Transformers Timelines Dirge Toy Review

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Botcon, Decepticon, Insecticon, Timelines, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: Botcon 2005 Exclusive
Price: $315 for Botcon 2005 registration that included boxed set, $265 for members of the fan club
Accessories: Claws/Weapon, Tail/Shield

Images:

The Botcon 2005 set of toys consists of seven figures: Buzzclaw, Chromia, Deathsaurus, Dirge, Fallback, Ironhide and Ricochet. The concept was to create a story-centered set of toys. The Botcon program with the "Descent into Evil" comic book is included with this set. Attendees who received this boxed set were able to purchase an additional loose, polybagged set as well. Dirge is one of the Insecticon warriors in this set.

Background Information:
Much of the following information is a repeat of the information given in Buzzclaw's review since the same sculpt was used for both characters. There has been much talk of Buzzclaw being an odd choice when so many other insectoid sculpts exist in Transformers history. The fact of the matter is Buzzclaw was among a list of sculpts that included Beast Wars Insecticon and Scarem. However, Hasbro was unable to produce these tools for Fun Publications to use for the convention. While the toy is a Fuzor with elements of a mantis and a lizard, it is primarily insectoid, making it a good choice for a creepy looking Transformer.

While Buzzclaw's name was chosen out of necesity and time, I knew Hasbro had Dirge available as trademark since it was recently used for the Decepticon's G1 reissue. From the beginning I had the concept of this character being able to create an "aural disruption field" with his wings (or legs depending on the sculpt). Thus, the name "Dirge" fit. He is not meant to be the same character as the G1 Seeker. This is a seperate character altogether. However, Dirge's ability to use his engine noise to inspire fear in Transformers did serve as my model for this Dirge's pain field.

Some may be curious about my reference to the Insecticon "clan" in the tech specs. This came out of an idea that was inspired by G1 having the "deluxe Insecticons" as well as the three original ones. In this universe the Insecticons were a group of insectoid warriors who were able to clone themselves at will as we saw Bombshell, Kickback and Shrapnel do in the G1 TV show. However, as time went along and the "originals" (such as Venom or Barrage) were destroyed, the ability to create clones from them was lost over the generations.

Since I never fully reviewed the original Beast Wars Buzzclaw myself, I did a more thorough review of the toy with the Buzzclaw included with this set, so that's worth checking out before reading this review.

Beast Mode:
The goal with Dirge was to make him distinctive from Buzzclaw, but still have him evoke the classic Insecticons in some way. The solution? A reversal of colors. While Buzzclaw utilizes purple as his primary color and yellow for deco, we reversed it with Dirge. His primary body color is translucent yellow, with a metallic purple color used for the paint apps on his head, legs and tail. This looks very nice, especially on the head where the spray goes over the eyes a bit and fades from the middle of the head to the upper part.

Another nice, but unintended result of the color switch involves the tail. Because the red and black side of the tail is painted over a translucent yellow plastic, it looks somewhat luminescent. As with Buzzclaw, the translucent parts give a rather organic feel to the toy, and yellow brings that out very well.

The other colors on the toy remain the same (the claws, feet, upper legs, wings) as Buzzclaw's. In retrospect, it may have been cool to try to get another paint application in for the claws on the feet, but that is a minor quibble.

Robot Mode:
In this form, the so many translucent yellow parts are revealed that the entire figure seems to take on a glow of sorts. From the lower robot arms to the head to the robot feet, the yellow is a very striking color thanks in part to being a bit dark. The purple spray ops work beautifully in this form as well, and I love how the toothy grin on the figure's face remains painted white.

On another note, it is good to see that when you detach the wings/claws section to form the hand weapon, it fits very snug in Dirge's fist, it has not loosened at all.

Final Thoughts:
Dirge is a fantastic looking toy. The reversal of colors works nicely to evoke the classic Insecticon colors while doing something a bit different.