Cal's Review: Gigant Bomb
Sneak Attack Specialist
ďIs punishing, his gatling gun is illiní!Ē
Develops tactics to deal with both air and land. His enormous six-barreled gatling cannon boasts of destructive force in the tens of kilotons. Body contains a purification plant that can adapt to various types of energy.
Released as part of the Robot Masters toyline, Gigant Bomb is a repaint of Dreadwing, one of the few notable G2 originals. So assured were Hasbro of his success that they commissioned a TV commercial, featuring an early use of CGI and a laughably cheesy rap. This set was known as Ace Evader
in Europe, which is where I picked mine up in 1996. Since this was around the time that Broken Arrow
saw a TV release, I was still buzzing with fascination with the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and leapt at the opportunity to own a Transformers version. While Laser Optimus Prime gets all the attention, I believe that Dreadwing was the pinnacle of the G2 era and remains one of my favourite Transformers to date. He has seen many releases and gone by many names since. So when I spotted this version during a school trip to London, I swept him and Smokesniper off the shelf to relive the fun I had with him as a kid. But does he withstand the test of time or am I looking at him through rose-tinted goggles? Letís see how this repaint fares.
"This Decepticon bomber's a Transformer-rama!"
Iíll start with the mode that the original Dreadwing was packaged in. What grabbed my attention is that he transforms into a stealth bomber, which is a unique addition to the Decepticonsí air superiority. His wingspan is tremendous - over 30cm from end to end! Heíll probably consume all the space on your shelf, but Gigant Bombís sheer size makes him a force to be reckoned with. Heís incredibly high with his landing gear extended, reaching 9cm tall. As far as I know, thatís a record for the tallest jet in the Transformers toyline. If any fleshlings attempt to board him, theyíd probably need to use the upper jetway of an A380 Airbus. Because Gigant Bomb sports a large six-missile launcher underneath, the only way to get him to stay upright is to design him with elongated landing gear attached to his legs. I think the height really helps Gigant Bombís image and creates the impression of a jet in flight without the aid of a display stand.
The shape of the bomber remains true to the angular design of the B-2 Spirit. His arms rest above the body, but are relatively concealed by bracers. I wish I could say the same for Gigant Bombís legs, which simply peg underneath the wings and look like massive, useless bulks next to the missile launcher. Not particularly aerodynamic either. Thereís some fine detailing to be found on this figure, including plenty of panel lines, four exhausts, and vents along the wings. The interior of cockpit has two carefully sculpted seats, and the robot headís light piping underneath appears to act as a flight beacon. Gigant Bomb is heavily armed. The missile launcher is one of the largest and most imposing guns Iíve seen in a Transformer to date. Itís designed with a unique firing mechanism that shoots the missiles one by one by twisting the ratcheted joint at the back. Itís also been modified for this release by including an extra notch that locks the missiles into place. This is extremely useful, because I always had trouble flipping the launcher around in tank or robot mode without all the missiles sliding out. Since there are no springs involved, itís possible to leave the missiles loaded for years without wearing down the mechanism. Accompanying this are six more missiles underneath the wings to carpet bomb unwitting Autobots below, but these are more of a nuisance because they fall off at the slightest provocation. Theyíre released by pressing the clear yellow buttons atop the wings, but since the tips fold over the buttons in tank or robot mode, itís impossible to transform Gigant Bomb without one or two missiles popping off. Grrrr...
Like Smokesniper, Gigant Bomb has been redecoed as a homage to the Blue Angels squadron. Unfortunately, the colour scheme clashes with the design, since the B-2 Spirit is built for stealth operations, not aerial displays. Gone are the black and blue camouflage patterns on the wings, replaced by bright yellow stripes that will make sure poor Gigant Bomb is spotted miles away. I dislike the yellow cockpit even more than on Smokesniper, since Iíve grown accustomed to the sombre red cockpit from Broken Arrow
. There are some pre-applied Decepticon insignias on the cockpit and wings, but the stickers on the bracers are absent on this release. Like Smokesniper, the cyan plastic is now blue-gray and the missiles have been cast in dark purple, which doesnít look as striking as the red originals.
A novel feature of this mode is that Smokesniper can dock into the back of the bomber, similar to how G1 Darkwing and Dreadwind combine. Known as Gigant Sniper, this team-up helps fill out Gigant Bombís silhouette and grants him a pair of tailfins. Itís possible to insert Smokesniper with the launchers and
missiles still attached, but pushing him until he locks into place seems to release the clips on Gigant Bombís chest, make his wings fold up. I have no idea why itís designed this way, but I find it highly annoying and it aggravates the loose fittings on his wing missiles. You can keep Smokesniper separate without hurting Gigant Bombís form. Apart from the cavity along the body, the shape appears closer to a B-2 Spirit and theyíre not supposed to have tail fins anyway.
ďA three-in-one villain that's chillin'!Ē
When I inspected G2 Dreadwingís box more closely and saw that he was a triple-changer, I had to have him. I always find triple changers more fun to play with and the third mode is just as original as the bomber. Although itís called a tank, a more apt description would be a rocket launcher. A stealth one at that. The transformation basically involves flipping up the wings, swinging the missile launcher up top and unfolding the legs to reveal tank treads. The design looks very futuristic and as much of a one-Decepticon army as Sixshot claims to be. The missile launcher has free movement in this mode and is able to point straight up and turn a full 360į. The missiles on his wings point at a 45į angle, but are more for display and not particularly useful at carpet bombing. Even though many triple-changers suffer from a mediocre third mode, I enjoy this as much as the bomber and it takes up less space on the shelf. The landing gear doubles as part of the wheels underneath the treads and the jet exhausts create the impression that this juggernaut is capable of reaching impressive speeds as it barrels across the land, crushing any Autobots foolish enough to get in the way.
ĒCombat tank and sonic jet transform into double-trouble robots!Ē
At last we come to the robot mode. The transformation involves folding down the cockpit to form the chest, unpegging the legs, and swinging the launcher around to become Gigant Bombís shoulder cannon. Heís about the size of a Voyager toy and quite heavily built, contrasting with the leaner Smokesniper. His limbs are very well defined compared to earlier toys that just had blocks with hands and feet. His legs in particular bare a striking resemblance to Galvatronís. I like how the feet point slightly apart, which seems more natural than most Transformers who face symmetrically forward like statues. The wings remain in the same place as the tank mode, which creates a lot of back kibble and upsets Gigant Bombís balance. Heel struts werenít around back then and itís nearly impossible to get him to stand up straight.
Gigant Bombís shoulder cannon is one of the most imposing Iíve seen on a Transformer. It looks very much like Soundwaveís rocket launcher, only much, much bigger and more destructive. It still retains a good amount of articulation from the tank mode, although it has a tendency to bump into the right wing. Itís still a delight to have Gigant Bomb lumber around, blasting enemies with his heavy duty gear. The other missiles point backwards and are even less feasible in this mode, but at least heís able to wield his extra Pulverizer weapon that comes with this release. Itís cast in the same clear green plastic as Smokesniperís Radial Pod and it looks absolutely hideous. However, he has two free hands to hold both weapons, or combine them into one giant rifle. You can also easily remove the bracers if you feel theyíre a bit restrictive.
Gigant Bombís vehicle parts look good in this mode. I like how the tank treads beef up his legs and the way the exhausts form the back of his thighs. But the deco is even more unsettling than Smokesniperís because the geniuses at Takara decided to apply lavender
paint to the head, launcher and legs. This looks simply awful. The paint on the head kills the Ďdreadí that Dreadwing possessed, and the lavender toes look as fah-bulous
as a ballerina's. I think Iíll stick with the original black parts. In fact, I think Iíll stick with the original Dreadwing altogether rather than this repaint. It was nice of Takara to bring back one of my favourite toys, but Gigant Bomb fails to captivate me like his forebear did in my childhood.
Marks out of ten for the following:
ďTheir missiles go boom, spelling certain doom,
As they take apart the awesome Autobots!Ē
Transformation Design: 8/10
- Commendable for a G2 toy. Both alt modes are solid and the robot mode is well proportioned. Some large kibble, though.
- Very difficult to find complete. Comes with a total of twelve missiles, half of which are prone to getting lost. I wouldnít blame you if you lose the Pulverizer gun on purpose.
- The six-missile launcher remains a highlight of my childhood toys and is even more fun to play with now that it's been tweaked. Itís a pity he keeps falling down and the wing missiles scatter everywhere.
- Both of his alt modes are well-designed and the huge missile launcher bolsters Gigant Bombís robot mode. Unfortunately the colour scheme pales in comparison to his other releases - even the cancelled G2 Megatron.
- Quite good for its time, especially given Gigant Bombís size. But his poor balance limits his poseability and he will undoubtedly need to be propped up.
- Hard to say. Heís uncommon on the secondary market, but not particularly valuable either. Expect to pay more if heís complete and is sold alongside Smokesniper.
- At the end of the day, Gigant Bomb is a fun design and a remarkable achievement for the G2 run, but his disappointing colour scheme and balance issues limits the appeal of this toy. He's not a bad
figure, but with more attractive repaints like BB, RID Dreadwind and the original G2 Dreadwing out there, I canít really recommend this to collectors.