Release Date: October 2010
Price Point: $12.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Missile launchers x 2
With its latest Seeker release, the original "six" Seeker circle is complete. Dirge was the last Seeker jet from the original Transformers series that was heavily featured but not made into a mass release figure. A retool and redeco of Classics Ramjet, this figure is technically not the first version of a "Classics" Dirge that has been released. The last one was released three years ago as part of the "Games of Deception" Botcon 2007 exclusive set. This is the first time that any country outside of Japan has seen this sculpt in a mass release. This review will focus on the changes made to this sculpt for this release.
It is important to note that this figure is not a direct reissue of the Botcon 2007 exclusive figure. Instead, it has different parts than the Botcon Dirge (which was a straight forward redeco of Ramjet) and a different color scheme, though both toys were inspired by the same Generation One character.
For this release of the Seeker sculpt, the designers went all out and designed completely new wing pieces for Dirge. In the Generation One action figure, his wings were all one long, solid piece which stretched from the front to the back of the figure, featuring smaller wings protruding out to the sides in the front and larger wings in the back that came to vertical fins. This design element is replicated in this version, except this time the front, small wing sections are actually separate pieces from the larger wing pieces since they have to separate when you transform the figure. Still, except for a visible seam in the middle of the two pieces, they look like they belong together. Each wing (both small and larger) angle back, coming to straight edged lines. The vertical fins on the rear wings look great and offer a unique look to this figure when compared to his counterparts. With the Botcon 2007 version, the same wings were kept from Ramjet's sculpt but this is definitely a truer representation of the character as he appeared in Generation One.
Another contrast to the Botcon 2007 version of Dirge can be found with the choice of weapons. Whereas the Botcon version used the large missiles that came with Ramjet, the designers opted to use the sleeker, more laser cannon like missiles that originated from the Classics Starscream sculpt. I do prefer these particular missiles as they also look like they can double as cannon barrels.
Dirge is cast in four primary colors: metallic blue, a metallic tan color, black and clear plastic. The blue plastic color used here aligns a lot more with the G1 figure than the blue used in the Botcon figure (which aligns more with the animated model). The wings are the perfect color. They are a bit lighter in tone than the Generation One figure, but they still evoke the same color range. Several smaller parts such as the rear thrusters are black while the cockpit is translucent plastic. The deco pattern on this figure is rather striking. The nosecone is black, but the wings have fantastic deco patterns on them. The larger wings have huge Decepticon symbols on them with white outlines. On the inner edge of the wings are red and white line details inspired by the G1 figure.
Overall Dirge's vehicle mode looks fantastic and he's instantly recognizable as the Generation One character in an updated form. The wings on this figure look fantastic and the deco works very well. The Botcon version did manage to work in a couple more details from the G1 figure than this one, but overall I'm very happy with the figure's vehicle mode.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapons from the underside of the wings.
- Pull the rear section of the vehicle back.
- Swing the robot feet down.
- Swing the back of the robot torso back.
- Swing out the robot arms, and swing out the robot fists.
- Swing the nosecone forward a bit, then rotate it around.
- Swing the nosecone section down into the main body.
- Turn the top of the nosecone around to reveal the robot head.
- Swing the back section forward against the chest plate.
- Swing the small wing pieces on the back up.
- Attach the missile launchers to his arms or place them in the fists.
In robot mode, the wisdom of having the wings break into two sections becomes apparent. The smaller wing pieces wind up out of the way on the upper body while the larger wings wind up on his legs, keeping the space in between his lower legs and hips rather clear for his arms and weapons to move around. Everything else (except his missiles) look the same as Ramjet in terms of the sculpt.
The deco on this figure is fantastic. The blue plastic dominates much of the figure including the "conehead" section, the torso, upper arms and lower legs. Black plastic offers heavy contrast to the blue on his forearms, missiles, missile launchers and feet. As nice as those colors are, the paint deco is what's really awesome. His face is painted grey with red eyes, taking influence from the G1 cartoon series where Decepticons mostly had red eyes. A bit of gold plastic is found on his shoulders on the "L" shaped details. Black paint is used on the chest, covering the vents on either side of his head down to the mid-body area with a bi tmore on the waist. Silver paint is used on the vent sections, small details on his torso and his lower legs. Red paint is used for smaller details such as vertical lines on his waist and the top parts of his feet. Finally, a small Decepticon is tampographed on the center of his chest.
In many ways, this color scheme pays a lot of homage to the Generation One figure. G1 Dirge had silver on the vents on either side of his head, silver on the torso and red stickers on the feet. His forearms were also made of black plastic, just like the G1 figure. With the colors already looking good on their own, having them pay homage to the G1 color scheme just adds a lot to the appeal of the figure.
In terms of the sculpt's functionality, I was happy to see that there were no loose joints like those I found on Universe 2.0 Starscream. All his joints are tight and the weapons fit into his arms and fists nice and snug.
Dirge is a fantastic retool and redeco that stands on its own and doesn't interfere with the potential collector's value of the Botcon Dirge. All in all it's a winner, highly recommended!