The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

 
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum
Old 2013-03-12, 06:36 PM   #1
Blackjack
Micromaster
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Default Botcon Dirge -- [uploaded]

Name: Dirge
Allegiance: Decepticon

Back in 2005, Fun Publications took over from 3H Productions in hosting 'BotCon', the annual, official fan convention thing, which comes with convention-exclusive comics, fiction and toys... for a price. While 3H tries to tie everything together with a terrible series of fan fiction spanning G1 and Beast Wars starring a bunch of uninteresting Mary Sue characters, Fun Publications attempted to give us toys we couldn't get in the mainstream line, and the fanclub fiction was... well, less terrible.

Toys from Botcon, being limited and stuff, sell for ridiculously high prices in the aftermarket.

Unlike 3H's totally random toys, Fun Publications opted for a theme every year, and had increasingly more toys. But at first they simply followed in 3H's footsteps at telling the story in the massive time gap between G1 and Beast Wars, with the 'Descent to Evil' set. The toys were pretty random repaints, a bunch of original characters who ended up without personality, passable minimal-effort repaints to create Deathsaurus, Outback and a bunch of the cartoon's shit female Autobots. The only ones that actually stopped and gave me pause are the passable incarnations of G1 Ironhide and Ratchet, retooled from Energon's Tow-Line. Since the two never had proper toys until 2009 I think it's part of the appeal (even then Universe Ironhide arguably is worse than the Botcon toy).

Of course, the next year's "Games of Deception" set, basically completing the Seekers not released as part of Hasbro's Classic line, and a bunch of Classics-inspired redecoes, were met with much more enthusiasm, and much higher aftermarket prices. Until Hasbro went and released the Seekers Thundercracker, Thrust and Dirge as mass-retail toys six or seven years later anyway.

But we're talking about the 'Descent to Evil' set. See, that year's comic had the villains Deathsaurus (a Decepticon leader from one of the Japanese G1 lines) and Flamewar (an all-new character who managed to be relatively popular among the fandom) recruited descendants of the Insecticons, Dirge (not to be confused with the G1 Conehead) and Buzzclaw (not to be confused with the Beast Wars guy despite sharing the same mold), using them as basis for an army of 'Virulent Clones'. Dirge, Buzzclaw and the Virulent Clones were, of course, toys you can buy that year at Botcon, and were all repaints of Beast Wars Buzzclaw.

Of course since they are literally non-entities (the bio describes more about the background of their story than the character itself) they kind of faded to obscurity.

Let me tell you the story of how I brought Dirge. I was at a toy fair or something, and I bought a bunch of Beast Wars related things, until I stumbled upon a Botcon Dirge, still sealed in a baggie. He was sold for such a cheap price that among my haul that day, he was the cheapest. Frankly I didn't buy Dirge for anything specific... he's a nobody, but he was a cheap noobody and I figured I wanted to own a BotCon-exclusive toy just for the heck of it, but since I'm not willing to spend much on half-assed repaints and this guy is cheap and I don't own a BW Buzzclaw, so...

After ripping off the sealed plastic baggie with 'Botcon 2005 Dirge' stamped on it, plus 'Adult Collectable', I kind of enjoy Dirge more than I thought I will.

So, Dirge. He's an Insecticon, descendant of the original Insecticons, or something. He's got some awesome powers and is evil and stuff. But I don't think he even had lines in the comic. Unlike 90% of Fun Publications toys, he isn't supposed to represent any fan favourite character or an alternate universe version of a fan favourite character, so at least he wouldn't look like some idiotic 'Ironhide with Soundwave's head transplanted' or 'Crumplezone wearing an Optimus Primal mask' thing.

Beast Mode:
Dirge is a fuzor, so he transforms into a mantis-lizard fuzor. More accurately, he transforms into a praying mantis with the insect legs replaced by lizard legs... that's it. Granted, he has a vaguely more theropodal build than most mantises, but legs aside he's entirely mantis. Granted, a mutated-looking mantis. The proportions does look vaguely theropodal, with the rather large chest (for a mantis), and the abdomen kind-of sort-of resembling a theropod's large, long balancing tail. He's a mantis-saurus or something. Might be just me grasping at straws, though.

Both Dirge and Buzzclaw are coloured in vaguely G1 Insecticon colours, but where the Insecticons are predominantly black with purple and yellow accents, Dirge is predominantly translucent yellow, with black and red accents, plus a little purple. Specifically, his entire torso, lower legs, robot legs ventral abdomen and bug head are cast in translucent yellow, his mantis claws, wing frames, upper legs, feet, part of the abdomen and some miscellaneous parts are cast in black and the abdomen's top and wings are cast in red. The sides of the abdomen, feet and bug head are all painted in a fetching metallic shade of purple, which fades rather nicely into the bug eyes' red. (IIRC Botcon's Buzzclaw have the same colours, but predominantly purple instead of yellow). All in all, it's actually pretty nice, if a little bland. I especially like how the wings and abdomen look so nice and loud cast in red, with black picking out all the organic spines and veins and stuff. It certainly is very different from the original Buzzclaw's green or Repugnus' orange.

Funny thing, all three Buzzclaw repaints in the Botcon 2005 set -- Dirge, Buzzclaw and Virulent Clone -- apparently have their beast-mode mouthpiece misassembled. Instead of angling outwards and acting like a normal insectoid pincer mouth thing, they instead angle inwards which makes it look like Dirge has a funky moustache more than a set of deadly-looking mandibles. It's not something I can fix without taking apart his beast mode head so I won't try. It kind of ruins the impression of a deadly mantis-raptor thing, since from the front he looks like he has the head of a fly or something equally non-threatening, for the moustache-mandible kind of gets lost next to the black 'neck' and claws. No big loss there.

Since this is a beast, Dirge has articulation in this mode. The abdomen can be angled up and down. The wings can be angled up or folded downwards, and the legs are ball jointed in the thigh and knees, and the ankles are hinged. Dirge's mantis claws are thankfully articulated, connected at the shoulders by ball joints, and the bladed, serrated end is hinged.

Dirge's main play value, other than being a mantis-saurus thing, is that you can press the protruding button thing sitting on the center of his back, and it will kind of swing both claws towards the middle. Not very useful, and I would much rather have him with properly articulated beast shoulders, since as it is his mantis-claw articulation is a little inhibited by the location of the gimmick.

For a Beast Wars basic class toy, he certainly isn't bad, and certainly rates among the better ones I have.

Robot Mode:
By transforming Dirge into robot mode you effectively remove nearly half his mass. Many Beast Wars toys do use parts of the beast mode as weapons, but none that I own removes as much as mass Dirge does. The entire chunk of thorax connected to the best mode claws and wings are removed, and so is the pretty red abdomen. From there transformation is pretty much straightforward and unremarkable. The bug head becomes the chest, lizard legs turn into robot arms, the obviously-feet abdomen turn into feet. In robot mode Dirge has much more purple and black. His head is cast in yellow, and I like how his yellow eyes and grinning mouth gives the impression of a sinister villain. Without his accessories, however, his robot mode looks very, very generic with only the bug head on his chest and the lizard feet tucked under his arms being the only hints that he actually transforms at all.

I'm happy to announce that despite the moustache mandibles pointing the wrong way, they do not interfere with the transformation. The bug head fits just right. Just. By pure luck of the robot mode transformation is hampered by the inwards-pointing mandibles, but just a teensy weensy more and that would've happened. Articulation is fairly standard for a toy his size. Head, shoulder, elbows, hips, thighs, knees and ankles.

The pretty abdomen (with a Decepticon insignia under it) pegs onto Dirge's left arm as some sort of shield-blade thing, whereas his other hand can hold the insane thorax-wing-claw assembly. Dirge holds it by the handle where you press the gimmick, and can hold it in two ways, but either way it's an impractical looking weapon. The wings do nothing but point awkwardly downwards (or upwards), and pushing the button here doesn't move the sharp blades like you think they would, but kind of knocks Dirge's bug elbows together. Not very useful, and I can't think of any situation where this weird-looking weapon ensemble could be practical.

Dirge can wear the weapon as a backpack, with either the mantis claws pointing upwards from behind the shoulders and the wings kind of splayed downwards, or vice versa, which looks much better than if he was holding half his mass as a ridiculous weapon. And this way he looks like he actually transforms into his mantis mode instead of just wearing the bug head on his chest. It redeems his weak transformation and accessories somewhat. And this way he looks like he still can fly, albeit awkwardly, in robot mode.

I do like the design of Dirge's robot mode as well. It's a bit weak, but it certainly looks at home among my Beast Wars collection.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 3/10 Like I said, it's not very creative. The accessory is really useless. If it couldn't peg into Dirge's back to give him a more awesome silhouette, this score would have been much worse.

Durability: 8/10 It's got ball joints, but other than that he seems pretty solid. Of course, I had just taken it out of a six-year-old airtight baggie and removed the clear plastic string things...

Aesthetics: 7/10 Despite my general disdain on Botcon toys in general, I actually like Dirge, so long as the robot mode keeps the backpack on. Of course, it a rather wicked looking Beast Wars toy in G1 Insecticon colours, and he's not supposed to represent anyone, so...

Articulation: 6/10 Pretty average for a Beast Wars era toy.

Fun: 8/10 For a toy who I bought only for the novelty, I surprisingly grew rather attached to Dirge and mucked around with him quite a bit. Being a mantis-saurus adds some novelty points too.

Price/Value: 4/10 I got him for a reasonably cheap price. It's not a cheap price if I was buying the original Buzzclaw, but it's not an entirely unreasonable price either, considering I bought him mind-in-sealed-baggie and he's BotCon exclusive and everything.

Overall: 5/10 I must say I rather liked Dirge. Now the question is, should you get him? He's not that expensive for a Botcon toy, certainly not as overpriced as some Japanese toy I imported in the past, but people will still charge a price higher than what's worth for a toy like him. And you can get the original Buzzclaw or Universe Repugnus for much cheaper. Not to mention it would require some effort to hunt him down, which I wouldn't recommend. Dirge is kind of pretty with his Insecticon colours, but that really is literally the only thing going for him.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2013-04-30 at 08:57 AM.
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-12, 06:38 PM   #2
Blackjack
Micromaster
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Default

Boom boom surprise review.

I was kind of bored and writing Optimus and Megatron reviews get so damn boring... Dirge is kind of pretty, and the mold's kind of nice, but then I'm weak for Beast Wars and Insecticons, so that's my bias.

Nobody's going to hunt down Dirge or Buzzclaw, after all. Nobody cares about them. I got this guy for probably $10, I think. Maybe a couple bucks more. Not gonna try to buy any more Botcon stuff, certainly. Overpriced stuff, the lot of them.

Piccies tomorrow.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2013-03-12 at 06:49 PM.
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-15, 12:55 PM   #3
Blackjack
Micromaster
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Default

Mint in Sealed Baggie!



Three different configurations of the robot mode:




And his funky mustache mandible thing:

 
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-15, 06:47 PM   #4
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Default

You lucky SOB!

Dirge is nothing special, but since he's pretty rare he's a neat piece to have in a Beast Wars collection. Especially since you paid a reasonable price for him. I've got a soft spot in my heart for a lot of the zany BotCon redecos of Beast Wars toys, but the prices they fetch put me off of collecting them.
 
Warcry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-17, 07:33 AM   #5
Blackjack
Micromaster
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
You lucky SOB!

Dirge is nothing special, but since he's pretty rare he's a neat piece to have in a Beast Wars collection. Especially since you paid a reasonable price for him. I've got a soft spot in my heart for a lot of the zany BotCon redecos of Beast Wars toys, but the prices they fetch put me off of collecting them.
Mmm, Buzzclaw is a prettier thing than Dirge IMO, but the stupid seller who sold me Dirge took out a Mint-in-Baggie Buzzclaw out only after I paid for Dirge. Damn idiot.

I also quite like many of the funky Beast Wars redecoes as opposed to 80% of Botcon's output nowadays, who simply don't stand up to what they're supposed to be. Whereas these totally random redecoes? Obviously for what they go in the interwebs they're still ridiculous, but for a decent price they're pretty damn boss.
 
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-19, 03:28 PM   #6
numbat
Legends Class
 
numbat's Avatar
 
Scotland, UK
Default

Dirge looks pretty neat!

Botcon figures are hit-or-miss. A lot of the recent stuff has been pretty miss, and the prices they go for are nuts.

I did get a Botcon Clench recently for a reasonable price (partly thanks to the slight paint errors on the head - a few bits just didn't get painted green - why the head was moulded in grey plastic and painted green I just don't know though...), and he works well. Most of the rest of that G2 Redux set looks pants and makes no sense though... Hope to get Pyro sometime though.

Basically, the rubbish Botcon figures go for silly money, while the good Botcon figures go for impossible money most of the time. Guess it's just the rarity factor - people seem to be willing to pay stacks for a rare figure for their collection, no matter how good it actually is. Thsi drives the prices up for those of us who love particular Transformers, but don't have the dosh or inclination to drop that kinda cash.
 


New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.
numbat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-19, 05:14 PM   #7
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by numbat View Post
Most of the rest of that G2 Redux set looks pants and makes no sense though...
The G2 set was pretty ridiculous, considering not a single character in the set actually originated in G2 -- five US G1 characters, six characters that originated as European-exclusive G1 toys and an RiD character, but not a single G2-originated guy in the bunch. Would it have killed them to include Hooligan or Jolt or Manta Ray or something?

I agree that a lot of folks will spend crazy money on exclusives just to say they own exclusives, though, rather than because they actually want the toy in question.
 
Warcry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-20, 08:40 AM   #8
numbat
Legends Class
 
numbat's Avatar
 
Scotland, UK
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
The G2 set was pretty ridiculous, considering not a single character in the set actually originated in G2 -- five US G1 characters, six characters that originated as European-exclusive G1 toys and an RiD character, but not a single G2-originated guy in the bunch. Would it have killed them to include Hooligan or Jolt or Manta Ray or something?


Absolutely agree - the name of the set makes no sense, and slapping G2 logos onto the characters is also a bit weird. Still, set title aside, Clench is really cool - although I'd really like to see him as a truck with the shoulders as the front of the cab again one day. But with such an obscure character with limited release as an exclusive outside the US, I think the Botcon version is the best we can hope for - and that probably stands true of other characters Botcon put out sometimes that actually have worth (unlike the Shattered Glass nonsense). I would love to see a proper update of RID Sky Byte one day though - but as a mechanical shark, not a bloody boat.
 


New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.
numbat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-24, 02:27 PM   #9
Blackjack
Micromaster
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Default

Eh, too many of the Botcon exclusives are lazy in my opinion... like randomly slapping new heads on Sideways, painting him in Scourge's colours and calling it a day... or turning Energon Mirage into Sky Byte and Sharkticons and calling it a day... or that ridiculous Cybertron Red Alert as Kup atrocity, and randomly repainting RTS Jazz and Tracks into basically any Transformer car out there...

The entire Shattered Glass nonsense is terrible as well. I mean, as random Walmart exclusives I might be tempted by some of them, but at ridiculous Botcon prices? These people are non-entities, and I'm supposed to pay ridiculous prices for them? For white-Soundwave and black-Optimus-that-is-not-Nemesis or whatever? Nah.

Animated's Stunticons were terribly ridiculous as well, since they are obviously Black Optimus, Red Jazz, Yellow Arcee... (Breakdown and Wildrider actually looked serviceable and Wildrider in particular fits with Animated's exaggerated expression)

G2 Redux is terrible as well, mostly since they're not G2 characters. Clench and Rapido would look neat, although I'm not about to pay like five times their actual price to buy them. Pyro as well, though he could use a new head.

I'd buy (and bought) new toys of Kup, Scourge, Thundercracker, Dirge and Thrust in a heartbeat when they were accessible, but when you expect me to pay triple or four times they're worth? Just because they're Botcon?

See Dirge. Dirge is cheap. Dirge is cute. Dirge is cute and nice because he's not overpriced. Dirge is the only Botcon toy I don't automatically hate on sight. Dirge is cool.
 
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-24, 09:07 PM   #10
Skyquake87
One with the Matrix
 
Skyquake87's Avatar
 
Default

Agreed. I think the selection of G2 redux figures boiled down to whom was the best fit for the moulds...and its probably worth pointing out that the entire 1993 G1 Euro line was re-issued in 1994 in Europe in Generation 2 packaging (which was bloody boring next to that sexy circuit board design Hasbro Europe/ UK had come up with for their own stuff), which excuses to some extent why Pyro and Clench and what have you got picked out. That and these Euro G1 figures seem to be included in G2 by a lot of US fans for whatever reason.

I did at one point own the Games Of Deception set, I liked Dreadwind whom seemed a much better fit for that Jetfire mould than, er, Jetfire. The one i really liked though was Bug Bite, and he had a crappy flaky paint job and that made me sad. So two toys out of five in a costly set that I thought were worth the trouble. I sold it on and hadn't contemplated any more BotCon figures until I scored Side Burn (was he Collector Club? I get so confused..!) whom is a nice and swish repaint of the Hot Rod mould and Cindersaur whom is is just gloriously daft - both cost me 30 in total buying through another fan site.

On topic, I do like your Dirge figure. The Buzzclaw mould is all win anyway, but those colours are lovely!
 
Skyquake87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-03-25, 02:56 PM   #11
Blackjack
Micromaster
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
That and these Euro G1 figures seem to be included in G2 by a lot of US fans for whatever reason.
Eh, since they're all post-Action-Masters and didn't show up in the US... personally G2 only spells 'guys that show up in the G2 comic' for me, and everything else like Pyro and Clench and the Predators and Turbomasters fall into the broad 'post-AM G1' category.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry
I did at one point own the Games Of Deception set, I liked Dreadwind whom seemed a much better fit for that Jetfire mould than, er, Jetfire. The one i really liked though was Bug Bite, and he had a crappy flaky paint job and that made me sad. So two toys out of five in a costly set that I thought were worth the trouble. I sold it on and hadn't contemplated any more BotCon figures until I scored Side Burn (was he Collector Club? I get so confused..!) whom is a nice and swish repaint of the Hot Rod mould and Cindersaur whom is is just gloriously daft - both cost me 30 in total buying through another fan site.
Botcon, Collector's Club... eh, doesn't matter. I'd actually like to own Cindersaur's ridiculous paintjob, but the mold doesn't really appeal to me. Side Burn looks too 'blue Hot Rod' to me, but at least IIRC they gave him a new head, which is a nice thing.

I'd really like to own Bug Bite myself, a nice looking little figure. Dreadwind is also, like you said, is a good fit. What's the rest of the set, though? A bunch of Seeker repaints that are basically worthless now?

See, that's the problem with Botcon toys. As retail toys I'd buy them, since that's what they're worth. But with the overhyped deal they have going on, I don't care to hunt down Bug Bite or Pyro or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry
On topic, I do like your Dirge figure. The Buzzclaw mould is all win anyway, but those colours are lovely!
Felt that Botcon's Buzzclaw's purple is better than Dirge, but I do like Dirge's more soft-toned yellow. He's actually pretty. I like the random Beast Wars themed Botcon repaints very much.
 
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
 
 
[the-hub.co.uk]
[transfans.co.uk]
[oneshallstand]
[unicron.com]
[counter-x.net]
[ntfa.net]
[allspark.com]
[transformertoys.co.uk]
[tfu.info]
[botchthecrab.com]
[obscure_tf]
[tfradio.net]
 

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

BOOKMARK US
Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.