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Skyquake87's Review: Combiner Wars Dead End

Name : Dead End
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub Group: Stunticons
Function: Scout

“We are all just food for rust.”

Decepticon Operational Status Update, reported by Soundwave: Most Decepticons think they are close to winning the war with the Autobots. Dead End believes the end is closer still. When motivated to speak, Dead End will explain that the Universe is doomed and the finale is imminent. With such a fatalistic view, it's odd that Dead End spends so much time polishing his armour and washing his vehicle mode. What seems ridiculous to some makes perfect sense from his point of view: he just wants to look his best when Armageddon finally strikes. His radar scanner covers hundreds of miles and he's been clocked at 220 miles per hour in vehicle mode. His battle club is a fearsome weapon in combat, capable of unleashing a concentrated blast of compressed air without warning. With fellow Stunticons forms Menasor.

Conclusion: Combat Approved and endorsed

History (extracted from compulsory biographical download): The Stunticons were created by Megatron as the Decepticon response to Autobot dominance of the streets and highways of Earth. It was on Earth that Dead End found his only 'happy place' – sitting alone in a darkened car wash. That depressing outlook makes him a tedious teammate, but his participation is vital to the Stunticon team. Forms either an arm of a leg of Menasor, the combined form of the Stunticons.

Dead End was the sole Stunticon I owned back in the day. I loved his slick sports car styling and the mix of deep, rich colours on him. He looked deadly and made this particular sub-group one of my favourites. So I am rather pleased that this miserable misanthrope has got a such a superb update. He doesn't look quite as deadly as his original toy, but there's enough going on here to be equally as impressive in its own right. Especially as Hasbro have kept the name Dead End in constant use, so he's not stuck with an annoying prefix, or a new name entirely. Or worse, some poor relation of his original name like the rubbish Hot Rod gets stuck with these days.

Robot Mode: In one of the rare occasions I approve of the designers slavishly following the Sunbow animation models, Dead End is rocking his cool googles and face plate look, rather than the generic peg-head of his original toy. As well as his tidy looking noggin', Dead End has a nice boxy little body, all stocky and chunky like an Oxo cube. He looks like a right little brusier. Which is a good job, given that his weapon is er, a chunk of exhaust pipe. Sorry 'Shock baton'. Sheesh. Detail is great, its busy, but the rich colours suit all this scribbly nonsense. Nothing feels overdone on Dead End's robot mode, and I like that.

Alternate Mode: Dead End's alt mode is a glorious thing to behold. It's a maroon pebble with a go faster stripe. Its simultaneously really slick and daft looking, rocking as it does the sort of super deformed features of every wide-boy auto shop logo that sells phat rims and body kits. The attack mode looks daft though, but mostly because he big boxy handgun looks out of place with all those curves.

Marks Out Of Ten For The Following :

Transformation Design: A simple car to robot job is given some interesting turns to take, particularly with the way the legs and waist rotate and move about to form the back end. It just feels good, isn't trying too hard, whilst doing something a little less obvious. 8/10

Durability: With his chunky plastics and general heft, Dead End feels very sturdy indeed. There's nothing on his guy that feels flimsy or fragile. Worst you've got to worry about is losing his exhaust club, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if you did. 9/10

Articulation: All the usual for a modern Deluxe, so he can run, jump and climb trees. Its nothing too extravagant, just enough to be fun, do some cool poses and not look like a mess when he's stood still. 8/10

Fun: Dead End is king of the Stunticons on this front. He looks great, has a superb looking alt mode and is just a the best of out the bunch. There's nothing that gets in the way, or looks horrible, and he doesn't look rubbish when you try and pose him. He's just great. In common with the other Stunticons, the wheels are a cheap mess, so he doesn't roll well. Not good for a team that are all about speed and dangerous driving, what is this, fast cars as designed by Lada? 8/10

Price/Value: Another import one for me, so £16.99 with the terrible comic. It's steep, but at least its not as outrageous as the prices for Legends/ Scout sized toys in the Combiner Wars line. Even though he's good, you might be better waiting for the sales. 6/10

Overall: Despite his crappy weapon – Dead End's contribution to the running theme of the Combiner Wars Stunticons, that they're generally fun toys with points of dissatisfaction – Dead End is a classy little dude, and even if you can't be bothered with this COLLECT THEM ALL! 5 ROBOTS COMBINE! stuff, Dead End would make a worthy purchase. Like Firefly, he's good enough to hold his own and doesn't feel compromised by being part of a team. Just boils down to whether you feel the best part of twenty quid is worth it for 5” of plastic. 8/10
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