Generations Dead End Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: None

With an ever expanding market in Asia, Hasbro China announced last year the release of several Transformers redec os for the "Generations" line that (at the time) were intended for a purely Asian release. However, fans got one whiff of this and they wanted these toys on the spot! Many of these redecos were rather inspired, while others were head scratchers. Either way, Hasbro US saw fit to find a channel to bring these toys to the US, in new packaging to boot! In an ironic move, while the Chinese versions of these characters were released on purely English packaging, the US releases have Chinese characters on them, representing their "exclusive" origin. You may sometimes hear these figures referred to as "GDO" Transformers. For those curious, this is not a Transformers term, it is an economic one, standing for "Global Development Organization".

Among the four Scout Class figures released as part of this set is a redeco of "Revenge of the Fallen" Brakedown and Oil Pan. Like his first release, this figure pays homage to one of the G1 Stunticons, in this case Dead End, the rather morose member of the team who never saw a silver lining to any cloud. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Check out Brakedown and Oil Pan's reviews for my first two reviews of this particular sculpt.

Robot Mode:
Matching his rather depressing attitude, Dead End's primary plastic color is grey. He also has black, silver and red plastic. These colors may be quite familiar, but they are not the colors of G1 Dead End. Instead, they are the colors of a different Stunticon: Wildrider. Presumably some type of trademark issue kept Hasbro from being able to use the name, so in a way this figure serves as a name and deco homage to two different characters. Most of the armor panels including the chest, shoulders and thighs are grey. The red is used on alternate parts such as parts of his arms, hip joints and waist piece. His lower legs are silver (which is a nice break from the grey) and his wheels and some connecting joints on the back are black.

Dead End's paint colors are quite extensive. Red, black, gold, silver and purple all come into play on this figure. His forearms are painted red, almost matching with his upper arms, but they're a tad lighter. His face is red along with parts of his chest panel and shoulder armor. Te center of his chest has a black design painted on it with a silver section right underneath. on top of that silver is a purple Decepticon symbol. For a bit of extra detailing, the rear lights from the vehicle mode (now on his chest) are painted gold. I was really impressed by how many decos this figure got, considering we're in the era of cutting back on decos quite a bit. here you can even see some red stripes on the sides of his arms (which are the car doors) and silver on the sides of the wheels, a detail seldom seen in the Transformers line anymore! It's very clear the designers were aiming for a paint scheme that would attract the more discerning collector.

All of Dead End's joints are nice and tight, which is cool when you consider this is the third go around for this sculpt. There was no retooling for this release, it's a straight up redeco with the same head and parts. In the face of the really nicely done deco however, I don't mind that at all.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1.     Push each robot foot up.
  2.     Swing each forearm section up against the upper arm, making sure to connect the panels of the vehicle mode door.
  3.     Rotate the lower legs so his feet face each other, then connect the two sections together.
  4.     Swing the blue piece connected to the black hinged section in the middle of the body up.
  5.     Swing the robot head back.
  6.     Swing the panel on his back forward on top of the section where the head was.
  7.     Rotate the windshield panel so it faces forward and push it down in the middle.
  8.     Swing the hip/waist section so the legs point forward, bringing the front section of the car up.
  9.     Rotate the robot arms up and then swing the panels forward, locking them into place using the clips towards the front.

Vehicle Mode:
Borrowing again from G1 Wildrider, Generations Dead End is mostly grey plastic in this form. His windows are painted a beautiful dark red color while stripes run from the front end of the car, along the sides and all the way to the back. G1 Wildrider also had red windows, but the red lines on the edges are unique to this figure. The front grille winds up being painted black and the headlights are silver. As mentioned earlier, silver is also used on the sides of the wheels, a detail that I've missed and lament the absence of on most Transformers figures nowadays.

Look at the back of the vehicle and you'll see all the chest panel details from the robot mode now serve as the deails for the back. This includes gold rear lights and a Decepticon "license plate". It looks great and adds a nice splash of color to the vehicle.

Final Thoughts:
I really like this figure a lot and I think it looks great. I also find it funny the same sculpt has been used for two different homages to Stunticons in the past few years. In general, I like redecos because they allow the designers to show us what else a sculpt can be other than its original release. In this case the designers knocked it out of the park. I wouldn't go spending scalper prices on this figure, but if you can get him at retail, go for it!

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