Transformers Movie (2007) Dreadwing Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007), Seeker

Transformers Live Action Movie

Dreadwing Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: September 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missiles x 2


Tech Specs:
DREADWING isn't terribly intelligent, so no one's certain where he got the teleportation technology that allows him to warp up to two and a half miles instantly. He sure didn't invent it and no one else has it, so he must have stolen it, which makes sense. He is, after all, a born thief. Sneaky and greedy, he pranks and steals from his fellow DECEPTICONS as often as the AUTOBOTS. No one likes him, so he spends most of his time alone, plotting grand schemes and spiking other robots' gas tanks with sugar.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed: 10  Endurance: 5
Rank: 4  Courage: 4  Fireblast: 7  Skill: 6

Dreadwing is packaged on the standard type of Transformers movie carded packaging with the edges of the plastic bubble wrapping around to the back of the card. He is packaged in vehicle mode. The curved tech detail section at the top of the bubble says "As seen in the TRANSFORMERS Video Game." On the back both modes are pictured. His cosells are Bumblebee, Bumblebee (2008 version), Arcee, Swindle, Scorponok and Bonecrusher. Whether that means the figures from the earlier wave are being re-released is uncertain as I have not yet seen a full case opened. His vehicle mode is listed as a fighter jet, but it does have a basis in reality (noted below).

Vehicle Mode:
According to Dave Van Domelen's excellent review of this figure Dreadwing is based on the MIG-29. Like the real life jet, he has a sharply defined nosecone, two vertical fins, two horizontal fins and two angled wings sweeping back. On either side of the front section of the vehicle are two sets of raised panels that look like vents. It also has small details found on the real vehicle such as small triangular details on the vertical fins. There are also other small details you would expect to find on a jet such as lines indicating metal paneling, small circles representing bolts and lines on the thrusters. Look inside the cockpit and you'll see even more detail in the form of a seat and control panel.

To avoid any potential licensing issues, there are differences between this vehicle mode and the real MIG-29. vLook carefully in the middle of the vehicle and you'll see a small opening that shows hints of a VTOL fan. Also, mounted on the bottom is a long tube that goes from the front to the back. To me this looks like some type of large piece of sensor equipment, especially with the curved lense like pieces in the front and back. On the sides of this section are raised rectangular details towards the front. On the bottom of this tube are wheels towards the front and back.

Dreadwing is primarily cast in light blue and black plastic. He has a really nice camo pattern with light grey and dark grey. Some silver paint is used as well most notably on the parts at the edge of the rear thrusters. Each vertical fin in the back has a Decepticon symbol tampographed on the sides. It's a great looking color scheme that gives some of the "real world" vibe that so many of the movie figures have aimed for whether the character appeared in the movie or not.

While it doesn't seem like it, Dreadwing sort of does have an action feature in this form. The flames coming out of his thrusters are cast in translucent clear plastic with some orange in it. They are actually missiles, and if you press the purple buttons on the rear of the vehicle they can fire. I prefer to just leave them in as they look really cool.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the rear fins down.
  2. Swing each rear half of the vehicle out to the sides, then up.
  3. Swing the jet wings up.
  4. Pull each half of the front of the vehicle out to the sides.
  5. Swing the nosecone down to reveal the head. Swing the panels on the side of his "eye" down.
  6. Swing the sensor pod on the bottom forward.
  7. Swing the black ends of the pod out.
  8. Swing each half of the pod out.
  9. Swing the small purple piece in the middle up.
  10. Swing each leg down.
  11. Rotate the waist piece so the purple piece in the center faces forward.
  12. Swing up the halves of each thruster to form the feet.

Robot Mode:
While this figure is relatively new, it has been seen before in robot mode in IDW's Transformers Movie Prequel comic. Similar to Swindle, Dreadwing uses the "Drone head" type design that looks like one big eye with small details surrounding it. In some ways, the body displays elements of the traditional Seeker design, albeit formed in different ways. Like the Seekers, there are vertical protrusions on either side of the head. His jet wings wind up mounted on his back and his weapons are parts of his arms (though here they pretty much are in his hands instead of being mounted on them).

Dreadwing has also drawn some comparisons by fans to another jet based Decepticon, specifically Armada Thrust. Like Thrust, Dreadwing's jet thrusters wind up becoming his hands and his rear horizontal and vertical fins wind up on the top of his forearms. Also like Thrust he has a VTOL fan in the center of the jet mode, though her it winds up on his torso. While Dreadwing is not a "conehead" Transformer, the nosecone of the jet does become part of his head, but here it is swept back to a larger degree than it is on Thrust. The similarities between the two may just be a result of having to similar vehicle modes, but it's interesting to see how similarities in design can crop up in two unrelated Transformers toy lines.

There is a good bit of detail in this form, some carried over from the jet mode. On the chest, there are rectangular sections that are raised a bit (a result of the Automorphing) and under those parts are raised sections with horizontal vent lines. The VTOL fan winds up in the abdominal area and the center of the chest is sculpted to look like the cockpit cover. His arms have some really nice sculpting on the upper arms where raised rectangular sections and wire details look like complex machinery linking the shoulders with the rest of the arms. The underside of his jet wings also provide some nice additional detail in the form of everything from triangles to circles. What I like is that these are not details you would really see in the jet mode (unless you flipped it over) so they were sculpted specifically to add detail to the robot mode.

Where Dreadwing's robot mode becomes visually distracting (and not in a good way) is the lower body. Since the sensor pod from the vehicle mode becomes his waist and legs, they wind up looking very small proportionally speaking. His legs literally look like they were taken from a size class of figure one step down and transplanted onto this robot. Don't get me wrong, the legs are nicely detailed and there are even some great raised sections on the thighs that give a bit of the "armor plating on top of machinery" look common to many of the movie designs. Still, having seen a similar design done before with Thrust (with a proportional body to boot) it just feels like a lot more could have been done to make these legs match up in size to the rest of the robot.

The colors from Dreadwing's vehicle mode carry over to the newly revealed parts. For instance, the cockpit piece on his chest is cast in clear plastic with some blue grey paint over it. The VTOL fan is painted grey and metallic silver is used on the parts with the sculpted machinery on the arms and legs. Black is used on more parts here such as part of the face, his arms, hands, waist and feet. Dispursed along with the black plastic is purple plastic, giving Dreadwing some iconic Decepticon coloring.

Dreadwing has seventeen points of articulation in this form. Notable points include his neck, which is mounted on a ball joint and two "fingers" on each arm which are really parts of the jet thrusters that can move up and down. Press the purple buttons on the sides of the forearms and the missiles in his hands launch.

Final Thoughts:
Dreadwing is a frustrating figure. His jet mode is really awesome and most of the robot mode is really cool. It's once you get to the lower body that you just think "What the heck happened?!". The figure just feels like its design could have used one or two revisions on the drawing board before being made into physical form. Not really recommended unless you are really enamored with the vehicle mode or you want a Decepticon troop builder.