The Dreadwing name has been applied to numerous toys over the years, arguably the most famous of which was a bomber that came with a second, smaller jet named Smokescreen. They could sort of combine in vehicle mode, and were repainted and repackaged in numerous lines over the years in both Japan and North America. The mold was even repainted as Megatron, which is amusing as this version of Dreadwing actually started off as this Megatron toy. Its repurposing as Dreadwing with a new head was guessed by fans when people saw art of the character in the comics as well as a leaked prototype.
This is the first proper Generation 2 toy as a non-exclusive release in some time. The Cybertronian G2 symbol appears near the robot's head and just behind the cockpit region. Like many legit G2 toys, the symbol is a simple outline. Unlike some of those earlier G2 toys, it doesn't say "DECEPTICON" right next to it. I assume this is because we know what that symbol means. There's a little bit of silver on each wing, some paint for the windows, and enough blue to make you think of the 1990s. It's fun.
Transformation is pretty easy - you flip parts around to make a flat bomber, and the "gun" splits apart into the tips of the wings. I don't think the clear red plastic painted the purple/blue color really works for the plane mode, but it does make a convincingly good weapon in robot mode.
The robot is neat - not very bulky like the original, but still rather imposing. Articulation is good, but not spectacular - not everything will lock in place but things more or less stay where they need to be. I assume most collectors will transform it twice and put it on the shelf, having had their fun with the Megatron mold already. I figure this one is going to spend a bunch of time on a shelf, where it'll look awesome next to your other G2 toys, which may all be Fan Club and Convention exclusives.
The comic is a reprint of Transformers: Robots in Disguise #17 which is just a few months old as of the release of this toy. Synergy! I got my money's worth, but I'm easy. Were this a $30-$50 exclusive I'd still want it. The last homage to G2 Dreadwing was a 2010 Japanese convention exclusive made up of Revenge of the Fallen Mindwipe with Skystalker being able to plug into his back. For all you cheapskates out there, this deluxe release is the way to go. Here's hoping Hasbro does more in the G2 style, particularly as it's low-hanging fruit as redeco opportunities go. Big Grim Grimlock? G2 Sideswipe? We all want them, so let's make them happen.
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