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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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ganon578, PHD's review: Darkwind

Name: Darkwind
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Aerial Assault
Group: Universe G1 Series, Ultra Class

“Things are never as bad as they seem - usually they're worse.”

There are those who might call Darkwind bitter or pessimistic. In his opinion, if you're not at least a little bit bitter, you're not paying attention. To Darkwind, life is one long, unending trial of pain and suffering. What's not to be bitter about? Some guys with his attitude write poetry. Others paint themselves black and mope. Not Darkwind. If life is going to be nothing but a pit of darkness, he's going to make sure that at least it's worse for everyone else than it is for him.

Darkwind is actually “Darkwing” from Generation 1, but I’m guessing that trademarks got in the way and Hasbro had to name him Darkwind instead. The name isn’t too far from the mark and is still pretty cool. Though every time I hear the name “Darkwing”, I immediately think of Darkwing Duck. The original Darkwing was released in 1988 as a Powermaster, and this Universe homage was released in 2009 as a Toys R Us exclusive alongside Autobot Countdown. Darkwind is an Ultra class Transformer, and is a repaint of Universe Silverbolt (which has also been repainted into Wal-mart exclusive Skyfall). Darkwind never had an appearance in the G1 cartoon, but did do a few things in the comics (though I never read any of them, so I have no knowledge on this – you can check out his info on TF Wiki for more information). Regardless, I picked him up because of his interesting paint job. Most of this review will focus on what I think makes Darkwind stand out amongst his mold-brethren, and you can see Kamen’s Silverbolt review for other information. Review time!

Alternate Mode:

Darkwind’s alternate mode is a fictional FB-129 supersonic fighter/bomber. In jet bomber mode, you can push a small blue 3-hexagon button on the top of the bomber to engage 3 different sound effects. One is a machine gun sound that causes the front LED lights to blink, and will continue as long as you hold the button. Another sound is like a missile launch, and the last is a turbo-boosting sound that causes the rear engine LED lights to blink. Not really noteworthy, but I guess they’re kind of neat. The detail on Darkwind is rather good, as panel lines and molded detail cover the ship from front to back. The downside to this alternate mode is the blatant robot-tacked-on-bottom-of-jet mode. This really has to do with Universe Silverbolt looking like G1 Silverbolt, but that’s another review. The alternate mode has small landing gear wheels that do little else than to keep the jet off the ground. One nice feature in this mode is Darkwind’s rifle blaster securely plugs into the underside of the jet mode, allowing for some missile-launching fun! Radical!

The paint apps on Darkwind are quite stellar. Most of the jet is a dark grey color, but he is accented by powder blue, light grey, purple, and gold. It sounds like a vomit-inducing color combination, but actually works well, and fits right in to toys that were debuted in the late 1980’s. The dark grey runs the entirety of the jet, and the purple adorns his wings. Gold accents run the length of the wing edges, and he even has gold lightning bolts on the wings! Awesome! The smaller stabilizing wings are light grey and are accented by powder blue along the edges. One silver-lined, purple Decepticon symbol is displayed in the top of the cockpit. Speaking of which, the cockpit windows are a transparent purple. Sadly, there is no LED in there to light up. Overall it’s a pretty slick alt mode if you can get around the robot-on-the-bottom deal.

Robot Mode:

This mode is where I get most of my enjoyment out of Darkwind. The quick and easy (but fun) transformation to get Darkwind from bomber to robot is accompanied by a ‘transformation’ sound when you slide his legs up and simultaneously reveal his head. This motion also sets off the red LED lights in his eyes. It’s a pretty nice addition and I get some weird satisfaction from hearing that little sound clip. For paint apps, a vast majority of the blue coloring comes out in this mode. The powder blue is very apparent here, and it is accompanied by a darker shade of blue that makes up the robot torso. The torso itself has some silver paint apps, as well as a purple ‘Con symbol that is proudly displayed in the middle of his chest. The grey takes a back seat here and is only really seen in the lower legs. The purple that was formerly on the top of the wings is also on the bottom, and makes up the majority of his back. As for detail, Darkwind has the same detail as Silverbolt, and the molded features are really well done. The head mold works surprisingly well for this character (considering it was designed for Silverbolt). The dark grey and light blue combination keep him closely tied to his G1 predecessor. Articulation of this figure is good, and a lot of the joints on him are click joints, which hold him in place well. If I had to nit-pick, I’d say he’s slightly back-heavy (the entire jet is basically his backpack) and he has really small heels, which doesn’t help some standing poses. Overall though, the figure is well made and has a really cool paint job in my opinion.

Final remarks:

Darkwind is a neat addition to any Classics collection. However, due to the relatively obscure nature of the character, the price point (~$30 US) and store exclusivity, Darkwind is not a must have. On the other hand, if you have his counterpart Dreadwind (Botcon ’07 exclusive figure), which I don’t, he would be a welcome addition to your collection. Overall I can’t recommend you hunt him down. He’s cool and has a pretty paint job, but I don’t think he’s truly worth the price tag and limited availability.

Marks out of 10:

Transformation: 5. Simple. The sounds and lights that accompany it are neat.
Durability: 9. Incredibly solid. Click joints are nice too.
Fun: 6. You can’t do much with him, but he has some good poses.
Aesthetics: 7. This completely hinges on your opinion of the color scheme.
Articulation: 7. Nice amount of joints, and most of them click. Wrist joints would have been nice.
Value/Price: 5. Expensive for what you get. And he’s an exclusive. Might have been better as a Voyager class figure in the $20 US price range.
Overall: 6. He’s a good figure, that’s for sure. But the obscure character, exclusive nature, and price bring him down.
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