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Series: Prime Beast Hunters
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2013

The powerful Dreadwing flies to war for Megatron and the glory of the Decepticons.

Robot Mode: Most of the figures in the Beast Hunters line which aren’t Predacons are merely pimped-up remolds of figures we already saw in the Prime RID line. Dreadwing is not among those, interestingly enough. While the Deluxe figure here bears many similarities to the larger RID Voyager figure, it is a completely new mold. The two figures share the same basic design, but Beast Hunters Dreadwing is scaled down to Deluxe size and somewhat simplified in certain areas due to less mass to work with. As a robot he looks a lot stockier than the taller, more slender RID Dreadwing, sort of lost his neck somewhere in the transition and his backpack doesn’t fold together as nicely as that of the larger figure, either.

Of course Dreadwing also gained some “beasty” parts in this incarnation, most obvious being his yellow clawed feet. Not sure why a jet Transformer needs clawed feet (did he steal them from Laserback? Almost looks that way), but let’s just accept it and move on. He also gained some antenna-like thingies on his head. The biggest redesign, whoever, can be found in wings on his back, which can separate into three pieces each and fold out like peacock feathers. The engineering is pretty cool, as you don’t immediately notice that the wings are separate pieces, but again, I don’t really get what it’s for. No complaints in terms of detailing and articulation, he’s doing just fine on both fronts.

Finally, the weapons. RID Dreadwing had dreadful weapons, let me tell you, like most RID Voyagers. Beast Hunters Dreadwing, on the other hand, ... yeah, I’m not really sure how to describe it. He’s got a big spear that’s really a shorter spear and a missile launcher put together. He can wield them together or separately, hold them in hand or attach them to his forearm, and generally the weapon looks ridiculously oversized on this rather squat figure. It’s kind of fun in a way, but I still would have wished for something a bit more fitting.

Bottom line: as long as you don’t try to put too much thought into the deeper meaning behind many of Dreadwing’s features in robot mode, he’s pretty cool.

Alternate Mode: Dreadwing still transforms into something that closely resembles a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, though the jet is somewhat squatter and less aerodynamic than it was in the Voyager version as well. Little side note: the instruction sheet mistransforms the jet, leaving the jet intakes on either side of the cockpit folded haphazardly under the wings. The other main difference to the Voyager version is that instead of Dreadwing’s hands sticking out the back, his big yellow clawed feet now remain clearly visible at the rear end of the jet (and you kind of see his hands, too).

So basically you have another jetformer who doesn’t really know where to put the robot arms and legs. Looks good from most angles, just don’t look at it from the rear or the bottom. Oh, and I’m not sure, but I think that yellow thing on the nose of the jet is supposed to simulate a beak or something? Make the jet look more beasty? Not sure. Of course you can open up Dreadwing’s wings in this mode as well, but it doesn’t really look that good. Neither does putting his oversized weapons on the jet. Just leave them off, that’s my recommendation. So bottom line: a workable jet mode, but certainly not a great one.

Remarks: Dreadwing was one of the most interesting characters on the Decepticon side in the Prime TV series, being a warrior of honour and even defying Megatron in order to gain retribution on Starscream... which got him killed by the aforementioned Megatron. Yeah, the Prime TV series was kind of in the habit of killing off anyone who seemed in danger of character development. Anyway, Dreadwing was killed before the whole Beast Hunters thing even came about, which makes his inclusion in the Beast Hunters toyline a bit strange, especially considering that he’s a new mold and not just a pimped-up reissue.

I had two reasons for buying this figure. One, he kind of reminds me of Waspinator and I might just be tempted to repaint him green and use him as a Cybertronian Mode Waspinator in my personal canon. Second, one of my favourite toy stores, the Toy Factory in Roedental, is closing down and had a big going-out-of-business sale with 50 percent off and Dreadwing was among the few Transformers toys they had left. It’s not a bad toy, mind you, just somewhat strange. So if you’re not put off by his beasty parts and his somewhat mediocre alternate mode, he’s worth a look. Still, definitely far from a must-have.

Rating: C+

Update 2013-11-07: Thanks to my buddy Caked-Up I discovered that Dreadwing has a very nice gerwalk mode. See last few pics in the gallery.
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