind.
- In a very tiny but significant deco choice, his eyes are painted yellow, matching up with the G1 figure.
It is pretty incredible how well the designers matched up both sculpted pieces and colors to call back to G1 Dreadwind. I really appreciate the designers doing more than just swapping out a head or a weapon. It makes buying the figure much more worth it (especially if you are a hardcore collector like me and own several variants of the Skydive design already).
Dreadwind has sixteen points of articulation. This includes four in each arm and three in each leg. The designers definitely did some Q/C work on the tooling because all the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight and he is very stable when posed. His fists have 5mm ports to accomodate weapons. He also has ports on the sides of his forearms. On top of that the top of the cylinders on his shoulders are also 5mm ports, allowing you to potentially attach six weapons to his upper body alone! If you really want to go nuts, attach more weapons to the underside of the wings on his lower legs. As mentioned above, the Prime Master armor attaches by swinging down the center chest panel and attaching the peg on the Prime Armor to the newly revealed port. You can then attach a Titan or Prime Master to the armor itself. I also like to connect the armor to the sides of the forearms as a shield.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Push the two lower legs together.
- Swing the cockpit section on the back out, then up and forward over the robot head.
- Swing the front and back panels of the lower legs out.
- Swing up the lower leg halves, then bring them together again against the upper half of the jet.
- The arms are connected to the torso on hinged pieces. Swing these down and connect the gaps on the forearms to the tabs on the sides of the vehicle.
- Swing the wings down, then swing them forward on their hinges. Push the wings up against the sides. The wings also attach to tabs on the back of the robot shoulders.
- Swing the horizontal stabilizer fins in the back out.
- The Prime Master armor can be attached to the top of the jet. The blaster can connect to either wing.
Dreadwind's vehicle mode matches up very well with his G1 counterpart. This is partly because the two versions of Dreadwind share some similar features. That includes a nosecone section that widens at the base on either side of the cockpit cover. They both also have objects on the ends of their wings, though on G1 Dreadwind they were missiles and here they are pods (though there are missiles sculpted onto the bottom of the wings). The cylinders from the robot mode shoulders wind up sticking out in the front pointing forward. G1 Dreadwind had a similar detail. This vehicle form also winds up being wider than Skydive because the wings are connected to an extra piece that then sits flush against the main body of the jet. On Skydive, the wings just sat right up against the main body of the jet with nothing in between. Other than that, the two sculpts are near identical, with the same line detailing on both. The rear stabilizers are also the same as Skydive's, featuring two vertical and two horizontal as opposed to G1 Dreadwind who only had one vertical fin.
This mode is a combination of all the colors seen in robot mode, though we get more of a look at some drak grey on the back of the vehicle and a soft, gunmetal colored nosecone. Turquois and silver paint are used on the wings along with purple for a Decepticon symbol. These details call back to stickers found on G1 Dreadwind's wings. There are red details on the parts between the wings and the main body and the cockpit is painted turquois. These colors also call back to color elements on G1 Dreadwind. Overall the vehicle looks great and while there are differences from the G1 design, I can totally buy this as a new version of Dreadwind.
Dreadwind's wings are the same as Skydive's, so they have a 5mm port for weapons. He also has the same 5mm port on the top of the vehicle as Skydive. You can connect the Prime Armor to this and either connect a Prime Master or Titan Master. Even better, the mini-figures can go along for the ride in either mode. Remove the panel and there is room for a Titan or Prime Master to sit on the armor like a seat. Want to give a couple Titan or Prime Masters a ride? The newly added part between the wings and the main body of the vehicle have Titan Master pegs allowing you to attach the mini-figures. I really appreciate that the designers made it a point to ccontinue this feature and help build up the fantasy of the small "Master" figures interacting with larger Transformers counterparts.
Transformation to Leg Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Swing the horizontal stabilizers up.
- Swing the wings down and then up.
- Swing the cockpit back, bend it forward and push it in.
- Swing the front of the lower robot legs forward, then swing the Combiner connector piece up. Push the leg pieces back in.
- Attach a foot piece to the bottom of the leg.
*Note: The Prime Armor accessory included with Dreadwind does not transform into a foot. It only becomes a fist. For the photos in this review I borrowed a Combiner Wars Aerialbot hand/foot/weapon piece since the torso piece Dreadwind would connect to (presumably Starscream) has not yet been widely released. Also, you don't necesarily have to swing the wings down. Indeed, the leg is actually a bit more table if you leave them attached to the robot arms since there are more parts tabbed together that way. It's more of a personal aesthetic choice.
Not surprisingly, Dreadwind's leg mode basically looks like Skydive's leg mode in different colors. There are some structural differences, most notably the way the wings are attached and of course the cylinders on the robot shoulders. The Combiner connection joint is nice and tight on my copy of this figure and I am confident he will hold up nicely when combined with other figures. The ports on the wings allow you to attach extra weapons too.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Swing the wings up.
- Swing the front and back halves of the robot legs out.
- Pull and swing the lower legs down, then connect them back together.
- Swing the cockpit back, bend it forward then push it into place.
- Swing the Combiner connection piece up.
- Rotate the arms around and bend them at the elbow (this is mostly to get them out of the way).
- Rotate the waist section. If you want this limb to be the left arm, rotate it to the right and vice versa.
- Attach the fist piece to the port at the end.
Due to the way the wings have been retooled on this figure, they do not connect to the robot arms in this mode, so the forearms just kind of sit there not connected to anything but the elbow piece. Fortunately the joints are tight enough that this works without a problem. Speaking tight joints, the leg joints are tight enough that the "elbow" of this arm mode works just fine and can likely hold up even a Legends Class figure in weapon mode if the arm is bent at the elbow. The ports on the wings allow you to attach additional weapons, adding to Dreadwind's potential firepower. I'm very glad that after so many uses the joints on this arm mode are tight.
Dreadwind is an extraordinary redeco and retool. While there are still plenty of Skydive parts left on this figure, it still looks like a distinct piece all its own. The figure is also fun and being a Combiner limb is a bonus. Even better? It was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that this figure will be able to combine with Blackwing in vehicle mode like the G1 Decepticon Powermasters! Highly recommended.
- Extensive retooling.
- New deco pays homage to the original very well.
- Good play value.
- Joints are nice and tight despite this base sculpt being used many times.
- Has the ability to combine with Blackwing in vehicle mode like the G1 Powermasters.
- The fact that this is yet another retool of a sculpt that has been used several times will turn some fans off.
- The design is not a perfect homage to G1 Dreadwind, particularly the torso section.
- The Prime Armor winds up with two thumbs whether it is a left or right hand.