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Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2003

Prelude: Dreadwind and Smokejumper are repaints of the G2 toys Dreadwing and Smokescreen. Not sure why they gave Dreadwing a different last letter, but I assume that Smokejumper was named thus so as not to confuse people, given that there was already a Smokescreen for sale in the Armada line that ran concurrently. Now, I have reviewed the G2 figures, as well as Robotmaster Gigant Bomb, but it’s been a while, so these guys get another go.

Robot Mode (Dreadwind): Dreadwind cuts a massive, almost sumo-like figure, being almost as broad as he’s tall and just radiating strength and power. Despite his massive proportions, though, Dreadwind is highly articulate, featuring knee and elbow joints, a turning head, and just about everything you could ask for apart from wrist joints. He can pose in numerous ways and despite being somewhat top heavy, he has no problem holding his balance.

His main weapon is the big cannon on his shoulder, which can move both sideways and upside down, no problem, and rapid-fires six grey missiles. If he needs additional firepower, he can easily use one of the smaller missile launchers Smokejumper carries (see below), though if six missiles won’t finish off his prey, I don’t think one or two more will do the trick, either. Anyway, Dreadwind can store his additional missiles on his wings, which fold onto his back in robot mode.

Bottom line: still one of the most awesome-looking and best-articulated robots G2 ever produced and still holding up strong today. Two thumbs up.

Alternate Mode (Dreadwind): Dreadwind is a triple-changer. His first and main alternate mode is a huge “Flying Wing”-style stealth bomber. His big shoulder cannon is now underneath the bomber and serves as front landing gear as well, while two additional wheels flip out from his folded-up legs. Like most jet-formers he has something of an underbelly, but given that he has that huge cannon hanging under him anyway, you barely notice the rest. In this mode Dreadwind can combine with Smokejumper into Dreadwing (notice the ‘g’ at the end) with the smaller jet sliding into the empty space on his back. All in all a pretty great-looking bomber mode, though it does look somewhat unfinished when Smokejumper isn’t linked up.

His second alternate mode is a tank, though it’s basically just the bomber with the wings folded up, the gun flipping on top, and tank treads flipping out from his legs. It doesn’t look bad, mind you, but not really like any tank I’ve ever seen. A nice add-on for this figure, but clearly not the focus of it.

Robot Mode (Smokejumper): Smokejumper is almost the polar opposite of Dreadwind, being small and lean where his partner is big and broad. At the time this figure was first released in G2 as Smokescreen, I do believe he might well have been the best-articulated Transformers ever, being able to pose in just about every way you’d care to imagine. His jet parts all fold away quite nicely, so he has almost no kibble to get in the way and while he has the standard cockpit-as-chest look of most jet-formers, he still makes it look awesome.

Smokescreen carries to rifles / missile launchers as weapons, though personally I think he looks best with just one, which he can then hold two-handed (see picture 6 above). Looks pretty cool. So bottom line: a terrific robot. Cool look, great articulation, no flaws.

Alternate Mode (Smokejumper): Smokejumper transforms into a very lean and streamlined looking arrow-style jet that doesn’t resemble any particular model I can think of. For those interested: yes, he can also assume a sort of gerwalk mode (basically a jet with arms and legs), not pictured above to make sure Harmony Gold doesn’t sue me. The jet features a working landing gear and Smokejumper’s two missile launchers can be fastened on the sides. They don’t actually ruin the jet’s aerodynamics, though it does look leaner without them, of course. Smokejumper’s jet mode can piggyback on Dreadwind’s bomber mode or fly separately. Either way, a pretty cool jet mode with only minimal underbelly and no flaws. Nicely done.

Combined Mode: As I already mentioned above Smokejumper and Dreadwind combine in jet mode to form Dreadwing. It is also possible to combine Dreadwind and Smokejumper with Armada Galvatron (or Megatron for that matter) into MegaWing Galvatron. Haven’t tried it myself yet, but I will provide pictures when I get around to it.

Remarks: Dreadwing and Smokescreen are a strong candidate for best toy in the entire Generation 2 line, so it’s no wonder they have been reissued numerous times. There was even a Megatron / Starscream combo based on these molds, but G2 was cancelled before more than a handful of these were released. Fast forward eight years and there is the Robots in Disguise series, which was padded out a lot at the end to help cover the vastly increased retail demand created by the successful Armada line. Thus a number of older figures (many G2 figures among them) were reissued as store exclusives in very Armada-looking packages, but under the RID banner.

So bottom line: every Transformers fan should own at least one version of this excellent two-figure combo. And while I personally prefer the original G2 paint job, this one here is definitely worth getting as well.

Rating: A-

Update 2013-12-29: As promised, I have added pictures of Dreadwind and Smokejumper combining with Armada Megatron into the mighty MegaWing Megatron to the gallery.


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