Timelines Botcon 2011 Dead End Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Animated, Botcon, Decepticon, Deluxe, Stunticon, Timelines



General Information:
Release Date: June 2011
Price Point: $315 (for club members), $385 (for non-club members), $210 (Loose sets)
Retailer: Botcon 2011 Exclusive (Sold in boxed set and as part of a loose set)
Accessories: Nunchucku/Exhaust Pipes x 2


Dead EndBotcon 2011 celebrated a Transformers series that many feel was too short lived. While still controversial, "Transformers Animated" remains a favorite among a significant portion of fandom, making it the perfect subject for Botcon 2011's boxed set. The set features five figures, each based on one of the Generation One Stunticons. For Dead End, the choice was made to take the deluxe Animated Jazz figure, and give it a new deco as Dead End.

This review will focus on the changes made to the Jazz figure for this release. For a detailed look at the sculpt and functionality of the figure, check out Animated Jazz's toy review.

Vehicle Mode:
The choice of the Jazz sculpt to use as the base mold for Dead End has its ties going back to Generation One. In Generation One, the Stunticon Dead End transformed into a car based on the Porsche 928 sports car. For his part, Jazz transformed into a Porche 935 race car. With both characters transforming into Porches, it wasn't a stretch to find them both having the same vehicle mode in the "Animated" universe.

In vehicle mode Dead End features four primary plastic colors: maroon, translucent purple and two types of black plastic. The maroon color is the most heavily used plastic. You'll find it going from the front to the back of the vehicle, making up most of the body. The color is a bit different than Generation One Dead End, which looks more red while this color leans towards shades of purple. The black plastic used to make his windows is solid but reflective, a perfect choice for windows on a Decepticon car. The other black color is more solid and not reflective at all. This is found on the back of the car as well as his wheels and exhaust pipes. The translucent purple plastic is used for the lights on the front and back of the vehicle.

There are not a ton of deco patterns on this figure, but it doesn't need them. What is important is the specific G1 inspired deco patterns that do exist. The biggest detail carried over from G1 Dead End is a yellow and white stripe that starts at the front of the vehicle on the left side and goes all the way to the back. A similar, dark yellow color is found on the side view mirrors, points on the front of the car and bands on the sides. This yellow and white combination brings a certain brightness to the figure that keeps it from looking just plain dull with all the dark colors. Silver paint is found on the sides of the wheels, again offering up some brightness to the color scheme. The black panels at the rear of the vehicle have maroon colors on them to match them up with the rest of the car. Finally, and perhaps key is the Stunticon logo resembling a checkered flag detail inside a circle with a Decepticon symbol in the middle. This symbol can be found right in the middle of the vehicle's front end.

Overall Dead End looks fantastic. It is great to see a homage that also manages to be distinctive from its source character in some way. The blend of colors used here is fantastic.

In this mode I've noticed no loose parts or problems with panels fitting together. The wheels roll fine as well, and given that this sculpt has not been heavily used, I would be surprised if the tooling was wearing down already.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the exhaust pipes from either side and split them in the middle.
  2. Flip the car over and extend the robot arms forward.
  3. Swing back the rear section of the car.
  4. Swing out the robot feet from the car's rear sections.
  5. Swing the robot arms out to the sides at angles.
  6. Swing up the small, triangular black panel below the robot head.
  7. Swing down the robot chest.
  8. Rotate the arms around so they face the right direction.
  9. Rotate the door panels around.
  10. Swing the robot hands out.
  11. Place the chucks into each hand by sliding the narrow parts in first, and then sliding them in to lock them in place.

Robot Mode:
Usually in robot mode, the primary colors of a Transformer as shown in vehicle mode break out and get a lot of colors in between. Not so with Dead End. In this mode he is still primarily maroon in color, with only his hands, upper arms, head and neck breaking up the colors with the use of black plastic. the light piping on his eyes. The translucent purple plastic is found on his head in this mode, used for Yellow paint is used to color bands on his uper arms near the shoulders and his face. The Stunticon symbol and Dead End's distinctive yellow and white stripe are both found on Dead End's chest, bringing two of his most important details to the forefront of the figure.

There was no new head sculpt or retooling used to create this figure. Instead, it was decided to use a creative approach to make Dead End's head to look distinctive from Jazz's head. The Jazz head sculpt has a very distinctive point at the chin area. In the context of Jazz's head, it looks like a "chin strap" for a helmet, a common feature on Transformers nowadays. On Dead End however, this was used to look like a goatee styled "beard". To go with this beard, above his upper lip are stylized lines painted to look like a mustache. It's pretty striking how different the head manages to look with different colors and a different deco pattern.

All of Dead End's joints are nice and tight and he can still hold his nunchucks in his hands firmly.

Final Thoughts:
Dead End represents one of the best types of redecos where no retooling is done, but creative use of colors and deco patterns makes him look very different from the sculpt he is based on. Add to that the very well done homage details and Dead End is a fantastic piece of work. Keep in mind he's not going to be cheap, but he is definitely worthy of being part of any "Animated" collection.