Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Dreadwing Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Decepticon, Deluxe, Prime, Seeker

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: May 2013
Price Point: $15.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "Dread Assault Cannon"/Launcher, Axe blade weapon, Missiles x 2


*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the
The powerful Dreadwing flies to war for Megatron and the glory of the Decepticons! Autobots beware, because this Dreadwing figure is just the Decepticon to take any of them on! He’s a hardcore villain robot, and his Dread Assault Cannon launches a missile at any Autobot who’s foolish enough to get in his way! When he needs to do recon or make a speedy escape, convert him to fighter jet mode. Keep converting him back and forth so his Autobot enemies can’t keep up!

"Tales of the Beast Hunters" Chapter 14
DREADWING has known STARSCREAM for too long for the cowardly Seeker to hide from him. Still, when he smashes into his former commander's hiding place, he expects a vicious fight, and is surprised to instead find STARSCREAM with his weapons lowered. "Listen!" STARSCREAM says. "Since when do I flee the moment MEGATRON is out of the picture? If he was deactivated because of me, I'd take command! As is my destiny!" DREADWING aches to blast his fellow air warrior to atoms, but he knows STARSCREAM is telling the truth. He levels a finger at the other DECEPTICON. "You will help me find MEGATRON then. Find him and bring him back."

Dread Assault Cannon

  • Ancestral weapon passed down by generations of Air Warriors.
  • Fully niclear, making it hot and radioactive enough to destroy circuitry without piercing armor.
  • Churning axe blades designed to hurl shredded armor back at victim, dealing ever more damage.

Continued in Chapter Deluxe 15 Voyager GRIMWING (sold separately)

DreadwingIf fans needed any confirmation that the world of the "Beast Hunters" toys and television show differ in many ways, Dreadwing returns in the form of a Deluxe figure in the "Beast Hunters" toy line despite well (spoiler alert!) not being an active participant in the events of the "Beast Hunters" television show.

Robot Mode:
Unlike Smokescreen, who is a very mechanical looking Transformer with "beast" like armor, Dreadwing is more akin to Starscream with mostly mechanical looking design elements but incorporating "beast" based designs at the same time.

Most of the parts on Dreadwing are callbacks to his original form (which you can see in my review of Commander Class Dreadwing). This includes his shoulder armor, which is curved with an extra vertical fin on top. His forearms are curved and thick with claw like hands. His torso has his jet mode cockpit section running down the middle with armor on either side angled out to the sides. Even his legs are similar in shape to the first Dreadwing with rounded, cylindrical sections.

Where Dreadwing differs from his previous form are design embelishments meant to emphasize the "beast" part of the "Beast Hunters" line. The most obvious design elements are his wings and feet. His wings aren't simply in the shape of jet wings attached to his back any longer. Instead, they are each split into three large blade like wings that resemble mechanical feathers. The other significant element are his feet, which are distinctly bird-like feet, complete with three claws in front and one in the back. But that's not all! He also has designs on the edges of his lower legs that look like more blades/feathers the front of the lower legs each have a very organic looking series of details that look almost like muscle. Another interesting detail is the addition of a design along his brow that resembles the tufts of feathers found on the head of the Great Horned Owl. Combined, all these interesting design elements may not be exactly what you expect of Dreadwing, but the aerial and avian animal themes do blend together into an interesting looking robot form.

Dreadwing does stay true to his previous form in terms of colors. He is mostly made up of dark blue, yellow, grey, purple and silver plastic. Translucent red plastic is found on his chest for the cockpit cover and his eyes. Blue makes up most of the figure, with silver and yellow used on smaller parts like his upper arms, thighs and feet. The purple shows in his elbow joints, but on his back but that's about it. Paint colors used on this figure include yellow, silver, red, purple and gold. The yellow is distributed all over his body, including the wings, his torso, arms and feet. The wings have the nicest paint application, with the paint sprayed onto the wings with a nice fade towards the base of each "feather". Another really nice paint pattern can be found on the grey parts of the head and shoulder armor where a black wash has been painted over those parts, creating a beautifully "worn" look. Silver is found on parts like the "collar" around his head and on the edges of his waist. His face is painted gold, distinguishing it nicely from the rest of the figure. Overall, I really like the colors in the way they remain consistent with Dreadwing's previous form but add elements distinctive to this incarnation.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure including three on each arm and leg. It's not a ton of articulation compared to other figures, but for this figure it works, particularly on parts like his shoulders and feet, which are ball jointed. In addition to being a new figure, Dreadwing includes a set of accessories including a launcher, two missiles and axe. Primary to this set is the missile launcher itself, which has a saw blade on one end and a handle on the other. He includes two missiles (cast in purple) that can be connected to it. You can fire it via a trigger on top. He also includes an axe weapon that he can hold in his hand or be connected to his launcher on the non-launching end to form a staff weapon. The axe weapon also has a hole towards the middle allowing you to attach it to a 5mm peg weapon. Dreadwing himself can hold weapons in his hands or have extra weapons attached to holes on his forearms or lower legs. This gives him a lot of play factor and value. If you want to give Dreadwing a break from battling, he has a hole on his back that allows you to store his weapon.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach all the weapons if attached.
  2. Swing all the wing pieces down and condense them together to form the vehicle wings.
  3. Pull the cockpit up and straighten it out to form the front of the vehicle.
  4. Swing the shoulder armor up against the sides of the nosecone.
  5. Pull the torso piece forward and down, then flip it so the feet point forward.
  6. Swing each robot leg back and connect it to corresponding tabs from the back of the torso piece.
  7. Swing each foot so it points back.
  8. Swing each forearm up against the upper arm.
  9. Swing each arm up against the wings and connect them using the tab on the forearms to connect to the corresponding holes on the wings.
  10. The weapon can be attached to the top of the vehicle while the axe can be inserted into the hole on the waist section of the figure.

Vehicle Mode:
Like his previous form, Dreadwing is a jet fighter in his vehicle mode. He retains many elements of his first jet mode including back swept wings, angled vertical stabilizers, horizontal stabilizers near them and armor pieces on either side of the cockpit. Unlike his previous form however he has many "beast" like design elements. This includes the front of the cockpit which looks like a beak and a layered look to his wings that resemble feathers. The ends of the vertical stabilizers have some notches that add some additional detail. His "claw feet" stick out the back in this form, and honestly if you wanted to you can angle them downward and have him look very much like a Robotech Gerwalk, resembling a bird. This "bird" connection in design lets the figure get away with one thing: the "bird-feet" sticking out the back. I actually find it rather distracting due in part to the bright yellow color, but given the semi "Beast Machine" nature of the vehicle, I'll give it a pass.

The blue and grey plastic colors are the focus of the sculpt with some yellow peeking out the back and a bit of lavender on top. The cockpit is translucent red resulting in a good range of colors even before you take the paint applications into account. In terms of paint apps, yellow is used on the hooked end of the nosecone, reinforcing the "beak" look. The rear horizontal stabilizers have silver on them while the wings have golden Decepticon symbols on them, a design element carried over from Dreadwing's previous form. Perhaps the best paint application however is a gorgeous black wash that goes over the grey parts of the vehicle including the turbines in front and the wings. It adds a gritty depth to the figure that it would lack otherwise and it is a very welcome detail.

Dreadwing has a few accessories to stash in this form, and thankfully the designers came up with a place for each. The missiles can attach to the underside of the wings or you can take one and load up the missile launcher. The launcher itself attaches to the top of the vehicle. The axe weapon fits into a slot on the underside of the vehicle, making it visible in vehicle mode but still tucked out of the way. If you want to attach additional weapons, the 5mm holes on the robot arms point to the sides in this form, so you can put more on if you want. In terms of play value I have zero complaints with this vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
I have a lot of enthusiasm for this sculpt. It feels solid, has an imaginative design and the paint job is outstanding. Given that many Deluxe sized figures in the past year have felt like they were shrinking and being cut back, this guy feels like a return to what fans expect of a Deluxe Class figure. I grant however that you have to get past the whole "bird" thing. If that's not for you, skip this figure, but if you want a fun and creatively designed Decepticon, Dreadwing is highly recommended!