G1 Dreadwind : powermaster 1988

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by knoted, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Posts:
    4,436
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +119
    I haven't seen any review on G1 Dreadwind here .....and there aren't many reviews on the internet about him either. Since I recently got him, here goes, just before Xmas :


    Name Dreadwind ( Buster )
    Toy Line Transformers G1 Powermasters
    Number ( D-305 for Godmaster Buster )
    Manufacturer Hasbro Inc, Takara
    Released 1988 ( 1987 listed on toy, produced in Macau )
    Materials ABS, Plastic.

    Category Transforming Toy.
    Series G1 Powermasters ( Godmasters )



    From Hate to Love
    Sometimes….sometimes, you grow to like something which you despised in the past. This is pretty much what happened to me when it comes to G1 Powermaster Dreadwind…and perhaps in context of post 1985 G1 Transformers as well. That’s why I finally made the decision to search and purchase Dreadwind.
    In this review I will be looking at purely Dreadwind himself ; He didn’t come with his weapons nor his Power Master partner Hi Test. Stickers are all present, but they are somewhat worn down of course.

    Is this toy hard to get by ? Not really. However, it is more difficult to obtain Dreadwind complete with the Powermaster engine Hi Test and his double blasters, let alone a MISB Dreadwind. Recent Ebay search results showed some C7 and C8 Dreadwinds without accessories and some Dreadwind KO’s which are made out of that really chewy soft plastic.
    If - like me - you don’t care too much about the Powermaster gizmo, the best chances for a reasonably priced Dreadwind ( around 35 to 50 USD ), are the Ebay items in C8 or C9 condition, minus accessories.

    Robot mode
    Dreadwind’s robot mode is something special within Transformers. Especially the V shaped torso is a visual aspect about this design which reminds me of a Macross Valkyrie. Dreadwind doesn’t have the typical Transformers crotch plate either. These aspects really set Dreadwind apart from the other G1
    jet transforming Decepticons, such as the Seekers.
    The design does suffer some glaring flaws though. For example, the Grimlock syndrome : the head placement is way too far to the back of his torso.
    Some say, the gaping hiatus in his chest is a flaw as well, but in my opinion this enables Dreadwind to see
    any potential threat from beneath him a bit better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Size comparison
    Side to side with Deluxe Henkei Ramjet and Deluxe ROTF Breakaway.
    Dreadwind stands a little bit taller than both of them. He’s smaller than
    most contemporary Voyagers though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dreadwind’s side view reveals some really awkward back kibble ( the wing assembly ) and the side view also emphasizes the odd head placement. The tapered feet and the heels remind us again of Macross VF1’s.

    [​IMG]

    Dreadwind’s rear is nothing special and it looks rather ambiguous, especially because his head is hidden behind the fuselage shell.

    [​IMG]

    Collectors, beware.
    When you buy Dreadwind on Ebay, ask the seller about the tabs on
    the inside of his wing assembly. These tabs hold the arms in place in robot mode.
    When I got my Dreadwind, I discovered one tab was broken off. It doesn’t hinder transformation,
    but it causes the right arm to sit kind of loose at the side of the torso.

    [​IMG]

    Dreadwind’s head sculpt
    Although the headplacement is off, the sculpt looks really good. The top half of the head is painted with a more blue-ish purple than the other purple parts. Like other G1 toys, Dreadwind still has yellow painted eyes, opposed to the red Decepticon optics in the cartoon.

    [​IMG]

    The styling and details on the purple arms are somewhat simplified compared to Dreadwind’s box art and comic book appearances, but they still convey that style of a detailed pistol’s bullet chamber.

    [​IMG]

    Articulation
    Like most G1 toys, Dreadwind lacks in terms of articulation. His arms and elbows
    will move up and down 90 degrees. Dreadwind has a wrist swivel to accommodate
    the option to mount his guns in jet mode. The shoulders flare outwards, but this makes
    them look rather disjointed from the torso.The thighs rotate for transformation purpose
    but once you lock the body in place, the thighs will not rotate anymore. Dreadwind
    has knee joints, but they definitely rotate the wrong way. It doesn’t make much sense either,
    because this rotation doesn’t even serve a purpose for transformation nor for the combined
    jet mode together with Darkwing. It results into a somewhat awkward pose like
    this one ( wielding Henkei Ramjet’s launchers with Classics Starscream’s missiles ) :

    [​IMG]

    Jet mode
    Dreadwind transforms into a F16 Fighting Falcon jet. ( mounted Henkei Ramjet’s launchers with Classics Starscream’s missiles )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Size comparison with Deluxe Classics Starscream and Deluxe ROTF Breakaway.
    Obviously, he’s a little bit bigger than both of them.

    [​IMG]

    The underside comparison reveals the difference between toy era’s ; both Starscream and Breakaway tuck their robot arms neatly into their jet fuselage, while Dreadwind’s arms stick out from under his wings.

    [​IMG]

    Compared to Voyager ROTF Starscream, Dreadwind is a bit smaller even though
    he should be smaller, to be in scale with Starscream’s F22 mode.

    [​IMG]

    Another example of mold production difference : Classics Starscream’s thrust nozzle is half the size of
    Dreadwind’s thrust nozzle, yet its mold detail is vastly superior and crispier. You can spot the combiner slot here as well, which is pretty much a rectangular hole.

    [​IMG]

    The Powermaster engine slot on the back of the jet. It interrupts the profile silhouette
    of the jet a bit but at least you can still transform Dreadwind without the actual Hi Test Powermaster engine.The Panel line details are decent but they’re not that refined.

    [​IMG]

    Another example of mold production progress, shows Starsream’s wings are superior to Dreadwind’s wings.
    Especially the front side of Dreadwind’s wings looks thick and blunt like a Fisher Price toy and the swivel hinge sticks out like a sore thumb as well. Let alone, the fuel tanks ( arms ) sticking out from under the wings. The molded sidewinder missiles are a nice touch though.

    [​IMG]

    This profile view illustrates the fact of engineering difficulties to compact a Transformer
    figure into a convincing streamlined jet, regardless of era.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We all know the real F16 has a HUGE gaping air intake beneath the cockpit, but this Dreadwind toy simply straps huge purple bricks under its F16 mode. Compared to that, I can even forgive the arms sticking out from under the wings, because they’re styled to resemble external fueltanks, which are pretty common on F16 jets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    What was it that put me off post 1985 G1 Transformers and why does Dreadwind fit in that picture ?
    Japanese Diaclone and Microman molds were the ones which put the Transformers brand on the map.
    These were robotic characters which transformed into vehicles and devices of which it the intent was clear, to represent lifelike or realistic alternate modes. Key attributes to achieve that vibe of lifelike alternate modes were things like :

    - molds with intricate detailing and realistic proportions.
    - alternate modes which were clearly intended to represent a real life vehicle or device.
    - color schemes which may be vibrant but which always reflect context.
    - appropriate use of materials : rubber for wheel tires, chrome paint to for metallic surfaces etc.

    With the introduction of the new Transformers cast of 1986, Diaclone and Microman molds were phased out and this marked the dawn of these new Cybetronian Transformers molds. This marked the debut of Hasbro USA’s own designs and engineering. In short, many features which made the early Transformers charming to me, were a bit lost with these ‘new’ G1 toys.

    - all plastic Transformer toys without vintage rubber wheels or metallic surfaces.
    - fewer realism inspired alternate modes.
    - the introduction of garish colors and color schemes. Think pink and teal combinations which make a TF toy look like a Tupperware bin.
    - fewer refined mold detailings and blunt proportions which may have resulted into a somewhat sturdier toy, but which put Transformers closer to Fisher Price kiddy toys than detailed scale models.
    - the introduction of all kinds of gizmo’s to sell new characters with these ‘special new abilities’ : Head Masters, Target Masters, Powermasters etc. These gizmo’s always eat away from development budget which could have otherwise been allocated towards improved engineering, refined detail etc.

    Where does G1 Dreadwind fit into this bigger picture ?

    cons
    - He features the somewhat garish turquoise & purple color scheme on top of light & dark grey base colors.
    - Mold details such as panel linings seem a bit simplified and proportions ( wing shapes and thickness feel a bit blunt ).
    - He features massive blocky jetmode undercarriage.
    - The Powermaster and Combiner mode gizmo’s have eaten away at development budget which could have been used for better engineering & detailing. I mean, a combustion engine on top of a fighter jet doesn’t really help aerodynamic properties and the combined jetmode defies all engineering logic of sleekness.

    pros
    - The alternate mode represents a real-life F16 jet ; I can see they really tried.
    - He has a nice and unique looking robot mode design : the style of the jet definitely resonates into the robot mode design as opposed to many jet-formers which are basically blocky robots with an entire jet strapped to their backs.
    - I like Dreadwind’s robot mode way better than Darkwing’s robot mode.
    - He feels sturdy and most of his joints are nice and tight.
    - He has a nice size, right in between contemporary Deluxe and Voyager class sizes.

    So, despite the aspects of the post 1985 G1 era which put me off and made me leave the Transformers fandom, I can see some really good points about this G1 Power Master Dreadwind in retrospect.

    That’s why I will rate Dreadwind with a 77 out of 100 score.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mighty.Maximal

    Mighty.Maximal Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    Posts:
    1,256
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Him and his companion Dark Wing are two of my very favourite Decepticon toys of the late 80's along with Triggerhappy & Needlenose they are some of the nicest Decepticon flyers to me of any era.

    People seem to forget sometimes that there's a lot less Decepticon toys in total than Autobot ones made between 1984 up to the beginning of G2 ; and the ones that were made were often quite small ; like the Cassettes, Battlechargers or Duocons and Special Team limbs. aside from the "Masters" and a few specific ones made in 1984 most Decepticons are not even Scout size and on average there's a lot less one off pieces of larger size than there is with the Autobots. that is probably why Sixshot or Overlord stands out so much by comparison.

    Like some Pretenders the Decepticon Powermaster pair also have weapons that split into two parts for use in each hand or a single hand or for the vehicle combination.

    And as has been pointed out they can also hold 5mm weapons too so if you wanted too you could have them wield Targetmasters as well as Powermasters.
     
  3. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Posts:
    4,436
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +119
    I never had Dreadwind nor Darkwing in my childhood...I did have Roadgrabber, DoubleDealer and Quake though. ( the latter 2 are pretty nice ) but ... I guess, at that time I was more in love with Macross / Robotech toys, which I couldn't get my hands on....ironic.

    Yep, and it's funny they can hold Classics Seekers' launchers now.

    Anyway, Dreadwind's design is growing on me and I can forgive the colors ; and I can honestly say I like this G1 Dreadwind a whole lot better than the Botcon 2007 Dreadwind, which is actually the Jetfire mold.
     
  4. scorpio-prime

    scorpio-prime Dreamer with fists

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Posts:
    765
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Likes:
    +0
    Good review. I must admit that for all the inherent G1 clunkiness, I do actually really like the figure, for his colour scheme, great original looking head design, and the Powermaster gimmick itself (PLUS his ability to combine with Darkwing).
     
  5. DarkEyes

    DarkEyes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Posts:
    897
    Trophy Points:
    157
    Likes:
    +11
    Nice review. Dreadwind is one of my favorite figure, really like the color scheme.

    Thanks!
     
  6. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Posts:
    4,436
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +119
    ^ ^ Thanks ! Yep, he's growing on me.

    I wonder though.. perhaps mine has been yellowed by sunlight ever so slightly :

    the light blue is more like turquoise....or is it really supposed to be actual turquoise instead of light blue ?
     
  7. Mixmaster

    Mixmaster logh ghot SIS yoD TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Posts:
    2,741
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Likes:
    +34
    I love Dreadwind and his best pal Darkwing, so much so tracked down a MIB Japanese giftset a few years back. Darkwing and Dreadwind don't really go together in robot mode IMO, but their individual jet modes pretty good for the time, and the combined jet is just icing on the cake.
     

Share This Page