Transformers Prime Voyager Class Dreadwing Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Prime, Seeker, Voyager

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: August 2012
Price Point: $22.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Sword, Magnetar Pulse Blaster/Cannon

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
For too long, DREADWING has lived in the shadow of STARSCREAM, but with the Seeker commander out of favor, he is more than happy to step into his rightful place at the right hand of MEGATRON. His power and intelligence have always been dangerous, but with the DECEPTICON legion at his command, the very survival of the AUTOBOTS is in question.

AUTOBOT enemies will think twice before they mess with this incredible DREADWING figure! This robot-to-vehicle warrior figure has the strength and weapons to prevail in all of your adventures. His blaster cannon will not only give him the edge in any battle, it glows like there’s Energon flowing through it! What he can’t do with his cannon, he’ll do with his magnetar pulse blaster! His blaster cannon converts to a pulse blaster, so he has the right weapon to be a huge threat no matter what mode he’s in. Keep converting him from robot mode to fighter jet mode and back, so he can handle whatever his AUTOBOT opponents dish out!

Figure comes with accessory. Includes 2 button-cell batteries. Voyager Class Series 1 005 DREADWING. Ages 5 and up.

DreadwingIntroduced after his brother and fellow Seeker Skyquake had left the "Transformers Prime" television show, Dreadwing made his presence known by his powerful presence and extreme loyalty to Megatron and Skyquake. His own unique sense of honor made him quite different from the rest of the Decepticons. After the release of his Commander Class figure, a larger Voyager Class figure of the character was released around the August/September time frame of 2012.

Robot Mode:
Dreadwing is officially a "Seeker", an aerial warrior much like Starscream. The term goes back to the days of Generation One where jets such as Thundercracker, Starscream and Dirge were called "Seekers" (a semi-official term that fans used heavily, and then became more official in recent years). Generally this referred to Transformers with a similar body structure who became aerial vehicles. In the case of Dreadwing, he does have some elements that align with other aerial "Seeker" Transformers including the jet cockpit making up a significant portion of his torso, and wings hanging off his back. However, many of his design elements are unique to him including a series of angular, sharp looking armor sections on parts like his knees and forearms. His torso has layers of armor on either side of the cockpit and his feet have a thin, pointed shape. Even his fingers are somewhat pointed at the ends (particularly his thumbs) and his head's "helmet" section also has several sections that come to angular points. Altogether these make for a very modern looking Seeker, with layered armor and sharp parts befitting a Transformer from the live action movie franchise but with elements of the past peeking through.

In terms of show accuracy, the designers did a good job. The layered armor look form the CG model is mostly replicated here, especially around the torso. Parts like the head and legs match very nicely with the CG model from the TV show. He also has some bulky, yet curved and sleek looking parts like his TV show counterpart including his forearms and legs. In terms of sculpt, this is a very good representation of the character from the TV show.

Dreadwing is cast in dark blue, silver, dark grey and translucent yellow plastic. The blue makes up most of the figure including his shoulder armor, forearms, legs, wings and parts of the torso. Silver is used for smaller sections like his upper arms, hands, waist and feet. The dark grey plastic is a more rubbery plastic, used for sharp looking parts like his knee and shoulder armor. Translucent yellow plastic is used for the cockpit on his chest and parts of his forearms and elbow joint. It's a really nice color contrast and combination.

Like many of the figures released in 2012, the paint applications on this figure are fairly light. Gold is the primary paint color, used on parts like the face and the insides of his lower legs. Silver paint is used on sections of the torso and red is found on the eyes. However, a lot is missing here when compared to the CG model. Mostly there are several yellow details on the CG model that are absent here including some on the stabilizers on his shoulder armor, lower legs and the wings on his back. Without these, there's a near overwhelming amount of dark blue on the figure with little contrast and it's unfortunate because he'd look a lot better with it. He looks good, don't get me wrong, but the wasted potential is sad.

There are sixteen points of articulation on Dreadwing. This includes four in each arm and leg. I am being generous here. The thighs have a swivel joint in them that I'm counting, but his leg doesn't swivel out all the way due to its thickness. The figure has its hands in an open position but the area between the thumb and fingers can hold 5mm peg weapons. Each forearm also has a hole on the side to attach additional weapons. On top of that, he has a hole on his back for weapon storage. His accessories include a sword and cannon. The sword is based on the design of the one seen in the show with a curved hook at the end. The handle is a 5mm peg handle but it also has a peg sticking out the side that can accommodate other weapons of the same peg size or even a Mini-Con. The cannon is based on the one he carries in the TV show, however you have to push the rectangular box on it to extend it into that form. Unfortunately the weapon does not lock into place. When extended a red light appears in the middle. This works nicely against the translucent yellow plastic on that part of the cannon and really makes me wish the weapon would lock in place (despite what the official Hasbro photo shows). The weapon has a 5mm peg on it as well as a hole on the side to accommodate another weapon. There's definitely a lot of play value here despite my misgivings about the cannon.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms to the sides.
  3. Rotate the robot hands so the palms face outward, then swing the arms up and rotate the forearms around.
  4. Pull the back section with the wings and stabilizers back.
  5. Swing the robot head up.
  6. Rotate the shoulder armor around so the insides face up.
  7. Swing up the chest/nosecone piece and swing out the nosecone.
  8. Push the translucent piece on the underside of the cockpit against the front section so it's not sticking out.
  9. Push the panels on the sides with the landing gear together.
  10. Push the shoulder armor panels against the front of the vehicle, fitting the pegs into the holes on the sides.
  11. The wings wind up going over the front section a bit (on the parts that made up the shoulder armor).
  12. Push the rear stabilizers section down.
  13. Swing the hips/robot legs section forward.
  14. Swing the arms in and connect the tabs on the forearms to the slots on the underside of the section with the vertical stabilizers.
  15. On each leg, swing the robot feet into the lower legs.
  16. Split the waist section to swing the legs back.
  17. Swing the legs back and tuck them into the underside of the vehicle so the landing gear wheels are pointed down. Note: You may have to shift the robot arms around so the pegs on the legs can attach to the holes near the shoulders.
  18. You may need to push the wings down a bit to snap them into place and then swing back the ends of the wings.
  19. Weapons can be attached to the underside of the wings or on top behind the cockpit.

Vehicle Mode:
I'd recommend taking a look at my Commander Class review of Dreadwing for more details on his vehicle mode's design. In short, he is a modified version of the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter. There are some differences including the sharpness of the point on his nosecone and the angles on some of his wings and stabilizers. He's very close in design to the jet shown in the television show, the only differences being all the various bits of robot kibble that show on the bottom. The worst of this is the hands that stick out the back, but this seems to be a common thread among all the Dreadwing toys.

Color-wise the jet mode shows off a lot of the blue plastic, with some silver peaking out here and there. The nosecone, vertical fins in back and horizontal fins in front are soft, black plastic. The cockpit is translucent yellow. This form uses a good amount of gold plastic on the edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizers. The Decepticon symbols on each wing are also painted gold. It looks good and the yellow plastic works nicely with the gold to bring some brightness to the vehicle.

In this form, landing gear folds out from under the cockpit and the robot legs have landing gear sculpted into them. There are slots on the underside of each wing and one behind the cockpit cover to attach weapons. Overall you can really load up Dreadwing for battle!

Final Thoughts:
Dreadwing is a really fun toy. The sculpt looks great in both forms and the transformation is fairly involved yet intuitive at the same time. My only regret is that the robot mode deco isn't better. He needed more gold or yellow details to look more like his CG model, but he does look great in vehicle mode. The only other fault I find is with the weapon, which I still contend should be able to lock in place (but doesn't as part of its design). Overall it's not a perfect package, but definitely a fun one.