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Series: Prime Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2012

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.

Robot Mode: Just as most of the rank and file of the Autobots are cars that transform into robots who have the car’s hood for a chest, most of the Decepticons who aren’t Soundwave or Megatron are jets that transform into robots with the cockpit in the centre of the chest. The same holds true for Dreadwing. The main difference to your standard Seeker design is, of course, that he’s a pretty broad, powerful-looking fellow. Probably the most muscular-looking jet-former this side of Movie Starscream and a sharp contrast to the rake-thin Prime Starscream.

Despite being relatively bulky, Dreadwing is nicely articulated. His shoulder construction with those shoulder pieces takes a moment to get used to and he lacks a waist joint, but apart from that he can move with the best of them. The detail work done on him is also quite good, I especially like the head (which reminds me of Depth Charge) and the way his back is put together. So overall this is one nice-looking robot.

Not so nice: his weapon. Or at least one of them. He carries a decent sword (though it does seem a tad small for him in my mind), but his blaster... well. Look under modification for more on that. Dreadwing can store his weapons on his back or apply them to either forearm as well as hold them in hand.

Bottom line: Dreadwing is a cool robot with a good sword and a bad gun. Thumbs up for everything except his armaments.

Alternate Mode: Dreadwing transforms into a modified Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jet fighter. But while the transformation does a pretty good job of streamlining a bulky guy into a rather sleek jet, the jet does suffer from the same problem as most jet-formers: the big undercarriage. The split hip is clearly visible from the front, the bulky legs run the length of the jet and you can see his robot hands sticking out back.

That isn’t to say the jet doesn’t look good. It does. But you can’t help but notice that it carries quite a few parts around that are clearly not part of the jet. The weapons can be stored under the wings or on top, the latter looking exceedingly stupid, especially with the bulky blaster weapon. A landing gear is included, though only the front wheel can be retracted. So bottom line: a serviceable jet mode that looks pretty good from some angles, but not so good from quite a few others.

Modification: As is the case with most of the Prime RID Voyager-class figures, Dreadwing’s main weapon is built around a light-up gimmick that completely ruins the weapon. The solution is very simple: remove the giant blocky battery pack. The resulting weapon still isn’t a hundred percent match for the giant cannon Dreadwing wielded in the Prime TV series, but it’s a whole lot closer now (see last six pictures in the gallery).

Remarks: In one of the few cases where repaints of previous figures are actually worked into the story (not counting the usual Seeker repaints of Starscream, Thundercracker & Skywarp) Dreadwing is the ‘twin’ of Skyquake, the only difference between the two being the color. Unlike Skyquake, though, who was a mere ‘monster of the week’ in the early Prime episodes, Dreadwing turned out to be a much more enduring character. One of the few honourable Decepticons, he eventually grew disillusioned with the Decepticon cause and set out to gain revenge on Starscream for defiling his brother’s remains. Refusing a direct order from Megatron to desist, he was unceremoniously killed by the Decepticon leader. The second case where the most interesting Decepticon in the current line-up was quickly killed off to avoid further character development (the first having been Breakdown).

As for this toy, it’s a good toy. Not great, not spectacular, but it’s a good representation of one of the better Decepticon characters from the Prime TV series. So if you want to bolster your Prime Decepticon forces, you won’t go wrong here. Completists may also want to check out the green Skyquake variant.

Rating: B
Toy DB Link

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