Dreadwing and Smokescreen
Review by VF5SS
Transformers Generation 2 was in many ways a transitional line of toys. It began with several bright recolors of older toys and ended with some of the most well-designed Transformers that are still being re-released in subsequent lines. Back then, things like light piping and ball joints were high concept in a world of robots toys that couldn't even bend their knees. The deluxe set of Dreadwing and Smokescreen are two of these prolific Transformers that are some of the best transforming robots you can find.
If this set was said to have one defining aspect, it would be missiles and the myriad of things it can do with them. This set comes with a total of 14 missiles that can be mounted all over the toy making Dreadwing and Smokescreen some of the most "heavily armed" toys out there.
From this angle you can get a sense of the toy's aesthetic. While Generation 2 is known for its excessive use of garish neon, Dreadwing comes off as looking quite menacing with his combination of dark blue and turquoise with clear red highlights. Even the strange black and turquoise camouflage doesn't look out of place. Each red oval on the wing is a button that releases the underwing missiles like bombs. The six shot Gatling gun fires each missile in a clockwise rotation when you rotate the back part of the gun.
From the front you can see how Dreadwing rests atop his landing gear. The Gatling gun serves as the nose wheel but does not contain any actual wheels to allow the toy to roll. One unfortunate problem with the gun is that the missiles do not lock in before firing, so they tend to slide out if the gun is not level.
From the rear, you can see how Smokescreen fits into the back of Dreadwing. By locking Smokescreen into the slot, he rests over a trigger that keeps Dreadwing's wings locked in place. When you remove Smokescreen, the wings spring up.
Now that the two toys are separated, Dreadwing can assume his tank mode. To complete the tank mode, the tips of his wings are folded up and the Gatling gun is rotated up to form Dreadwing's main weapon. Pushing a button on the back of Dreadwing's legs will unfold them into the tank treads.
Dreadwing is not the most convincing tank, but the Gatling is easier to use in this mode. He rolls on four plastic wheels. Two of which are simply the folded up landing wheels.
In robot mode, Dreadwing exudes that weighty bulk that makes him look like a mean machine. Now that gatling gun is shoulder mounted, Dreadwing becomes a little back heavy and can topple if his feet aren't firmly planted down.
Dreadwing's head features a light piping gimmick for his eyes. The red eyes is a nice effect. If you look close you can see where I had to repair his chest.
While some may dismiss Smokescreen as just a second banana to Dreadwing, he's a fine toy in his own right.
From the front you can see how he rests atop a full set of landing gear. Sadly the wheels do not turn.
Probably one of the most endearing traits of Smokescreen is that he's one of the few Transformers jets that looks sleek. His design is an amalgamation of the F-16XL, F-22, and X-15 combined with a rather Macross-esque transformation.
This is not an official transformation.
Smokescreen is a very limber looking robot. Unlike Dreadwing, he locks together very well in robot mode and has a good amount of articulation.
Here is a closeup of Smokescreen's face. The light piping gimmick also works very well with his head design.
The twin missile launchers can be mounted in Smokescreen's hands or on his legs. They're from an era when Transformers could shoot your eye out. Each launcher can fire a missile a good four or five feet.
Overall, Dreadwing and Smokescreen are a real gem of a set. The individual robots are well executed and the combined mode looks great as well. Although this set is over 15 years old now, Dreadwing and Smokescreen have been re-released several times. They became BB and Starscream in Beast Wars II, Dreadwing and Smokejumper in Robots in Disguise, and Gigant Bomb and Smokesniper in Robot Masters. In any form, these guys are a must have for Transformers fans.
|Posted 13 January, 2009 - 11:12 by VF5SS