Cliffbee.com: Dreadwind Toy Review

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Name: Dreadwind
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Air Defence
Alternate Mode: F-16 Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 20cm Width: 15cm

   A light grey F-16 with a dark grey tail section, a dark grey nose tip (composed of soft plastic), aqua wings and a transparent aqua canopy. The three main colours work quite well, even if aqua is a c colour we're unlikely to see on an actual F-16. There are grey painted sidewinders moulded on the tips of his wings and the dark grey handguns are visible underneath his wings, which also sport silver and aqua stickers featuring backwards-facing Decepticon logos. Hi-Test's engine colours line up to Dreadwind's nicely, rounding out a thoughtful if somewhat unrealistic colour scheme.

   As easy as it would be to shoot down the idea of a fighter plane with a combustion engine block on it, I'm not going to. There's a single thruster on the back of the plane, and if you believe the comic's explanation of Powermasters - Nebulons as energy absorbers - then this little block makes sense, mechanically, if not aerodynamically. You can remove Hi-Test and the panel underneath springs up, preventing Dreadwind from having a gaping hole. The panel itself isn't that aerodynamic either, so I just leave Hi-Test there.

   Dreadwind's fuselage is covered in plane lines, as are the wings. The fuselage is slightly flatter than you'd want from an F-16, but then it needs to have the same cross-section as Darkwing for Dreadwing to work, so I can excuse the flattened body.

   The ability to connect and remove Hi-Test in engine mode is the main play value of this mode. There are four small grey wheels underneath on which he can roll - and he rolls quite well actually - but overall Dreadwind's plane mode is fairly static.

   I've always been partial to the design style of the F-16, and while Dreadwind's plane mode flattens that style out slightly, he still looks nice. The colours aren't quite what we'd expect of an actual fighter jet, but he is based on greys and the aqua works aesthetically anyway. There's not a lot of play value here, but that's not unusual for a G1 jet mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Attach Hi-Test if you haven't already, which unlocks the wings, so you can slide them back. Slide back his wings, fold up the wings and arms, swing the underside out and back to form legs, fold down the nose section to form his chest and reveal the head. Slide the wings and arms back up, fold the tail section back, rotate the hands and handguns.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   Dreadwind's colour scheme is fairly well mixed, although in essence he's light grey, aqua and purple. His chest, thighs, upper arms and lower jaw are grey while the hips and shoulders are aqua. The boots, head and forearms are purple while his feet and hands are dark grey. There are a lot of stickers on this robot mode, especially his legs. His eyes are yellow and his mouthplate is silver while there's a Decepticon logo sticker in the recess where his head was in jet mode. Again this is an attractive colour scheme with purple largely replacing the dark purple.

   His head sits further back than it should but otherwise the robot shade is pretty good. I like the way the front of the jet forms most of his torso, and the way his hips are added pieces of plastic (essentially part of the legs) is quite clever. This allows Dreadwind to use the tapered nose of the jet while still having a wide pelvis, although it does give him a rather narrow waist.

   His poseability is fairly good for a toy of this age - the shoulders lift up and his elbows are hinged, giving Dreadwind two joints per arm. His legs are fixed, but I'm pretty happy that we have two joints per arm, allowing Dreadwind to aim his two guns in different ways. You can combine his guns to form a single, dual-barrelled, weapon.

   Thanks to the nice colours, decent poseability, versatile weapons and the clever use of the front of jet, we get a pretty good robot mode here. Within the 1988 toyline, Dreadwind is really good - he compares well to most of that year's Pretenders.

Hi-Test
   His humanoid mode has grey limbs with a purple torso and head. His head is that of a fish monster and the face is unpainted - I dislike this humanoid mode. Basically, I leave him in engine mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A nice toy with great colours, an attractive jet mode and a good robot mode. Dreadwind is enjoyable on his own, and combines with Darkwing to form Dreadwing, which is also worthwhile. He's quite pricey (I had trouble getting mine) but if you like the -master style toys, Dreadwing - as the most realistic of the full-sized -masters - is definitely recommended - 7/10

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