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Movie Dreadwing Reviewed by Thunderscream
Game Drone

Dreadwing is perhaps one of the more obscure names in the Transformers franchise. The name first appeared in 1988 as the name for the combined vehicle form of two Decepticon figures named Dreadwind and Darkwing. The name has appeared only a few times since, and none of the characters ever appeared in any of the major Transformers television series. Though this incarnation doesn't see him join his fellow Decepticons in the 2007 Transformers film, he does appear as one of the drone characters in the video game tie in, making him one of the few game-based action figures in the Transformers franchise. He also appears in the first issue of the IDW movie prequel comic, although he's mostly a background character.

Altmode: MiG-29 "Fulcrum"

Dreadwing's alternate form is a jet that bears a strong resemblance to the Russian MiG-29 "Fulcrum." His main coloration is a camouflage pattern of light gray, dark gray, and blue gray with black on the nosecone, thruster cowlings, vents on the fuselage and parts on the underside. Silver's is painted on the parts behind the thruster cowling and bits of purple show in certain places, mostly along the underside.

By taking the form of the Fulcrum fighter, Dreadwing becomes perhaps only the third Transformer to take the form of a Russian fighter, the others being Blitzwing (MiG-25) from G1and Thundercracker (Su-27) from the Cybertron series. I may be mistaken in this presumption, but most aircraft-based Transformers are either of Western or ambiguous design, so it's hard to tell. It's easy to identify his alt as that of the MiG-29 by the distinctive air vents located on either side of the central fuselage, over the air intakes, the Fulcrum's identifying feature. He has two dark purple Decepticon insignias, one on the outside of each vertical tailfin where the Russian Red Star would be. It's a very convincing form and credit is due the designer and sculptors.

As with many Transformers that attempt to take on a real world aircraft, Dreadwing's illusion is ruined slightly by what has become known "undercarriage kibble." Underneath his fuselage, between where the fan intakes would be located, is a large, cylindrical object with what look like black radar domes on either end. These become Dreadwing's legs in robot mode and bare wheels that allow him to roll across a hard, smooth surface, though not very well and it's not particularly stable. Its use while Dreadwing is in this form is rather perplexing, though the bio on the back of his packaging might hold a clue. His profile mentions that he has the ability to teleport and this could be the device that allows him to do so. Its placement is rather odd, as the MiG-29, in real life, does not have any weapon hard points under the fuselage, unlike its larger counterpart, the Su-27 "Flanker," so how he attached it is anyone's guess. But then, Dreadwing's bio also suggests that he's not the brightest light bulb in the set.


Dreadwing's conversion is rated as a "3 Advanced" and as always, I recommend following the directions that comes with him. Afterwards, he's fairly easy to transform between each of his forms. The trick will be getting his arms turned the right direction.

Most of the toys from the movie like that are deluxe sized or larger have a feature called "automorph" in which gears move parts automatically into place when other parts are moved. In Dreadwing's case, when the front fuselage is spread apart, a second cockpit and a turbine fan move up into the center. This is about all that happens, and as is the case with most of the automorph gimmicks, is fairly unimpressive.

Robot Mode

Dreadwing stands about six inches tall in robot mode. Every color and pattern from his jet form carries over into this one. The only real addition is a light shade of purple at his joints, and only a little of that is visible.

Dreadwing's robot mode is an ungainly, awkward looking form, even for a Transformer. He has a very tall and broad torso, tiny waist, and short, stubby legs. His head consists of a single eye-like lens with the jet cockpit and nosecone extending behind it. He has nineteen points of articulation: two at the head, four on each arm, one between the waist and torso, and four on each leg. His elbow articulation is fairly limited; they can only bend inward towards his chest, so his arms can only be positioned at his sides or straight out in front of him. The engine cowlings from the jet mode form his hands, a feature that was previously used with Thrust from the Armada series, though Dreadwing has a pair of panels on either side that can open or close like primitive fingers.

Dreadwing has got to have the most graceless robotic form to ever come along in the franchise in is history. As a major character, he wouldn't cut it, though he does fit the alien theme the movie is aiming for. One must keep in mind, however, that this toy is based on a character that appears in the Transformers video game as type of drone that appears in large numbers, serving as an obstacle - or cannon fodder - for the player and thus isn't meant to look like a specific character. Even so, it would have been nice if the manufacturer had put more thought into the design of this character, though he's not the worst to come along.


Dreadwing comes packaged with two plastic missiles sculpted to look like a stream of flames. Molded in clear plastic with clear orange spray application, these fit into the engine thrusters. When he's in Fulcrum form, these could be seen as thrust exhaust from the afterburners on full. In robot mode, they could be seen as flames from his flamethrowers. They can be fired in either mode thanks to a spring-activated trigger, set off by a light purple button behind the cowlings. It's a nice little addition that makes use of his thruster hands considerably better than what was given to Armada Thrust.

Final Thoughts

Dreadwing is an interesting novelty in the Transformers franchise and it's nice to see Hasbro making more than just the movie characters and a few filler characters for the series. He could use some work but isn't a bad addition to anyone's collection.

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