Height: 13cm to top of head
Articulation: 19 total points - Ball joint neck; 5 points each arm: double jointed shoulder, bicep swivel, hinge elbow, hinge wrist; 4 points each leg: ball joint hip, thigh swivel, hinge knee, hinge ankle.
Colors: Molded purple, light blue, clear red; Painted black, light blue, purple, silver, red, gunmetal grey
Release Data: Released in the United States in December of 2013 at a retail price of US$12.99
I do love when we get new toys based on G2 stuff. I don't have everything within that theme, but I try to get whatever I can because G2 was the start of Transformers for me. Beast Wars may be the general standard I hold other things up to, but G2 resides in a special place with me. So even while Megatron did little to wow me, I was looking forward to the Dreadwing remold that would give this mold a purpose in my collection.
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.
(and thus much like the comic packed with the toy, Dreadwing's bio is entirely about him getting murdered as a test of the resurrection ore)
I imagine the use of this as Dreadwing is helped by there not being any elements of the design that are typically, distinctively Megatron. Even the feeling of smallness of the mold doesn't seem so pronounced since there's less context for Dreadwing having a particular relative size to others. The purple and very light blue trying to be the turquoise of the original toy help to dress the mold up visually a lot more than the mainly black of Megatron helping to further distinguish them. The new head captures much of the shapes of G2 Dreadwing, but trims everything in to a more compact form. More like a head and less like the inverted bucket of the original toy. The opaque parts of the head have been paint dipped to come out black, but there's not any gaps in the coverage where I can see what the underlying plastic color is. Dreadwing has a big translucent visor in a really nice shade of red. It's able to pick up light pretty easily, but the transmission isn't diffused quite enough and you end up just with spots of glow here and there instead of the entire visor appearing to light up. But the red shows very well even when not lit so you're not losing out for the poor performance in glowing.
My main complaint in Megatron of the ball joints feeling gummy has been more or less relieved in Dreadwing with the hips feeling a lot smoother, and the shoulders being better though not completely corrected. Megatron started showing stress on the hip sockets from the plastic expanding around the ball joint. It took a while in that case before it was evident, but Dreadwing came out of the packaging with that already there. I'm not worried about it leading to actual damage of the figure, but it points to still not really having the material tolerances entirely accounted for. Speaking of which, every pair of joints on Dreadwing behaves differently. The bicep swivels are stiff, but the elbows are very hard to get moving and you can't really do it without something else getting moved first. The wrist hinges are loose, which turns in to a problem if you want Dreadwing to hand-carry the cannon. The knees and thigh swivels have very little friction at all, and somehow the toe and heel pieces have entirely different stiffness from each other. It's a really weird mixed bag that all together doesn't wreck the toy, but it sure starts to feel like something's up with it at the design level for almost nothing to be coming out feeling "right".
The wacky joints have turned the transformation in to more of a task than it originally was, especially with looser parts being needed to hold tighter-moving pieces in place. Even I was feeling a little frustrated with it the first few times.
The mainly purple body is a big benefit here, letting much more of the detailing show without needing any paint to highlight it. The light blue is really only seen from below, and the upper plane surfaces become a mix of purple, silver and gunmetal grey. The cockpit features a G2 Decepticon logo on either side in a move which brings me no small delight. The logos are visible in robot mode as well, but stand more prominently in vehicle mode. There's no black and turquoise camo patterns on the plane which pulls it away a bit from the G2 toy's appearance, but the intent is hard to misread. What we do have on the wings is purple paint over clear red plastic. So there's a color match problem as well as red panel edges that of course don't appear anywhere else besides the cockpit windows being painted red. So it stands out more than a little bit.
I don't think the vehicle mode fits or holds together quite as well as Megatron did, once again a result of the inconsistent parts fit. I have yet to be able to get everything to line up quite right, which thanks to the silver stripe on the leading edges I also can't help but notice.
Of course the biggest thing hurting here is that absence of a gatling gun because we do of course have just the same strange, railed cannon Megatron used. The gatling launcher was really distinctive on G2 Dreadwing, and this isn't much of a substitute for it. Plus the vehicle is left unarmed since this becomes a big part of the wings.
'illin' gatling gun sold separately.
I enjoy G2 homages, and up to a point this one pulls it off well. The colors are a happy flashback, the body style works for this use I think better than it did as Megatron even with the same kind of odd proportions in effect. As long as you're not looking too close at the details of it, it's pretty satisfying. But there's a different set of joint weirdness than Megatron had, coupled with other parts fit issues that hurt to varying degrees in both modes, so I still can't find myself to be entirely satisfied with this toy. I'm giving this a Good on the figurereviews.com Non-Numeric Scale, mostly around what it has done right in calling back to G2. If this was anything but a G2 updating, I really doubt I'd have any interest in it at all considering I didn't have any regrets giving Megatron away a while ago. Of the minor remold recolors in this wave, Goldfire is a lot stronger.
|Date||December 26th 2013|
|Score||(6 out of 10)|
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