Cliffbee.com: Dirge Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Dirge
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Modified F-15 Eagle Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 19.5cm Width: 13cm

   A royal blue F-15 with speckly bronze wings, a black rubberised nose and black air intakes and a smoky black cockpit window. Like all seekers, he's got big Decepticon stickers on the wings and a smaller one on the nose. Also, just behind the left air intake there's a rubsign. The engines are black, and there's black missiles under each wing. The wings are swept back, with smaller wings at the front and larger wings at the rear wing fins on the sides. This is apparently based on an attempted modification of the standard F-15 Eagle.

   Despite the modification, Dirge still looks realistic, thanks to the fuselage being true to the original F-15, and realistic looking lines on the wings. While you'd never see an F-15 like this, he's certainly believable. The contrast between the wings and the fuselage is pretty marked, but the colours do work together.

   Overall, the Diaclone toys aren't really poseable. But in this mode that's OK - F-15s are fixed wing aircraft. The front undercarriage _can_ actually turn, and he does roll. The missiles look great, they're long and sleek.

   It's really quite hard for me to fault this vehicle mode. The only real fault is that the wing posts are slightly too long, making the wings stick out too far, but you can easily file them down (as I have on all my seekers), to make them flush with the fuselage. There's also a gap between the engines at the rear of the aircraft. I suppose you could take the modification to task, since Dirge would probably have trouble flying with his wings so far back. But hey, if Cosmos can fly, why not Dirge?

   A great vehicle mode, with a cool variation on the F-15 Eagle thrown in. The colours work well, and the bronze used on the wings is great.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the wings, remove the front undercarriage and place it inside the cockpit. Fold the rear tailfins down, flip back the rear wheels to form the feet. Stand him up and push the plastic bit on his chest till it swings out to form the arms. Fold the nose down, then swing it through the chest until the cockpit rests on his chest. Fold the nosecone back to reveal the head. Attach his fists, reattach the wings, and attach the missiles to the arms. You can actually perform this transformation with the wings staying attached, though it'll take a tad longer and the attachments for the wings will eventually wear out. Oh, the cartoon has Dirge's cone standing upright, but the toy's instructions have it pointing back, which I prefer. I also prefer to swing the wings up.

   One thing that has always bothered me about this transformation is that there's nowhere for the fists in jet mode. While you can store everything else, it does make for very easily lost fists. Of course, the other detachable parts are commonly lost anyway.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm

   Dirge's mainly blue again in this mode, with black fists, feet and head, with a largely black chest, save for the blue cockpit with smoky glass. Unlike his cartoon incarnation, he's not a conehead. Also, it's worth noting that his blue is a flat blue, not speckly like Thundercracker's.

   Aside from his shoulders being able to move, Dirge pretty much just stands there. His shoulders do move in pretty much every direction, however, courtesy of his transformation. The missiles don't shoot, unlike some other seekers. The air intakes form big towers on top of each shoulder, which look pretty good. If you look at the toy of Dirge and compare it to the show, the toy appears to be missing thighs. Basically, the proportions are the same, but in the toy the legs are one piece and the show added thighs that the toy simply doesn't have.

   Assuming you have all the bits, it's a very nice looking robot mode. The poseability was reasonably good for 1985, too. The missiles on his arms look really good, in fact I think they're the best weapons of all the seekers.

   The conehead option is available, if you're into show accuracy. Those who know me will know I hate Dirge as a conehead - I think the cones are just way too tall for it to look good. Despite it not being official, I recommend swinging the wings up, the Decepticon symbols come up just to the sides of the shoulders, and the wings look very regal. Whatever options you go for, he's got versatility at least.

VARIATIONS

   Based on the same basic mould as Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Ramjet & Thrust.

   There are no major differences between the original and the reissue, the most significant is a metal piece that's embedded in the collar on the original is absent on the reissue. There are some superficial sticker changes also.

OVERALL

   Well, of course, I like this toy. I'm not going to be biased and say it's the greatest thing ever invented ever, but it's a damn fine Transformer. Good detailing, great colours, the wing modification works. Aside from the standard "missing pieces" affliction that seekers can suffer, I'm struggling to think of much wrong with Dirge. Unless you make him a conehead.. 9/10, losing a point mainly because of the gap in the fuselage

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.