Cliffbee.com: ROTF Dirge Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Dirge
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Harrier Jump Jet



JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 17cm Width: 11cm

   A navy blue Harrier with bronze trim on the air intakes and the front of the wings, Dirge gas a soft black plastic nosetip, a black Decepticon logo stamped on top of his fuselage and some silver aorund the transparent canopy. The colours are quite similar to his G1 namesake, despite a vastly different shape. It's an attractive if quite unrealistic colour scheme, and one which makes the tribute quite easy to see. There are small black Decepticon logos stamped on either side of the canopy.

   It's nice to see Dirge get a new mould - usually Dirge toys tend to be repaints of previously released toys (heck, the original Dirge was a retool). In fact, I believe this is the first time a Dirge toy has been an entirely new mould. Aside from the colours, the tribute is also apparent in the G1esque bombs underwing, which are actually bronze missiles in navy blue launchers. The soft plastic nose is another G1 tribute, as well. The colours aren't realistic because of this tribute, but the sculpt is quite realistic with lots of seams. He has a split tailfin, with the two fins sitting at 45 angles - no doubt to avoid license issues - but is clearly a jump jet.

   The play value here is what you'd expect. There are three false wheels underneath which can stow away - a black one under the canopy and two bronze ones under the main body. He will lie flat on his belly - something not all Transformer planes manage. The missile launchers can swing to aim outwards and the missiles fire quite well.

   A good jet mode even if the colours aren't likely to be seen on a real Harrier. The colours nail the tribute, but there are other elements that contribute. The play value is pretty much standard, and is enough to make this jet mode work. While the choice of jet is a departure from the usual seeker fare, this is clearly Dirge, and it's a good jet mode anyway.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the bombs, fold away the wheels. Unclip the sides, swing down and clip the attachment points at the back of the jet together to form his groin. Open out and fold back the tail section. Rotate the tail to starboard, which will bring the legs to port. Fold up the false canopy and clip into place. Fold up the waist, rotate the hips, fold the air intakes down to form feet. Pivot the wings down onto the outside of his shins. Unfold the top of the fuselage on top of his torso, unfold as the left arm. Rotate the cockpit down to form his right arm, flip out the hand. Slide up the backplate to form the shoulder pylons and raise his head. Fold up and clip together the conehead halves. Plug the missile launchers into his forearms and you're done.

   It's a fairly involved and clever transformation. Difficult to work out at first but once you get it, there's nothing difficult about it. It's quite elegant, and there are a few aspects designed to give the robot mode a strong G1 feel.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   A blue, black and bronze robot with small Decepticon logos on his shoulder. Dirge's torso and head are black with some red on the shoulder pylons and cone, his face is silver with red eyes. The limbs are mainly blue while there are splashes of bronze in places - notably the hands and thighs. The shoulders and torso also feature some yellow paint applications. While the colour map differs notably from G1 Dirge, the colours are clearly taken from that toy, again making this a good tribute. While he could have done without the yellow, it's a nice colour scheme overall.

   Again effort has gone into the tribute. The conehead and shoulder pylons have been specifically added to this mode - as has the false canopy on his chest. The wings move during transformation to hang off his legs - as in the G1 cartoon - and the missile launchers attach to the arms as in G1. Granted the wings can't fold up behind the arms as on the G1 toy, but that toy isn't meant to be a conehead, either. Either way, this is a very well considered tribute.

   While the wings are a little visually distracting, they don't get in the way. The shape of his legs is a little distracting and the canopy as a right arm is a little awkward, but the bodyshape is good overall. The tail can clip against his back, although it's not all that obvious (I missed it at first, thanks to Sluman for pointing it out).

   The play value centres on poseability. The head turns while his waist is fixed. The shoulders swing and the elbows fold in, and are complimented by rotators below the shoulders. His hands are open claws. The hips are call joints while the knees are hinged with rotators below the hips. The ankles are hinged in two directions. There are small gears on his chest which turn as his shoulders swing (a "mech alive" feature). The missiles can fire from his arms, and you can leave them plugged into the wings if you prefer.

   While the tail is mildly annoying and the legs have some shape issues, this is a good robot mode with lots of G1 tribute features, good play value and a nice colour scheme. While I would have preferred the yellow left out, it's a good tribute to Dirge, G1 both because of the colours and the seeker features.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   With character defining colours and a bundle of features tributing the G1 seekers, this is a very satisfying tribute. the play value is good in both modes and the sculpt is at the high standard of movie toys. The tail in robot mode is the only flaw here, but it's a very minor one. Recommended to seeker fans and fans of the movie aesthetic - 9/10

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