Cliffbee.com: Movie Dreadwing Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Dreadwing
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: MiG-29 Fighter Jet (thanks to Fit For Natalie for the specific model)



JET MODE
Height: 13.5cm Length: 20.5cm Width: 6cm

   A grey MiG-29 fighter with two camouflage colours - dark grey and very light grey, Dreadwing has a black nose and black thrusters at the back. His canopy is transparent along with afterburners. Dreadwing actually has transparent orange flames hanging out the back, which fade to colourless as they trail out - which is a nice effect. There are Decepticon logos on the outsides of his twin tailfins, some black here and there on the fuselage and two very prominent purple blocks on the top of his engines. Other than the two purple bits, it's a nice colour. These purple things are actually triggers - I don't see why they weren't done in grey.

   If you don't like the afterburner effect, just press the purple triggers and they'll detach. Well, they'll fire. This is meant as a robot mode gimmick, but I like the fact that it allows you to remove the flames if you want - even if I don't think much of the trigger colour. The sculpt here is excellent - there are seams and rivets everywhere. Unfortunately Dreadwing carries a _lot_ of junk underneath - his own stand really. It does work as a stand, funnily enough, since he's on a slight angle (taking off, I guess). There's no undercarriage as such, but at the base there's a tube running lengthways which sports a black wheel at the front and back, and he rolls quite well on these wheels. I guess you could argue the tube represents a hugh-jass bomb, if not for the wheels.

   Dreadwing's play value doesn't extend past the "missiles" at the back and his wheels, but then the movie line toys tend to focus on realism in the alternate modes - and I appreciate that. There is a rather random gap in the centre of the fuselage, through with a small transparent dome can be seen - like a peephole. I'm not sure why this is visible, but it's nowhere near as prominent as the purple plastic.

   Despite the kibble, despite the purple triggers, this is a good MIG mode. The sculpt, cleverly conceived afterburners and thoughtful (and credible) camouflage sell this mode. The purple triggers really bug me, because there's no good reason for them being purple. The overall effort is quite focused, and we really haven't seen many European fighter jets - Hasbro normally picks American models.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the ends of the underside tube to form boots, straighten his legs, flip up the feet and heelspurs. Pull the wings out slightly, allowing clearance for his engines to swing down and out as arms. Rotate the waist, swing the groinplate into place. Fold the groin up into place, which triggers his automorph. The sides push out, revealing a false VTOL fan and canopy, some black panels lift up, the sides of the cockpit open out allowing space for his face. Fold the cockpit back to reveal his face. Swing the wings back, and bring the arms forward. Swing out winglets above the wings, rotate the tailpieces through 180. Quite complex for a deluxe, with a few rather trivial aspects.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 16cm

   Again grey with some remnants of the camouflage on his chest and arms, while most of the robot-only pieces are black, including the feet, groin, upper arms and hands. Dreadwing's face is a camera-lens affair, similar to the earlier Swindle, and the flames now protrude from his hands. There are some more purple bits here and there, mainly connecting pieces on his limbs. The colour scheme is okay - and the purple is no longer an eyesore since it's no longer out of place. The false VTOL fan and false cockpit are interesting design elements - especially considering that the MIG mode doesn't even have a VTOL fan. At any rate, it's a decent colour scheme.

   As cool as the chest details are, the face looks, well, crap. Moreso than Swindle since there aren't any ears or other features - it's a lens with a canopy and nose hanging out the back. The groin is very small, the legs are also fairly small while the torso is big and flat, which is accentuated by the wingspan. His arms are quite long - and the flames only make them feel longer, although they are optional. The end result is a really weirdly proportioned robot mode with some cool design elements. Frankly, he's too freaky for my liking. I don't hate him but I hate the shape.

   The missile launchers are quite useful, and the jet nozzles actually open out slightly as pseudo-claws, so if you dispense with the missile he does get something in the way of hands. His poseability is pretty good, better than he might seem, since so top-heavy. The neck, shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while the elbows are double jointed with hinges as well. His waist turns, the hips have hinges below them and his knees are hinged, along with the feet and heelspurs. The leg joints are all nice and tight and the heelspurs surprisingly effective. So whilst he might be ugly, he'll stand in a lot of cool poses, and he does look kinda nifty wielding his two large "fire" missiles.

   As ugly as this robot mode is, the designer has done a great job with the play value - and alongside the cool chest details this saves the toy. I can't say I love this robot mode, but I certainly can appreciate the interesting design elements, and I'm impressed with the poseability he offers.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good drone toy despite some bad design features. The purple launchers still bother me, and the robot is ugly - by design - but the jet mode is good and the robot mode offers a lot of play value. I wouldn't so much recommend him on the strength of the robot mode's play value, but if you like the jet mode, then go for it - 6.5/10

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