"Generations" Dreadwing Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: December 2013
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer at time of initial release)
Retailer: General (Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us etc.)
Accessories: Wings/cannon halves x 2

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Dreadwing long ago devoted all of the vast power at his command to the service of the Decepticons. So when Shockwave tells him about a critical experiment that will secure victory for the Decepticons once and for all, he follows without question – never suspecting the doom that awaits him. Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Dreadwing figure is just the Decepticon to create maximum trouble for his Autobot enemies (other figures sold separately). In robot mode, your Dreadwing figure has the battle cannon he needs to defeat his enemies. But when he needs to unleash a devastating aerial attack, convert him to stealth bomber mode! Whatever mode he's in, his enemies will think twice before taking him on! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In the course of the IDW Publishing comic book series, several Transformers changed forms over the years. In the recent "Spotlight Megatron" comic book, Megatron was shown getting a new body that transformed into a stealth bomber in vehicle mode. This "bomber" body would later be repurposed in the "Robots in Disguise" comic book series as the design for Dreadwing with a new head. No big deal was made of it, he just appeared one day with that body. For Dreadwing, this form makes perfect sense as the characters "Generation 2" incarnation also transformed into a "wedge shaped" bomber.

For this series of IDW inspired figures, the "Generations" packaging has been changed. The backing card has the familiar, G1 inspired "grid" on it, but for the most part it's blank except for a small "Transformers Generations" logo at the top. The package "art" is provided by the cover of a comic book included with the title. In this case, the book comes with a special printing of "Robots in Disguise" #17, which featured Dreadwing in this "new" body. On top of that is the figure in robot mode as is the current standard in the line.

Robot Mode:
Dreadwing's "Generation 2" counterpart had a very basic robot mode. The front of the vehicle formed most of the torso area, the legs and arms swung out from the bottom and back of the vehicle resulting in a rather bulky (but powerful) looking robot. This new incarnation of the character actually retains a bit of that look, with the cockpit section of the vehicle mode appearing on the chest, and his shoulders and chest forming a rather wide and powerful looking upper body. The cannon formed from the wing ends (no longer a Fusion Cannon, just a cannon) is big and serves as a modern day version of G2 Dreadwing's shoulder cannon. At the same time, the relatively thin and proportioned form gives the character a sleekness he didn't have in his G2 form.

This figure is not just a redeco, it's also a retool. The head sculpt is completely new and based on Dreadwing's Generation 2 head sculpt. In G2, Dreadwing's head was a dome with a crest, mouth plate and visor eyes. This time out, his head is much more oval shaped, but the same basic design elements are present including a high crest, visor eyes and a mouth section that looks sort of like a rebreather used by pilots. The head sculpt doesn't look out of place at all on the body, indeed, my personal inclination is that this head looks more natural on this body sculpt than Megatron's! The rest of the figure remains the same as the Megatron figure in terms of sculpt.

To match up with his "Generation 2" counterpart, Dreadwing is cast in dark blue (a shade that is almost purple depending on the lighting) and light blue plastic. The light piping in his eyes is done with translucent red plastic, as are the wing ends that form his cannon. The dark blue replaces the dark grey on Megatron and the light blue replaces the lavender color. The contrast looks great, allowing each distinct section to show off detailing as it contrasts against the next. Dreadwing uses light blue, black, red and silver paint to provide detailing on this figure. The light blue is used for detailing to align with the light blue plastic. It's heavily used on the arms and legs. The black is found on the thighs, head and feet (at first I thought the feet were cast in black, but they have a "painted on" look to them that makes me think they're painted black, not cast in it). Red is found on the chest section and silver is used for the panels on either side of the head. While all these details look great (and are necessary), my absolute favorite ones are two small "Generation 2" styled Decepticon symbols on the top part of his chest (near his head). It's really cool to see the roots of this figure recognized not just in deco, but in his symbols as well.

All the parts on Dreadwing are nice and tight and his cannon can be held in his hands or attached to either forearm without a problem.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the Cannon. Split it in half and push each wing end in. Set these aside for now.
  2. Straighten out each arm and swing the fists in.
  3. Pull the center of the chest up, forming the cockpit of the bomber.
  4. Swing up each half of the chest up a bit (there's a tab that connects it to the center section).
  5. Push each chest half down then swing it up against the cockpit.
  6. Rotate the arms back and swing the shoulder armor against the section with the vents.
  7. Rotate each thigh section around then rotate the lower leg around so you can move the legs up.
  8. Swing each leg up, using the tabs on the sides of the feet to connect to the section near the vents and the middle. You'll need to push the knee armor down.
  9. Swing the feet back.
  10. Rotate the arms so the ridged sections face up, then press them up against the robot leg pieces.
  11. Attach the ends of the wings to the tabs on the edges of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Just as the robot mode looks like a more sleek and updated version of Dreadwing, his vehicle mode does the same. This time out it's the same mode as Megatron, without any retooled parts. Unlike his "Generation 2" counterpart, he doesn't have blocky, angular sections. Instead, this form is relatively thin, sleek and has more curves around the cockpit area than the G2 Dreadwing. The vent like line details on the outer parts of the top section are a bit reminiscent of G2 Dreadwing's arms (which formed part of the top of the vehicle). Just like the robot mode, this vehicle is instantly recognizable to any G2 fan as an updated version of Dreadwing.

The dark blue plastic makes up most of this form with the translucent red cannon pieces forming the wing ends. Where necessary, dark blue paint is used to paint parts so the vehicle looks dark blue (again, almost purple) overall. The front edge of the vehicle has silver trim on it and the forward and top vents on the vehicle are painted gunmetal grey. The windows are red and his G2 symbols show prominently in this form. Overall he looks great!

Like Megatron, Dreadwing has two 5mm ports on the top of the vehicle that allow you to attach additional weapons. Both ports fit weapons nice and snug without a problem.

Final Thoughts:
I admit to being rather "Old Skool" when it comes to "Transformers" toys in general, so when I see this figure it feels to me like what the toy was meant to be with the Megatron version being the redeco/retool (not saying that's the case, that's just how it feels). I think this is a fantastic redeco and the use of the G2 symbols sends it over the top for me. Highly recommended!

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