Friday, 20 March 2015

Combiner Wars Dead End Review

The Stunticon group

When Combiner Wars was first announced, and the individual figures shown, Dead End was not the one I thought looked the best - but it was the one I most wanted in my hands.

Sounds creepy.

His first real update since the original Generation 1 toy, it comes as part of the hit Combiner Wars line, but does it live up to the standards set by the first wave?

To see the Dead End review, hit the button below.

Full disclosure: I am writing this review listening to Omar's "There's Nothing Like this". Wonder what happened to that guy? That is a wikipedia research project for a day at work next week....

Alt Mode

Dead End Car Mode

Dead End is a car, and you would have been surprised if I had said otherwise. He is a very nice, veering towards absolutely gorgeous looking car (getting creepy again)that I have no idea what it type of car, but thanks to the powers of the genius knowledge types over at the TFWiki I can say it is based on a Ferrari 458 Italia.

side shot of Transformers Dead End

It is a cool, powerful looking update to his original alt mode, which I do know was a Porsche, which continues the theme of super awesome European sports car.

The colours are carry over exactly, and whilst the pictures make him look a brighter red, I can assure you that is just an over excited camera trick and his colours are the same as his G1 counterpart. The gold strip that stretches the length of the car is an equally accurate shade of gold.
All matching colours present and correct then?

So what are the differences?

an aerial shot of the top of the car.

The most obvious is the wonky Decepticon symbol on the front, which I can imagine annoys Dead End.
It gives him something to feel even more depressed about, like a badge of furious sadness.

On the G1 toy he had a rub symbol on the  side, which was completely undermined by the large shiny Decepticon badges on the side of his car. I suppose if you were a helicopter who saw the game only through a Spy Hunter style lens, it would be  a convincing disguise.

Here, the sides have grey and silver covering what I presume is an air scoop (I know nothing about cars, but heard those words once somewhere).
The one blemish for this mode is the large grey plastic chunk, which is in fact Dead Ends upper bicep swivel in robot mode. Maybe the designers were so pleased to get that in, they wanted us to see it in alt mode?

the rear of Dead Ends car mode

That does not really bother me, though when you touch it the smoothness and lovely feel of the rest of the plastic is replaced with something a little coarser. I can see why people would be unhappy with this, and would it really have blown the toys budget to get those bits painted?
I assume somewhere Takara are already plotting this.

It is a small and singular blemish on an otherwise excellent car mode.

Hasbro have finally relented and gone back to painting the wheel rims, which I am sure some internet peeps have been crying out for.

If you look at the back of the car, the combiner peg has been utilised as a Batmobile-esque exhaust. Another nifty little detail here, which may have been an unintended design consequence, is that the top set of lights on either side have been molded around a pin joint - so it makes them shiny.

Tis all in the details.

a group shot of all of the cars

What I most like about the car mode, apart from its stunning looks is how it feels to touch. There is just something incredibly nice on the hands worn from years of transforming pointy plastic, and blood letting 3rd party figures. The plastic is really smooth and feels toyetic (made up word alert!), and sometimes that counts for a lot.
The car mode is also rock solid, and there are so few panel lines due to the simplified transformation that if not for the Decepticon symbol it could easily just pass for a generic toy car.

If it was not obvious already, I adore this car mode. It looks gorgeous, it feels great and is lots of fun to roll back and forth across a smooth surface -Hasbro even painted the rims.

Robot Mode
a front shot of Transformers Dead End

The transformation is great. I can appreciate some people want more complexity, and more involved engineering but not me - no sir.
This hits my sweet spot.

It is not complex, but it is not one step changer or Rescue Bots simple either. As with all of the Combiner Wars deluxe figures Hasbro's designers have managed to come up with fun, intuitive and quick transformations designed to make them far better to play with.

Whilst the Aerialbots all shared the same basic leg transformation (open them up, extend, close) each of the Stunticons is different in this regard.

Dead Ends rear windows flip open, to allow the legs to unfold which is brilliant. The other quirk, is that the head is on a panel which covers the front underside of the vehicular mode. It folds out and partially hides the combiner peg, to ensure they don't all look the same.

It really is great.

Oh yeah, and the hands are on soft clicky ratchets- something non of the other figures share.

Dead Ends junk

The robot mode does look fantastic, which I will get to in a second, but as a consequence of the ease of transformation (I don't want to call it simplified as that would be underselling what it achieves) the front of the vehicle does just hang off of the back of the robot.

Perhaps he fills it with his pack lunch and school books?

Transformers Dead Ends head

Dead End does look awesome in robot mode, oozing character and he shares a part of that almost monstrous aesthetic that Drag Strip has. He is not the squared off series of Tetris blocks that he was in G1, but the design elements from the cartoon are yanked out and put through the madman filter.

He is a bit stockier looking that his original toy or animation model, but the chest and head are ripped right from the cartoon but then reimagined.
The head sort of almost resembles a car engine, but then that might just be me - as might my theory that Dead Ends visor looks like a Purple version of the Flash's belt.

Ha, why not.

Transformers Generations Dead End

As with all of the Combiner Wars figures so far, Dead End has bags of articulation and the kind that makes you want to pose him. You can create some wicked poses, mainly with him punching various things and looking non plussed about the whole affair.

"Oh I smashed your face? How droll, give me some more Rum"

Why Rum? Dunno, I just imagine that is what Dead End would drink. Probably with Dr Pepper because the can matches his paint job.

Dead End and his pipe weapon

Dead End does come with a pipe weapon, he can hold in his hands. Funny thing about his hands, is that this weapon fits in them securely, but any other weapons seems to be too loose - even those of the other Stunticons? His hands just seem a fraction wider, so he can't hold one of Leader Megatron's guns as I had planned.

Back to his pipe, it is sculpted to look like a smokestack so perhaps it was ripped from Optimus Primes shoulder, and Dead End keeps it as a trophy?

I am not a fan of them having melee weapons so eventually that will be replaced, but it matches the other Stunticons style, where they feel like a Biker gang - like those dudes from Akira (if I had a toy of Kaneda's bike, every picture on this review would be an Akira homage).

A foot/hand piece is also included but it is the weakest looking of the bunch and is the one Stunticon where it does not really fit anywhere on him. I will review the limb mode when I get to Motormaster and Menasor.

This is my favourite Combiner Wars figure so far, easily beating all of the Aerialbots and his Stunticon pals (who he totally just tolerates), it is just a shame that the tragedy of these figures is that as combiners most people will stick them in combined mode and that is that.

Dead End deserves more than that.

I got mine, along with all of Wave 2 from Kapow Toys

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1 comment:

  1. because Hasbro , takara , tomy not use the body and the car in Dead end combiner wars to make a nice model of Mirage Dark of the moon instead they used the model of painful ROTF Sideways that it takes to stand up with crutches ' you can not have certain ideas