Transformers Combiner Wars: Dead End by Hasbro

Howdy, folks, and welcome to Transformers Thursday! Yeah, last week I ran into some complications with content because my studio was ripped apart, so I’m trying to play a little catch up this week. Today I’m opening up the very last Stunticon, or at least the last one until Wildrider (or whatever they’re calling him) comes along. I saved Dead End for last because next to Motormaster, he was my favorite Stunticon as a kid. What abritrary reason made me choose him over four other relatively personality-less cartoon robot cars? I couldn’t tell you, but I’m sure it was well-reasoned. This being the case, I’m coming into this figure with some high expectations, so you better not disappoint me Hasbro!!! Hang on, while I take a fortifying sip of Jameson. Ahhhh. Good stuff. Let’s look at the package…

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Yes, it’s the same packaging we’ve been seeing all along and it’s growing on me, especially since there’s a free comic book in there. I haven’t mentioned it before, but I really dig the way they do a data sheet on the character on the back cover of the comic. I’ve really got nothing else to add at this point. Dead End is packaged in his robot mode, but we’re going to start with his alt mode, because that’s just how I roll.

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So, straightaway I’ll say that Dead End takes the top spot as my favorite of all these Stunticon alt modes. Yeah, Breakdown was the closest to his original G1 alt mode, but this here is on snazzy looking car. He’s a little more rounded out than his original G1 namesake, but the maroon body, black painted windows, and the off center racing stripe all conspire to warm my GeeWun-loving heart. Sure, he wears his Decepticon emblem on his hood instead of the door, but I’m Ok with that and the grey on the side panels give him a little modern zing. I do, however, wish the hood emblem was straight. It looks like they tampo’d it on an angle to line up with the contours of the hood, but the result is really aggrevating my OCD. Ah, but even that can’t mar what is an otherwise beautiful little evil sports car.

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Dead End features three weapon ports, one on top and one on each side just behind the front wheels. You can use these to weaponize him up by pegging in his… ah, exhaust pipe. Yeah, other than the combiner part, this grey pipe is all you get. I suppose it looks kind of OK pegged into the side, but, no… not really. We’ll circle back to that pipe when we get to the robot mode.

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Transforming Dead End is as simple as these Deluxes tend to get and the engineering doesn’t really hold any surprises. In fact, he actually has a lot in common with Breakdown, particularly in the way he has a chest flap that closes down to partially cover the combiner port. The way the windshield and front of the car folds onto his back is also similar, but Dead End got the better end of this deal. Instead of the ugly inside crater of the car shell showing, Dead End’s backpack shows off the hood of the car. As far as car kibble backpacks go, this is about as stylish as you can get. I also really dig the head sculpt on this guy. It’s a great looking portrait for a ‘Con and I’m glad to see he got the Sunbow style mouthplate.

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The deco in robot mode features a lot of the same maroon and gold, although you do get a good amount of dark gray plastic thrown into the mix. While Dead End is far from traditional Decepticon colors, I think the dark deco works really well for him and I love the tiny little Decepticon emblem on his chest. It looks like it belongs there, whereas the other Stunticon faction emblems look like they were stock on as an afterthought.

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As much as I find this bot mode to be pure love, I still have a few little quibbles. The elbows use that annoying style of hinge that attaches at the end of the two halves of the limb. I call it “hollow elbow” and while there is probably absolutely no reason why a robot couldn’t function like this, I just think it looks weird. You also get a grey socket thing sticking on the inside of his right leg that looks rather conspicuously out of place. It’s there to attach the foot or hand in combiner mode and it does just come off if you don’t want it there. I did think the short lower legs would bother me on this figure, but they really don’t at all.

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Dead End’s choice of weapon is an odd one indeed, because it’s basically just an exhaust pipe. Normally I prefer my Transformers to have guns, swords and axes will do in a pinch, but just giving him a big pipe? I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I suppose going into battle with nothing but a giant pipe is kind of bad ass and represents a certain degree of thuggery befitting of a ‘Con. On the other hand, it seems like a really stupid thing to do when 95% of the other robots out there are going to have guns and the other 5% probably have swords. Anyway, Dead End can wield it like a club, or there’s a peg on the side so he can wield it like a PR-24 police baton.

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Even with some minor gripes, Dead End is easily my favorite of the Deluxe Stunticons. That’s not to say the others are bad. I’ve actually enjoyed these guys quite a bit. Yeah, I was a little iffy on Dragstrip at first, but he’s grown on me a lot. I expected to hate Breakdown, but he’s actually pretty cool. Really, that just leaves Offroad as the odd bot out, and that’s not because he’s a bad figure, but mainly just because I see him as an imposter. Next Transformers Thursday I will revisit the Stunticons for one last time to take a look at their combined form, Menasor. At the risk of spoilers, I’ll just say this… writing that piece is going to require a lot of Jameson. Meaning I’ll need some booze to get through it. Because Menasor sucks.

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2 comments on “Transformers Combiner Wars: Dead End by Hasbro

  1. I like the “empty elbow” title. As for the elbow, I agree they are super weird looking. I think Dead End is the best Stunticon too. He looks good in both versions.
    I can’t wait to see your reasoning behind the dislike of Menasor.

  2. This guy just screams awesome. Make the Menasor review funny at least. I have yet to meet a combiner that isn’t fragile and floppy so my expectations are already low but man I hope the combiner and the Jamieson lead to a somewhat favorable review.

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