Cliffbee.com: Generations Dirge Toy Review

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Name: Dirge
Series: Generations
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Air Warrior
Alternate Mode: Modified F-15 Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 12.5cm

   A blue F-15 fighter in the spirit of the original toy, Dirge is a repaint of Henkei Dirge. The wings are composed of a bronze plastic which closely matches that on the original (if a shade brighter). The blue is of the matte variety, but it's essentially the same shade as G1. The air intakes and nosecone are black. As on the original, he has swept back wings towards the rear and smaller winglets at the front. Both sets of wings feature red and white stripes as in G1. There are forward facing Decepticon logos stamped on either wing. The canopy is colourless plastic with blue painted ribs. This is an attractive colour scheme, and an perfect tribute.

   The basic Classics seeker is a fairly realistic F-15, and forms the basis for Dirge - the modifications here invariably affect this realism. The wings are vastly different. The bombs under his wings are of the thinner variety - unlike the thicker ones on BotCon Dirge. The other aspect that affects the realism is his nosecone, which is shorter than an actual F-15's, which is a by-product of the robot mode being designed as a conehead (unlike G1 Dirge).

   While there are a few differences compared to the BotCon exclusive Classics Dirge, they're both strong tributes. This toy has wings specifically designed as Dirge, whereas the BotCon toy sports Ramjet's wing shape. The blue on this toy is a little duller than it should be, and doesn't contrast with the grey much at all - the brighter blue and black of the Classics version has a much nicer colour scheme in this respect. The bronze plastic here is closer to the original than the painted wings of the Classics toy, although the wings are less accurate here. Essentially one has a truer mould and the other truer colours - but I'm very happy with both.

   The bombs underneath his wings are actually missile launchers, the missiles fire about a metre, although the missiles are somewhat susceptible to popping out at a touch. The launchers detach for his transformation, although his wings are permanently attached. There are four pseudo-tyres underneath - moulded lumps rather than wheels, and Dirge sits flat on the table. The missile launchers are the same mould as on the other Classics seekers.

   The colours do an amazing job of the tribute, and the shape of his wings matches the original - he combines the G1 colours of the BotCon toy and the realism of the Henkei toy. This is a wonderful jet mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the missile launchers, extend the rear to form the boots. Flip over the wingstubs attached to the torso (most of the wings stays attached to the boots). Fold down the feet and stow away the front wheels. Stand him up, swivel the wings up. Fold out the chestplate, rotate the canopy and pivot down to form the centre of his chest, rotate the nose to reveal his face. Flip out the arms and fold the chestplate back into position. Flip out his fists, give Dirge his weapons, either on the upper arms as traditional arm bombs or as handheld missile launchers.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 13cm

   A blue and black robot with bronze wings hanging off his boots and bronze winglets behind his elbows. Dirge has a medium grey face with red eyes, a largely black torso, a blue groin and some red & silver painted details here and there, on a complex paint job. This is a fantastic representation of G1 Dirge as we saw in the cartoon. The black air intakes are now on his shoulders with silver insides, the canopy is integrated into his chest, as on the original. The forearms are black and his feet black with red. Again, an excellent tribute with an excellent colour scheme.

   There are several improvements in this design compared with the original seeker design. For starters, this Dirge has thighs. He's also more poseable - the head turns, the shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. The wings are no longer detachable - and hence can't be lost. The hips are ball jointed and the knees have both hinges and swivels. The waist is fixed - but I don't mind. Adding to the play value of this improved Dirge are the missile launchers, which not only fire missiles but can be held in his hands. The conehead - which is now by design rather than retro-engineering, looks much better than the (unofficial) conehead of the original, since it's not quite so tall. This does impact on the jet mode, but I'd rather a slightly shorter nose than a Dirge who looks like he's wearing a witch's hat.

   The differences between this mould and the BotCon toy aren't as pronounced here. The BotCon toy has gold eyes rather than red (matching the G1 toy rather than the cartoon) and of course the Ramjet-moulded wings. In this mode there's not as much difference between the wingshapes.

   As with most Classics figures, Dirge lacks any true gimmicks - instead the toy focuses on being a good Transformer. The added poseability, solid build, hand weapon option and thighs are enough for me. We do of course get firing missiles - and these weapons look much better than the originals, but they don't really qualify as an added gimmick. One shortcoming of this version compared to the BotCon toy is a lack of heelspurs, but he's still quite stable.

   Compared to the original toy the thighs are a blessing and the play value here is great. The colours provide a better G1 tribute to the Henkei. The wings are more G1 accurate than the BotCon toy, although that's not as much of an issue in this mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he's a repaint of Henkei Dirge.

OVERALL

   While the previously released Henkei & BotCon versions of this concept are both rarer, this is probably the best of the three versions of this concept. Generations Dirge combines the G1 colours of the BotCon toy with the true-to-character wings of the Henkei toy. The mould has held up very well and there's pretty much nothing in his visual layout that's not a tribute to G1 - he's an amazingly complete G1 update. It's a good mould with great poseability, and I'm not sure I'd recommend more than one version of this concept. Having said that, this one is fairly inexpensive, so while committing to the others is an investment this version is an easy win, really - even as a "double" - 10/10

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