Not expecting to find anything at my closest retail, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a single Dreadwing hidden amongst the plethora of Optimus, Megatron, and Bulkhead. The recently released, sword-swinging brother of the erstwhile Decepticon and currently dimensionally displaced zombie, Skyquake, Dreadwing has shown to be quite competent and enjoyable on the show. Hopefully he’ll get a little more character development as Season 2 proceeds.
His toy is very show-accurate in robot mode, if a little less bulky. The gold adds a nice contrast to the otherwise very Prime Decepticon colours of silver, grey, and dark blue.
There’s something oddly noble looking about Dreadwing in the cartoon the toy seems to capture perfectly, right down to the headsculpt.
Though he does come with a weapon that is meant to look like his cannon from the show, it has been given the “Powerizer” treatment. This essentially means it’s default state is a folded up mess which is far taller than it is long and looks positively daft.
My solution — as I did with Voyager class Prime Optimus’ — was to remove the battery (none of the light-up gimmicks on these “Powerizers” work at all anyway), detach the spring that keeps it folded up, and wedge a piece of plastic cut from the display window of his box to keep it locked in the proper folded-out form.
Taking another cue from Optimus, Dreadwing comes with a sword like he uses in the show.
The disappointment in this toy is his alt mode, or half of his alt mode, or to be even more precise, the bottom half of his alt mode. He transforms into a… let’s call it a heavily modified F-35 fighter.
Whereas Transformer jets quite often suffer from disproportionate undersides, with Dreadwing, it’s as is if the designer just stopped trying. First, there’s the ridiculously obtrusive robot mode hips that jut in an ungainly manner from the front edges, but even that isn’t as bad as the robot hands sticking straight out of the rear end of the aircraft.
The hands would have been excusable on a toy of much smaller scale, but on a Voyager, that’s just sloppy design. In fact, Dreadwing’s Cyberverse toy does a better job, at least tucking the hands under the back wings.
Dreadwing’s Cyberverse release, unlike Breakdown’s, is a very good small scale representation of the character. Done in the larger Commander scale, he comes with an accurate cannon and his sword.
Luckily his Voyager class toy’s robot mode is more than enough to ignore any issues with alt mode. In fact, I like the robot mode so much, that I sincerely hope that the planned release of Skyquake actually happens. I definitely want a chance to place the two of them side-by-side on my Prime Decepticons display.